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Japan under MacArthur
On the day after V-J day (victory over Japan), President Truman appointed General Douglass MacArthur to supervise the occupation of Japan as a co-operation between the Japanese and the Allied powers. MacArthur’s leadership is quoted as being “evil genius” & “brilliantly managed”.
One strategy that MacArthur had was to end the financial business conglomerates by spreading out the education system and police. MacArthur also kept a tight handle on Japan’s media and did not allow the use of anti-American statements and controversial topics. He demanded a democratic constitution and internal reforms to move Japan forward as a nation. This was ironically accepted by the Japanese but resented by many in politicians in America as it showed the amount of power that MacArthur had. During a time when war crimes were handled so harshly & many times lead to execution, MacArthur decided that the only people that would be punished for war crimes, were those within the government or military. He thought this would help the Japanese people adapt to the change much easier. He cared to understand and knew about the Japanese culture which was the opposite of the country’s prior leader, Emperor Hirohito. MacArthur wanted the Japanese people to know was that he was only human. He was not god and did not want to act as if he were. In 1947, a new Constitution was put into place and Emperor Hirohito lost all political and military power and became only a symbol of the state. The new Constitution guaranteed human rights and Shinto and the state were separated.
To the Americans back in Washington, the Japanese were more acceptant to what was happening on their land under MacArthur’s leadership than they were. It was being call "reverse course" as the Americans thought that MacArthur would have overturned their entire government, instead he allowed the Japanese run but only under his rules. In 1952 with the peace treaty went into place, the...
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