How did they turn hu­mil­i­a­tion into power?

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Ah­mad Ghaith

On June 12th 1941, Ja­pan at­tacked Pearl Har­bor in order to weaken the Amer­i­can Navy fleet, and to en­sure its con­trol over its neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Then in Au­gust 1945, the Amer­i­can Air force dropped two nu­clear bombs on Hiroshima and Na­gasaki re­spec­tively, claim­ing that the Ja­panese pre­fer sui­cide over sur­ren­der. On Au­gust 14, 1945 Em­peror Hiro­hito de­clared Ja­pan’s sur­ren­der say­ing that it was for the sake of Ja­pan and its peo­ple. The ca­pit­u­la­tion was signed in Septem­ber 1945, which was changed into an al­liance and pro­tec­tion treaty in 1951.

Gen­eral Dou­glas MacArthur placed his com­mand head­quar­ters op­po­site to the Im­pe­rial Palace, and made de­ci­sions to hu­mil­i­ate Ja­pan, the em­peror and the peo­ple. He su­per­vised the writ­ing of Ja­pan’s con­sti­tu­tion which came in ef­fect in the year 1946. The au­thor­i­ties of the em­peror were given to the Prime Min­is­ter. Ar­ti­cle 9 banned Ja­pan from form­ing an army and Ja­pan bowed to Amer­i­can de­mands, but on the other hand, it paid at­ten­tion to halt­ing its eco­nomic col­lapse through a plan known as the Yoshida Doc­trine, af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Shigeru Yoshida who served from 1946 to 1954.

Amer­i­can cap­i­tals were en­cour­aged to in­vest in the Ja­panese In­dus­try. But af­ter the re­vival of this econ­omy, the Ja­panese were able to take over all shares of for­eign com­pa­nies. Fol­low­ing marathon ne­go­ti­a­tions, Ja­pan agreed at the end of the 1970s to al­low for­eign­ers to have 20 per­cent in Ja­panese firms, pro­vided that the num­ber of share­hold­ers must be at least five peo­ple in each com­pany. The goal be­hind that is to keep them from in­flu­enc­ing the de­ci­sion mak­ing process (di­vide and con­quer).

There are many Amer­i­cans bases in Ja­pan, and the Ja­panese are con­vinced that it is nec­es­sary for them to be there be­cause it forms a se­cu­rity pro­tec­tion against any for­eign ag­gres­sion. The Amer­i­can Am­bas­sador said dur­ing a lec­ture in the for­eign Jour­nal­ists club in 1982: “The Ja­panese econ­omy is at its peak, so we hope that Ja­pan con­trib­utes to the bud­get of ren­o­vat­ing the (mil­i­tary) bases.” Then on the next day, a Ja­panese state­ment said that Ar­ti­cle 9 of the con­sti­tu­tion that was writ­ten by Gen­eral MacArthur does not al­low Ja­pan to deal with mil­i­tary af­fairs.

When the Amer­i­cans asked for the amend­ment of the con­sti­tu­tion, the Ja­panese an­swer was: the op­po­si­tion in the Par­lia­ment will not agree. Ja­pan took ad­van­tage of the Amer­i­can free trade pol­icy, and was ex­port­ing 1.8 mil­lion ve­hi­cles a year to Amer­ica in ad­di­tion to other prod­ucts, but there was not a sin­gle Amer­i­can prod­uct in its mar­kets. This re­flects Ja­pan’s wis­dom with which they turned the ta­bles on Gen­eral MacArthur, and turned hu­mil­i­a­tion into an in­dus­trial and eco­nomic power. Amer­i­can forces could not in­flu­ence change to Ja­pan’s pol­icy.

It has been said that af­ter sign­ing the merger agree­ment be­tween Egypt and Syria, Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Shukri AlQuwatly told Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ja­mal Ab­dul­nasser “the pop­u­la­tion of Syria is seven mil­lion, which means I gave you seven mil­lion lead­ers.” In­di­vid­u­al­ity and the lead­er­ship in an Arab per­son makes it easy for con­spir­a­cies to mul­ti­ply, and that is why it is said that Arabs al­ways agree to dis­agree.

— Trans­lated by Kuwait Times from Al-Qabas

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