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The American Occupation of Japan-Perspectives after Three Decades
Robert A. Scalapino
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 428, The American Revolution Abroad (Nov., 1976), pp. 104-113
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1041877
Page Count: 10
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The occupation of Japan provided an unusual opportunity for the United States to influence the patterns of political life in a country that was defeated both psychologically and physically. Under the personal leadership of General Douglas MacArthur, punishment was dealt to "war criminals," thus reducing severely Japan's military establishment; a series of economic and political reforms were instituted, resulting in the constitution of 1947 which has not been amended since. With the rise of the People's Republic of China (1949), the Korean War (1950), and the end of the occupation in the early 1950s, the circumstances of the Cold War led to an alliance between Japan and the United States that stressed the importance of Japan's regional defensive strength rather than the demilitarized posture of the occupation years. The occupation was a signal success for its time and purpose. It is likely that Japan will maintain most of the political changes made by the constitution of 1947 and will continue its special strategic and economic relationship with the United States, while at the same time making accommodations with the PRC and other states in the world, with a stress on Asia.
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science © 1976 American Academy of Political and Social Science