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Wednesday Seminar |The Politics of Pacifism: The Yoshida Doctrine in Post-War Japan| 26 June 2024 @ 3:00 PM IST | Zoom Webinar

26 Jun 2024
Akshat Mayne
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

The rise of Japan, in the aftermath of World War II, from a catastrophically devastated and vanquished land to an advanced nation needs to be understood in the context of a series of domestic and international developments. Arguably, the most critical of these developments, was the formulation of ‘pacifism’, and its institutionalisation as state policy. Thrust upon Japan by the victorious Americans as a binding constitutional provision, pacifism was employed efficiently and adeptly to focus the national energies towards economic reconstruction while security was outsourced to the US. This strategy, however, had its own costs. The seminar shall analyse the historical trajectory of pacifism as policy from 1947 to 1991, contextualising and grounding it within the framework of the US-Japan Alliance. Three major arguments shall be presented in the seminar. First, that pacifism does not have a domestic origin in Japan as it has had in the West; rather the experiences of World War II shaped Japanese receptivity to the idea, thus granting it the shroud of an enforced ideal. Second, through an assessment of four succeeding Japanese leaders since 1948, it has been posited that extant conditions outmoded any inclinations towards altering the pacifist clause. Third, it has been argued that the First Gulf War brought with it an effective end to pacifism as policy.


About the Speaker

Akshat Mayne is a Research Assistant at the Institute of Chinese Studies, and a doctoral scholar in Japanese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He holds a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies, with a specialisation in Japanese Studies, from the University of Delhi. His research looks at Japan’s place in the broader East Asian international order. His research interests include Japanese domestic politics, security and foreign policy in the post-war era, and the emerging dynamics between various players in the region, especially Japan and Taiwan. Beyond this, he is also interested in the historical interactions, and political and cultural exchanges between Japan and other East Asian states.


About the Chair

Srabani Roy Choudhury is a Professor in Japanese Studies, Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is also an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi. Her association with Japan began with the Japan Foundation Fellowship 1996-1997. She has been on a visiting scholar programme at Keizai Koho Centre, Ministry of Economics and Industry, Japan, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance, Japan, REIB, Kobe University, GSID, Nagoya University. Her recent publications are centred on economic diplomacy between Japan and India with reference to Japanese business. Currently, she is looking at India-Japan relations from the perspective of the power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. She has to her credit two edited volumes titled Japan-SAARC Partnership: A Way Ahead (2014) and India-Japan Relations @ 70: Building Beyond Bilateral (2022).


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