Paulo Roberto de Almeida
O que é este blog?
Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.
quarta-feira, 7 de junho de 2017
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
sábado, 25 de fevereiro de 2017
Diplomatas costumam ser obedientes, e só em casos raros eles vão contra instruções recebidas, ou desobedecem deliberada e conscientemente ordens da capital.
Mas, eles possuem uma vantagem sobre líderes nacionais (civis ou militares): vivendo no exterior, convivendo com amigos e "inimigos", eles possuem uma percepção mais clara, mais realista, dos fatores em jogo, quando políticos ou militares no próprio país possuem uma visão deformada dessa realidade, quando não são completamente ignorantes do que é o mundo real.
Essa é a tragédia da profissão: atuar no exterior, tendo de receber instruções, muitas vezes, de ignaros nacionais...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
H-Diplo Article Review 682 on The Desperate Diplomat: Saburo Kurusu’s Memoir of the Weeks before Pearl Harbor
by George Fujii
24 February 2017
Article Review Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse
Web and Production Editor: George Fujii
J. Garry Clifford and Masako R. Okura. The Desperate Diplomat: Saburo Kurusu’s Memoir of the Weeks before Pearl Harbor. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-8262-2037-0 (hardcover, $35.00).
Review by Justus D. Doenecke, New College of Florida, Emeritus
The reputation of Saburō Kurusu has not been good. As special envoy of the Japanese government in the final three months before the Pearl Harbor attack, Kurusu met with American leaders in a last-ditch effort to prevent Japan and the United States from engaging in a bloody conflict. In a famous encounter that took place at 2:20 P.M. on the afternoon of December 7, the Japanese diplomat—along with Ambassador Kichisaburō Nomura—met with Cordell Hull, who had already been informed of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Secretary of State, his hand shaking, accused them of “fabrication and falsehood.” In his memoirs, Hull accused Kurusu of seeking “to lull us with talk until the moment Japan got ready to strike.” 
Hull was not alone. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles found the “oily” diplomat acting as the “goat tethered as bait for the tiger.” On Pearl Harbor day, Eleanor Roosevelt complained about that “nasty little Jap sitting there talking to my husband while Japanese planes were attacking Honolulu and Manila.” (9) Though no specialist has accepted this indictment, Kurusu’s popular image has been one of duplicity.
Thanks to the efforts of the late J. Garry Clifford and Masako R. Okura, a far more sympathetic—and accurate—picture of Kurusu has emerged. The two scholars have supervised the publication of an English translation of Kurusu’s memoir, published in Japanese in 1952 and deposited in the National Diet Library in 2007. The diplomat had died in 1954, before he could publish the English version. Okura, a political scientist conducting research in Tokyo in 2001, came upon the manuscript by accident and immediately recognized its importance. Okura and Clifford, her mentor at the University of Connecticut, have produced a beautifully edited document, whose introduction and elaborate endnotes reveal a superb knowledge of Japanese decision-making and the most recent scholarly literature. Manuscript sources include the papers of Kurusu, President Franklin Roosevelt, British Ambassador Halifax, Herbert Hoover, financier Bernard Baruch, diplomat Sumner Welles, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and the U.S. State Department. This reviewer finds one slight error: “pace” should be “peace.” (12)
Kurusu had long been a major diplomatic figure, having served in posts as varied as Hankou, Honolulu, New York, Santiago, Rome, Athens, Lima, Hamburg, and Brussels. He was Ambassador to Germany when, in September 1940, Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka negotiated the Tripartite Pact. In his unpublished memoir Kurusu claimed he unsuccessfully sought to resign in protest of the accord.
Early in November 1941, Foreign Minister Shigenori Tōgō, realizing that relations with the U.S. were at a dangerous impasse, sent Kurusu to Washington as special envoy. Ambassador Kichisaburō Nomura, a former admiral, was well liked by the Roosevelt administration. However, Nomura, whose command of English was poor, found himself out of his depth. Hence, that summer he asked his foreign office for Kurusu’s aid. Before he left Tokyo, Kurusu met with Hideki Tōjō, who held the offices of Prime Minister and War Minister and was a full general. Tōjō stressed the necessity of concluding negotiations by the end of the month, although he did not reveal that war preparations were to be completed by early December. (Two days later, Japanese leaders fixed the date of December 7 for an attack on Pearl Harbor). Tōjō saw the negotiations having only thirty percent chance of success, but promised that despite powerful internal opposition he would keep any agreement.
Most of the memoir covers Kurusu’s negotiations with the Americans. During his first meeting with Roosevelt and Hull on November 17, the President suggested direct negotiations between Japan and China. There was, however, no follow through. Within a week, American decoders mistranslated significant Tokyo instructions to Kurusu. The U.S. thought that Japan would be obligated to act ‘automatically’ if Germany invoked the Tripartite Pact of September 1940. In reality the foreign office told Kurusu Japan would act ‘independently.’ When Nomura and Kurusu sought to assure Hull that their nation was under no obligation to assist Germany, the Secretary believed that the diplomats were deliberately lying.
The varied propositions of the American and Japanese representatives (Proposals A and B, Hull’s ten points of November 26) resemble a form of diplomatic ping pong. Because of deadlock over such matters as continued American support for China, the U.S. suggested a three-month modus vivendi: Japan would withdraw 50,000 troops from southern Indochina in return for which the United States would resume moderate sales of oil. Once China objected, Hull decided to “kick the whole thing over” (14). Hull’s ten points were the ultimate ‘nonstarter,’ as they included withdrawal of all Japanese forces from China and Indochina and support only for Chiang Kai-shek’s (Jiang Jieshi’s) government. War appeared inevitable.
By and large historians have overlooked the fact, so clearly brought out in the Kurusu memoir, that even after November 26 the Japanese diplomats actively continued their peace efforts. Due to the efforts of Herbert Hoover, Kurusu met with international lawyer Raoul Desvernine, an attorney on trade matters for Japan’s embassy. Desvernine in turn put him in touch with financier Bernard Baruch, who convinced Roosevelt to reconsider the modus vivendi. Meanwhile, the Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones suggested that Roosevelt communicate with Emperor Hirohito directly and immediately. By the evening of December 6, however, when the president cabled the emperor, it was too late.
In their perceptive introduction to the memoir, Clifford and Okura indicate that the Pacific War might have been avoided. They write, “Without rekindling conspiracy theories about who fired the first shot in 1941, we are nonetheless struck by the pervasive atmosphere of fatalism and diplomatic passivity in the final days prior to war” (12). American fatigue played an obvious role. Hull, who suffered from tuberculosis, had put in sixteen-hour days. The Japanese envoys noted that Roosevelt, too, appeared “very tired” (22). The President had undergone blood transfusions that spring and summer and may well have been suffering aftereffects in late fall. The two historians speculate that had Roosevelt contacted Hirohito shortly after Hull’s ten-point note, the diplomatic process might have been continued. Conscious that the U.S. was committed to a ‘Europe first’ strategy, American military officials were pressing Roosevelt and Hull for more time, so as to deliver B-17 bombers to the Pacific.
Thanks to the labors of Clifford and Okura, it will be difficult to look again at the last three weeks of peace in quite the same way.
Justus Doenecke is emeritus professor of history at New College of Florida with a Ph.D. from Princeton (1966). He has written twelve books, including Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939-1941 (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), and in 2015 came out with the 4th edition, with John E. Wilz, of From Isolation to War, 1931-1941 (Malden: Wiley Blackwell, 2015). He is writing a sequel to Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011). The volume will cover the politics and diplomacy of U.S. as a full-scale belligerent, the period from April 6, 1917- November 11, 1918.
segunda-feira, 31 de outubro de 2016
O presidente da Funag, embaixador Sérgio Eduardo Moreira Lima, e o diretor do IPRI-Funag, ministro Paulo Roberto de Almeida, convidam para as palestras sobre "International Trade and Security in Asia: Japanese Perspectives", a serem proferidas no dia 1º de novembro, às 16h, no Auditório Paulo Nogueira Batista (Anexo II), respectivamente pelo professor de Economia Política Internacional da Keio University, Yorizumi Watanabe, e pelo Diretor Geral do Japanese Institute of International Affairs, Shingo Yamagami. Ambos, enviados especiais pelo gabinete do primeiro ministro do Japão, são eminentes especialistas em suas esferas de estudo e de atividades, tendo participado de inúmeras negociações diplomáticas a serviço do Japão. Dois diplomatas da Casa comentarão suas palestras, feitas em inglês (sem tradução simultânea), após o que haverá um debate aberto a todos os participantes do evento.
terça-feira, 25 de outubro de 2016
O presidente da Funag, embaixador Sérgio Eduardo Moreira Lima, e o diretor do IPRI-Funag, ministro Paulo Roberto de Almeida, convidam para as palestras sobre:
International Trade and Security in Asia: Japanese Perspectives
a serem proferidas no dia 1º de novembro, às 16h, no Auditório Paulo Nogueira Batista (Anexo II do Itamaraty), respectivamente pelo:
professor de Economia Política Internacional da Keio University,
e pelo Diretor Geral do Japanese Institute of International Affairs,
Ambos, enviados especiais pelo gabinete do primeiro ministro do Japão, são eminentes especialistas em suas esferas de estudo e de atividades, tendo participado de inúmeras negociações diplomáticas a serviço do Japão.
Diplomatas da Casa comentarão suas palestras, feitas em inglês (sem tradução simultânea), após o que haverá um debate aberto a todos os participantes do evento.
Mini CVs dos palestrantes:
segunda-feira, 12 de outubro de 2015
A relação entre os EUA e o Japão no segundo pós-guerra evoluiu da submissão e da subserviência militar para a equiparação econômica e, ao cabo, na supremacia da manufatura japonesa sobre a americana, em praticamente todos os setores, com base nos próprios ensinamentos americanos em matéria de organização industrial, controle de qualidade e marketing. Ou seja, os japoneses aprenderam com os americanos -- inclusive se apropriando de tecnologias valiosas -- como fazer os mesmos produtos, mas melhor e mais baratos, inclusive compactando os bens, de rádios a automóveis, e portanto tornando-os mais econômicos e de design avançado.
Houve época em que se achava que toda a indústria americana estava condenada a desaparecer, sob pressão da competição japonesa nos mesmos setores, e que o próprio país ficaria sob dependência japonesa em determinadas tecnologias -- como circuitos integrados, por exemplo, essenciais para a indústria de defesa --, o que realmente arriscou acontecer no setor automobilístico, por exemplo.
Depois dos dois choques consecutivos do petróleo, em 1973 e 1979, os carros japoneses ameaçaram simplesmente arrasar com os grandes da indústria automobilística americana: GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc. Elas só foram salvas com protecionismo americano, contenção bilateral das exportações e muitos subsídios governamentais dados a essas indústrias.
O excerto deste livro trata mais das questões de segurança, mas o substrato econômico está presente.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Today's selection -- from Altered States by Michael Schaller.
In the years after World War II, the Allies were concerned that the fragile economies of Germany and Japan would cause them to fall under the influence of the Soviet Union or Communist China. As a result, they took extraordinary steps to assist these economies -- for example, from 1947 to 1953, the U.S. and its Allies forgave essentially all of Germany's external debt, an amount estimated at 280% of Germany's GDP. Similarly, the U.S. gave Japan preferential status in trade and economic support, a strategy that worked so well that by 1970s, the U.S. considered Japan an economic threat and sought to open its doors to China as a counterbalance:
"Since the United States restored Japan's sovereignty in 1952, relations between the two nations have evolved in mostly unforeseen ways. For more than a decade after the signing of the San Francisco peace treaty, American policymakers worried that Japan's feeble economy required massive foreign assistance to prevent Tokyo from reaching an accommodation with China or the Soviet Union. The underlying concern, as John Foster Dulles, peace treaty negotiator and, later, secretary of state, often remarked, was that 'unless Japan worked for us ... it will work for the other side.' Unfortunately, Dulles believed, Japanese products had 'little future ... in the United States' since they were just 'cheap imitations of our own goods.' Survival as a member of the free world required that Japan limit trade with China and develop markets in 'underdeveloped areas such as Southeast Asia' under American protection. Much of what follows examines how this nexus of beliefs -- some accurate, some distorted -- fostered cooperation between the United States and Japan while leading to conflict with China, Korea, and Vietnam.
Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru signs the bilateral security treaty with the United States on September 8, 1951. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (right) and special ambassador John Foster Dulles stand directly behind him.
"Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the United States urged Japan to play a more forceful role in the cold war, such as expanding its armed forces and assisting American military efforts in Korea and Vietnam. Yet, the more Washington pushed, the more determined to resist these demands Tokyo remained. The ruling Liberal Democrats as well as their Socialist opponents stressed the constitutional prohibition on armed forces, their fear of revived militarism, Japan's economic weakness, and the danger of being dragged into conflict with China or the Soviet Union as reasons for going slow. Despite divisions over domestic priorities, the Liberal Democrats and Socialists forged a tacit alliance to resist American pressure.
"As Yoshida Shigeru, Japan's pivotal postwar prime minister, put it in the early 1950s, rearmament would come some day 'naturally if our livelihood recovers.' It was best to 'let the Americans handle [our security] until then.' Yoshida considered it Japan's 'god-given luck that the constitution bans arms.' He noted the irony that the American-inspired document provided him 'adequate cover' to deflect Washington's demands. Yoshida dismissed politicians who wanted to amend the constitution as 'oafs.' During the past half-century, nearly all Yoshida's successors shunned an activist foreign policy in favor of economic nationalism and commercial expansion made possible by the cold war.
"Takeshita Noboru, a conservative power broker who served as prime minister in 1988-89, remarked that throughout the cold war the 'Liberal Democrats had used the possibility of criticism by the Socialists to avoid unpleasant demands by the United States, such as taking a more active role internationally.' In that sense, 'there was a sort of burden sharing between' the rival parties that Takeshita characterized as 'cunning diplomacy.' And so it was.
"By the early 1970s, the economic pendulum had swung so far in the other direction that American political and business leaders considered Japan's export-driven economy a threat to U.S. security. A member of the Nixon cabinet complained in 1971 that 'the Japanese are still fighting the war,' with the 'immediate intention ... to try to dominate the Pacific and then perhaps the world.' Uncertainty over how to respond to Japan's trade onslaught, along with a desire to enlist Chinese power to contain the Soviet Union and end the war in Vietnam, prompted President Richard Nixon's journey to the People's Republic in 1972. In a remarkably nimble reversal of twenty years of cold war rhetoric, Nixon told Mao Zedong that the United States-Japan Security Treaty protected China from both Soviet and Japanese threats."
Altered States: The United States and Japan since the Occupation
Author: Michael Schaller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press
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