Published Date

June 1, 1945

Resource Type

GI Roundtable Series, Primary Source

By Kenneth Colegrove
Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University

Rewritten by Richard Hart
Assistant Librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore

(Published June 1945)


Table of Contents


Why Did Japan Choose War?

Did Japan Have to Go to War for Economic Reasons?

Could the United States Have Avoided a Showdown?

What Should We Do When Japan Has Been Defeated?

How Can We Keep the Japanese from Future Aggression?

Should Japan Pay Damages?

Can Japan Pay Damages?

Can We Find a Punishment That Fits the Crimes?

Shall We Destroy Japanese Trade and Industry?

What Sort of Government for Postwar Japan?

Can Japan Get in Step with a Peaceable World?

To the Discussion Leader

Suggestions for Further Reading


On December 8, 1941, America straightened up after Japan’s blow below the belt, full of the anger a fighter feels when he has been badly hurt and knows that his own overconfidence was partly to blame. Out of those bitter early days of the war, ending in the surrender of Corregidor, came one lesson that millions of Americans will not have to learn a second time. We know now that wars do not begin all at once on a quiet Sunday—that it takes years to make a war and that we had ample opportunity to watch this one in the making.