Japan’s streets of rage: The 1960 US-Japan security treaty uprising and the origins of contemporary Japan

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This excerpt from the author’s recent book Japan at the Crossroads: Conflict and Compromise after Anpo (Harvard University Press, 2018) describes the dramatic climax of the massive 1960 protests in Japan against the US-Japan Security Treaty (abbreviated Anpo in Japanese), which is the treaty that continues to allow the United States to station troops on Japanese soil to this day. Events described include the May 19th incident, in which Japanese prime minister Kishi Nobusuke shocked the nation by ramming the treaty through the National Diet after having opposition lawmakers physically removed by police; the Hagerty Incident of June 10, in which a car carrying US envoys was mobbed by protesters, necessitating a dramatic rescue by a US Marines helicopter; and the June 15 incident, in which radical student activists forced their way into the National Diet compound, precipitating a bloody battle with police during which a young female university student was killed. Shock at these events accelerated a variety of transformations in US-Japan relations and Japanese politics, society, and culture that continue to shape contemporary Japan and which are described in detail in the book excerpted here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5403
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 25 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History
  • Cultural Studies


  • Anpo
  • Hagerty Incident
  • Kanba Michiko
  • Kishi Nobusuke
  • US-Japan Security Treaty


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