Japan after World War II
Uploaded by SamSkillz on Dec 21, 2004
Japan after World War II
The occupation of Japan was, from the beginning to the end, an American operation. General Douglas MacArthur, sole supreme commander of the Allied Power was in charge of it. The Americans had insufficient men to make a military government of Japan possible; so they decided to act through the existing Japanese government. General Mac Arthur became, except in name, dictator of Japan. He imposed his will on Japan. Demilitarisation was speedily carried out, demobilisation of the former imperial forces was completed by early 1946.
Japan was extensively fire bombed during the second world war. The stench of sewer gas, rotting garbage, and the acrid smell of ashes and scorched debris pervaded the air. The Japanese people had to live in the damp, and cold of the concrete buildings, because they were the only ones left. Little remained of the vulnerable wooden frame, tile roof dwelling lived in by most Japanese. When the first signs of winter set in, the occupation forces immediately took over all the steam-heated buildings. The Japanese were out in the cold in the first post war winter fuel was very hard to find, a family was considered lucky if they had a small barely glowing charcoal brazier to huddle around. That next summer in random spots new ho uses were built, each house was standardised at 216 square feet, and required 2400 board feet of material in order to be built. A master plan for a modernistic city had been drafted, but it was cast aside because of the lack of time before the next winter. The thousands of people who lived in railroad stations and public parks needed housing. Some even lived in forests.
All the Japanese heard was democracy from the Americans. All they cared about was food. General MacAruther asked the government to send food, when they refused he sent another telegram that said, "Send me food, or send me bullets."
American troops were forbidden to eat local food, as to keep from cutting from cutting into the sparse local supply.
No food was brought in expressly for the Japanese during the first six months after the American presence there. Herbert Hoover, serving as chairman of a special presidential advisory committee, recommended minimum imports to Japan of 870,000 tons of food to be distributed in different urban areas. Fish, the source of so much of the protein in the...