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The Occupation of Japan and Douglas MacArthur

The Occupation of Japan and Douglas MacArthur

The occupation of Japan was, from start to finish, an American operation. General Douglas MacArthur, sole supreme commander of the Allied Power was in charge. The Americans had insufficient men to make a military government of Japan possible; so t hey decided to act through the existing Japanese gobernment. General Mac Arthur became, except in name, dictator of Japan. He imposed his will on Japan. Demilitarization was speedily carried out, demobilization of the former imperial forces was complet ed 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 col d 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 s team-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 standardized 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 winte r. The thousands of people who lived in railroad stations and public parks needed housing.

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 refus ed 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 was brought in expressly for the Japanese durning 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. Fi sh, the source of so much of the protein in the Japanese diet, were...

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