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The Memory Of The Second World War And The Essence Of ‘New Japan’: The Parliamentary Debate Over Japan’s Democratic Constitution

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Chapter Summary

The debates over the essence of 'New Japan' (post-war democratic Japan) reveal a fundamental polemic on the country's attitudes towards the Second World War. This chapter focuses on the discussions and standpoints regarding the Second World War voiced in the House of Representatives (HR) during the ninetieth session of the Imperial Diet in the summer of 1946, the special session dedicated to ratifying Japan's post-war constitution. The research provides a close look at how Japan's elected lawmakers, who were already benefiting from and appeared committed to the new democratic arrangements, perceived both the war and the new democracy they were implementing, and thus justifying it. The major difference between the various political forces lay in their opinions on who was the guilty party that propelled Japan towards the Second World War, and more particularly, towards its ultimate defeat.

Keywords: House of Representatives (HR); political forces; post-war democratic Japan; Second World War



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