Japan since 1931, Its Political and Social Developments

Japan since 1931, Its Political and Social Developments

Japan since 1931, Its Political and Social Developments

Japan since 1931, Its Political and Social Developments

Excerpt

The decade since 1930 has seen noteworthy shifts in Japan's foreign policy. These shifts have been accompanied by equally significant alterations in her internal economic, political and social structure. The purpose of this study is to discuss these internal developments.

After a brief description of the present structure and working of the Japanese Government, an attempt is made to explain the roles played in modern Japan by the various political, business, labor, rural and patriotic groups. As background for this, the main political events after September 1931 are outlined, showing the general trends within the country and the interrelations of the groups mentioned. It will be found that the most obvious characteristic of the new period is the added power and prestige gained by the services, especially by the Imperial Army. Since events at home and abroad have necessitated new policies both in centralization of control and regulation of the economic, social and financial life of the nation, these have also been analyzed. In addition, those aspects of Japanese life which are peculiar to Japan, and which are often the most difficult to interpret, have been considered as psychological factors, and have been supplemented by a short discussion of the influence of public opinion. The author concludes the study with a description of possible future trends and changes in Japanese politics and life.

A short explanation of the method of treatment is in order. The author is fully aware of the shortcomings of a survey of this sort, which had to be made without residence in Japan and without constant reference to all Japanese periodicals. Terms in many cases not entirely applicable to Japan like "fascist," "totalitarian," "democratic," have been used somewhat loosely for lack of a better nomenclature.

Certain subjects having perhaps as much bearing on Japan's development as any of those discussed, and already included in the I. P. R. Inquiry Series issued by the International Secretariat of the Institute of Pacific Relations, were purposely omitted. These include a study of the development of eco-

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