US Intervention in Japan after World War 2

This is aimed to help students who are studying the cold war, this explains the US's intervention in Japan it is rather brief!

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  • Created on: 29-04-12 18:23
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Japan Revision (Quick List)
Leaders of Japan ­ Emperor Hirohito (Seen as US puppet ruler) and Shigeru Yoshida (22 May
1964 to 10th December 1954)
Leader of US intervention in Japan ­ General Douglas MacArthur
What the USA wanted to do with Japan originally;
1. Make Japan a satellite of the US.
2. Disarm Japan so they were not a threat.
3. Help Japan's economy, so they would remain peaceful
4. Make Japan capitalist so Japan would be seen as a model state
The USA's 4 main stages in Japan;
1. Stage 1 (1945) ­ Punish and reform (Remove Japan's military forces and introduce
2. Stage 2 (1947) ­ `Soft' Cold War Policy (Make Japan strong to ensure that it doesn't
fall into the Soviet's sphere of influence)
3. Stage 3 (1949) ­ `Hard' Cold War Policy (An active role for Japan in the US
containment policy)
4. Stage 4 (1951) ­ `Integrated' Cold War Policy (When treaties recognised Japan as
the centre of the US defence strategy)
Stage 1
At this time the US had feelings of fear and hatred towards Japan because of horrific stories of
torture and mistreatment to US prisoners of war, however because of the UN's emphasis on human
rights MacArthur adopted a cautious policy of punishing war criminals which took place between May
1946 to November 1948 and the US agreed to not put Emperor Hirohito on trial for war crimes.
MacArthur ordered the demilitarisation of the Japanese army, which lead to destruction of weapons
and also to former military leaders being excluded from leading political roles in the new
This stage also lead to the new democratic constitution coming into effect in 1947; this constitution
meant that political parties (including the communists) were allowed to exist and political prisoners
were released, women gained equal rights (even more equally than US women had) and Emperor
Hirohito was removed from politics to become a patriotic symbol of Japan.
Stage 2
In 1947, the chairman of Chrysler and a group of American business men ended Zaibatsu privileges
and helped set up a Japanese car industry. In 1949 the US Congress authorised $500 million per year
in aid to Japan, to allow the purchase of raw materials, foodstuffs and other essentials which were
crucial to Japan's economic growth.
Stage 3
In 1949 there was a red scare in the USA, and Communism political parties were on the rise in
Japanese politics, with lots of industrial strikes in early 1949 consequently the US state department
increased its control on Japan they made it illegal for Government workers to strike, and the US
started arresting communist trade union revolutionists.

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Stage 4
When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Japanese rearmament became essential, this actually lead
to a boost for the Japanese economy because it meant that the US was buying military supplies from
Japan. This also led to the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty on September 8th 1951.
Some of the terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty;
Full sovereignty for Japan.
Reparations by negotiations.
US occupational forces to withdraw no later than 90 days after the treaty.…read more


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