The Pacific War and Its Political Legacies


Denny Roy


Westport, Connecticut: Praeger

Available From: Praeger
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-313-37566-8
Binding: cloth
Pages: 272


Competition among the national myths of the Pacific War held by the various countries of Northeast Asia and by the US about the Pacific still rages in the international politics, even while accurate understanding of what actually took place in that war has largely faded. Unresolved wartime grievances continue to constrain, distort, and embitter bilateral relationships, erupting over such issues as the Yasukuni Shrine, Japanese history textbooks, the Nanjing Massacre, the "comfort women," how to remember the atomic bombs, and the US military bases on Okinawa. The first part of The Pacific War recounts as straightforwardly and impartially as possible the trains of events of the Pacific War that continue to vex international relations in Northeast Asia. This summary historical narrative provides the reader with enough "backstory" to challenge the reader's own assumptions and to judge the veracity and balance of other competing national interpretations of the war.

© Praeger

A Note on Names
Chapter 2 China's Ordeal
Chapter 3 Sino-Japan War Expands to Pacific War
Chapter 4 A Ruthless War
Chapter 5 Strategic Bombing in the Pacific War
Chapter 6 The Atomic Bombs and the End of the War
Chapter 7 Regime Change in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan
Chapter 8 Pacific War Rashomon
Chapter 9 "Comfort Women" Discomfiture
Chapter 10 China and the "History Card"
Chapter 11 U.S.-Japan Relations
Chapter 12 Atomic Rancor between America and Japan
Chapter 13 Conclusion


"Denny Roy's book is a 'must read' not just for those who want to learn (or re-learn) the lessons of World War II, but for those who want to understand Northeast Asia political dynamics today. His explanation of the 'unsettled claims' and 'seismic shifts' resulting from the Pacific War, and the way they have been interpreted (and all too often manipulated) by Japan and its neighbors, provides invaluable insights, not only for Americans but for Asians who cannot seem to get beyond the 'history issue.' By cutting through the myths and objectively analyzing the facts, this book can contribute significantly to the long overdue healing process essential to long-term regional stability."

Ralph A. Cossa, President, Pacific Forum--Center for
Strategic and International Studies, Honolulu

"East-West Center's Professor Roy has shone a bright light into the Asia-Pacific's slowest-healing wounds. He relates the Pacific War's stories and tragedies of three generations ago to contentious issues that continue to resonate in the world's most vibrant region. Practitioners and general readers as well as academics will benefit from these thoughtful insights."

James A. Kelly, Senior Adviser, Center for Strategic and International Studies,
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs