Japan: 1945 conflicts and internal politics Essay

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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
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Because of horrible domestic shortages, exports did not begin to recover until the Korean War, when the United States armed forces created boom-like conditions in indigenous industries. By 1954 economic rehabilitation and recovery were in essence complete.
During the decade of the 1960s, the monetary value of exports grew at an average annual rate faster than the average rate of all noncommunist countries. This rapid productivity growth in manufacturing industries made Japanese products more competitive in world markets. With the fixed exchange rate for yen during the decade of 1960, the chronic deficits that the nation faced in the 1950s had disappeared by the middle of the 1970s.
The 1970s brought major changes for Japan's external relations. The decade began with the end of the fixed exchange rate for yen and with a strong rise in the value of yen under a new system of floating rates. Japan also faced higher bills for imports of energy and raw materials. These new exchange rates and the rise in raw material costs meant that the excesses of the decade's beginning were lost, and large trade deficits followed in the wake of the oil price shocks of 1973 and 1979. Expanding the country's exports remained a priority in the face of raw material supply shocks, and during the decade exports continued to expand at a high annual average rate.
Throughout the majority of the
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