Rising Japanese Nationalism

January 5, 1966

Report Outline
Gathering Clouds Over U.S. Relations
Japan's Postwar Coming of Age
Economic Aspects of Japanese Nationalism

Gathering Clouds Over U.S. Relations

Japan's Readiness to Chart Own Foreign Course

After two decades of passivity and withdrawal from great power struggles in Asia, Japan is preparing to resume a more active —and independent —role in international affairs. The numbness of defeat and occupation after World War II gradually has been replaced by self-confidence and a new spirit of nationalism born of the knowledge that Japan, a nation of 100 million, is the Orient's economic showcase. But readiness to help fill the Asian power vacuum left by the 1945 collapse of the Japanese Empire is certain to put heavy strains on U.S.-Japanese relations. Japanese perspectives with respect to Communist China, for example, differ markedly from those of the United States. More immediately serious is the fact that the American military effort in Viet Nam, especially the bombing attacks on North Viet Nam, has caused widespread misgivings in Japan.

Already, because of the Southeast Asian conflict and other problems, Japanese of all political views are discussing the future of the American-Japanese security treaty, which becomes subject to review in 1970. Pressure also is slowly developing in some quarters for a revision of a provision of the Japanese constitution that severely restricts Japan's right to maintain military forces. Responsible voices in both the United States and Japan warn that present and potential areas of discord must be dealt with promptly and with understanding. Otherwise, Japan's new nationalism is likely to take an anti-American turn and endanger a friendly relationship that has been one of the remarkable developments of the period since World War II.

As part of the new American effort to create better understanding of U.S. policies in Asia, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey on Dec. 28 paid a “courtesy call” on Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in Tokyo. In stopping briefly in Tokyo on his Asian tour, Humphrey told the Japanese that the United States valued their friendship, looked for their advice, needed their help “in our common endeavors.” Specifically, he urged Japan to do anything it could to bring about a conference to achieve peace in Viet Nam and to step up medical contributions to the allied effort there. Two Communist organizations mounted small rallies to protest the Humphrey visit and demand abrogation of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jul. 26, 2002  Japan in Crisis
May 31, 1991  The U.S. And Japan
Apr. 09, 1982  Tensions in U.S.-Japanese Relations
Jul. 01, 1977  Japanese Elections
Mar. 04, 1970  Emergent Japan
Jun. 25, 1969  Okinawa Question
Jan. 05, 1966  Rising Japanese Nationalism
Jun. 02, 1960  Japan: Disturbed Ally
Nov. 18, 1959  Japanese Competition in International Trade
May 11, 1955  Relations With Japan
Nov. 03, 1954  Japan's Economy
Jan. 09, 1952  Trade with Japan
Feb. 28, 1951  Japan and Pacific Security
Sep. 19, 1947  Peace with Japan
Aug. 14, 1945  Emperor of Japan
Nov. 03, 1944  Russo-Japanese Relations
Dec. 09, 1939  The United States and Japan's New Order in Asia
Dec. 05, 1938  Japan and the Open Door Policy
Apr. 29, 1935  Japanese Foreign Trade Expansion
May 11, 1934  Japanese Policy in Asia
Oct. 12, 1932  Japanese-American Relations
Mar. 17, 1932  Boycotts and Embargoes
Feb. 10, 1932  Militarism Vs. Liberalism in Japan
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific