Wednesday, September 4, 2019

American Post-War Occupation of Japan Essay -- Economics Economy Essay

American Post-War Occupation of Japan The intent of the United States’ occupation of Japan was to neutralize the threat of another war, to nourish the Japanese economy back to health, and to provide a stable democratic government for the defeated nation. With General Douglas MacArthur acting as the supreme commander in charge of the occupation, Japan changed drastically. Special attention was paid to the areas of military, economy, and government. The effects of the United States’ occupation of Japan were profound almost beyond reckoning, and have had enormous impacts on modern Japanese society as well as on almost every other society in the modern world and throughout the course of history. The original occupation plan, conceived by President Roosevelt, was to split Japan into four quadrants. The United States, Great Britain, the USSR, and China would have each controlled a section. Upon his death, however, President Roosevelt’s plan also died. In its stead was placed a new plan, which called for a one hundred percent American operation. America had insufficient manpower to make a military government of Japan possible; so, it was decided that they would act through the existing Japanese government. America’s top priority following the initial occupation in 1945 was the complete demilitarization of the Japanese imperial forces. This was actually the quickest phase of the occupation. Beginning immediately after the occupation, complete demilitarization was reported as being complete by October 15, 1945. In his report dated the same day, General MacArthur said the following: â€Å"Today the Japanese armed forces throughout Japan completed their demobilization and ceased to exist as such. These forces are now completely abolished. I know of no demobilization in history, either in war or peace, by our own or any other country, that has been accomplished so rapidly or so frictionlessly. Everything military, naval or air is forbidden to Japan† (Headquarters 1) The United States disarmed Japan to guarantee its war objective: That Japan never again become a threat to the United States. As one considers how this affected the state of affairs in postwar Asia, however, it could be viewed as a significant mistake. Due to the American fear of the spread of communism, Japan was allowed a limited standing force, beginning in 1953, for defending their homeland. In ... ...y went into effect in April 1952, officially terminating the United States occupation and restoring full independence, plus government and economic stability, to Japan. What is extraordinary in the occupation and its aftermath was the insignificance of the unpleasant compared to the huge social, economic, and political gains for Japan. The nobility of the American ideals and their non-violent presence assuaged much of the bitterness of the Japanese defeat, which gave the Americans room to promote peace and democracy. Consequently, the occupation served to firmly plant a substantial capital of good will, on which both America and Japan would both draw in years to come. Bibliography: Dower, John. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999 Schaller, Michael. The American Occupation of Japan. Oxford: Oxford U.P., 1985 General Headquarters. Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers and U.S. Army Forces. Pacific. Summary of the Month of October 1945. War Department Record Branch, A.G.O., The Adjutant general’s Office, 15 October 1945. Sheldon, Walt. The Honorable Conquerors. New York: The Macmillan Company., 1965

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