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International Studies Paper
Japan in the 1950s
Valdo Ferretti, Peter Lowe and Ian Nish
February 1997
Paper No' IS/1997/322:

As Japan entered the 1950s, she was still under allied (mainly, but not exclusively, American) military occupation. The occupation had gone relatively well and the allies were ready to negotiate an early peace treaty. The outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula in June 1950 transformed the situation and raised among other issues the question of Japan's rearmament. Peter Lowe reflects on Britain's approach to the many sensitive questions raised by the Korean war and the Japanese peace negotiations. No sooner had the peace treaty been signed in September 1951 than Japan sought to increase the level of her international trade and recover some of her prewar markets. Valdo Ferretti in his essay shows how the Japanese government had to overcome the resistance of her former adversaries to Japan's entry to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which finally took effect on 10 September 1955. Ian Nish discussed the Japanese government's attempts to develop its mercantile marine and, since its shipping is an international enterprise, the remarkable lack of discrimination in accepting Japanese liner companies back into shipping conferences.