Ray A. Moore Looks at Japanese Constitution in New Book

August 30, 2002
Director of Media Relations
413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass. - In the recently released book Partners for Democracy: Crafting the New Japanese State under MacArthur ($45, 480 pp., Oxford University Press, New York 2002), Ray A. Moore, professor of history and Asian languages and civilization at Amherst College, details Japan's transformation from a defeated military power into a healthy constitutional democracy. Moore says that as we consider the wisdom of "nation building," in Afghanistan or perhaps in Iraq, we ignore at our peril the successful, if long and difficult, process that was the creation of postwar Japan.

Moore wrote Partners for Democracy with Donald L. Robinson, a professor of government and American studies at Smith College, with whom he also co-edited a CD-ROM, The Constitution of Japan: A Documentary History of its Framing and Adoption 1945-1947 (Princeton University Press, 1998).

Moore and Robinson show that Japan's affirmation of democracy was neither cynical nor merely tactical. Japan and the United States "represented in Tokyo by the headstrong and deeply conservative General Douglas MacArthur" worked out a genuine partnership, navigating skillfully among die-hard defenders of the emperor, Japanese communists and America's opinionated allies.

A member of the Amherst College faculty since 1965, Moore received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. degrees in Japanese studies and history from the University of Michigan. He helped create the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College and The Five College Center for East Asian Studies. Moore also served in the U.S. Army from 1948 until 1952, in east Asia during the Korean War after 1950.

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Peter Rooney
Director of Public Affairs
(413) 542-2321
prooney@amherst.edu