All the below but one (in Spanish) are in English.
One year ago today Barack Obama became the 1st US President to visit the site of the WW2 Hiroshima nuclear bombing pic.twitter.com/330SqHQ2Kp
— Alex Jay (@AlexJayZA) May 27, 2017
— Nikkei Asian Review (@NAR) May 26, 2017
— dwnews (@dwnews) August 7, 2017
Japan is marking 72 years since the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima during World War 2.
At least 140,000 people were killed. pic.twitter.com/LT1qvvwi2f
— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 6, 2017
Japan's major cities were all destroyed by US carpet bombing. The world focuses only on Hiroshima, Nagasaki & Okinawa. But others are bigger pic.twitter.com/ndyte40aSs
— Rash Behari Bose 防須 (@boseofjapan) July 23, 2017
Hiroshima before the nuclear bombing shown in beautiful new video, compared with brutal aftermath: 140,000 people were killed in the blast ? almost half the population of the thriving city. (07/12/2017) | Josh Robbins @IBTimes
Japanese museum unveils footage of Hiroshima before nuclear bomb – The black and white video, lasting for a little over three minutes, shows scenes from central Hiroshima, a bustling and lively city in April 1935 (07/23/2017) | @TheNationalUAE
Ever wonder what Hiroshima looked like before the U.S. nuclear bombing? This 1935 footage shows a bustling city. pic.twitter.com/bSAPO2JCKQ
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 12, 2017
(in Spanish ↓)
— TVC (@canalTVC) July 24, 2017
Japanese atomic scientists have travelled to Hiroshima & confirm: Americans have used a nuclear weapon. Before & after yesterday's bombing: pic.twitter.com/7jpWXRy4jc
— WW2 Tweets from 1945 (@RealTimeWWII) August 7, 2017
— The Week (@TheWeek) August 9, 2017
— Bo Jacobs (@bojacobs) July 23, 2017
— Frank Matt (@fxmatt4) August 7, 2017
Why 72 years after Hiroshima every baby born in 2017 contains nuclear radiation https://t.co/qsRVnUQOnv
— pionic (@pionic_org) May 25, 2017
Story of cities #24: how Hiroshima rose from the ashes of nuclear destruction – In August 1945, a 16-kilotonne atomic bomb killed 140,000 people and reduced a thriving city to rubble. Hiroshima has been reborn as a place of peace and prosperity, but will memories of those dark days die with the last survivors? (18/04/2016) | Justin McCurry @guardian
Amerikkka is the only country to drop a nuclear bomb on another country. Don't you forget that. https://t.co/LY6sS4hY84
— Black Alliance 4 ✌🏿 (@Blacks4Peace) August 8, 2017
— Truman Library (@TrumanLibrary) August 6, 2017
Paper trail for the formal approval of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima — Sec. War Stimson approved the drop order. pic.twitter.com/x045ECuGRQ
— Alex Wellerstein (@wellerstein) June 2, 2017
— OUP Internat'l Law (@OUPIntLaw) July 7, 2017
The problem with nuclear deterrence? It hinges on leaders being rational and sane. https://t.co/gfwfn0wc7U
— Joe O'Brien (@JoeABCNews) July 7, 2017
Why is Canada boycotting United Nations talks to ban the bomb? – Short answer: the U.S. and NATO believe nuclear war is not only winnable, but can be fought like conventional war (06/14/2017) | Judith Deutsch @nowtoronto
— Bloomberg View (@BV) July 16, 2017
— Andy Worthington (@GuantanamoAndy) June 9, 2017
— Laura Boillot (@lauraboillot) July 10, 2017
— Rod Lyon (@rdyn51) July 27, 2017
Nuclear deterrence is only effective if threats are deemed credible, bluster hurts our national security posture
— William J. Perry (@SecDef19) August 8, 2017
But nuclear deterrence is "vital" for our security, they said. We don't feel safer, do you? No right hands for nuclear weapons. Period. https://t.co/R4RwIsvhS1
— IPPNW (@IPPNW) June 27, 2017
More on NK Nukes: It took the Cuban Missile Crisis before the US Adapted to Soviet Nuclear Deterrence https://t.co/3pUrOXKOl9
— Robert Farley (@drfarls) July 24, 2017
As Hiroshima Day dawns, why are we still tempting nuclear fate? – It is a wonder we have survived all these decades, given US policies on nuclear armament since Hiroshima (06/08/2014) | Norm Chomsky @guardian
— Adam Ganz (@harbinger) July 12, 2017
Each of America's 50 nuclear bombs in Turkey, 68 miles from Syrian border are 10 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. https://t.co/FZEXIqBuKL
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) May 24, 2017
“Unthinkable” – Candidate Trump said that, as President, opponents should never know whether or not he would use nuclear weapons adding uncertainty to Nuclear deterrence. (Podcast; 06/08/2017) | Keir A. Lieber, Daryl Press & Paul Bracken
Top nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal is the B83:
-80X more powerful than Hiroshima explosion
-Explosive power of 1.2million tons of TNT pic.twitter.com/F6AU1dYjQe
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 8, 2017
VlAD’S A BIGGUN Russian nuclear powered submarine test fires a ballistic missile capable of a blast 100 TIMES more powerful than Hiroshima – The?Bulava missile, which weighs over 36 tonnes, carries six nuclear warheads and can travel nearly 6,000 miles across the globe (w Video; 29/06/2017) | Mark Hodge @TheSun
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 8, 2017
My 2010 presentation on India-China relations: under the New Himalayas (on nuclear deterrence & maritime power) https://t.co/Xj2Rm7smtr
— Nitin Pai (@acorn) July 21, 2017
— Crikey.com.au (@crikey_news) May 16, 2017
— Providence (@ProvMagazine) July 17, 2017
All the below links are in English.
弊社ツイッターアカウントの一つ @WSjp_insight のRTによる paper.li 掲載記事９件を貼っておきます。
(All the below links are in English.)
建国150周年となった今年のカナダデー（Canada Day; 建国記念日; 7月1日）関連の情報を以下貼っておきます。
(All the below links are in English.)
Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics – Entrepreneurship and the State (PDF; 2008) | YASHENG HUANG @MITSloan
Is China the New America?: The Great Depression made the United States the world’s unquestioned financial leader. The current crisis can do the same for China. (3/25/2009) | Harold James @ForeignPolicy
Towards a new reserve currency system? | @HrReisen @OECD_Centre @OECDObserver
All the below links are in English.
USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden Easter 2017 (4/16/2017) | World Solutions
Here’s Why Easter Eggs Are a Thing (4/14/2017) | @OBWax @TIME Prof Carole Levin @UNLincoln, Prof Henry Kelly @UCLA, Prof Ronald Hutton @BristolUni, Prof Anthony Aveni @colgateuniv
(Ireland,) Sweden, France, Australia, USA, Norway Easter traditions around the world: who delivers the eggs?! | @AlisonBough @HerFamilydotie
(UK,) Hungary, Norway, Armenia, Belarus, Malta, Italy(Liguria) Easter traditions in Europe (4/1/2017) | @BradtGuides
Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Denmark, UK, Lebanon, Mexico(Capirotada), Greece(Tsoureki), South Africa(Cape Malay Pickled Fish) What the World Eats and Drinks for Easter (3/23/2017) | @bonematlarge @foodandwine
The world’s first Christian country Caucasus Vol.1 (Armenia) (4/11/2017) | World Solutions
Religious state South Carolina Vol.2 (4/13/2017) | World Solutions
All the below links are in English.
(All the below links are in English.)
The Euro as a Reserve Currency (PDF; Nov 1997) | Barry Eichengreen @UCBerkeley
Global Imbalances: past, present and future (PDF; 2011) | Marcello de Cecco, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and LUISS @INETeconomics
The euro as a reserve currency: a challenge to the pre-eminence of the US dollar? (PDF; 2009) | Gabriele Galati & Philip Wooldridge @BIS-org
Global Imbalances: The New Economy, the Dark Matter, the Savvy Investor, and the Standard Analysis (PDF; March 2006) | Barry Eichengreen @UCBerkeley
AN ESSAY ON THE REVIVED BRETTON WOODS SYSTEM (PDF; September 2003) | Michael P. Dooley, David Folkerts-Landau, Peter Garber @nberpubs
Regulation and supervisory architecture: Is the EU on the right path? (speech; 2/12/2009) | Lorenzo Bini Smaghi @ECB
All the below links are in English.
Here are articles on Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor with U.S. President Barack Obama. Excerpts are on our own.
Japan’s Abe offers ‘everlasting condolences’ during historic visit (w Videos; 12/28/2016) | @MelYamaguchi @HawaiiNewsNow
‘The ghosts of war’
Charles Morrison, East-West Center president, said Abe’s visit is a strong symbolic sign of the close relationship between Japan and the United States.
“It doesn’t end all of the ghosts of the war, but it reduces it,” he said. “They stand for their countries dedicating themselves to an era of cooperation that’s going to be even more important in the future.” …
Two cabinet members, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida, also attended the events. …
‘A big deal’
Abe’s Pearl Harbor visit marks a remarkable transformation in U.S.-Japan relations; the two have grown into close allies in the decades since they faced off in brutal conflict. At the same time, it’s significant that it took more than 70 years for the two nations to get to this point.
“This is definitely a big deal,” said Sal Miwa, of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii. …
A rare visit
“I personally don’t think that large powers make apologies to others,” Morrison said. “To acknowledge the wartime deaths in both countries, not just those who died in these attacks but those who died in the whole conflict, I think it just exactly the right way to go.” …
However, many news agencies suggest Abe’s Pearl Harbor visit could encourage a deeper friendship between Japan and the U.S. and could even lift his approval ratings.
Rick Tsujimura, of the East-West Center board of governors, said the timing of the historic joint appearance was perfect, since holding it on Dec. 7 would have been distracting. “Prime Minister Abe’s presence here is sort of the bookend to President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima,” Tsujimura said.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also attended the commemoration ceremony Tuesday along with three-time Bronze Star recipient and World War II veteran Kenji Ego, who served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
The Latest: Obama calls Japan’s premier’s visit ‘historic’ (12/27/2016) | @StarTribune
Hawaii local time 12:30 p.m.
… Obama says it shows “the fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war.”
Obama says the U.S.-Japan relationship is now a cornerstone of peace in the world. He says the alliance has never been stronger. …
Japan’s Prime Minister Visits Pearl Harbor With President Barack Obama:Shinzo Abe struck a similar theme in his remarks as the president did at Hiroshima by acknowledging suffering from Japan’s surprise attack but stopping short of apology (12/27/2016) | @CarolELee @WSJ
… Mr. Abe struck a theme in his remarks similar to Mr. Obama’s in Hiroshima—acknowledging the suffering from Japan’s surprise attack and calling Pearl Harbor a symbol of reconciliation between the two countries, but stopping short of an apology. …
Mr. Obama thanked Mr. Abe for his presence, calling it a “historic gesture” that “speaks to the power of reconciliation.” …
The two leaders, who earlier held a private meeting with their delegations, exited side-by-side to applause.
Japanese Leader Offers Condolences in Visit to Pearl Harbor (w Video; 12/27/2016) | @nytmike @nytimes
… For his part, Mr. Obama described in detail what occurred on the day of the attack, highlighted acts of heroism by American service members and said that the visit of Mr. Abe “reminds us what is possible between nations and between people.”
Mr. Obama added, in what seemed a warning after the scorching American presidential campaign: “Even when hatred burns hottest and the tug of tribalism is at the most primal, we must resist the urge to turn in. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different. The sacrifice made here, the angst of war, reminds us to seek the divine spark that is common to all humanity.”
… In a statement earlier this month, the White House said that “the meeting will be an opportunity for the two leaders to review our joint efforts over the past four years to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, including our close cooperation on a number of security, economic, and global challenges.”
… And Mr. Trump suggested that Japan would be better off if it had nuclear weapons. …
At Pearl Harbor, Obama says ‘we must resist the urge to demonize those who are different’ (w Video; 12/27/2016) | @cparsons @chicagotribune
… They expressed concern that the lessons of the war might be forgotten amid a shifting world order and the anti-internationalist sentiment that has swept over politics around the globe…
“Ours is an alliance of hope that will lead us to the future,” Abe said, speaking to World War II veterans after paying tribute at the Pearl Harbor memorial. “What has bonded us together is the power of reconciliation, made possible through the spirit of tolerance.” …
But Trump has obliterated long-established protocols. He spoke with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen despite the U.S. policy of officially acknowledging no Chinese government other than the one in Beijing. …
“‘Sorry’ is just a word,” Cale said. “What matters more is the action of coming here and going out there with our commander in chief. That says more than words.” …
“Today, the alliance between the United States and Japan, bound not only by shared interests, but also rooted in common values, stands as the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Asia Pacific, and a force for progress around the globe,” Obama said. …
Japan’s Abe offers ‘everlasting condolences’ at Pearl Harbor (12/27/2016) | @joshledermanAP,@CalebAP @AP @BostonGlobe
… That was the closest Abe would get to an apology for the attack. And it was enough for Obama, who also declined to apologize seven months ago when he became America’s first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, where the US dropped an atomic bomb in a bid to end the war. …
… ‘‘War is war.’’
‘‘They were doing what they were supposed to do, and we were doing what we were supposed to do,’’…
… His remarks capped a day that was carefully choreographed by the US and Japan to show a strong and growing alliance between former foes.
… It was a bookend of sorts for the president, who nearly eight years ago invited Abe’s predecessor to be the first leader he hosted at the White House.
… but Abe was the first to go to the memorial above the sunken USS Arizona, where a marbled wall lists the names of U.S. troops killed in the Japanese attack.
… The visit was not without political risk for Abe, given the Japanese people’s long, emotional reckoning… Japan’s government still insists it had intended to give prior notice that it was declaring war and failed only because of ‘‘bureaucratic bungling.’’
…Tamaki Tsukada, a minister in the Embassy of Japan in Washington. …
In the years after Pearl Harbor, the US incarcerated roughly 120,000 Japanese-Americans in internment camps before dropping atomic bombs in 1945 that killed some 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki. …
At Pearl Harbor, US and Japan seek absolution from the war (w Video; 12/27/2016) | @joshledermanAP,@CalebAP @bskoloff,@mariyamaguchi @AP @KSL5TV
… Japanese officials said that in their talks, Abe and Obama agreed Tuesday to closely monitor the movements of China’s first and sole aircraft carrier, which has sailed into the western Pacific for the first time. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reported Monday that the aircraft carrier and five warships sailed 90 nautical miles south of Taiwan, a self-governing island claimed by China. Beijing called it a routine training exercise.
In their last meeting before Obama leaves office next month, the two leaders affirmed that movements by the Chinese carrier Liaoning “warrant close attention from mid-term and long-term perspectives,” the officials said. Late last week, the Liaoning advanced into the western Pacific after passing the so-called “first island chain,” a sea defense line China unilaterally draws running from southern Japan to Taiwan, the Philippines and the southern South China Sea. …
At Pearl Harbor, US and Japan seek absolution from the war (12/27/2016) | @joshledermanAP,@CalebAP @bskoloff,@mariyamaguchi @AP @seattletimes
… But in Washington Tuesday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. recognizes lawful uses of the sea, and the same rights apply to the U.S., China and other nations.
He said, “as we often make the case with our own naval vessels sailing … in those same waters, it’s freedom of navigation.”
Earlier this month, a Chinese navy vessel seized an U.S. Navy underwater glider that the U.S. said was conducting oceanic research in international waters off the Philippines. The U.S. called the seizure illegal and made a diplomatic protest. China returned the glider five days later. …
Japan’s Shinzo Abe offers ‘everlasting condolences’ at Pearl Harbor (12/27/2016) | @AP @NOLAnews
… “This visit, and the president’s visit to Hiroshima earlier this year, would not have been possible eight years ago,” said Daniel Kritenbrink, Obama’s top Asia adviser in the White House. “That we are here today is the result of years of efforts at all levels of our government and societies, which has allowed us to jointly and directly deal with even the most sensitive aspects of our shared history.” …
Philly garden to honor man who challenged internment of Japanese Americans (12/27/2016) | @mwinberg_ @PhillyInquirer
… “At that time, I wasn’t thinking about his wartime experiences,” said (Kenneth) Finkel, a distinguished lecturer in American studies at Temple University. “But I’m sure he was, during every step of our time there.”
Morris Finkel, a prominent antiques dealer who died five years ago, had served as a lieutenant in the Navy aboard the destroyer USS Southerland, the first American warship to enter Tokyo Bay after Japan’s surrender, and his wartime experiences had biased him, his son said. …
Next month in Philadelphia, a new spotlight will shine on the often-fraught relationship between the two nations, when the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden holds a ceremony in memory of Fred Korematsu, an ordinary citizen who challenged the forced removal and mass incarceration of himself and other Japanese Americans during World War II. …
Korematsu was born and raised in Oakland, Calif., and worked as a shipyard welder. At age 23, he refused U.S. government orders to go to a Japanese internment camp and was arrested and convicted of violating the order. He appealed, but in 1944 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that his internment was permissible. That decision was overturned nearly 40 years later, in 1983, when Korematsu was in his 60s. …
(Kim) Andrews said the site’s message of cultural unity has remained consistent. “Shofuso was . . . intended as gift to American people in postwar years,” she said. “That was unusual at the time. Japan was in rough shape, and just coming out of American supervision. It was a heartwarming gesture, a symbol of Japanese culture.”
The site “evokes a lot of emotion to visitors, because it represents a lot of Japanese tradition,” said Dennis Morikawa, president of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. …
Obama, Japan’s Abe make somber visit to Pearl Harbor 75 years after surprise attack (w Video; 12/27/2016) | @blyte,@DavidNakamura @washingtonpost
…on Dec. 7, 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had called it “a date which will live in infamy.”
… Obama declared that the “hallowed harbor” stands as a symbol not just of the valor of the Americans who fought to defend it, but also of the power of reconciliation between former enemies. It was a message, he suggested, that remains as resonant today as over the past seven decades.
…even when the tug of tribalism is the most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward; we must resist the urge to demonize those who are different,”…
… This is the solemn vow we the people of Japan have taken,” Abe said, speaking mostly in Japanese. …
Obama praised the “greatest generation” that served in the war, including his maternal grandfather and the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). The longtime senator, who died in 2012, served with fellow Japanese Americans in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team at a time when the United States jailed many Japanese and Japanese Americans in internment camps. …
Abe thanked the United States for helping rebuild Japan after the devastation of the war, noting that Americans sent food and clothing to the Japanese people. …
… But the Japanese government has insisted that Tokyo had not intended it as a sneak attack. Rather, a cable notifying the U.S. military of the attack was delayed due to “bureaucratic bungling,” Tamaki Tsukada, a spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Washington, said ahead of Abe’s visit.
“There’s this sense of guilt, if you like, among Japanese, this ‘Pearl Harbor syndrome,’ that we did something very unfair,” Tsukada said. He added that the prime minister’s visit could help “absolve that kind of complex that Japanese people have.”
… Japanese singer and film and television actor Ryotaro Sugi was at the event as well.
… “It’s time that all nations put away the atomic bomb. I congratulate Japan for doing that and I’m happy the prime minister is here.”
Obama flashed a traditional Hawaiian “shaka” sign, a gesture of friendship, before departing.
Japanese leader offers ‘everlasting condolences’ at Pearl Harbor memorial (12/27/2016) | @DaveBoyer @WashTimes
… The president also praised the U.S.-Japan alliance for “slowing the spread of nuclear weapons,” also seemingly a dig against Mr. Trump. …
The historic meeting was likely to be Mr. Obama’s last with a foreign leader as president. It came six months after Mr. Obama paid a similar visit to Hiroshima, Japan, where he became the first sitting U.S. president to see the site of the nuclear bomb attack by the U.S. that helped to force Japan’s surrender in 1945. …
China criticized Mr. Abe’s visit as an insincere attempt to absolve Japan of its wartime aggression.
“Trying to liquidate the history of World War II by paying a visit to Pearl Harbor and consoling the dead is just wishful thinking on Japan’s part,” said Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman in Beijing.
“Japan can never turn this page over without reconciliation from China and other victimized countries in Asia,” she said. “Japanese leaders should stop being so evasive and dodging, and instead take a responsible attitude toward history and future, deeply and sincerely reflect upon the history of aggressive war, and draw a clear break with the past.”
For Mr. Obama, the meeting with the Japanese premier also underscored his limited impact in his attempt to “rebalance” U.S. foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific region. …
Dan Kritenbrink, Mr. Obama’s senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, called the meeting “a powerful demonstration of how the two countries can overcome a very painful history to become the closest of allies and friends.” …
Without Obama, Shinzo Abe’s Approach to U.S.-Japan Ties May Be Tested (12/27/2016) | @motokorich @nytimes
…Kyoji Fukao, a professor of international economics at Hitotsubashi University.
…Takatoshi Ito, a professor of international finance and trade at Columbia University. …
Mr. Obama provided very clear promises of protection. …he declared that a security treaty obligated the United States to defend Japan in its confrontation with… It was the first time an American president had explicitly said so.
…Sheila A. Smith, a Japan expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. …
…Mr. Abe has worked for months to develop a relationship with Russia, trying to resolve… But a recent…with little progress.
… He visited Cuba and talked with the former leader Fidel Castro before he died… In October, Japan and Britain conducted their first joint military exercises…
…Fumiaki Kubo, a professor of political science at the University of Tokyo…
The below link is in English.
米国人の歴史学教授による原稿（Postwar Japan’s National Salvation 戦後日本の国家救済手段 (2011) | Sheldon Garon @JapanFocus）から（絞りましたがまだ長文です）一部のみ抜粋しましたので、以下貼っておきます。
… Officials relentlessly communicated how small savings would fuel economic growth based on exports. No one did this as poignantly as Vice Minister of Finance Ikeda Hayato in a savings-promotion speech to the citizens of Hiroshima in 1947. A native of that unfortunate city, Ikeda alluded to the recent atomic bombing and praised residents for extraordinary efforts at rebuilding. Yet without wasting more words on the human toll, he explained that recovery would come about only if every Japanese engaged in “diligence and vigorous efforts” and submitted to “lives of austerity.” The key to achieving a higher standard of living in the future lay in increasing exports of manufactured goods. To spur exports, Ikeda elaborated, people must save all of their unspent income, which the government and banks would then invest in industry. Standing in Hiroshima, a city that had endured more than its share of suffering from the last bout of mobilization, the vice minister veered toward the melodramatic. Only by continued austerity, he warned, “will our country exist in the future.” Ikeda has gone down in history for his later role as the prime minister whose Income Doubling Plan of 1960 would stimulate household spending. But back in 1947, he was no champion of consumption as the engine of Japanese recovery. …
Far from encouraging domestic spending, Washington expected Japanese to pull themselves up by the bootstraps — that is, by saving and sacrifice. Americans commonly overestimate our generosity toward occupied Japan. In 2003 during the early months of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, Senator…remarked: “After World War II we built schools and roads and hospitals in Japan and in Germany when we did not have those things in Tennessee.” Stirring words, but not exactly true. In Western Europe, yes, the United States financed the Marshall Plan in the late 1940s and 1950s. The plan aimed in part to create mass consumer markets based on the postwar American formula of consumer-driven growth. However much Americans would like to believe otherwise, the United States never offered the Marshall Plan to Japan. Washington pushed the Japanese to tighten their belts not only to finance recovery and fight inflation, but also to pay the huge costs of housing and supplying occupation forces. Although the Americans provided emergency food relief, U.S. aid totaled less than half of what the Japanese government was compelled to pay to maintain the occupation. The Japanese people, according to Under Secretary of the Army William Draper in 1948, “will have to work hard and long, with comparatively little recompense for many years to come.” Joseph Dodge, the banker whose U.S. mission in 1949 forced the adoption of harsh austerity measures, called upon the Japanese government to hold the standard of living to levels prevailing before the early 1930s. The American taxpayer, Dodge insisted, would not maintain the Japanese people; they must themselves “accumulate capital by producing more cheaply and by saving and economizing.” …
Once again, Japanese bureaucrats expressed their greatest admiration for postwar Britain’s National Savings Movement. Let us return to Vice Minister Ikeda’s memorable speech in Hiroshima in 1947. The British won the war, he informed the audience, yet they “have not chosen the easy path.” In the postwar era,
they have rationed even bread, which had been freely sold in wartime. The British people … have persevered, wearing extremely old and shabby clothes, and eating small meals. Why must the victorious British maintain harsh lives of austerity? The answer, without a doubt, is that the money and material saved by lives of austerity can be applied, in full, to economic recovery…. In the near future, free trade will be re-established in the world. These people are in a hurry to establish a favorable position that allows them to strut upon the stage of global economic competition.
… The postwar campaigns continued to rely on the national savings associations, though phrased in the oxymorons of the New Japan. Increasing savings was “not simply a matter of voluntary saving by the individual,” explained the Ministry of Finance, but “fundamentally re- quires cultivation within democratic savings associations based on mutual, collective encouragement.” Although Japanese could no longer be compelled to join savings associations as of 1947, prefectural officials were nonetheless ordered to organize or revive savings associations rapidly, for the Ministry of Finance desired “total participation by the entire nation.” By 1949 there were eighty thousand national savings associations enrolling ten million members.
Achieving “Economic Independence”
… Although SCAP officials generally supported the National Salvation drives, the campaigns faced their first American challenge in September 1949. A U.S. mission headed by Professor Carl Shoup advised the Japanese government to check inflation primarily by tax collection, rather than voluntary saving. Concerned about widespread tax evasion, the Shoup report recommended abolition of unregistered deposits. Savings-promotion officials look back upon this period as their darkest hour. U.S. pressure closed down the National Salvation campaigns in late 1949.
… On April 15, 1952, just days after the occupation ended, officials unveiled the Central Council for Savings Promotion. This would be a permanent organization on the order of Britain’s National Savings Committee. Although the Central Council’s name (chochiku zōkyō) was officially translated as “Savings Promotion,” most Japanese would have rendered it as the Central Council to Increase Savings. According to its charter, the Central Council served “as the nucleus of nongovernmental savings promotion,” working to “enlighten public opinion on behalf of increasing savings.” Despite some changes in mission, the renamed organization is still active today.
Japan’s savings promoters lost no time signaling that the Allied occupation was over. New posters resurrected the nationalist symbols of the prewar savings campaigns. Fearing the revival of ultranationalism, SCAP censors had banned images of Mt. Fuji in films and other media. Yet with the end of the occupation in sight, Mt. Fuji reappeared in postal savings posters. Superimposed on Japan’s majestic mount was a dove with a halo. Another previously taboo symbol, the rising-sun flag, resurfaced in Central Council posters over the next half-decade. Japanese were now exhorted to save to build an economically prosperous nation, not a militarized great power. But as before, they were to do so for the sake of the nation. The ends had changed since wartime, while the means — the intrusive savings campaigns — survived defeat and occupation with barely a scratch.
… The postal savings system operated more like a well-oiled political machine than a financial institution. Clerks tenaciously urged customers to open accounts, receiving bonuses for each new account. The most ardent champions of postal savings have been the thousands of “commissioned postmasters,” local notables who run smaller post offices and exert considerable influence in their communities. When central bureaucrats revived nationwide savings campaigns in 1952, they immediately organized the commissioned postmasters into a “Promotion League” to advance the drives at the grass roots. This was another repudiation of the U.S. occupiers who had previously dissolved the old postmasters’ association as an undemocratic relic of Imperial Japan. Recognizing the postmasters’ ability to mobilize voters, the Liberal Democratic Party allied closely with the postmasters and significantly expanded postal savings. In power with one short break from 1955 to 2009, LDP governments created thousands of new “special post offices” headed by commissioned postmasters. The postal savings lobby rallied the public itself. In 1970 the government established the first of several Postal Savings Halls to promote “a better understanding of Postal Savings” and enhance its image. Any postal depositor might use the low-cost facilities, which included hotel rooms, swimming pools, and even wedding halls and planetariums. The Postal Savings Halls became a huge hit, boasting fifty million guests from 1972 to 1983 and plenty of new cheerleaders. Postal savings’ self-promoting efforts are only half of the story. The Japanese state as a whole retained a direct stake in boosting postal savings because of its importance to public finance. The Ministry of Finance’s Deposit Bureau had managed the vast pool of postal savings since 1885. Despite U.S. attempts to weaken the bureaucracy’s control, the Ministry of Finance emerged from the occupation with expanded powers over the investment of postal savings. Postal deposits remained at the core of the ministry’s Trust Fund Bureau, successor to the Deposit Bureau. Along with postal life insurance funds, the Trust Fund monies in turn flowed into the new Fiscal Investment and Loan Plan established in 1952. …
… Still, would the Japanese have saved as much? The wealth of qualitative evidence suggests that savings-promotion efforts reached deeply into society to continue shaping Japan’s culture of thrift. When they proclaimed the postwar campaigns would be “democratic,” the bureaucrats were right about one thing. Across the ideological spectrum, the cause of increasing savings enjoyed remarkably high levels of support from political parties, popular organizations, and ordinary Japanese. As in contemporary Europe, much of the Left vocally backed the twin missions of restraining consumption and augmenting national savings. In October 1946 Japan’s Socialist Party joined four centrist and conservative parties to call upon the government to mount postwar savings campaigns to stabilize the yen and fight inflation. Significantly, several Socialist leaders had been prewar Protestant reformers who worked with the imperial state to inculcate habits of thrift in the populace. In the postwar years, too, the government subsidized Christian organizations to assist in the campaigns. The Ministry of Finance employed the famous Christian socialist reformer Kagawa Toyohiko to lecture savings-promotion officers.
… Along with much of the labor movement, the Socialist Party embraced austerity and national saving as beneficial to the working class and the Japanese people as a whole. No less than the economic bureaucrats, Socialists were shocked by the nation’s early postwar hyperinflation, and they favored soaking up purchasing power. While labor unions in contemporary America favored mass consumption as good for employment, the Japanese Left — like European counterparts — regarded saving as the best means of generating jobs; the people’s surplus would be channeled into investment in production. Although they criticized conservative governments on other issues, several prominent Marxian economists cooperated with the bureaucracy to promote saving. Minobe Ryōkichi, the progressive economist and future governor of Tokyo wrote Ministry of Education–approved textbooks that instructed students in the importance of saving. Household savings not only benefited one’s family, but also “becomes the capital for industry and the public good, and they function as the driving force in the national economy and the development of social life.” Though a socialist, Minobe subscribed to a strikingly middle-class view of the housewife’s duty to “rationalize consumption.” In “our families,” he noted, “the mother or older sister keeps a household account book. . . . Those who do this well have relatively rich consumer lives even if their income is relatively low.”
… Building on wartime developments, Japanese women became even more central to encouraging saving and rationalizing consumption. Postwar officials relied on local women’s associations to run the national savings associations — so much so that savings associations became known as “mothers’ banks.” Savings associations also formed around the women’s auxiliary of agricultural cooperatives. Found in most villages and urban neighborhoods, women’s associations in the 1950s worked hard to shape the savings habits of the community. Take the case of the award-winning “women’s association/egg savings association” in one rural town in Miyagi prefecture. Every Saturday the group’s lieutenants fanned out to visit members’ homes and gather eggs. On Sunday a wholesaler bought the eggs, and on Monday the association head deposited a share of the proceeds in each member’s savings account. In 1952 local women’s organizations, with support from the state, coalesced into the National Federation of Regional Women’s Organizations (Zen Chifuren). Claiming some 7.8 million members at its peak in the early 1960s, the federation provided the foot soldiers in the savings campaigns of the next several decades.
… Pressure on women to keep household account books came from many quarters. The increasingly popular housewives’ magazines, notably Shufu no tomo and Fujin no tomo, continued their prewar drive to encourage financial management, publishing annual account books. Just as important were coordinated efforts by the state and various women’s organizations. As she had done before and during the war, Fujin no tomo’s Hani Motoko frequently assisted the postwar savings campaigns. Comprised of loyal readers at the grass roots, her “friends’ societies” received generous state subsidies to spread the use of account books among other women. Government agencies began publishing their own household account books in 1947, and the Central Council for Savings Promotion and its successors issued countless copies of their “Household Account Book for the Bright Life” from 1952 to 2001.The mammoth National Federation of Regional Women’s Organizations and other women’s groups helped distribute the official account books. Calling it the organization’s “best seller,” the Central Council annually issued two million free account books by the mid-1990s, while women’s magazines and other commercial publishers sold an additional seven million ledgers.
Striking a “Balance” between Consumption and Saving
… From these material changes followed a cultural transformation of sorts. After decades of devaluing consumption, state agencies began encouraging spending on consumer durables. In 1960 the government of Ikeda Hayato — the former finance bureaucrat who once urged the citizens of Hiroshima to save all they could — announced a plan to double national and per capita income by the end of the decade. Gone, it seemed, were the traditional values of diligence and thrift. Now “consumption is the virtue,” proclaimed the media. Inspired by the successful creation of consumer demand in the United States, some Japanese business leaders during the 1950s envisioned the production of “American-style middle-class society” as crucial to the nation’s prosperity, writes Simon Partner. Even more than exports, the steady expansion of domestic consumption drove Japan’s high economic growth from 1955 to the mid-1970.
… Japan’s new consumption resembled “consumer revolutions” in Western Europe at the time. In none of these cases do we see Europeans or Japanese catching up to Americans in levels and patterns of consumption. In 1960 Japanese households still devoted 38 percent of consumption to food and only 10 percent to housing and home-related expenditures. Similarly in West Germany and France, respectively, food accounted for fully 43 percent and 46 percent, and housing for merely 18 percent and 11 percent. In contrast, Americans spent only 32 percent on food and an incomparable 29 percent on housing, including furniture and household goods. For most Japanese and Europeans, consumption continued to be something that had to be “rationalized” within limited budgets.
… In Japan during the 1960s, many economists warned of the perils of “unbalanced” consumption. The catchphrase “consumption is the virtue” should by no means be taken as a repudiation of the importance of saving, argued Koizumi Akira; Japan’s high growth could only be sustained by the new investment generated by greater saving. To Usami Jun, governor of the Bank of Japan, “The difference between a civilized country and a backward country is whether it accumulates capital in large or small amounts.” Rather than spend freely, the people “should endeavor to live rationally and save to increase the wealth of Japan as a whole.”
… Japanese opinion reflected global trends of ecological awareness. In Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States, environmental movements arose to demand energy conservation and sustainable development. Established in 1979, West Germany’s Green Party became mainstream enough to enter the governing coalition two decades later. In his polemic Small Is Beautiful (1973), British economist E. F. Schumacher articulated the new agenda of seeking the “maximum amount of well-being with the minimum of consumption.” Although European environmentalists did not espouse older notions of thrift, their conservationism and condemnation of “overconsumption” reinforced propensities to save. In practice, stringent recycling laws in Europe and Japan curbed the previous “throwaway” ethos while discouraging consumers from buying new products on the American scale. …
The American Other
Japan quickly recovered from the Oil Shock and resumed its rise as the world’s second largest economy. Leaders felt more convinced than ever of the virtues of Japan’s energetic promotion of saving. The 1980s were a time when Japanese savings behavior took center stage as an international issue as well. The nation’s savings-promotion program evolved from an exemplar for developing countries into a model for the world’s largest economy. It was a giddy moment in Tokyo. High savings had tamped down inflation and provided the cheap capital for industrial expansion, Japanese officials boasted. Meanwhile in the United States, “sluggish savings and investment” constrained productivity increases and accelerated inflation. America’s troubles left Japanese “convinced that maintaining a steady savings attitude in our household economy “would surely contribute to price stability, improved productivity, and higher living standards.
Plenty of Americans also took note of Japan’s high household saving rate of about 20 percent. Revised data now calculates the U.S. saving rate at nearly 9 percent in 1979, although Americans at the time believed it to be around 4 percent. Malaise about perceived decline at home prompted the publication of a slew of books on the “Japanese Model,” notably Japan as Number One: Lessons for America. Americans, noted the world-famous economist Paul Samuelson, “envy the Japanese for their ingenuity, drive, cleverness and thrift.” Lawrence R. Klein, winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Economics and a leading Keynesian, nonetheless urged the United States to go from “being a high-consumption economy to being a high-saving economy if we are to reindustrialize and improve our standard of living.” In a speech to the Japanese parliament in 1983, President Ronald Reagan lavishly praised Japanese for achieving the highest saving rates among industrialized nations. This, he argued, was because Japanese tax policies incentivized saving by exempting most interest on deposits and keeping tax burdens low.
Newly confident, Japanese came to regard thrift as a key marker of their unique “national character” and a source of superiority vis-à-vis the West. This was a big change from the early postwar years, when officials identified with European savings-promotion efforts and sometimes cast Americans as more prudent than Japanese. Journalists and politicians now spoke disparagingly of the “English disease,” in which welfare dependency led to a “diminished will to work,” and the “American disease” marked by wastefulness and laziness. In 1987 Toyama Shigeru, chairman of the Central Council for Savings Promotion, wrote a best seller extolling the enduring Japanese spirit of hard work and thrift. As for the United States, he scoffed; the Puritan ethic of thrift had collapsed. Americans’ rampant use of credit cards resulted in “excessive consumption,” and “millions of households live in debt.”
… However, Japanese leaders remained unpersuaded of the virtues of a consumption-driven economy. In publications intended for the home audience, officials and economists warned that the Maekawa Report should not alter the commitment to promoting high saving — lest Japanese lose the values that made them so successful. Before authoring the report that bore his name, Bank of Japan governor Maekawa Haruo ardently defended savings-promotion policies. High household saving enabled Japan to subdue inflation, he observed, while Americans amid double-digit inflation turned from saving money to buying more and more. Nor did the Japanese people come forward to thank the Americans for trying to improve their consumer lives. Women’s and consumer groups furiously opposed the government’s decision to abolish tax exemption for savings. One protest rally in Hibiya Park drew six thousand people. …
“From Saving to Investment”
… By the late 1990s, many Japanese acknowledged the anachronistic nature of savings-promotion mechanisms designed for a different age when saving had indeed been Japan’s “national salvation.” This past decade has witnessed some important changes. The most politically contentious has been the reform of the postal savings system. As the nation’s “lost decade” wore on, Japanese and Western critics questioned why Japan required a colossal government savings bank in an age of financial liberalization. Equally problematic, the Ministry of Finance through the Fiscal Investment and Loan Plan retained control over in- vesting the world’s largest pool of savings. Incredibly little had changed since 1885. Tied up in local projects and a great many nonperforming loans, the nation’s capital —charged critics— could be more productively invested to advance growth. Effected in 2001, the first reforms transferred responsibility for investing deposits from the Ministry of Finance to postal authorities. Nonetheless, investments largely flowed to the FILP as before. Other changes would probably never have occurred had it not been for a maverick politician known for his Elvis impersonations. Koizumi Jun’ichirō took over the doddering Liberal Democratic Party and became prime minister in 2001. He chose to make privatization of postal savings the central issue in the 2005 general election, successfully running reformers against his own party’s entrenched postal savings lobby. The new parliament enacted legislation mandating gradual privatization, beginning in 2007 and ending in 2017.
… On the other hand, postal savings’ dynamic role in encouraging saving may well persist. The newly “privatized” Japan Post Bank dwarfs the next largest bank. With more than twenty-four thousand branches, it reaches small savers as no other bank. Moreover, the postal savings system remains an aggressive marketer aiming to become a “one-stop financial shop.” For instance, post offices recently began selling investment trusts (mutual funds). Postal savings may never emerge as a truly private bank. Koizumi retired in 2006. Other leaders in the two major parties are less passionate about privatization. Some 75 to 80 percent of postal savings remains invested in government bonds. At the end of the ten-year privatization process, the Japan Post Bank will likely still function as a highly accessible postal savings system that makes it easy to save.
… For better or worse, decades of savings promotion have left their mark on the Japanese people. Over the past twenty years we have seen little of the profound cultural embrace of consumption that occurred in the United States. Japanese households cope with stagnant incomes by continuing to “rationalize” consumption. To make ends meet, they spend more on some things while cutting back on others. The postwar housewives’ culture of monitoring spending has proved remarkably resilient. Women’s magazines are still filled with stories of resourceful housewives who deal with a bad economy by adopting “economizing lifestyles.” Although the media trumpets the decline of thrift among youth, recent surveys reveal that nearly half of married women in their twenties and 43 percent of those in their thirties keep household account books. We would also err in assuming that most households no longer have savings. In 2008, Japan led the OECD countries in net household financial assets (383 percent of nominal disposal income). In net wealth (financial, real, and other assets minus liabilities), it ranked fourth behind Italy, the United Kingdom, and France, but well ahead of the United States. If the risk-averse Japanese — unlike Americans and Britons — did not partake in rising housing and equity prices since the mid-1990s, neither did their assets collapse in the real estate and financial meltdown of 2008. The dearth of consumer spending undoubtedly constrains the Japanese economy, yet the abundance of home-grown savings permits the government to finance extraordinarily high levels of national debt at low rates and independent of foreign interference in ways that Americans today might envy. …