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Unformatted text preview: feelings of Japan for the United States, which derive from the
special kind of relationship that evolved between the two countries after
An event that was important in restoring some semblance of equality
or at least partnership in relations between the United States and Japan
was the rioting in Tokyo in 1960 over renewal of the Mutual Security
Pact and the consequent cancellation of President Eisenhower’s planned
visit to Japan. The leftist-inspired rioting occurred against a confused
background of Cold War tensions (including the fear that Japan, with
American troops still stationed on its soil, might be the first target of the
Soviets in a nuclear war with the United States), resentment against the
high-handed tactics of Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke (1896–1987) in
seeking renewal of the pact, and an ambivalent kind of anti-Americanism.
For the left wing in Japan, the United States was the principal threat to
international peace. A staunch supporter of the conservatives, who were
in power, the United States even advocated amendment of the Americanimposed 1947 Constitution to eliminate the antiwar article and enable
Japan to enter more actively into military association with it. But among
the great majority of the Japanese people the United States was probably
viewed in 1960 in various, sometimes conflicting ways: as a former
enemy, as a humane and beneficent occupier, as an invaluable trading
partner, and as a military colossus within the gates of East Asia.
Although Eisenhower was prevented from visiting Japan and Kishi was
forced out of office, the Mutual Security Pact was renewed for another
ten years and the left-wing opposition was badly fragmented by internal
disputes after the rioting. It is therefore debatable who won the victory
in 1960. At least one significant result of the incident was a stirring, for
the first time in the postwar period, of Japanese nationalism. After a
decade and a half of political passivity caused by feelings of guilt and
humiliation over the war, action had been taken...
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- Spring '13