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The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1957From Foe to Friend$
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Dean Aszkielowicz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390724

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390724.001.0001

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The Changing Political Context

The Changing Political Context

Chapter:
(p.68) 5 The Changing Political Context
Source:
The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1957
Author(s):

Dean Aszkielowicz

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888390724.003.0006

During the early years of the Australian trials, the international political context was favourable. The U.S. led Occupation of Japan was focused on reforming or punishing Japan. The threat of communism to regional security and the hopes of a democratic Japan, however, was never far from the minds of key U.S. thinkers, in both Japan and Washington. Gradually the Occupation entered a second phase, the Reverse Course. The U.S. began to take steps to rehabilitate the Japanese economy and support Japan’s recovery from the war, in an effort to strengthen Japanese institutions against communist influence. In this new political climate, war crimes prosecutions quickly became unfashionable. The Australian government remained suspicious of Japan throughout the Reverse Course, and found it hard to accept the U.S. line that communism was now a greater threat to the Pacific than Japan.

Keywords:   Reverse Course, Cold War, Occupation of Japan, Communist China

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