Rethinking the Results of World War II in Contemporary Japan

Rethinking the Results of World War II in Contemporary Japan

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2020.05.03

For citation:

Chugrov S.V. Rethinking the Results of World War II in Contemporary Japan. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No. 5. P. 22-45. (In Russ.).

The study was funded by RFBR and EISR according to the research project No. 20-011-31262 “Contemporary Reinterpretation of WWII History in Japan in the Context of the Changing Political Landscape in East Asia and Russia’s National Interests”


The 75th anniversary of the termination of the WWII is a historic frontier marked by thecoming of age of generations who had no personal experience of the war, as well as by the crisis of theYalta-Potsdam system of international relations (IR). The focus of this study is the process of rethinkingthe outcome of the Second World War in Japan as a part of the emerging global trend towards thedestruction of the common understanding of the military past. The analysis is aimed at a comprehensiveunderstanding of the mutual influence of the change of modality of thinking and the formation of a newconfiguration of political forces in the Asia-Pacific region, including in terms of the perspective ofRussian-Japanese relations. The relevance of the topic lies in the fact that the change in perception ofmilitary history in different countries, the conflicting narratives are an important indicator of existingand brewing contradictions and crises in IR. In this regard, the study of the perception dynamics of themilitary past is of a particular interest. Understanding the substance of these metamorphosis can havepredictive value and contribute to the building of an effective Russian policy vis-à-vis Japan as a wholefacing a complex geopolitical reality and growing instability in IR. In addition, the analysis of East Asianrealities has expanded the conceptualization of the historical past falsification. The results of the discourseanalysis are supported by the survey of 166 students on the problem of their attitude to the war outcomesduring a semester (April – July 2020) as a visiting professor at Soka University (Tokyo) showing that in the national consciousness there was a “mutual settlement of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima-Nagasaki”. 

Russia, World War II, Japan, USA, Asia-Pacific, historical memory, social and political consciousness, world order, world politics, Russia-Japan relations.


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Content No. 5, 2020

See also:

Chugrov S.V.,
Moscow University Bulletin. Series 25. International relations and world politics: 5 years on track. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No5

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