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(Supreme Command of the Allied Powers)

The official name of the Allied (effectively US) command over Japan under General MacArthur. Following World War II, the SCAP accepted the Japanese cease-fire of 14 August 1945 and signed the instrument of surrender on board the battle-ship Missouri on 2 September. The SCAP then established itself in Tokyo and created a successful postwar order for Japan. At the heart of this was the drafting of the new, pacifist Japanese constitution. It organized the Tokyo Trials, but displayed tact in not persecuting Emperor Hirohito, insisting only that he renounce his status as a deity.

The army of some 5.5 million soldiers was demobilized, and military installations destroyed. In addition to these political and military matters, social reform included a land reform through the redistribution of land from large to small landholders. The SCAP was also faced with the task of repatriating some three million homecoming troops, and another three million civilians from colonies and occupied territories to Japan. As in Germany, the US administration became increasingly conciliatory towards the defeated power in the light of the Cold War. This was particularly the case in Japan, whose importance to the USA became clear in the Korean War. This led to the end of US occupation in 28 April 1952, after the Peace of San Francisco, at a time when Japan had already resumed its position as Asia's wealthiest country.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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