Episode 467 – The Cause of Peace

This week, we’re looking at a very different kind of 60s protest movement: an attempt to build a cross-sectarian, non-ideological movement to oppose the American war in Vietnam. How did the anti-Vietnam War movement emerge in its Japan, and how did it simultaneously grow to a massive size and fail to have any appreciable political impact?

Sources

Havens, Thomas R.H. Fire Across the Sea: The Vietnam War and Japan, 1965-1975

Andrews, William. Dissenting Japan: A History of Japanese Radicalism and Counterculture from 1945 to Fukushima.

Eiji, Oguma. “Japan’s 1968: A Collective Reaction to Rapid Economic Growth in an Age of Turmoil.” The Asia-Pacific Journal 13, No 12 (March, 2015)

Images

American troops at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa en route to Vietnam, 1962.
An early Beheiren protest which took place on April 24, 1965.
The Beheiren leadership in 1969. Oda Makoto, the official leader of the group, is reclining in the back left.
American news coverage of the “Intrepid Four.”
A Beheiren protest flag.
Students being blasted off Benten bridge outside Haneda airport during the Zengakuren attempt to prevent PM Sato’s trip to South Vietnam, c. October 1967. Images like this helped galvanize support for the anti-Vietnam war movement.