The Allied occupation of Japan after World War II. After Japan's unconditional surrender on 2 September 1945, it came under the control of the Allied forces of occupation led by General Douglas MacArthur in his capacity as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP). Although technically backed by an 11‐nation Far Eastern Commission and a Four‐Power Council (Britain, China, USA, and the Soviet Union), the military occupation was entirely dominated by the USA, with policy remaining in the hands of MacArthur and, after his removal in April 1951, of his successor General Matthew Ridgway. US occupation policy had two main goals, the demilitarization of Japan and the establishment of democratic institutions and ideals. The first objective was achieved through the complete demobilization of the army and navy and the destruction of their installations, backed up by the peace clause of the new Japanese Constitution. The second was much more difficult, and although the new Constitution was in operation before the occupation was formally terminated in 1952, the real impact of US‐inspired reforms on Japanese socio‐political institutions has been questioned. Although a few zaibatsu were dissolved, most survived. At the same time close links with the USA resulted in rapid economic recovery and expansion.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence — World History.