Yoshida Doctrine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Yoshida Doctrine was a strategy adopted by Japan after World War II under Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, the country's first post-war prime minister, in which economics was to be concentrated upon reconstructing Japan's domestic economy while the security alliance with the United States would be the guarantor of Japanese security. The Yoshida Doctrine shaped Japanese foreign policy throughout the Cold War era and beyond.[1]

Historic Background[edit]

Even after its surrender in World War II, the Japanese government continued to function, it held its first post-war election in the spring of 1946. This election was also the first time women were allowed to vote in Japan. Yoshida Shigeru emerged as the winner of the election, becoming Prime Minister. Around the same time, discontent grew over the previous Meiji Constitution, and a desire for an entirely new constitution grew. A small team from a section of SCAP helped draft a new constitution. After some revisions, the Japanese Diet approved this new Constitution in November 1946, it took effect in May 1947, and it continues on today. One important aspect of the Constitution was Article 9 which stated that "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation" and that military forces "will never be maintained"; when Yoshida Shigeru made his policies (the Yoshida Doctrine) Article 9 played a large role.[2]

Core Elements[edit]

Reliance on the United States[edit]

The Yoshida doctrine and Japan's foreign policy of the time, emphasized mutual relations with the United States. Japan relied on the United States’ military for security, because of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, being denied the right to war-making potential. Repeated attempts by the United States, in following years, to get Japan to increase its military expenditure were rejected by Prime Minister Yoshida on the basis of Japan's pacifist post-war constitution. Military was not the only thing Japan relied on the United States for. During the Cold War, Japan's largest trading partner was the United States. Exports to the United States at the time played a large role in Japan's economic development.[3][4]

Economic Emphasis[edit]

Prime Minister Yoshida's aim was to focus all available means on an economic recovery. Given the lack of military power, Japanese foreign policy naturally placed emphasis on economic policy. Yoshida envisioned a speedy economic recovery through which Japan would be able to once again become a major world power (at which point Japan would be in a position to rearm), his policy was thus not rooted in pacifism but was in line with the realist foreign policy that's been a dominating force in Japan's approach to international relations since the Meiji Restoration. Under Yoshida's leadership, Japan began to rebuild its lost industrial infrastructure and placed a premium on unrestrained economic growth. Many of these concepts still impact Japan's political and economic policies.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chansoria, Monika. "Relevance of the Yoshida Doctrine in Current U.S.-Japan Ties." Japan Today. GPlusMedia, 13 May 2014. Web.
  2. ^ Holcombe, C. (2011). A History of East Asia: From the origins of civilization to the twenty-first century (pp. 277-286). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Potter, David M. "Evolution of Japan's Postwar Foreign Policy." Nanzan University, 2008. Web. <http://office.nanzan-u.ac.jp/cie/gaiyo/kiyo/pdf_09/kenkyu_03.pdf>.
  4. ^ Shigeru, Yoshida and Hiroshi Nara. (2007). Shigeru: Last Meiji Man. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-742-53932-7 ISBN 978-0-742-53933-4; OCLC 238440967
  5. ^ Potter, David M. "Evolution of Japan's Postwar Foreign Policy." Nanzan University, 2008. Web. <http://office.nanzan-u.ac.jp/cie/gaiyo/kiyo/pdf_09/kenkyu_03.pdf>.
  6. ^ McGrew, Anthony and Christopher Book. (1998) Asia-Pacific in the New World Order. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-17272-1; OCLC 60184921
  7. ^ Shigeru, Yoshida and Hiroshi Nara. (2007). Shigeru: Last Meiji Man. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-742-53932-7; OCLC 238440967

Additional References[edit]

  • Dower, J.W. Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878-1954 (1988).
  • Rodan, Garry, Hewison, Kevin and Robison, Richard. (1997). The Political Economy of South-East Asia: An Introduction. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-195-53736-9; OCLC 464661946
  • Masuda, Hajimu. "Fear of World War III: Social Politics of Japan’s Rearmament and Peace Movements, 1950–1953." Journal of Contemporary History (July 2012), vol. 47, no. 3, 551-571. http://jch.sagepub.com/content/47/3/551.short