Japan after 1960 Part II
The ratification of the mutual security treaty with the United States of 1960 and the climate of turmoil it aroused in the country are the starting point for all the events of this period. The treaty represents an event of the utmost importance: it not only constitutes the cornerstone of Japanese foreign policy in the subsequent period, but also without the end of the period of political inferiority and the acquisition of equal rights with the United States. H. Keda, who succeeded Kishi on July 19, 1960, devoted his efforts to improving Japan’s international position. Having cleared the last financial problems of the occupation, he visited the United States, France and Great Britain, reaffirming the importance of Japan as the third pillar of the free world. For the first time in history, the foreign ministers of France and Great Britain returned the visit to Japan (spring 1963); in the same year Ikeda obtained the admission of the Japan to the OECD. Ikeda also faced the thorny problem of relations with South Korea. The talks, which began in October 1961, went on for a long time, both due to the complexity of the dispute deriving from thirty-five years of colonial rule, and to the opposition of part of public opinion in both countries, because the Japanese left were opposed to negotiations with the anti-communist government of Seoul, while the South Korean opposition accused its government of excessive submissiveness towards the former colonial power. Ikeda did not see the end of the negotiations, which were completed by his successor. Satô,
Inside, Ikeda carried out a conciliatory policy, favored by the tendency to moderation prevailing in public opinion, shaken by the violence of the events of 1960. Growing well-being, on the other hand, constituted a determining element of stability. Wages were rising at an annual rate of 10% of real value and the country was facing a long period of trade union tranquility. Ikeda leveraged it on well-being for its conciliation policy, launching the Japan towards the ambitious goal of doubling the national product within ten years. In 1964, thanks to the great public works carried out in Tokyo to coincide with the Olympic Games, the capital began to take on the appearance of a metropolis. L’ public opinion saw the Olympics as the culmination of the period of reconstruction and the beginning of a march into the future. Ikeda’s succession, forced to retire for health reasons, was taken over by E. Satô, Kishi’s younger brother, who, endowed with an incisive personality and great maneuvering skills, did not hesitate to sometimes impose his will on a recalcitrant parliament. During his government (the longest in the history of the modern Japan industrial power of the world. endowed with an incisive personality and great maneuvering skills, he did not hesitate to sometimes impose his will on a recalcitrant parliament. During his government (the longest in the history of the modern Japan industrial power of the world. endowed with an incisive personality and great maneuvering skills, he did not hesitate to sometimes impose his will on a recalcitrant parliament. During his government (the longest in the history of the modern Japan industrial power of the world.
On August 17, 1971, at the end of a long and difficult negotiation that represents Satô’s greatest success, the United States undertook to return the island of Okinawa, which on May 15, 1972 returned to Japanese sovereignty. Previously, Sato had already obtained the return of the Ogasawara archipelago (June 26, 1968). On June 22, 1970, in a relaxed atmosphere quite different from that of 1960, the mutual security pact with the United States was automatically renewed, supplemented by the Sato-Nixon declaration of November 21, 1969, which recognized the importance of South Korea. and of Formosa for the security of Japan. Satô, for his part, winning the opposition of a part of his own party, supported and obtained (February 3, 1970) the adhesion to the non-proliferation treaty.
At the opening of the seventies, however, the Japanese company suffers its first difficulties. 1970, marked by the Osaka exhibition, in which Japan showed off his wealth and his technique, is still a year of expansion, but in 1971 there are signs of stagnation, while the pressure on the yen increases. The declaration of non-convertibility of the dollar (16 August) causes serious difficulties and is harshly warned on the Tokyo stock exchange. But the economy is still strong and despite the yen’s revaluation(December 19), Japan manages to maintain its positions on the world market. 1971 also saw an event of historical importance, the trip to Europe of Hirohito, who was the first emperor to go abroad. From a political point of view, however, the event that dominates the year is Nixon’s decision to recognize People’s China, which undermines Japanese foreign policy based on friendship with the Taipei government and constitutes a serious setback for Satô. And it is precisely the need to change the policy towards China that leads to the fall of the prime minister, who continues to stiffen in a position of hostility to Beijing. On July 7, 1972, K. Tanaka succeeds him, who manages to solve the problem of relations with China through his trip to Beijing in September 1972. All ‘ internal he advocates a policy of rapid economic expansion, launching a plan for the restructuring of the archipelago which provides for large public investments to redistribute the population and improve services. The inflationary potential of the plan, moreover, coincides with the energy crisis that broke out in the autumn of 1973 and leads to a spiral of price increases that endanger the country’s economy. Tanaka’s position becomes difficult as opposition within his own party grows against him, until revelations about the means he would use to amass his vast personal fortune force him to resign.
According to CACHEDHEALTH, the new government was formed on 1 December 1974 by T. Miki who, with the collaboration of the Deputy Prime Minister T. Fukuda in economic matters, launched an anti-inflationary policy, managing to contain the spiral of prices and laying the foundations for a stabilization of the economic situation. This partial success strengthened the position of the Conservatives, which improved in the local elections of spring 1975. In domestic politics, Miki, who has a weak position within his party, sought a more intense dialogue with the opposition, which he called to play a more constructive role. In foreign policy he is looking for a better understanding with China.