Altered States: The United States and Japan since the Occupation

By Michael Schaller | Go to book overview

9
POLITICS AND SECURITY: THE TREATY CRISIS OF 1960

DURING the spring and summer of 1960, the Pacific alliance nearly came apart at the seams. Kishi's efforts to push the revised security treaty through the Diet provoked violent opposition within the parliament and on the streets of Tokyo. The United States had agreed to treaty revision to signify its desire to play a reduced role in Japanese internal affairs, but found itself forced back to the center of domestic politics. American efforts to promote in Japan a consensus on security and anti-Communism, resembling that in West Germany, were frustrated by the refusal of the Japanese Socialists to behave like their German Social Democratic counterparts. To salvage the security treaty, Washington saw no alternative except to continue efforts to undermine the Socialists and bolster the LDP.

Eisenhower and Kishi considered the new security pact a step toward institutionalizing a partnership of equality while preserving U.S. military and base rights. The revised treaty eliminated the provision for American military intervention in Japan, allowed either side to terminate the agreement after ten years, and stipulated consultation before combat deployment of U.S. forces from Japanese bases or the introduction of nuclear weapons. Japan was required to respond to attacks only within its own territory, was relieved of the obligation to contribute to American defense costs, and received an American pledge to expand trade and economic development. The new administrative agreement resembled that applied in the NATO countries.

Prime Minister Kishi received a welcome in the United States on January 19, 1960 in sharp contrast with his riot-scarred departure from Tokyo. Time magazine placed on its cover a portrait of a smiling Kishi against a

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