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An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus (大和民族を中核とする世界政策の検討, Yamato Minzoku o Chūkaku to suru Sekai Seisaku no Kentō ?), was a secret Japanese government report created by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Population Problems Research Center, and completed on July 1, 1943.

The document, comprising six volumes totaling 3,127 pages, deals with race theory in general, and the rationale behind policies adopted by wartime Japan towards other races, while also providing a vision of Asia under Japanese control. [1]

The document was classified, had a print run of only a hundred copies, had little effect on the war, and was forgotten until 1981, when portions were discovered in a used bookstore in Japan, and subsequently publicized by being used as source material for a chapter in historian John W. Dower’s book War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War[2]

The document was written in an academic style, surveying western philosophy on race from the writings of Plato and Aristotle to modern German social scientists, such as Karl Haushofer. The connection between racism, nationalism and imperialist capitalism was also noted, with the conclusion, drawing by citing both British and German sources, that overseas expansionism was essential not only for military and economic security, but for preserving racial consciousness. Concerns pertaining to the cultural assimilation of second and third generation immigrants into foreign cultures were also mentioned. [3]

Contents

Colonization to provide living space for the Yamato race

Some statements in the document coincide with the then publicly espoused concept of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; however, much of the work borrowed heavily from German National Socialist racial, political and economic theories, including mention of the “Jewish problem” and inclusion of racist anti-Jewish political cartoons, although the Empire of Japan had a rather negligible and largely overlooked Jewish minority.

The authors rationalizing of Japanese colonization of most of the eastern hemisphere including New Zealand and Australia, with projected populations by the 1950, as "securing the living space of the Yamato race", a very clear echo of the Nazi concept of Lebensraum.

Racially superior people

However, where the document deviated from Nazi ideology was in its use of Confucianism and the metaphor of the family to rationalize the “equitable inequality” of Japanese dominance over the other peoples of Asia. Just as a family has harmony and reciprocity, but with a clear-cut hierarchy, the Japanese, as a purportedly racially superior people, were destined to rule Asia “eternally” as the head of the family of Asian nations. The document left open the question as to whether or not Japan was destined eventually to become head of the global family of nations. [3]

In 1982 the Ministry of Health and Welfare re-issued the full 6 volume version along with another two volumes entitled The Influence of War upon Population as a reference work for historians.

See also

References

  1. ^ Morris-Suzuki, Tessa (Fall 2000), Ethnic Engineering: Scientific Racism and Public Opinion Surveys in Midcentury Japan, east asia cultures critique - Volume 8, Number 2: Duke University Press, p. 499–529  
  2. ^ Dower, John W. (1986), War Without Mercy, New York: Pantheon Books, p. 262–290  
  3. ^ a b Martel, Gordon (2004), The World War Two Reader, New York: Routledge, p. 245–247, ISBN 0415224039  
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