- 財団法人 日本国際政治学会
- 国際政治 (ISSN:04542215)
- vol.1995, no.109, pp.38-53,L7, 1995-05-20 (Released:2010-09-01)
Among wartime leaders in Japan, no one was more aware that the issue of World War II centered on decolonization than Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Mamoru (April 1943-April 1945). As Ambassador to China (January 1942-April 1943), Shigemitsu had become the strong supporter of Japan's “New Deal for China” to approve the Wang Ching-wei regime's voluntary self-independence and freedom. When he became Foreign Minister, Shigemitsu continued to promote “independence, freedom, and mutual equality” towards Asian occupied area as the main principles of Japan's “New Deal for Greater East Asia”. This set of “New Deal” policy could provide a “basic maneuver” for peace proposals towards the Allied Powers. In othe words, if Japan changed its war aims in accordance with those of Great Britain and the United States, there would be no more reason for Japan to keep fighting with China, the United States and Great Britain. At the opening of the Greater East Asian Conference in November 1943, Shigemitsu and the bureaucrats of the Foreign Ministry used the Greater East Asian Declaration as an opportunity to redefine Japan's war aims and to appeal to the Allied Powers with their basic peace maneuver. From the viewpoint of Shigemitsu, however, “New Deal” policy including the Greater East Asian Declaration was as much for domestic as for foreign use, to give the Japanese people a clearer conception of war aims, and to reform the militarism which had caused Japan to fall into military colonialism towards Asia. When he was aware that it was impossible to use the “New Deal” policy for domestic reform to exclude military colonialism from Japan, he insisted that the Japanese Government should accept “unconditional surrender” on their own initiative for the attainment of the same purpose.