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By Gilbert Rozman

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The United States was still very adamant about both themes. Japan was occupied by them for nearly the first half of the period. A war tribunal was held. Some were hanged. Many high-ranking leaders were politically purged. Okinawa was occupied by the United States, with the northern half around Amami Oshima returned in 1953 whereas the rest was returned only in 1972. After the war, the war dead were buried at the Yasukuni shrine, but war criminals were not. Anti-alliance forces were very strong in Japan throughout the period.

These two components sometimes lurk in their minds along with the standard versions of World War II. 21 First, there was Ohira Masayoshi, the prime minister who passed away during the election campaign in 1980. Sensing that he lived in an era of transition, he organized intellectuals and other leaders to come up with visions for such subjects as postindustrial economic management, pastoral cities, Pan-Pacific regionalism, governability in industrial democracies, and international security after hegemony.

In place of the guilt earlier felt toward Asia and the optimism that time would heal historical wounds there was no guiding framework for reconceptualizing Japan’s historic place in Asia. No consensus exists, but in the tilt toward greater nationalism, it might well be tempting for a leader to gain temporary advantage from nationalist responses. A second set of explanations directs our attention to the international environment facing Japan. Strategic thinking toward Asia cannot be divorced from strategy toward the United States.

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