Sharing World Leadership? A New Era for America & Japan

Sharing World Leadership? A New Era for America & Japan

Sharing World Leadership? A New Era for America & Japan

Sharing World Leadership? A New Era for America & Japan

Excerpt

John H. Makin and Anneliese Grassi

A new era is upon us.

-- DOUGLAS MACARTHUR Japanese surrender, 1945

Politically, economically and socially, Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust. . . . I know of no other nation more secure, orderly and industrious -- nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.

-- DOUGLAS MACARTHUR Congressional hearings, 1951

Both the Japanese government and the Japanese people are entering the second century of their relationship with the United States with the conviction that their future lies with the nations of the free world, and particularly in friendship and cooperation with the United States.

-- from award of the Grand Cordon to Douglas MacArthur

The first two statements above were made by a man whose desk and chair occupy an office in downtown Tokyo four decades after he last sat there. The last statement was read in honor of that same man as he left Tokyo in 1951 -- a man who during the course of a war defeated an enemy, yet after the end of that war assisted that enemy as an ally.

General Douglas MacArthur's desk still fills an unused office in Tokyo's Dai-Ichi Building, and some consider it a historical monument. Though a reminder of a time of poverty, hardship, and occupation, the desk is also a reminder of the treatment of a defeated Japan with respect by the victors and of the unique relationship between two one-time enemies.

In 1945 the United States looked back at the previous half-century and saw a time filled with wars and conflict, economic calamity in part wrought by protectionist trade policies of nations, and the birth . . .

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