The Final Confrontation: Japan's Negotiations with the United States, 1941

The Final Confrontation: Japan's Negotiations with the United States, 1941

The Final Confrontation: Japan's Negotiations with the United States, 1941

The Final Confrontation: Japan's Negotiations with the United States, 1941

Synopsis

Excerpt

This is the fifth and final volume of the series Japan's Road to the Pacific War, a translation with scholarly introductions of selected portions of Taiheiy??? sens??? e no michi. This remarkable collection of essays by Japanese scholars was undertaken over thirty years ago under the direction of Kamikawa Hikomatsu for the Japan Association on International Relations (Nihon Kokusai Seiji Gakkai) and published in seven volumes by the Asahi Shimbunsha in 1962-63.

The authors were given access to a wide range of primary materials, including not only those of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East but also a mass of hitherto unavailable documents from the former imperial army and navy, the Justice Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry. The private papers of Prime Ministers Konoe Fumimaro and Okada Keisuke, General Ugaki Kazushige, Colonel Ishiwara Kanji, and others were opened. A number of leading participants in the events made themselves available for interview.

The result is the most richly documented account of the Japanese story of these extraordinary events that we have -- so useful to Japanese that the entire series was republished in 1987, and so useful to non-Japanese scholars as to have formed one of the essential sources for nearly every study of the origins of the Pacific War since. Its translation into English for a wider audience, therefore, seemed imperative.

It had been hoped when this project was begun that the translations could be produced more expeditiously than has been possible. In the intervening years much new research has been done and scholars on both sides of the Pacific have offered additional interpretations of these critical years. But the extraordinary richness of the factual data presented in the Japanese scholarship translated here has not been superseded.

In addition, this final volume has a special interest. When Kamikawa died, Tsunoda Jun, then a professor of diplomatic history at Kokugakuin University, was invited to take over direction of the entire project. He was a man of a different stripe from the other . . .

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