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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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Occupation – Sub Clean-up

In a dry-dock at Kure Naval Base, Japan, 19 October 1945. There are at least four different types of midget submarines in this group of about eighty-four boats, though the great majority are of the standard “Koryu” type. The two boats at right in the second row appear to have an enlarged conning tower and shortened hull superstructure. The two boats at left in that row are of the earlier Type A or Type C design, as are a few others further back in the group

By definition, a midget submarine is less than 150 tons, has a crew of no more than eight, has no on-board living accommodation, and operates in conjunction with a mother ship to provide the living accommodations and other support. The Japanese Navy built at least 800 midgets in 7 classes, but only a fraction had any noticeable impact on the war. Their intended purpose initially was to be deployed in front of enemy fleets, but their actual use would be in harbor attacks and coastal defense.

The Japanese midget subs were not named but were numbered with “Ha” numbers (e.g., Ha-19). These numbers were not displayed on the exterior and operationally the midgets were referred to according to the numbers of their mother ships. Thus, when I-24 launched Ha-19, the midget was known as “I-24tou” (designated “M24” in some texts). The “Ha” numbers were not unique either; some Type D’s were numbered Ha-101 through Ha-109.

US officials overlooking captured Japanese submarines in Kure, Japan.

In mid-1944, with coastal defense requirements becoming urgent, the Japanese Navy developed the Koryu Tei Gata Type D. More than just another improved version of the Type A, this was a new design. They were the largest of Japan’s midgets, displacing about 60 tons, 86 feet (26 meters) in length, with a five-man crew, featuring a more powerful diesel engine, and had improved operating endurance. Koryu’s armament consisted of two muzzle-loaded 17.7-inch torpedoes. As with the earlier types, individual boats had alpha-numeric names in the “Ha” series beginning with Ha-101.

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Some 115 units had been completed when Japan capitulated in August 1945. At the end of the war, Allied Occupation forces found hundreds of midget submarines built and building in Japan, including large numbers of the “Koryu” type; nearly 500 more were under construction. Some of these submarines intended for training pilots for Kaiten type manned torpedoes, had an enlarged conning tower and two periscopes.

Kaiten aboard surface vessel

Kaiten submarines were designed to be launched from the deck of a submarine or surface ship, or from coastal installations as a coastal defence weapon. The cruiser, IJN Kitakami, was equipped to launch Kaiten and took part in sea launch trials of Type 1s. In addition, several destroyers of the Matsu class were also adapted to launch the weapon.
In practice, only the Type 1 craft, using the submarine delivery method, were ever used in combat. Specially equipped submarines carried two to six Kaiten, depending on their class.

Partially from: Rare Historical Photos.com

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

William Adams – Jena, LA; US Air Force, Vietnam, 101st Airborne Division, Col. (Ret. 22 y.)

Gordon Bashaw (100) – Gardner, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Bronze Star

Thomas Carney – Cleveland, OH; US Army, Vietnam, Lt. General (Ret.)

Joseph Giles – Louisville, KY; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Charles Hickman (101) – Leola, SD; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

James Loveall – Rockville, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. C/ 188/11th Airborne Division

Marshall Minton – Kouts, IN; US Army, WWII, ETO, Sgt., 44/157th Field Artillery

Weston Norman – TX; US Army, WWII, PTO

James Shanahan Jr. – Cedar Rapids, MI; US Navy, WWII, Pearl Harbor, KIA

Albert Zieg – Portland, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII

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Feeding and Occupying Japan

MacArthur’s first priority was to set up a food distribution network; following the collapse of the ruling government and the wholesale destruction of most major cities, virtually everyone was starving. Even with these measures, millions of people were still on the brink of starvation for several years after the surrender.  As expressed by Kawai Kazuo, “Democracy cannot be taught to a starving people”.  The US government encouraged democratic reform in Japan, and while it sent billions of dollars in food aid, this was dwarfed by the occupation costs it imposed on the struggling Japanese administration.

Initially, the US government provided emergency food relief through Government and Relief in Occupied Areas  (GARIOA) funds. In fiscal year 1946, this aid amounted to US $92 million in loans. From April 1946, in the guise Licensed Agencies for Relief,  private relief organizations were also permitted to provide relief.

MacArthur and Hirohito, first meeting

Once the food network was in place MacArthur set out to win the support of Hirohito. The two men met for the first time on September 27; the photograph of the two together is one of the most famous in Japanese history. Some were shocked that MacArthur wore his standard duty uniform with no tie instead of his dress uniform when meeting the emperor. With the sanction of Japan’s reigning monarch, MacArthur had the political ammunition he needed to begin the real work of the occupation.

While other Allied political and military leaders pushed for Hirohito to be tried as a war criminal, MacArthur resisted such calls, arguing that any such prosecution would be overwhelmingly unpopular with the Japanese people. He also rejected the claims of members of the imperial family such as Prince Mikasa and Prince Higashikuni and demands of intellectuals like Tatsuji Miyoshi, who sought the emperor’s abdication.

By the end of 1945, more than 350,000 U.S. personnel were stationed throughout Japan. By the beginning of 1946, replacement troops began to arrive in the country in large numbers and were assigned to MacArthur’s  8th Army, headquartered in Tokyo’s Dai-Ichi building.

Of the main Japanese islands, Kyushu was occupied by the 24th Infantry Division, with some responsibility for Shikoku.  Honshu was occupied by the 1st Calvary Division.  Hokkaido was occupied by the 11th Airborne Division.

By June 1950, all these army units had suffered extensive troop reductions and their combat effectiveness was seriously weakened. When North Korea invaded South Korea in the Korean War, elements of the 24th Division were flown into South Korea to try to fight the invasion force there, but the inexperienced occupation troops, while acquitting themselves well when suddenly thrown into combat almost overnight, suffered heavy casualties and were forced into retreat until other Japan occupation troops could be sent to assist.

Groups involved and running parallel to SCAP (MacArthur),

two women in Sasebo, Japan, Sept-Oct. 1945

The official British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF), composed of  Australian,  British, Indian, and New Zealand personnel, was deployed on February 21, 1946.  While U.S. forces were responsible for the overall occupation, BCOF was responsible for supervising demilitarization and the disposal of Japan’s war industries.  BCOF was also responsible for occupation of several western prefectures and had its headquarters at Kure.  At its peak, the force numbered about 40,000 personnel. During 1947, BCOF began to decrease its activities in Japan, and officially wound up in 1951.

The Far Eastern Commission and Allied Council for Japan were also established to supervise the occupation of Japan.  The establishment of a multilateral Allied council for Japan was proposed by the Soviet government as early as September 1945, and was supported partially by the British, French and Chinese governments.

Click on images to enlarge,

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Personal Shoutout – Hurricane Dorian appears to have his eyes on hitting here.  So, if I suddenly disappear, please understand that I might be out of power.

Thank you for understanding.

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jeffrey Aylward – Plymouth, MA; 176th Ordnance/82nd Airborne Division

Harold Bakken – Kent, WA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, SeaBee

Robert Coleman – Nashua, NH; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Robert Fraley – Flora, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. B/187/11th Airborne Division

John Isbell – Birmingham, AL; US Navy, WWII

Jerry Koerner – Paducah, KY; US Army, Vietnam

Leslie May – NZ; RNZ Navy # MX117905, WWII, ETO

Thomas Rice – Columbia, SC; US Army, WWII, ETO, Sgt.

Robert Steiner – St. Paul, MN; US Army, 81mm gunner, 86th Infantry Division

Timothy Woos – Salem, VA; US Army, SSgt., 2nd Infantry Division

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