Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Armchair occupation: American wartime planning for postwar Japan, 1937-1945

Barnes, Dayna (2013) Armchair occupation: American wartime planning for postwar Japan, 1937-1945. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


By the late 1930s, it became clear to informed Americans that the international system in East Asia had failed. The outbreak of war between Japan and China in 1937 demonstrated that the current system could no longer provide stability in the region. Four years later, Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor ended American neutrality and united the regional conflict with the World War. Even as war raged, Japanese aggression raised questions for the future. If Imperial Japan, the most powerful country in Asia, were defeated, what might replace its regional dominance? What would become of its colonies? What had caused Japanese militarism, and how could its resurgence be prevented? If America were to emerge from the war powerful enough to reshape global politics, what future for Japan would best serve American interests? The story of how these questions were answered and why a particular set of responses became American policy is the subject of this dissertation. This work provides an account of the post-war planning process and the deliberative period which shaped American policy towards Japan after surrender in 1945. It will look at how these questions came to be answered, both in terms of the formulation of actual policies implemented after the war and the inputs and environment in which responses developed. Much has been written on the outcome of these choices, there have been many histories of the postwar occupation of Japan and postwar US-Japan relations. But very little attention has been given to where the eventual policy came from. By bringing the aims and intentions of the planners to light, this work provides a new perspective on the policy that the United States imposed on Japan during the occupation period and after.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Dayna Barnes
Library of Congress subject classification: E History America > E151 United States (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Best, Antony

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics