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Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 18:15 - 20:30

This book offers proof that Japanese political leaders were reluctant to engage China in a full-scale conflict.         



Kitamura Minoru



Lin Siyun


(The talk will be in English)

In the past, the western mainstream view on the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 - 1945) was that Imperial Japan was bent on destroying China, and the rest of Asia, for purely selfish reasons. However, as this book said, careful analysis of the global situation, particularly of the social and political development of China and the attitudes of the Chinese leadership, indicates that the Chinese were not the innocent victims of 'aggression' as is currently claimed. The book also recounted the circumstances that ultimately lead to the Second Sino-Japanese War, demonstrating that the war was neither a Japanese 'brutal war of aggression' nor that China was a 'helpless' victim. The First Sino-Japanese War was held in 1894 - 1895 years.
This book, published by University Press of America in 2014, offers proof that Japanese political leaders were reluctant to engage China in a full-scale conflict during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It identifies several key aspects of the political context surrounding the war, including the fragility of the National United Front against Japan, the view of Soviet Russia as Japan’s principal potential adversary, and the potential threat to Japanese national defense which a protracted war with China would pose.It also reveals that the National government including Wang Jingwei’s puppet regime sustained by Japan, local gentry, peasants, and bandits occasionally collaborated with the enemy - Japanese troops - to expand their spheres of influence. 
The authors raise important issues that have been studiously ignored by standard historical analysis. For example, the concept of “aggressive war” was not necessarily entailing any individual personal criminal liability under international war, prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The criminality of aggressive war was not even widely accepted among the Allies during the Second World War.
Nonetheless, the charge that Germany committed an “aggressive war,” which constituted a “war crime,” was also reflexively applied to Japan, despite vast differences in circumstances. Assignment of guilt to Japan over their “aggressive war” by the Allies following the end of the war is continuously reinforced today by a peculiar Chinese perception of social status and hyperbole.
Kitamura Minoru is a Professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto where he teaches Modern Chinese History. Lin Siyun is a Chinese scholar who has authored several books in Japanese on the cultural differences between Japan and China. The book was translated into English by Connie Prener.
The library committee is offering a cocktail party - "Meet the Author" - starting at 6:15 pm. Followed by dinner at 6:45pm (Menu: to be decided). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges 2,100 yen (Special price including tax) for the event. The special price was set up to celebrate and enhance the FCCJ's newly recognized koeki status.
Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.
To non-member: Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or by mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Please reserve in advance by November 6. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. No refund is available unless the event is cancelled for the reasons on our part.




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