Fire Across The Sea: The Vietnam War And Japan 1965-1975
- Publish Date: 1987-04-01
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Thomas Havens
Thomas Havens vividly depicts the impact of the Vietnam War on Americas most important Pacific ally. Fire on the opposite shore is how Japanese often describe a major event of Japanese antiwar organizations to portray the war as much more than a fire across the sea and to create new forms of activism in a country where individuals have traditionally left public issues to the authorities. The Japanese rallied, marched, and agitated against American actions in Indochina in the late 1960s, forming the biggest antiwar movement in their history, but they failed to keep Prime Minister Sat from his perhaps reluctant support of the United States. This path-breaking study examines not only the methods of the protestors but the tightrope dance performed by Japanese officials forced to balance outspoken antiwar sentiment with treaty obligations to the United States. The author fully describes the erosion of Japanese awe of the United States, beginning with the first bombings of North Vietnam in 1965, and the growth of antiwar organizations that coalesced into a Japanese New Left. As in the United States, the issues were complex. Waging the war from vital staging areas in Japan, American decision makers wanted to protect potential Japanese economic opportunities in Indochina. Japan in spite of the protestors, earned at least one billion dollars a year from war-related sales, traded its nonmilitary support of the war for the reversion of Okinawa in 1972, and profited from the conflict generally, as it rose to become the leading economic power of Southeast Asia and eventually to make inroads into U.S. markets. Here is a comprehensive study of how such ambiguities changed Japanese perceptions in the post-Vietnam system of international relations.