How did they turn humiliation into power?
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