Planning for Empire: Reform Bureaucrats and the Japanese Wartime State is not just a welcome, more detailed addition to the few English-language studies of an important group of wartime civilian planners. It presents a broader perspective on their goals, revealing their impact beyond the wartime period. Impeded by the pre-1945 political framework and the resistance of their influential opponents, these officials were better able in the years following Japan's defeat to advance their vision of a new state and society dominated by middle-class professionals possessing technical or scientific expertise.

Charting the development of technocratic rule in Japan through an examination of the political alliances, policies, and ideologies of the so-called reform or renovationist bureaucrats (kakushin kanryō), Janis Mimura thus proposes that “the main political faultline in wartime Japan was not between militarists and peace-loving civilians, but between advocates of technocratic reform...

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