Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Democracy in Japan: Why Should Americans Care?

By George R. Packard Many Americans today view Japan through partial or misleading images: World War II; group culture; conformity; homogeneity; economic stagnation; and for younger people, manga and anime, and now, sadly, the images of earthquakes and tsunami disasters. Seldom do we consider that Japan has managed its own kind of vibrant democratic government ever since it achieved independence in 1952. When we think about Japanese democracy at all, we tend to see it as a kind of gift from A...

Feature Article

Another Look at the Occupation of Japan: Through the Minefields of Japanese History

Observing the difficulties encountered in the American occupation of Iraq in the summer of 2003, we are reminded of just how hard it is to impose democratic rule by military force on a nation unaccustomed to democracy. And, with the perspective of more than a half a century, we can marvel at the success of the American occupation of Japan. History beguiles us with its apparent inevitability. We tend to forget alternative courses that could have been taken. In the case of the occupation of Jap...