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Description - Origins of the Pacific War and the Importance of Magic by Keiichiro Komatsu

'Magic' was the name given to the American decoding of the secret Japanese codes used in diplomatic communications before and during the Pacific War of 1941-45. This important new work, presenting a Japanese perspective, argues for the first time that in the final phase of the eight months of US-Japan talks leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor, serious mistranslations in Magic were a significant factor in the cumulative effect of mutual misunderstandings which grew between the two sides over a longer period. In spite of the number of historians who take the opposite point of view, the author argues that the efforts made by the participants on both sides to achieve a successful outcome and avert military conflict, or at least delay the outbreak of the war until the following March (1942), might have been much closer to achieving success than generally believed. The mistranslations of Magic which led to the crisis in 1941 were influenced by misunderstanding and misperception, and the persistence of stereotypes and 'images' among the parties involved. The study of these kinds of phenomena has been an important part of the growth of the discipline of international relations since the Second World War.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781873410660
ISBN-10: 1873410662
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 28mm)
Pages: 508
Imprint: Japan Library
Publisher: Curzon Press Ltd
Publish Date: 19-Aug-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Keiichiro Komatsu

Keiichiro Komatsu was born in Tokyo but spent his early years in Germany at the local kindergarten, before returning to Japan to enter primary school at which point he began learning Japanese and went on to complete his education. Subsequently he spent ten years working for a Japanese financial institution in Tokyo and then New York dealing with small and medium-sized enterprises. This was followed by research work at the University of Oxford where he was granted a D.Phil in International Relations. He has since returned to the business world specialising in the field of international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI), currently based in London. He is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affiars, Chatham House, London.