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The Other Trans-Pacific Alliances


October 10, 1969 Beheiren antiwar demonstration in Tokyo / Photo courtesy of Thomas Plumb

In the October 2016 (Vol. 10, No. 2) of the journal The Sixties, three fellow historians / sociologists (historians of now) and I published four pieces on what we called the "other trans-Pacific alliances" between Japan and the United States in the long 1960s.


The articles originated in a panel at the Association for Asian Studies in Asia conference, held at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan in 2016. Their collective goal was is to offer fine-grained analyses of activist alliances that had formed within and against the official US-Japan political and military alliance in the 1960s. Together, they explore the sites at which people with different experiences and histories came into contact and forged shared critiques of the Cold War policies of the United States and Japan.


I elaborate on this framing and our shared themes in the "Introduction" to the Special Issue.


The collected articles are as follows:


Dustin Wright (Cal State Monterey Bay), "From Tokyo to Wounded Knee: Two afterlives of the Sunagawa Struggle"


Chelsea Szendi Schieder (Aoyama Gakuin University), "Tokyo 1969: Studying abroad, striking abroad"


Kei Takata (University of Duisburg-Essen), "Escaping through the networks of trust: the US deserter support network in the Japanese Global Sixties"


Naoko Koda (Kindai University), "Challenging the empires from within: the trans-Pacific anti-Vietnam War movement in Japan"


The image above was taken by Thomas Plumb, one of the UC students studying abroad in Tokyo in 1969. His story of both recognition and alienation as he grappled with his own personal response to a student strike then underway at International Christian University made me think a lot about what constituted global feelings of solidarity in what scholars are trying to understand as the "global 1960s."



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