Japan: After World War II
The occupation of Japan was, from start to finish, an American operation.
General Douglans MacArthur, sole supreme commander of the Allied Power was
in charge. The Americans had insufficient men to make a military
government of Japan possible; so t hey decided to act through the existing
Japanese gobernment. General Mac Arthur became, except in name, dictator
of Japan. He imposed his will on Japan. Demilitarization was speedily
carried out, demobilization of the former imperial forces was complet ed by
Japan was extensively fire bomded during the second world war. The
stench of sewer gas, rotting garbage, and the acrid smell of ashes and
scorched debris pervaded the air. The Japanese people had to live in the
damp, and cold of the concrete buildings, because they were the only ones
left. Little remained of the vulnerable wooden frame, tile roof dwelling
lived in by most Japanese.
When the first signs of winter set in, the
occupation forces immediately took over all the steam-heated buildings. The
Japanese were out in the cold in the first post war winter fuel was very
hard to find, a family was considered lucky if they had a small barely
glowing charcoal brazier to huddle around. That next summer in random
spots new ho uses were built, each house was standardized at 216 square
feet, and required 2400 board feet of material in order to be built. A
master plan for a modernistic city had been drafted, but it was cast aside
because of the lack of time before the next winte r. The thousands of
people who lived in railroad stations and public parks needed housing.
All the Japanese heard was democracy from the Americans. All they cared
about was food. General MacAruther asked the government to send...