Portraying predestined partners?: German-Japanese mutal press depictions, 1919-1933 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Law, Ricky W.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • Traditionally scholars tried to explain the formation of the Berlin-Tokyo Axis using structural factors derived from the totalitarian, Marxist and latecomer theories. While these frameworks pinpoint the similarities between Japan and Germany, they do not shed light on the timing of the alliance and downplayed potential obstacles such as Nazi racism against non-Aryans, Japanese nationalistic anti-Western rhetoric, and the two countries' conflicting economic interests. In view of the shortcomings of the previous approaches, this essay examines interwar Japanese and German newspapers to gauge how the two countries portrayed each other. Evidence strongly indicates that while Germany and Japan exhibited interests in the other's culture, society and economy, they did not depict each other as a predestined ally but merely saw it as one nation among many and even frequently attacked its policies. These findings suggest that contingent, not structural, causes led to Japanese-German rapprochement.
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  • Browning, Christopher R.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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