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Special DutyA History of the Japanese Intelligence Community$
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Richard J. Samuels

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501741586

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501741586.001.0001

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Accommodating Defeat (1945–1991)

Accommodating Defeat (1945–1991)

(p.79) Chapter 3 Accommodating Defeat (1945–1991)
Special Duty

Richard J. Samuels

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores how the accommodation by Japanese leaders to U.S. power and to the public's widespread aversion to security affairs shaped and stunted the Japanese intelligence community during the Cold War and beyond. Japan's intelligence failures in the Asia-Pacific War contributed to the new strategic environment that, in turn, drove the subsequent transformation of each element of Japan's intelligence community. The subordination of Japanese foreign and security policy to U.S. priorities set strict limits on the shape, pace, and direction of intelligence reform. In the nearly half century from 1945 to 1991 during which Japan was a junior partner to its conqueror, Japan's degenerated intelligence community became an undersized, compromised, and organizationally handicapped operation. Analysts have called Japan's Cold War intelligence community “a stark transformation from the past” marked by sharp “discontinuity.”

Keywords:   Japanese leaders, U.S. power, security affairs, Cold War, intelligence failures, Asia-Pacific War, Japanese intelligence community, Japanese intelligence reform

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