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Partners for DemocracyCrafting the New Japanese State Under MacArthur$
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Ray A. Moore and Donald L. Robinson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019515116X.001.0001

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“A Very Serious Matter”: The Cabinet's Initial Reactions

“A Very Serious Matter”: The Cabinet's Initial Reactions

(p.111) 7 “A Very Serious Matter”: The Cabinet's Initial Reactions
Partners for Democracy

Ray A. Moore

Donald L. Robinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Describes how Whitney pressured the Japanese government to accept the SCAP draft as the basis of a new constitution. Following talks with MacArthur and Whitney, the Shidehara cabinet accepted SCAP's demands and charged Matsumoto with preparing a draft for presentation to Government Section. Whitney and his staff expected the Japanese to submit essentially a translation of the SCAP draft, while Matsumoto believed he could determine the contents of the draft so long as he included the “fundamental principles” (the emperor as “symbol” and renunciation of war) mentioned by MacArthur to Shidehara. This misunderstanding caused a serious conflict when the two sides met to consider Matsumoto's March 2 draft.

Keywords:   fundamental principles, Government Section, Matsumoto Jōji, Matsumoto's March 2 draft, SCAP's draft as a model, Shidehara‐MacArthur talk, Yoshida Shigeru, Whitney

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