Essay on American Post-War Occupation of Japan

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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
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And if it was right in 1946 and wrong in 1953, why doesn’t the United States admit for once that it made a mistake? And I’m going to say something that I think perhaps ought to be done more by people in public life. I’m going to admit right here that the United States did make a mistake in 1946. We made a mistake because we misjudged the intention of the Soviet leaders.” (Walt 168)

Although the United States did well in eliminating any future threats from Japan, it was realized later on that Japan was left in the midst of a violent wave of communism with no means of defense but for the United States which did not wish for a direct war on the Soviets, who backed all communist countries.

After disarmament was complete, MacArthur’s next task was to see that Japan adopted a new, and democratic, constitution. When the Japanese government proved too confused or too reluctant to write a constitutional reform that satisfied MacArthur, he had his own staff draft a new constitution in February of 1946. This, with only minor changes made to please the conservative groups in Japan, was then adopted by the Japanese government in the form of an imperial amendment to the 1889 constitution. Japan’s new democracy went into effect on May 3, 1947. The new constitution was a perfection of the British parliamentary form of government that the Japanese had been moving toward in the 1920’s. Supreme political power was assigned to
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