Japan and the Cold War

Antony Best

in The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199236961
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191750328 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Japan and the Cold War

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  • Cold War
  • Asian History
  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)


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This chapter, which examines the impact of the Cold War on Japan, investigates why Japan consistently allied itself to the West rather than the East and why it adopted a low-security posture. It discusses the contribution of Japan to the Western alliance system, its role in the Cold War in Asia, and how its economic power was used to fight the spread of communism. The chapter also argues against the claim that Japan “sat out” the Cold War and explains that every aspect of Japanese life, including political, strategic, economic, and cultural, was influenced to some extent by that ideological conflict.

Keywords: Cold War; Japan; West; low-security posture; Western alliance system; communism; economic power; ideological conflict

Article.  8642 words. 

Subjects: Cold War ; Asian History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945)

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