Central Themes and Key Points
KEY POINTS IN DEVELOPMENTS IN EAST ASIA >> 20th CENTURY BACK TO KEY POINTS TOC
Japan: 1945-2000
  • The Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), headed by General Douglas MacArthur and the American forces, leads to the third major historical instance in which Japan deliberately borrows and adapts from other countries. (The first is in the 6th - 8th centuries when Japan looks to China for models during Japan's classical period; the second instance is in the late 1800s when Japan looks to the West as it seeks to modernize under the Meiji Restoration.)
  • Japan renounces the use of force in Article 9 of the postwar constitution. Strong public opinion prohibits the visits to Japanese ports of ships carrying nuclear weapons. As the only country in the world to have experienced the impact of an atomic bomb, Japan is said to have a "nuclear allergy." Japan is protected, by treaty, under the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
  • Japan is a liberal democracy and a major economic power in the world economy; its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is second only to that of the United States.
  • Japanese society is undergoing constant change, as is any society, while unique cultural patterns from the past continue in a modern context.
  • Japan continues to search for an international role commensurate with its enormous economic power.
  • The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Japan, their close economic and political relationship, is of central importance to both countries and to their diplomacy in Asia and the world.
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