- JAPAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- 国際政治 (ISSN:04542215)
- vol.2008, no.154, pp.154_46-154_61, 2008-12-30 (Released:2011-01-26)
This article presents an analytic sketch of the Hattori Group's thoughts and behavior in 1947–1952. This group, headed by ex-Colonel of Imperial Japanese Army HATTORI Takushiro, consisted of ex-members of General Staff of Imperial Japanese Army, and it sought for Japan's rearmament and its military independence from U. S. strategic influence. The group, after its establishment in 1947, intended to realize a Japanese rearmament, following the successful model of German Army's rearmament in the 1920s and 1930s. Its members admired Generals Hans von Seeckt and Paul von Hindenburg as spiritual mentors. In spite of the outbreak of the Cold War, the group never changed its original nature of Prussian-style staff officers, characterized by conviction of military rule over politics, militaristic mind, and pride of staff officers. The group vigorously waged lobbying activities for its future enrollment in a new Japanese Army and a reintroduction of prewarstyle military and governmental systems. Moreover, this group intended to revive prewar army dominance in politics, and, if possible, it desired to regain prewar continental resources and interests in Korea and China.Despite the Hattori Group's posture of aiming at Japanese military autonomy from the U. S. auspice, it had been financially and politically dependent on Major General Charles Willoughby, Chief of G-2 (Intelligence), GHQ, the Far East Command. It was the most significant discrepancy, though the group members persuaded themselves that they simply used his support as a temporary measure. Since Willoughby's influence inside GHQ was gradually waning away, even more so after the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, the group had to find another political patron. On the one hand, the group developed its political tie with ex-General SHIMOMURA Sadamu, who was once Prime Minister YOSHIDA Shigeru's military adviser. On the other hand, it endeavored to win a support from HATOYAMA Ichiro.Prime Minister Yoshida, however, denied the Hattori Group's participation in Japanese National Police Reserve, forerunner of Ground Self-Defense Force, Japan. The group continued to advocate the reintroduction of Prussian-style professional army. This vision, no doubt, contradicted Yoshida's vision of founding an Anglo-American style democratic army in Japan. Before Yoshida's unshakable refusal, Hattori and his colleagues became so desperate to consider a coup d'état, aiming at an assassination of Yoshida and an introduction of the Hatoyama cabinet. The group eventually abandoned the coup plot, but it continued to influence over Japanese politics.