Education About Asia: Online Archives

From Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor: Who Was Responsible?

Download PDF

Who Was Responsible? is a fascinating volume. It is the English-language version of a massive Yomiuri newspaper inquiry that published its final installment on August 15, 2006. The anniversary of Japan’s surrender in 1945 was not a coincidence. Watanabe Tsuneo, Yomiuri’s octogenarian editor-in-chief, has been a force for facing the past, and he has opposed ceremonial visits by prime ministers to Yasukuni Shrine. The major players were seventeen researchers— all men, named only in a note on page nine, thirteen Yomiuri translators—eleven men, two women, listed on page 391, and three native-speakers of English. (The volume lists James Auer as editor and carries endorsements by Henry Kissinger, Alvin Toffler, Francis Fukuyama, and Orville Schell; though four are names to conjure with in certain circles on both sides of the Pacific, none of the five is an expert on the Pacific War.)