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Post-Hiroshima democracy: How Japan developed civil society from the ground up?

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View of the cenotaph for the victims of the world's first atomic bombing at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan.

Anadolu Ajansi, August 2023

Japan remains the only nation in the world to have experienced the horrors of not one but two nuclear weapons used against populated cities. Yet it emerged from the ashes of the World War II to become one of the largest and more dynamic economies in the world and a strong ally to the US.

Perhaps more importantly for its citizens, Japan has become an advanced, industrialized democracy with regular elections and a free press. In fact, the Asian nation has recently ranked higher than the US on several measures of democratic institutions. Observers have regularly focused on Japan’s postwar economic “miracle,” but this trajectory from fascism and imperialism to a stable democratic nation raises other interesting questions, including how Japan avoided anti-American sentiment and also navigated strong economic development with transparency and after its defeat at the end of WWII.

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