First Occupation of Japan in 2000 years

It began with the landing of the 187th RCT/11th Airborne Division – the first to set foot in Japan!  And Smitty was there!   This video was located and contributed by Pierre Lagacé.

Gen. MacArthur, 1946

 

Nippon Times article on MacArthur

 

 

 

 

Unlike Germany,  Japan retained a native government throughout the occupation.  Although MacArthur’s official staff history of the occupation referred to “the Eighth Army Military Government System”, it explained that while:   “In Germany, with the collapse of the Nazi regime, all government agencies disintegrated, or had to be purged”, the Japanese retained an “integrated, responsible government and it continued to function almost intact”:

In effect, there was no “military government” in Japan in the literal sense of the word. It was simply a SCAP (Supreme Commander, Allied Powers) superstructure over already existing government machinery, designed to observe and assist the Japanese along the new democratic channels of administration.

General Horace Robertson of Australia, head of BCOF, (British Commonwealth Occupation Force) wrote:

MacArthur at no time established in Japan what could be correctly described as Military government. He continued to use the Japanese government to control the country, but teams of military personnel, afterward replaced to quite a considerable extent by civilians, were placed throughout the Japanese prefectures as a check on the extent to which the prefectures were carrying out the directives issued by MacArthur’s headquarters or the orders from the central government.

USMC “barracks”


The really important duty of the so called Military government teams was, however, the supervision of the issue throughout Japan of the large quantities of food stuffs and medical stores being poured into the country from American sources. The teams also contained so-called experts on health, education, sanitation, agriculture and the like, to help the Japanese in adopting more up to date methods sponsored by SCAP’s headquarters.

The normal duties of a military government organization, the most important of which are law and order and a legal system, were never needed in Japan since the Japanese government’s normal legal system still functioned with regard to all Japanese nationals … The so-called military government in Japan was therefore neither military nor government.

USMC had their 10-in1 meals, 1946

The Japanese government’s de facto authority was strictly limited at first, however, and senior figures in the government such as the Prime Minister effectively served at the pleasure of the occupation authorities before the first post-war elections were held. Political parties had begun to revive almost immediately after the occupation began.

Left-wing organizations, such as the Japan Socialist Party and the Japan Communist Party, quickly reestablished themselves, as did various conservative parties. The old Seiyukai and Rikken Minseitocame back as, respectively, the Liberal Party (Nihon Jiyuto) and the Japan Progressive Party (Nihon Shimpoto).

Shigeru Yoshida

The first postwar elections were held in 1946 (women were given the franchise for the first time), and the Liberal Party’s vice president, Yoshida Shigeru (1878–1967), became Prime Minister. For the 1947 elections, anti-Yoshida forces left the Liberal Party and joined forces with the Progressive Party to establish the new Japan Democratic Party (Minshuto). This divisiveness in conservative ranks gave a plurality to the Japan Socialist Party, which was allowed to form a cabinet which lasted less than a year. Thereafter, the socialist party steadily declined in its electoral successes. After a short period of Democratic Party administration, Yoshida returned in late 1948 and continued to serve as prime minister until 1954. However, because of heart failure, Yoshida was replaced by Shinto in 1955.

In 1949, MacArthur made a sweeping change in the SCAP power structure that greatly increased the power of Japan’s native rulers, and the occupation began to draw to a close. The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, marked the end of the Allied occupation, and when it went into effect on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent state (with the exceptions of Okinawa, which remained under U.S. control until 1972, and Iwo Jima, which remained under US control until 1968). Even though some 31,000 U.S. military personnel remain in Japan today, they are there at the invitation of the Japanese government under the terms of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan(1960) and not as an occupying force.

Information documented in the Gutenberg project.

Just one year after a devastating war…..

 

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SHOUT OUT !!!

 

Help make a 104-year old veteran very happy this Valentine’s Day.  Thanks to fellow blogger, Pat, we have the scoop!!

https://equipsblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/14/reblog-104-year-old-usmc-vet-looking-for-valentines-day-cards/

 

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Samuel Ankney – Greensburg, PA; US Navy, WWII

Philip Blakeslee – Deland, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO, Signal Corps, 1st Infantry Division

Kenneth Corder – Dayton, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 674 Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Richard Hawthorne – Myrtle Beach, SC; US Navy, ETO, USS Savannah

William J. McCollum – Anderson, SC; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co. D/1/32/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Ian P. McLaughlin – Newport News, VA; US Army, Afghanistan, SSgt., 307/3/82nd Airborne Division, KIA

Joseph Peczkowski – South Bend, IN; US Army, WWII, Sgt.

John Pollard – Petrolia, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, Supply Sgt.

Austin Sicard Sr. – New Orleans, LA; US Army, Korea

Miguel A. Villalon – Joliet, IL; US Army, Afghanistan, Pfc, 307/3/82nd Airborne Division, KIA

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 16, 2020, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 125 Comments.

  1. Informative as always. As you understand one layer the urge to go and uncover the next layer become deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello GP Cox, I Thank You For Your Very Informative Blog And For Farewell Salutes, I Think You Are The Only One Who Do That..And It Is A Part Of Semper Fidelis As We Say Here Also In Switzerland.
    You Always Been There.
    Japan Islamic Occupation, Is Something Very Difficult, They Are There, They Grow And Convert. But This Nation Has Such Deep Roots, Way Of Being, That The Country Doesn’t Bent To Them Like In Europe, It Does tell Something Of Them And Something Of Us.

    The Reed Plant Bent All The Time, But No Wind Can Take It Away From Its Roots. They Have The Upminded / And We Opted For The Down-minded. Japan Is Certainly Not Perfect, Definitely Not A Ideal.
    Just This Impermeability I Somehow Admire. S.F.
    Wil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thank you very much for such wonderful compliments, Wil. I’m happy you enjoy coming here. I know from visiting your site that you are also a history buff. I hope we can get some people interested in history, the school systems are dropping the ball on that subject.
      Have a great weekend, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this informative post, and what a lovely idea I will post a Valentine’s Card to Bill ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, GP Cox, for educating me on this subject. I admire that Mc Arthur’s people helped the Japanese to make progress and build them up to self-government in the areas you describe and not like the Soviet Union who stole everything they could from Eastern Europe

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In that B&W footage, I would believe the side of the building showing the US 8th Army patch was near the Seiko watch store and PX. The Matsuzakawa department store where a shoe shiner was working still stands in the Ginza. And did I see jump boots??

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another very interesting and informative historical share. How nations become subdued is scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The population had no idea what was going on before and during the war, the military saw to that. So following what they Emperor wished wasn’t all that difficult. They didn’t trust our troops right away, but, for the majority, they didn’t resist.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That photo “Wishing you a happy ‘whatever doesn’t offend you’ ” had me laughing out loud, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another interesting and informative post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well written, GP and very informative. Also, I will be sending that Valentine’s Card. Have shared that blog posting with my Facebook friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great video. I had never thought of the US occupying Japan. My high school had a lot of Air Force families and many were stationed on Okinawa (pretty sure I spelled that wrong)

    Like

    • Your spelling is fine and yes, many stayed on Okinawa, not needed. The 5th Air Force, which had been so closely tied to the 11th Airborne Division during the war was stationed on Japan until 1950.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. How exciting that your dad was there to see the beginning of peace between nations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always thought so. I’ve always been a bit disappointed though that people so soon forget the 11th Airborne and how much they accomplished, even though the 187th RCT is still highly operational.

      Like

  12. Seems to have made really good sense to utilize the existing structure, G. _curt

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you again for very interesting information, GP! I think i have to know much more. You are my guide. 😉 The idea with the Valentine greeting cards, for the veteran is great. Will you tell me which date Valentine is in the USA? Here its on February, 14, but i think its different to your celebrations. I will send a postcard too. Psst: A good possibility researching for these cards, because in the past i found none, and had to send Pete only a few gimmicks from our village. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve always been fascinated and mystyfied how a nation that fought so intensely and viciously in the war could be so quickly and completely pacified immediatley afterward .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not only their culture, but I would think after so many years of war (they had been involved in war with Russia before that and then China), some of them had to be ready for a peace of any kind.

      Like

  15. It just shows what the Japanese could achieve when they put their minds to it.
    I do seriously wonder what effect on a county’s policies the female franchise has. Would the Japanese have done all the vile things they managed to, pre-1945, if several million women had had their power to exert? And what about the Germans pre-1939 if women had had a say? What would have happened if Hitler had been married to Eva Braun?

    “Adolf, get down off that bl**dy wooden box, go and fetch your brushes and start painting the kitchen. And when you’ve done that, you’ve got a double size garage door to do. Then and only then, can you have your mates round to camouflage that rusty old tank, ready to invade Poland.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • hahaha, I love it, John!! The Japanese women were and are a strong part of their population – too bad they didn’t know. Many of the Japanese soldier suicides were because they could not go home and face their family.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post. Off to buy a Valentine’s Day card.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. This was new (again), great video also.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So much info is always concentrated on the European part of the war, despite the fact that the Pacific was the supposed reason we got into the war in the first place, it was larger and lasted longer.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. I enjoyed both videos. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Interesting post. MacArthur certainly knew the mind of the Orientals having lived among them for so many years. He was right for the job and FDR knew it. I enjoy the video thoroughly.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. You can truly relate to this historical event, since your father was a part of it – how amazing is that!
    I didn’t know Japan had both a Socialist and a Communist party; it had not been mentioned in the USSR.
    Finally, I love today’s cartoons, GP!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Interesting. Thanks for the excellent post, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I think we could use a MacArthur here in the U.S. today, to help work out some of the military/civilian issues that are beginning to plague us. Once again, I’m reminded of how much I learned about post-war Europe, and how little I know of post-war Japan. Your posts certainly help to begin filling that gap. One truth about searching for information is that you don’t get very far if you don’t have a few terms and a little context to get you started!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The videos were terrific as was the entire post, GP. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. My general opinion of MacArthur is that his outsized ego made him insufferable BUT he handled the Allied occupation of Japan with aplomb and sensitivity. There is no question that he did a superb job as governor of post-war Japan. Kudos where they are due!
    Excellent post, GP!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Great post. My grandfather was there with McArthur. He liked to brag that his office was right next door. LOL. Not sure what he did, though. I know he played the trumpet in USO shows for the troops stationed there, but that was “extra” duty.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Such a very special one for you, GP

    Liked by 1 person

  27. There was a lot of wisdom in General McArthur’s treatment of occupied Japan. I would say that he paved the way of turning a former enemy into a friend of the USA.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. The interesting details in your posts, addition of videos and time-period images continue to educate me! Your commitment to true military history on your blog is always impressive. Happy New Year, GP!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Amazing how easily the transition to occupation was done and the infrastructure of civil society maintained in continuity. Very interesting post-war period.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks for the shout out, GP. Smitty was part of a historic event. Very cool! I wish we had someone today as astute about a country we are in as we were to have MacArthur in 1945.. Great post.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Education in my era was definitely “Euro-centric.” I read about the occupation of Germany, but this is the first I recall seeing about Japan. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The German Occupation is more commonly known because of the air lifts and of course we won it first and concentrated so much of our efforts there. (you can tell by how much they love us today, eh?) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. When you think of it, it was really an amazing timeline considering all the rebuilding and changes that had to be made.

    I love that first cartoon. Sadly, it’s so appropriate.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Very interesting and informative as always, GP.
    I enjoyed the video clips too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Thank you for your attention to this site, but please remember, as I’ve told you in the past, Your site will not allow me to click a Like button, nor allow my comments to be posted.

    Like

  1. Pingback: First Occupation of Japan in 2000 years — Pacific Paratrooper – Truth Troubles

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