Discuss the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952. What effects did the purges have on political and business leadership in Japan and to what degree did this action have on the continuity or discontinuity between pre-war and post-war elites? What actions led SCAP to “reverse” its policies from around 1948? What were the aims and goals of the occupation forces?
The occupation of Japan began in August 1945 and ended in April 1952. General MacArthur was the first Supreme Commander. The entire operation was for the most part carried out by the United States. Japan in essence lost all the territory obtained after 1894. The remnants of Japan's war machine were gone, and war crime trials were held. Approximately 500 military officers committed suicide shortly after Japan surrendered, and hundreds more were executed for committing war crimes. The Emperor was not declared a war criminal.
A new constitution went into effect in 1947: The emperor lost all political and military power, and was solely the symbol of the state. Universal suffrage was introduced and human rights were now guaranteed. Japan was also forbidden to lead a war again or to maintain an army. MacArthur also intended to break up power concentrations by dissolving the zaibatsu and other large companies, and by decentralizing the education system and the police. In a land reform, concentrations in land ownership were removed.
During the first half of the occupation, Japan's media was subject to rigid censorship of any anti-American statements and controversial topics.
The co-operation between the Japanese and the Allied powers worked relatively well. Critics began to grow when the United States acted according to self-interests in the Cold War. The United States reintroduced the persecution of the communists, stationed even more troops in Japan, and wanted Japan to establish its own self defense force despite the anti-war article in the constitution. Many aspects of the occupation's so called "reverse course" were welcomed by conservative Japanese politicians. With the peace treaty that went into effect in 1952, the occupation ended.
Discuss the significant features of post-war Japan that has lead Japan to become on of the leading industrial nations of the world. Emphasize the economic activities of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
After the end of World War II, Japan's economy was a disaster, ...
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...opment priorities and scale down its commitments.
However, the signing of this arrangement mirrored the desire on both sides to advance relations. In April 1978, a disagreement involving the incursion of armed Chinese fishing boats into the waters off the Senkaku Islands, a collection of barren islets north of Taiwan and south of the Ryukyu Islands, flared up and endangered the developing momentum toward a continuation of peace treaty talks. Self-control on both sides led to an agreeable solution. Talks on the peace treaty were resumed in July, and an arrangement was reached in August on a compromise version of the antihegemony clause. The Treaty of Peace and Friendship was signed on August 12 and came into effect October 23, 1978.
Thus, common strategic concerns, as well as economic interests, held the two nations together. Until the late 1970s, China appeared more alarmed than Japan about the Soviet military buildup in Asia. But as the Soviet Union increasingly sought to impede strategic cooperation among Japan, the United States, and possibly China, in part by stepped-up intimidation of Japan, the Nakasone government became more concerned about the Soviet military buildup.
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