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Series Two: British Foreign Office Files for Post-War Japan, 1952-1980
(Public Record Office Classes FO 371 and FCO 21)

Part 1: Complete Files for 1952-1953
(PRO Class FO 371/98985-98992, 99013, 99198-99200, 99218, 99227, 99264, 99315, 99388-99542, 99560 & 105361-105464)

"It is most welcome news that the files on Japan from the Public Record Office for the years 1952-1962 are now available on microfilm. Students of post-World War II Japanese foreign affairs, international relations, the Cold War, and US and UK foreign policies will find here a wealth of invaluable material. Historians have found
Public Record Office documents the main starting point for their research, and, given the still undeveloped field of post-war Japanese history, these documents are certain to provide new data and fresh perspectives that will contribute enormously to our knowledge.
Akira Iriye, Professor of History, Harvard University

Part 1 covers files for 1952-1953, the years that saw the resumption of full national sovereignty for Japan and efforts to boost national productivity in order to catch up with the West. Specific files for this period include material on:

  • Japanese politics and economic reports on Japan.
  • The five-year economic plan for Japan designed to increase overall production by 70%.
  • The Japanese Communist Party: the campaign of violence and sabotage against the Police, occupation installations and communications systems.
  • International attitudes towards Japan and her policies.
  • Anglo-US differences over Japan.
  • Eisenhower’s visit to Japan in December 1952.
  • US relations with Japan and the visit to Japan by US Secretary of State,
    John Foster Dulles.
  • British Iron and Steel Corporation purchases of Japanese steel.
  • Japanese-Korean negotiations for the settlement of mutual relations.
  • Japan’s relations with China and Formosa.
  • Japan’s trade relations with countries in South East Asia.
  • Japan and GATT.
  • "Depurging" by the new reviewing authority set up to determine qualification for public office in Japan.
  • The "bases problem" and hostility towards US and UN troops still in Japan.
  • The growth of Anti-American feeling in Japan because of the ongoing presence of many troops due to the Korean War.
  • Social welfare legislation: Emancipation of Japanese women, tendency of the Japanese social security system to restrain the development of Communism.

Through the wealth of evidence assembled in these British files, researchers can examine Yoshida’s success in implementing the Security Treaty with the
United States, the conversion of the National Police Reserve into the
National Security Force, the fulfilment of his undertaking to John Foster Dulles to conclude a Peace Treaty with Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists on Formosa, the passage of the Subversive Activities Law, the important role of Chief Justice Tanaka Kotaro and the development of Japan’s post-war industrial strength.

FO Japan

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