The purpose of this research project is to review the formation of postwar Japan from a broad historical perspective. The formation of the "Postwar Japanese System" took place in three major phases. The first saw the implementation of the various reforms under the occupation. The second, the 1950s, is an important, although often overlooked, period which saw the establishment of the postwar Japanese political system. The third is the 1960s, during which the postwar political system took root.
The four researchers mentioned above were assigned specific periods, and each reviewed the official papers of his assigned period. The research was conducted in the U.S. because it played a decisive role in the formation of postwar Japan, and because it has preserved and made accessible an enormous amount of public and other documents and records. Both documentary materials and interviews of key persons were the subject of the research.
The declassification of official U.S. papers have recently been
lagging, regardless of the official "30-year classification" rule, and only those papers up to around 1960 have been satisfactorily declassified at this time. Thus, the papers of the Eisenhower period are readily accessible, while the papers of the Kennedy Administration are still only partly available. The papers of the Johnson Administration were, however, fully available at the Johnson Library. The official papers of all of the three phases of the formation of postwar Japan were reviewed for the first time through this research program. In addition, microfilms of these original papers, prepared by both the National Archives and a private publisher, were also obtained and reviewed.
The interviews presented a different problem, in the form of the aging of the subjects. Many of the important persons are now in their seventies and eighties, and a number has already passed away. In some cases, such as that of Ambassador Reischolar, oral histories were prepared before they passed away, and copies were reviewed. Most of the key Americans in the formation of postwar Japan have not been interviewed, however ; this must be done before it is too late.
In addition to the Library of Congress and the National Archives, materials were reviewed at the MacArthur Library, Hoover Institution, and the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson Presidential Libraries, among other places. Poole, Kades, Finn and Rostow were among many of the major characters who were interviewed. In addition, prominent scholars of American diplomacy and U.S.-Japan relations, such as Devine, Dallek and Iriye, were consulted.
Through this research program, a much wider foundation has been laid for original scholarly research, with a solid documentary backing, and many new discoveries which will either refute or confirm existing theories were found. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude and respect for the support which this important scholarly research has received. Less