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The neutralist policy of the Japan Socialist Party

Stockwin, J. A. A.

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The Japanese socialist movement since Uorld Var II has been largely dominated by leaders schooled in the embryo socialist organisations of the 1920's, and the effect on their thinking of prewar experiences has been very strong. Some - mainly the left wing of the movement - resolutely opposed the militarist trend of Japanese government in the 1930's. Others, who preferred to compromise with militarism, were discredited after the war, thus leaving the way open for the ascendency of the...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorStockwin, J. A. A.
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-11T06:26:24Z
dc.date.available2017-09-11T06:26:24Z
dc.date.copyright1964
dc.identifier.otherb1649875
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/126282
dc.description.abstractThe Japanese socialist movement since Uorld Var II has been largely dominated by leaders schooled in the embryo socialist organisations of the 1920's, and the effect on their thinking of prewar experiences has been very strong. Some - mainly the left wing of the movement - resolutely opposed the militarist trend of Japanese government in the 1930's. Others, who preferred to compromise with militarism, were discredited after the war, thus leaving the way open for the ascendency of the left wing. It was a left wing faction which took the initiative in introducing neutralism to the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) in the early 1950's. This faction was distinct from the other factions by its consistent opposition to Japanese militarism, but shared with them a 'nationalist' sense of the international significance of Japan. This was indeed inherent in its own form of Marxist ideology which placed Japan in the category of an advanced capitalist nation. Despite the wave of pacifism following the defeat and implementation of the 'Pacifist Clause' of the Constitution, the JSP did not put forward a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs until the end of 1949. The introduction of such a policy was a reaction to the advent of the Cold War and was also probably connected with a shift to the left in the leadership of the Party. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, the JSP expressed cautious support for the United Nations action, but this issue and the concurrent question of rearmament caused a widening gulf between left and right wings of the Party, which split into two separate parties in October 1951. The Left Socialist Party (LSP) advocated 'third force' neutralism, which took on an increasingly anti-American and pro-Asian colouring after Japan regained independence in 1952. The Party was, however, able to resist the temptations of a pro-Communist 'peace forces' argument which gained temporary dominance in the trade unions in 1953» It was able to do so because of the appeal of its own non- Communist brand of Marxism, because of the discrediting of the Japan Communist Party (JCP), and because of relative factional harmony between its leaders. The Right Socialist Party (RSP), rejected the 'third force' neutralism of the LSP, chiefly owing to its own strong fear of communism, but it developed an analogous theory on the basis of worldwide 'democratic-socialism’. The RSP was less successful than was the LSP in maintaining its cohesion and unity, both because of the somewhat equivocal nature of its foreign policy and because of longstanding factional and ideological differences between its left and right wings, which were brought into the open with the relaxation of international tension following the death of Stalin. Negotiations for unification of the two socialist parties took place in 1954 and 1955. Despite favourable conditions in both the international and domestic scenes for unification, the negotiations proved very difficult, especially in their foreign policy aspects. The idea of a four-power treaty of guarantee for the security of a neutral Japan was introduced, largely as a device to facilitate agreement between the two sides. Success was achieved by the initiative of the moderate factions of each party but only because circumstances at the time happened to permit the conciliation of the extreme factions on each side. Although the term 'neutralism' was not used in the unified platform, the Right conceded to the Left the substance of its foreign policy. In 1959, however, the term was reintroduced, and the content of JSP foreign policy became more anti-American. This was in part associated with an increased sensitivity to the dangers of nuclear war, in part to domestic and foreign developments, and in part to a drift of Party leadership to the left since 1955. This caused the extreme right wing of the Party, together with some right wing moderates, to break away and found a new party in 1959. After the failure of the campaign to prevent revision of the Japan - United States Security Treaty in 1960, a more moderate neutralism was introduced, but the Party, experiencing radical changes in the character of its leadership, failed to maintain this moderation with consistency over the next three years. Neutralism has often been distinguished from neutrality by its 'positive1 nature. What really distinguishes it, however, is the existence of the Cold War and the poessession of nuclear weapons by a very few super-powers with which small nations cannot hope to compete. Increasing international pluralism and the spread of nuclear weapons could make it possible for Japan to develop an independent 'neutralist' foreign policy backed up by her own nuclear strike force. It could be argued that the nationalism which is an integral part of Japanese left wing neutralism might tempt some neutralists to advocate such a course. Their pacifism and distrust of the concept of nuclear deterrence, however, made this development unlikely.
dc.format.extent2 v
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshNihon Shakait{u014D} (1945- )
dc.subject.lcshPolitical parties Japan
dc.subject.lcshNonalignment
dc.titleThe neutralist policy of the Japan Socialist Party
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
dcterms.valid1964
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, 1964. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1964
local.contributor.affiliationDepartment of International Relations, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e24193a04
dc.date.updated2017-09-05T21:58:28Z
dc.description.tableofcontentsv.1. Text -- v.2. End notes, appendices and bibliography
local.mintdoimint
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