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International Socialist Review Issue 29, May–June 2003

The occupation of Japan

by Ashley Smith

GEORGE W. BUSH has repeatedly portrayed the invasion of Iraq as an operation designed to liberate the country and establish democracy. Needing an example, Bush turned to the Second World War and trumpeted the U.S. occupation of Japan. At a speech before the American Enterprise Institute, Bush proclaimed that "after defeating enemies, we did not leave behind occupying armies, we left constitutions and parliaments."1 As with almost everything Bush says, this statement is only partially true. Bush and other administration officials have avoided making the comparisons between the occupation of Iraq and U.S. occupations of the Philippines, South Korea, South Vietnam, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where the U.S. left behind not "constitutions and parliaments," but brutal and dictatorial client regimes.

Moreover, while the U.S. may have left constitutions and parliaments in Japan, it occupied the country for seven years, reshaping by fiat every aspect of Japanese politics and life. America’s preeminent historian of Japan during the occupation, John Dower, writes,

[T]he occupation of the defeated nation began in August 1945 and ended in April 1952, six years and eight months later, almost twice as long as the war itself. In those years, Japan had no sovereignty and accordingly no diplomatic relations. No Japanese were allowed to travel abroad until the occupation was almost over; no major political, administrative or economic decisions were possible without the conqueror’s approval; no public criticism of the American regime was permissible, although in the end dissident voices were irrepressible.2

To this day, the U.S. maintains dozens of military bases in Okinawa, and Japan’s political system is dominated by a single ruling party–the one promoted by the U.S. during the occupation.

The U.S. occupation aimed to incorporate its former enemy as a subordinate partner in its Asian sphere of influence. It went through two main phases. In the first New Deal phase, the U.S. retained the emperor and the old civilian state bureaucracy, and introduced a series of bourgeois-democratic reforms from above aimed at demilitarizing Japan. When confronted with a near revolutionary rebellion inside Japan and a wave of communist and nationalist revolutions throughout Asia, the U.S. turned Japan into a military satellite for its wars and interventions across the region. In the second Cold War phase, the U.S. rebuilt the old order and severely curtailed what little democracy it had introduced in the first phase.

The scramble for Asia and war in the Pacific

The U.S. occupation of Japan is incomprehensible if disconnected from the "peaceful" competition in Asia that led up to the Second World War. From the 18th century on, Britain, France and Holland scrambled to build colonial empires in Asia. The treasure they all coveted was China’s vast material riches, a giant market and cheap labor. Two rising powers, the U.S. and Japan, raced to catch up with these early imperialists and carve out their own empires in Asia. The U.S. developed its "Open Door" policy to pry open Europe’s colonies for its corporations and deployed its military to kick in any closed doors. In the Spanish American War of 1898, the U.S. seized Puerto Rico and Cuba in the Caribbean and the Philippines and Guam in the Pacific. In the same year, the U.S. annexed Hawaii, which it would use along with the Philippines and Guam as a beachhead for controlling the Pacific.

Japan fought to establish its own network of colonies. It conquered the island of Okinawa in 1879, took over a section of Manchuria in 1894, defeated Russia in 1905 to secure control of the Sakhalin and Kurile Islands and occupied Korea in 1910. During the First World War, Japan sided with Britain, France, Russia and the U.S. in order to capture German islands in the Pacific and its trading posts in China. To enlarge its possessions, Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and the whole of China in 1937.

Japan and the U.S. were thrown headlong into competition and war to decide which capitalist power would rule China and the rest of Asia. The U.S. State Department worried that "Japanese superiority in the Far East would definitely mean the closing of the Open Door."3 In 1941, after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt imposed an economic embargo on Japan designed to provoke war, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and went on to seize Europe’s and America’s colonies in Asia and the Pacific. Japan called the new empire the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The U.S. sought control of the Pacific as part of its aim to emerge from the war as the world’s most powerful nation, both militarily and economically.4 As Secretary of State Cordell Hull stated, "leadership toward a new system of international relationships in trade and economic affairs will devolve largely upon the United States because of our great economic strength. We should assume leadership and the responsibility that goes with it, primarily for reasons of pure self-interest."5 American troops translated this imperial ambition into the popular song, "To be Specific, it’s Our Pacific."6

The obliteration of Japan

With vastly superior military and economic means, the U.S. conducted an all-out war of annihilation against the Japanese, justifying terrible atrocities by a campaign of racist dehumanization. Truman fumed in his diary that the Japanese were "savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic." He described his war strategy for confronting Japan bluntly: "when you deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast."

Carrying out a policy that had been planned before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, American planes firebombed the wood and paper cities of Japan. They burned Tokyo to the ground, killing 84,000 civilians in the firestorms that swept the city and driving millions more into the countryside to seek safety from the attacks. American firebombing cut the population of Tokyo by 5 million people from a pre-war high of 7 million to 2 million at its end. In all, the U.S. deliberately destroyed 40 percent of the urban centers of Japan.

But the firebombing pales in comparison to the U.S. decision to drop its atomic bomb on civilian targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The atomic bombs killed over 220,000 immediately and 120,000 more from the effects of radiation poisoning. Contrary to Truman’s claims, the U.S. did not drop these bombs to end the war quickly and to save American lives. The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey argued, "in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated." The U.S. dropped the bombs as a warning to Russia that the U.S. would run the postwar world in Europe and Asia. As historian Herbert Feis contends, the bomb was an "effective source of added authority to the American government in the settlement of matters at issue with the Soviet Union."

Along with American firebombs, the U.S. imposed an economic blockade on Japan, code-named "Operation Starvation." In short, the U.S. conducted a total war on Japan’s civilian population that paralleled Hitler’s eastern front policy of starving Slavic peoples. Out of a pre-war population of 74 million, the war killed 2.7 Japanese in total, and of those at least half a million were civilians. Those who survived lived at the edge of oblivion: an astonishing 30 percent of the population, about 22 million people, were made homeless; 123,510 children were orphaned and homeless; 13 million workers were unemployed; and 10 million lived on the brink of starvation.


This is what occupation looks like

After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the surrender of Japan, the U.S. proceeded to secure "Our Pacific." General Order Number One, issued by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in August 1941, instructed Japanese troops throughout Asia and the Pacific to surrender to designated American allies, the old colonial powers, and not to the nationalist resistance movements that had fought for liberation and independence from Japan. In Vietnam, the U.S. backed the return of French colonialism against the will of the vast majority of Vietnamese who supported Ho Chi Minh’s National Liberation Front. A Japanese executive captured what was happening in a conversation with an American official. He pointed to a map depicting the Co-Prosperity Sphere and said "[T]here it is. We tried. See what you can do with it."7

The U.S. assigned General Douglas MacArthur to oversee occupied Japan and designated him the Supreme Commander of Allies in the Pacific (SCAP). From his General Headquarters (GHQ) in Tokyo, MacArthur controlled SCAP, a massive bureaucracy of 6,000 people that dictated policy to the Japanese government. He commanded the occupying army of 430,000 soldiers to enforce his orders. MacArthur has gone down in mainstream history as an erratic but nevertheless heroic figure. He was nothing of the sort. MacArthur was a reactionary Republican who believed that the white man’s burden was needed to bring civilization, commerce and Christianity to Asia. He held his Japanese subjects in contempt, and he only spoke to a total of 16 Japanese people during his six-year rule.8 At the end of his reign, MacArthur summed up his attitude toward the Japanese: "If the Anglo-Saxon was say 45 years of age in his development, in the sciences, the arts, divinity, culture, the Germans were quite as mature. The Japanese, however, in spite of their antiquity measured by time, were in a very tuitionary [sic] condition. Measured by the standards of modern civilization, they would be like a boy of 12 as compared with our development of 45 years."9

Many historians have created a fairy tale about the initial stages of the U.S. occupation. Writing in the New York Times, Harvard professor Akira Iriye calls the troops "liberators" who "were different from the negative image. They were human: polite and well-behaved."10 The truth could not be more different. For the first several years of the occupation, the Japanese were devastated and starving. A memo from General MacArthur’s command stated that Japan "can only be considered a vast concentration camp under the control of the allies and foreclosed from all avenues to commerce and trade."11 The conditions of hunger and homelessness did not improve for years under the occupation. Millions of Japanese starved on food rations that "did not reach the level necessary to sustain a healthy life until 1949."12

MacArthur’s troops began the occupation by terrorizing the Japanese population. Japanese historian Takemae Eiji writes, "U.S. troops initially comported themselves like conquerors, especially in the early weeks and months of the occupation. Misbehavior ranged from blackmarketeering, petty theft, reckless driving and disorderly conduct to vandalism, assault, arson, murder and rape. Much of the violence was directed against women, the first attacks beginning within hours after the landing of advance units."13 In the Yokohama district alone, U.S. troops during the first week committed 487 armed robberies, 411 thefts, 9 rapes, 5 break-ins, 3 crimes of assault and battery and 16 other acts of lawlessness.14 In the Kanagawa prefecture, U.S. soldiers committed 1,336 rapes in the first ten weeks of the occupation.15 MacArthur and the Japanese authorities not only failed to punish the soldiers; they censored the stories about the crime wave in the Japanese press.

The American leadership quickly established itself in royal splendor. Officials took over the major buildings that were still left standing in Tokyo (an area which became known as "little America") and other cities. In 1948, SCAP built 17,000 new homes for U.S. bureaucrats and military brass while millions of Japanese were still homeless and suffering starvation.16 Outrageously, SCAP forced Japan to foot the bill for this construction project as well as the occupation as a whole. While Japanese were starving, American occupiers lived lavishly, shopping in special stores and employing Japanese servants. The Japanese government spent 30 percent of its annual budget paying the costs of their own occupation.17 The State Department’s George F. Kennan, who was never a friend of the poor, denounced SCAP as a parasite that displayed "monumental imperviousness to the suffering and difficulties of the" Japanese. The occupation "monopolized"…"everything that smacks of comfort or elegance or luxury" and he contrasted its "idleness and boredom" with the "struggles and problems of a defeated and ruined country."18

Adding insult to injury, SCAP instituted racial segregation in Japan. Takemae writes, "Facilities reserved for occupation troops carried large signs reading ‘Japanese Keep Out’ or ‘For allied Personnel Only,’ and in downtown Tokyo important buildings requisitioned for occupation use had separate entrances for Americans and Japanese. The effect of such policies was to create a subtle but distinct color bar between predominantly white conquerors and the conquered ‘Asiatic’ Japanese."19

Not only did the U.S. impose Jim Crow segregation, it also collaborated with the Japanese regime in oppressing the women of Japan. The Japanese regime set up the Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA) which hired 70,000 poor women to work as prostitutes to serve the U.S. troops. The RAA ran government brothels around the U.S. military bases for the first two years of the occupation. In 1947, SCAP ordered the RAA privatized, but the brothels still operated in government approved red light districts surrounding the U.S. bases through 1949.20

Preserving conservative Japan

Once in control of Japan, the U.S. aimed to remake its conquered enemy in line with American ambitions to dominate Asia. U.S. government experts who designed the occupation sought to figure out the roots of Japanese expansionism. They concluded that these lay in Japan’s supposedly feudal state, giant monopolies called zaibatsus and its underpaid labor force which could not purchase Japanese commodities. These features led Japan, in their view, to seek resources and markets outside the country. The experts proposed that if the occupation democratized, demilitarized and de-monopolized Japan the U.S. could curtail Japan’s expansionism.

The planners hoped that they could use New Deal measures as they had in the U.S. to co-opt any revolutionary upheaval by workers and peasants. Jon Halliday comments, "U.S. planners were well aware of the revolutionary dangers of defeat. World War I had released a torrent of revolutionary élan which had been only partially contained at Versailles and by military interventions across the Eurasian land mass from Munich to Vladivostok. Washington’s attitude…was conditioned by fear of the revolutionary potential of the Japanese masses."21 The Japanese ruling class heightened these fears among the Americans. Takemae argues that the Japanese elite "believed that the gravest danger to the throne came from three sources: the ‘military clique’ that had usurped power and which was said to harbor communistic leanings; the communist movement outside of Japan’s border; and a revolutionary conflagration inside the country kindled by an Allied victory. The United States, [they] believed, would offer Japan a general peace, keep the communists at bay and preserve…imperial rule."22 For all of these reasons, businessman and future Foreign Minister Fujiyama Aiichiro remembered "when it was learned that the occupying power would be the U.S….many industrialists uncorked their champagne bottles and toasted the coming of a new industrialists’ era."23

The reforms were elaborate. The so-called Peace Constitution established a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, banned Japan from building an offensive military and granted new civil rights and liberties, even extending suffrage to women. The constitution also granted unions the right to organize and collectively bargain. But the government reserved the right to disband unions deemed a threat to Japanese society24 and banned strikes in sectors deemed vital to the occupation.25 The U.S. also implemented extensive land reform in rural areas and created a mass of small farmers whose political outlook would be pro-capitalist. These farmers would provide the right wing with their electoral base for the next several decades.26

Though formally democratic, the new Japanese state acted under the supreme authority of MacArthur. The set-up resembled Russia under the Tsar who tolerated a parliament, the Duma, whose role was to rubber stamp the Tsar’s decisions. As Takemae argues, "MacArthur wrote memoranda to the government and personal letters to the prime minister virtually dictating policy. Through such private communication, the general ordered new general elections (February 1947), the execution of police reforms (September 1947), the denial to government workers of the right to strike (July 1948), the purge of the Communist Party Central Committee (June 1950) and the creation of the National Police Reserve (July 1950)."27

The SCAP rehabilitated Japan’s Emperor Hirohito to serve as the constitutional monarch. Hirohito, contrary to American myth-making, was not some figurehead during the war. Hirohito’s biographer, Herbert Bix, has shown that "from the very start of the Asia-Pacific war, the emperor was a major protagonist" of Japanese imperialism.28 MacArthur argued that with Hirohito "as figurehead our job will be easier"29 because he "is a symbol which unites all Japanese. Destroy him and the nation will disintegrate.…It is quite possible that a million troops would be required which would have to be maintained for an indefinite number of years."30 To save the emperor, MacArthur’s GHQ suppressed information about his involvement in the war and organized a nationwide tour for Hirohito to bolster his image and win Japanese support for occupation plans.

The U.S. also preserved the bureaucracy of the old state and used it to rule Japan. Historian John Dower writes that "the American proconsuls depended so heavily on an indigenous elite to implement their directives that, under SCAP aegis, the bureaucracy actually attained greater authority and influence than it had possessed even at the height of the mobilization for war."31 Another historian concludes that "by retaining intact two of pre-war Japan’s privileged elite, the imperial institutions and the bureaucracy, the Truman administration ensured that the formal democratization of Japan would take place within the conservative framework of the old regime."32

The U.S. supported a section of the old guard that had regrouped under Yoshida Shigeru. An elite bureaucrat from the old order, Yoshida had fully supported the Japanese empire but had opposed the Japanese war on the U.S. and advocated an early peace with the U.S. in order to "keep communists at bay and preserve the imperial state." One of the key figures in the occupation, U.S. General Whitney, told Yoshida’s group that "General MacArthur feels that this is the last opportunity for the conservative groups, considered by many to be reactionary, to remain in power; that this can only be done by a sharp swing to the left; and that if you accept this constitution you can be sure that the Supreme Commander will support your position."33 They soon accepted the superficial reforms that were in effect during every year of the occupation except one. Eventually, they formed the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and proceeded to dominate Japanese politics for the next 50 years with full U.S. backing.

The SCAP established the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) to screen and edit everything printed, broadcast or screened in the country during the occupation. The CCD enforced pre-publication censorship up through 1947 and post-publication censorship through the remaining years. In any one month, it censored "26,000 issues of newspapers, 3,800 news-agency publications, 23,000 radio scripts, 5,700 printed bulletins, 4,000 magazine issues, and 1,800 books and pamphlets."34 It censored discussions of everything from the existence of censorship itself to the war, the atomic bomb, the occupation, starvation and incitement to unrest. The CCD also spied on people in their personal lives. In its first four years, the CCD spot-checked 330 million pieces of personal mail and monitored 800,000 private phone calls.35 One film producer who suffered harassment by the CCD protested that the "American military clique is less democratic than the [wartime] Japanese were."36

The occupiers denied democratic rights to immigrant Koreans, other oppressed groups, and the whole island of Okinawa. The Japanese military had brought Korean men to work as virtual slave laborers and had forced Korean women to work as prostitutes, or "comfort women," for the Japanese military. The SCAP treated the Koreans as a source of instability and as agents of North Korean communism and disenfranchised them under the new constitution. In 1946, MacArthur complained that "the presence of a restless, uprooted Korean minority in Japan, disdainful of law and authority was"…a serious obstacle to the success of the occupation."37 MacArthur also did not extend rights or special compensation to the domestic oppressed populations either–the Buraku caste or the indigenous Ainu peoples–who continued to suffer systematic discrimination under U.S. rule.

In Okinawa, unlike the rest of Japan, the U.S. did not even implement formal democracy but instead ruled by direct military dictatorship. During the war, the U.S. had waged the last great battle of the Pacific in Okinawa. American bombers destroyed much of the island before American troops laid waste to its people over three months of furious conflict. The siege left 14,005 Americans dead and an incredible 234,000 Japanese soldiers and Okinawan civilians dead.38 The U.S. military dictatorship seized the best arable farmlands from landlords and peasants and constructed dozens of military bases. They herded 250,000 dispossessed Okinawans onto 40 refugee camps where they would languish for over a year.39 By 1946, 130,000 people were still without homes. The military refused to spend money to address their plight; U.S. General Crist told reporters that "we have no intention of playing Santa Claus for the residents of occupied territory."40 The U.S. dictatorship also withheld union rights and land reform from Okinawans, reforms it had implemented in the rest of the country.

The U.S. demilitarized Japan so that it would not challenge U.S. rule in Asia and the Pacific again. But the SCAP and the Japanese conservatives worded Article 9, which enshrined demilitarization in the constitution, in such a way as to leave wiggle room for Japan to build a new army later on. The Pentagon ordered General Charles A. Willoughby, who oversaw the intelligence section of the SCAP, to develop a plan for eventually rebuilding a Japanese army. Willoughby opposed the New Deal reforms and befriended and protected a set of militarists at the core of the old order. He considered these reactionaries the real allies of the occupation and denounced all the attacks on them as plots by leftist infiltrators inside GHQ.41 Willoughby actually had fascist sympathies; he had served as the U.S. liaison to Mussolini, praised the dictator for "reestablishing the traditional supremacy of the white race" in Ethiopia and went on to work as an adviser to the fascist dictator Francisco Franco in Spain after he retired from the U.S. military.42 Willoughby took pride in his nickname "Little Hitler" and MacArthur’s reference to him as "my lovable fascist."43 To prepare for the future remilitarization of Japan, Willoughby secretly kept lists of 70,000 soldiers and officers that he could call up for a new army.

Similarly, the U.S. practiced selective punishment of political leaders from the old order. The SCAP did purge 200,000 figures from public life for their involvement in the war, but most of these were military personnel and a layer of the political elite. However, they left the top layers of the corporations, government bureaucracy and media nearly untouched.44 The show trials were not much better. The government did not try the emperor. And, of course, the U.S. did not allow its own war crimes–the use of firebombs and atomic bombs against civilians–to be considered before the court. Finally, the U.S. spared many war criminals who they deemed useful for their purposes. For example, the Pentagon protected Unit 731, which had conducted chemical and biological tests on civilians in Manchuria, because the U.S. wanted to employ them and use their experiments to develop their own weapons of mass destruction.45

The U.S. economic plan to deconcentrate the Japanese monopolies and force the country to pay reparations to the victims of their empire was simply not implemented. The SCAP’s Pauley Plan proposed to de-industrialize Japanese capitalism, tear down its big industry and export-oriented economy and remake it to produce consumer and agricultural goods for its domestic market. In this way, they hoped to create a subordinate capitalism that did not challenge American heavy industry. However, SCAP’s allies, the Japanese old guard, outflanked the deconcentration plan by proposing their own voluntary and therefore toothless plan. This delayed any mandatory restructuring of the economy. American big business interests, which had comprised 80 percent of foreign capital invested in pre-war Japan, soon soured on the deconcentration plan because it cut into their own investment plans. In the end, only 11 out of the 325 giant monopolies were deconcentrated.46 The reparation proposal fared no better and Japan’s victims were never compensated.

Dower sums up the contradictory character of this first phase of occupation:

While the victors preached democracy, they ruled by fiat; while they espoused equality, they themselves constituted an inviolate privileged caste. Their reformist agenda rested on the assumption that, virtually without exception, Western culture and its values were superior to those of "the Orient." At the same time, almost every interaction between victor and vanquished was infused with intimations of white supremacism. For all its uniqueness of time, place and circumstance…the occupation was in this sense but a new manifestation of the old racial paternalism that historically accompanied the global expansion of the Western powers.47

This is what democracy looks like–_rebellion from below

The sudden collapse of the old order in Japan opened up the possibility for challenges from below, which were then unintentionally encouraged by the New Deal reforms of the occupiers. The U.S. had given the Japanese new formal rights but little aid, food, housing or increased wages and benefits to redress their horrible living conditions. Desperate and hungry, the Japanese people began to fight for food and better living standards, and to extend their rights. In 1946, workers and the oppressed revolted against the Japanese government and came into confrontation with the U.S. occupation itself.

The Japanese Communist Party lead much of the fightback. During the war, the Japanese state had cracked down on the party, jailing its leadership and banning its meetings. The occupation freed the communists along with other political prisoners. In 1945, they numbered only 1,000 members, but these activists immediately spearheaded much of the struggle that exploded throughout the country. As a result, they grew to an occupation peak of 84,000 members in 1949.48 They were, however, a thoroughly Stalinist party, which obeyed Russia’s instructions to cooperate with the occupation because Russia initially wanted peace and collaboration with the United States in the post-war world. So they welcomed the occupation as a "revolution from above," restricted their agitation to reform within Japanese capitalism and laid out an electoral road to socialism in Japan. They called themselves the "lovable Communist Party."

Limited as they were by this political perspective, the communists immediately launched a wide variety of initiatives. They, along with other forces, organized a May Day rally in 1946 to celebrate international workers’ solidarity. Over two million rallied in cities across Japan–a half-million in Tokyo alone. In front of a throng of protesters at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, one speaker received enthusiastic applause for shouting "Down with the Emperor!"49 Inspired by the enormity of this rally in Tokyo, over 50,000 marched to the prime minister’s house to demand food rations. The U.S. military intervened against this protest with armored vehicles mounted with machine guns to restore order.

Hunger was driving people into revolt. Even though millions were on the brink of starvation and survived on sawdust and bamboo shoots, the occupation and the Japanese government had organized only minimal food rations. Three weeks after the May Day protests, the communists and others called another march called Food May Day to demand food hoarded in the Imperial Palace’s grain stores, the resignation of the government, popular management of food distribution and workers’ control of production. In Tokyo, 250,000 people marched to the Imperial Palace to take hoarded grain and distribute it to the hungry. In response to Food May Day, the U.S. finally began to provide better rations in the fall of 1946.

The Communist Party also played a critical role in rebuilding the trade union movement. The economy was mired in crisis from 1945 until 1950 and workers bore the brunt of it: factories closed all over the country, millions suffered chronic unemployment and those who did work saw their wages depleted by rampant inflation. The trade union movement had been weak before and during the war, and many workers’ organizations had been company unions that collaborated with their employers. With the formal approval of the occupation and the new constitution, workers organized the biggest increase in unionization in Japanese history.50

In 1945, hardly any workers were in unions, but by 1949 over seven million workers had joined unions. Unionized workers by then made up more than 50 percent of the employed workforce.51 Unlike previous Japanese unions, these mounted serious struggles against Japan’s corporations–between 1947 and 1950 there were 6,000 disputes and 3,000 strikes that involved five million workers.52 The struggle peaked in 1946 when workers were in open class rebellion for control of production. Workers, intent on defending their jobs, took over their workplaces to prevent them from going out of business. They called these actions "production control." They seized control of everything from factories to newspapers and movie studios. Out of these struggles, workers built new labor federations to unite their movement–the communist-led Sanbetsu and the socialist-led Sodomei.

Oppressed groups also rose up against poverty and racist discrimination. Koreans protested throughout the country for democratic rights, Korean language in the schools and numerous other demands. They built their own organization, the League of Korean Residents in Japan, to agitate for change. The Buraku caste and Ainu people also joined in the fight for extension of democratic rights to redress the racist discrimination they suffered. In Okinawa, people protested the U.S. dictatorship, the robbery of their farmlands and for union rights as employees on the military bases.

The struggle of the workers and the oppressed reached a crescendo in late 1946 when the trade union federations called for a general strike on February 1, 1947. Japanese workers were in rebellion.

End of the old war: Start the Cold War

Confronted with this democratic uprising, the U.S. abandoned most of the reforms they had granted. The U.S. initiated what John Dower calls a soft Cold War policy from 1947 to 1949.53 They cancelled all the punitive attacks on the Japanese ruling class, whipped up anti-communism, repressed the labor movement and scapegoated the Koreans. Their goal was primarily defensive–to quell internal revolt.

Many historians have wrongly described this new phase of the occupation as a "reverse course." This argument fails to understand the overall strategy of the U.S. and the different tactics it deployed to accomplish its goals. The U.S. strategy before, during and after the war was to establish its imperial domination over Asia and reform a subordinate Japanese capitalism firmly under conservative control. The American rulers that committed genocide in Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not somehow discover democratic values in 1945 and then lose them again in 1947. A changing situation compelled them to adopt different measures to accomplish the same goal, and those measure after 1947 were the rollback of the democratic movement from below and strengthening of the old order to save Japan from Russia’s sphere of influence and from revolt.

While the workers’ revolt inside Japan grew, the United States and Russia (which had been allies during the Second World War) became locked in a Cold War for control of the world system. In this new bipolar order, each side developed a system of satellites to control their spheres of influence. Each power fought to prevent the other from intervening in their sphere of influence and suppressed any rebellion within their own sphere.

The U.S. officially commenced the Cold War in 1947 with the Truman Doctrine. The president declared that the U.S. would support regimes against the threat of communism from within their own countries and from Russia. Truman focused primarily on Europe where he backed the forces of the old order against rising movements for democracy in Greece and Turkey. He declared that "unless Russia is faced with an iron fist and strong language, another war is in the making."54 They called the strategy containment. In Asia, the U.S. had hoped to subordinate Japan in favor of developing China, but Chiang Kai-Shek and his nationalists were clearly losing their civil war with Mao’s communists. In the face of a deteriorating situation, the U.S. reoriented its occupation policy to save Japan from revolution within and begin to establish it as a bulwark against communism in the East.

After a diplomatic mission to Japan, the State Department’s George F. Kennan designed the new anti-communist policy for Japan. Kennan attacked all the punitive reforms that had weakened the old order–the purge, reparations and economic de-concentration. He argued that all these measures had given too much power to the trade unions and the left. He wrote,

we should cease to talk about vague and–for the Far East–unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.55

He contended that the occupation had to bolster the conservatives, monopolies and militarists in order to stabilize Japan and stop communism. Only these forces could restore Japan’s economic might and provide the U.S. with a new satellite to replace China. Another U.S. official put it crudely, "The men who were the most active in building up and running Japan’s war machine–militarily and industrially–were often the ablest and the most successful business leaders of that country, and their services would in many instances contribute to the economic recovery of Japan."56 Until these people had fully reestablished their control, Kennan warned, the U.S. should not grant Japan independence because communists might take it over.57 With this new soft Cold War policy, Michael Schaller writes, the U.S. embarked on the "reconstruction of a highly centralized, regionally predominant economy. Conservative political forces within Japan joined with their American sponsors to rebuild the nation in ways that bore an uncanny resemblance to the pre-war order."58

MacArthur moves against the workers’ movement

MacArthur and the SCAP ended the purges of the old militarists, halted the reparations and stopped the economic de-concentration program. But to completely restore the old guard to power, the U.S. had to smash the left, the trade unions and the Korean activist organizations. Key to this attack was what a British diplomat called a campaign of "hysterical anti-communism."59 MacArthur denounced all signs of protest or militancy as a communist plot that must be rooted out. With the justification that he was eradicating reds, he attacked the trade unions. He had already begun to denounce the wave of strikes and workplace occupations that had swept the country in 1946. He criticized the workers’ actions as "inimical to the objectives of the occupation."60 And he had denounced Food May Day as "a menace not only to orderly government, but to the basic purposes and security of the occupation itself."61

In 1947, MacArthur launched his offensive against the entire trade union movement. Workers had been preparing for a general strike on February 1 to shut down the country to demand food, job security, increased wages, and most dramatically, the resignation of the Yoshida government. MacArthur banned the strike and threatened that if the unions defied his order he would arrest union leaders and deploy the 8th Army against the strikers and jail its leaders. MacArthur explained to the union leaders "that an army is like a steamroller. You cannot control it delicately. Once you start driving the steamroller, everything in the way is going to be crushed. And they were likely to end up without a union movement."62 This was the turning point for the great labor upsurge after the war. Union leaders called off the strike. They were intimidated by MacArthur’s army and they also were strongly influenced the communists’ argument that the U.S. was an ally in the fight to reform Japanese capitalism. They were disastrously wrong and the trade union movement went on the defensive throughout the rest of the occupation.

Sensing his advantage, MacArthur escalated his assault on the unions. He announced his opposition to all production control actions and broke up several of them with troops. One official boasted that "labor relations are a question of law enforcement."63 For example, over 1,500 workers organized in the Japan Movie and Theatre Workers’ Guild had taken control of the Toho Motion Picture Studios to protest the voiding of their union contract and the firing of 1,000 unionists. MacArthur deployed aircraft, U.S. troops, armored cars, tanks and 2,000 helmeted cops armed with axes, scaling ladders and battering rams and prepared to evict the workers from the studio. Overwhelmed and unprepared, the workers left the studio peacefully.64

MacArthur attacked the right to form unions which had been enshrined in the constitution. He issued a new directive that denied nearly half the nation’s government workers of the right to strike and collectively bargain.65 Local authorities grabbed the opportunity to deny unions the right to meet. One union official said that it was more difficult to hold public meetings under the occupation than under General Hideki Tojo’s military dictatorship.66 The SCAP also developed a plan to undermine and destroy the union movement from within. They organized "Democratization Leagues" in the communist-led Sanbetsu union to attack the left and divide the workers’ movement. These leagues agitated against communists, radicalism in general and workers’ militancy. The U.S. used the leagues to set up a right-wing union federation, Sohyo, which it hoped would obey U.S. orders. Taking a lead from MacArthur, the private corporations organized the Japanese Federation of Employers’ Associations to smash their employees’ unions. This new organization pushed all its members to void union contracts and fire militant workers.

The Japanese state and MacArthur’s forces reserved some of the worst repression for Japan’s Korean minority. The SCAP instructed the Japanese government to pass the Alien Registration Ordinance, modeled on the American Smith Act, to register and fingerprint all Koreans in Japan. They were even issued pass books similar to those used by South Africans under apartheid to restrict Koreans’ right to travel inside the country.67 They took aim at the special schools which the SCAP had permitted Koreans for education in their own language. The schools were denounced as hotbeds of communist propaganda and closed down, and Korean students were ordered to enroll in Japanese schools.68 When Korean teachers, parents and students demonstrated and in some cases occupied their own schools to defend their rights, Japanese police attacked the protests and beat the activists. U.S. General Robert L. Eichelberger backed up the Japanese police. He declared a state of emergency in Kobe, threatened to forcefully deport the entire Korean population and ordered police to shoot to kill at a demonstration in which they murdered two Korean teenagers.69 Eichelberger then ordered the 8th Army to arrest nearly 2,000 protesters, placed the leadership of the League of Korean Residents of Japan on trial and eventually sentenced them to 10 to 15 years of hard labor.70 In the wake of this crackdown, SCAP issued orders for local governments to pass local safety ordinances that effectively banned Koreans’ right to assembly.71

The hard Cold War and Japanese McCarthyism

After these SCAP attacks on the democratic movements, MacArthur proclaimed that he had broken the "concentration of communist power."72 But he was actually just beginning to eradicate the democratic rights of the workers and oppressed. The U.S. decided to reorganize Japan as an economic and military base for offensive operations against Russia and the wave of nationalist rebellions throughout Asia. This new hard Cold War policy required them to bring back the old guard, rebuild the old monopolies’ economic power and construct a "new" Japanese military.

U.S. imperialism’s position in the region had continued to deteriorate. In China, Mao’s army was about to win their civil war against America’s ally Chiang Kai-Shek, and nationalist rebellions were sweeping the British colonies, French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies. General Omar Bradley told the New York Times that Japan "appeared to be not only the strongest bastion but just about the only tangible thing left of the fruits of victory in the Pacific."73 The U.S. was determined to reverse these developments. The State Department laid out its plans in the national Security Council Document #68 (NSC 68): The U.S. would massively increase defense spending, oppose communism in every part of the world and use Japan as their offensive base in Asia. MacArthur told reporters that the Pacific "was looked upon as the avenue of possible enemy approach. Now the Pacific has become an Anglo-Saxon lake and our line of defense runs through the chain of islands fringing the coast of Asia. It starts from the Philippines continues through the Ryuku Archipelago, which includes its broad main bastion, Okinawa."74

The U.S. needed to rebuild the Japanese economy to support this offensive operation in Asia. It assigned a Detroit banker, Joseph Dodge, to design and implement an economic austerity program to accomplish this task. The so-called Dodge Plan aimed to strengthen the monopolies, smash the unions and thereby cheapen domestic labor for industry focused on exporting commodities for Southeast Asia. With Japanese capitalism restored to its old ways, Dodge hoped to use it "as a springboard for America, and a country supplying material goods required for American aid to the Far East."75 Stating that Japan and the U.S. could no longer afford a "Santa Claus economy,"76 Dodge implemented his structural adjustment plan that cut government spending to ribbons and precipitated an economic depression. He fired 250,000 civil servants, 410,000 municipal employees and 95,000 workers from the militant railway workforce.77 Under cover of this American-led public sector assault, Japanese employers fired 430,000 workers. Toshiba, for example, closed two-thirds of its plants and fired half its workforce.78 Overall, the government and the monopolies cut wages by 15—20 percent. The impact on the trade unions was devastating: The radical Sanbetsu union–which had led the struggles of 1946–collapsed from a membership of 1.75 million to 321,000 almost overnight.79

The U.S. painted all resistance to this massive assault on the working class as a communist plot. In 1950, SCAP initiated the Red Purge, Japanese McCarthyism, to destroy the Communist Party and all radical opposition. All the laws that had been used by the occupation against the right-wing militarists were now turned against the left. MacArthur declared that the Japanese Communist Party’s days as a "constitutionally recognized political movement are over."80 He ordered the government to purge 24 leaders of the party from public life, suspended the editorial board of its newspaper, banned its publication for 30 days after the Korean War started and soon extended this ban indefinitely.81 He instructed the prime minister to fire 11,000 communists from government jobs. Eager to join the purge, Japanese bosses fired another 11,000 in the private sector.82 Not only the communists suffered persecution; all radicals did. MacArthur shut down 700 other radical papers and a total of 1,387 left publications in all.83

With the unions smashed and the Red Purge eliminating political opposition, the U.S. set about rearming Japan in open violation of the Peace Constitution it had imposed on the country. The U.S. military built more bases on Okinawa, turning the island into an armed camp, and convinced reluctant Japanese conservatives to build a new army. The conservatives feared that rearmament would incite domestic and regional opposition to their regime from forces that bitterly remembered Japan’s imperial rule and the disasters it brought. Nevertheless, they succumbed to American pressure and organized the so-called National Police Reserve of 75,000 on top of its police force of 120,000.84 The U.S. equipped the army with American uniforms and weaponry and even considered deploying them in the Korean War. General Eichelberger stated,

Dollar for dollar there is no cheaper fighting man in the world than the Japanese. He is already a veteran. His food is simple. His uniform can be manufactured in Japan…. This man, if armed, could defend his country from internal uprisings or in the last analysis his country from invasion…. Japanese soldiers would be a commander’s dream. They are the kind who stay on a ridge-top until they die.85

To head up this new force, the U.S. de-purged 32,000 ultra-rightists, many of whom joined the new military’s officer corps. In fact, half of the 400,000 who volunteered for the new army and 800 of the hired officer corps had served in Tojo’s military. 86 In 1970, 80 percent of the top officers in the Japanese army were from the old imperial army.87

The country, however, was mired in a depression. The Dodge Plan, instead of restoring Japanese capitalism’s vitality, had actually wrecked the economy. In 1951, the Korean War saved the country from complete collapse and triggered a vast economic expansion. The U.S. went to war in Korea to defend one of its puppet dictators, Synghman Rhee, and to contain communism. It followed the exact plan laid out in NSC 68. Truman increased the defense budget to record levels and waged a war that killed two million Koreans to defend its sphere of influence against communist China and Russia. The U.S. deployed its troops from its military bases in Japan and contracted Japanese monopolies to supply and service the war effort. These contracts generated a massive boom and restored growth to the economy for the first time since the end of the Second World War. The Korean War pumped $800 million a year into the Japanese economy bringing a total of $3 billion in contracts by the end of 1954.88 Prime Minister Yoshida called the war contracts a "gift of the gods" and Toyota’s president called them "Toyota’s salvation," but admitted he felt guilty that he "was rejoicing over another country’s war."89 Whatever qualms they had, the Japanese ruling class was overjoyed to collect profits as a satellite of America’s war machine.

America’s co-prosperity sphere and war in Asia

In 1951, Truman fired MacArthur, who had foolishly expanded the war in Korea to China, and replaced him with General Matthew Ridgeway to oversee the final year of the occupation. Ridgeway immediately de-purged 200,000 figures from the old order. Takemae writes that "Ridgeway threw open the doors to all purged career military officers commissioned after 1937. By October 1951, a total of 359,530 ex-military men, politicians and ultra-nationalists had been returned to public life."90 In the October 1952 elections to the lower house of the Japanese parliament an astonishing 40 percent of the newly elected representatives were de-purged figures. 91

Fearing that restoring the old order might encourage Japan’s imperial ambitions again, U.S. policy makers had to come up with mechanisms to enable Japan to become an economic power and at the same time restrict it to U.S. dictates. One American official argued that "if we really in the Western world could work out controls…fool-proof enough and cleverly enough exercised really to have power over what Japan imports in the way of oil and such other things as she has got to get from overseas, we could have veto power on what she does need in the military and industrial field."92 They quickly asserted these controls, especially on oil, which the U.S. still uses to blackmail Japan into obedience. The U.S. also prohibited Japan from trading with China until the 1970s.93 In exchange for these restrictions, the U.S. offered up Southeast Asia as an alternative source of raw materials and an export market for its products. Kennan told Congress, "You have a terrific problem of how the Japanese are going to get along unless they again reopen some sort of empire toward the south."94 Since the U.S. would control these countries, it could manage Japan’s economic expansion and keep it in line with U.S. interests.

U.S. officials openly joked that they were reconstructing Japan’s empire. One official declared that "we have got to get Japan back into, I am afraid, the old Co-Prosperity Sphere."95 The U.S. hoped to organize and control a triangular trade for its benefit between Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe. This put American imperialism on a collision course with Southeast Asia’s nationalist movements, which did not want the U.S. to re-impose Japanese corporate dominance. American Asia expert, John Davies, laid out the tasks:

Creating an apparatus which will enable us to employ our and Japan’s economy as an instrument of political warfare with respect to communist Asia; acquiring raw materials for U.S. strategic and economic requirements; developing economic stability and interdependence among the Western Pacific islands (including Japan), Malaya and Siam; encouraging the flow of raw materials from Southeast Asia to the [European] countries.96

Their plans for an American Co-Prosperity Sphere forced them into ceaseless war over the next two decades throughout Asia, especially in Vietnam. Noam Chomsky described their project: "to overcome the threat posed by Vietnamese nationalism, it was necessary to destroy the virus and inoculate the region against the disease. This result was achieved. Indochina was successfully destroyed, while the U.S. supported killers, torturers and tyrants in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea, providing crucial support when needed for slaughter on a massive scale."97 In Vietnam, the U.S. initially backed France to re-impose colonialism–after that failed it propped up a series of dictators in South Vietnam and finally intervened directly in the 1960s. In the process, the U.S. ravaged the whole of Southeast Asia, killing millions of civilians.

The American procurement contracts with Japanese monopolies during its wars in Asia allowed the Japanese economy to expand into the second largest in the world. Even before the Vietnam war exploded, U.S. military contracts secured between 1951 and 1960 pumped $5.5 billion into Japanese industry.98 Thus, instead of trade with the Southeast Asia, Japan oriented its booming economy on the U.S. military and eventually the U.S. home market. The U.S. allowed this economic growth as a means to keep Japan under its umbrella, even though it eventually challenged American economic supremacy in the world system.

Still the puppet master

In diplomatic terms, the U.S. brought its occupation of Japan to an end in 1952. The U.S., however, reduced it to a vassal state with no real independence. One official even referred to Japan as the "West Coast of United States."99 The U.S. maintained its massive military presence in Japan–paid in large part to this day by the Japanese–to project its power through Asia. It installed and backed a virtual one-party state and a bureaucracy that overruled the democratic aspirations of the Japanese people.

In some ways the occupation of Japan never ended. The U.S. imposed a Peace Treaty and Security Pact that allowed the U.S. to maintain exclusive rights to military bases. In clear violation of national sovereignty, the Security Pact guaranteed that American troops would have the right to put down any Japanese internal rebellion. Moreover, the U.S. and not Japan retained legal jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers in Japan.100 As part of the deal, the U.S. continued to rule Okinawa as a military colony until 1971. Even today, on an island the size of Los Angeles, the U.S. maintains 39 bases–on prime agricultural land"–with 27,000 troops. These troops regularly rape Okinawan women, harass the population in general and have provoked massive protests such as the 1995 march of 80,000 demanding justice for a raped 12-year-old girl.101 The U.S. "left" Japan in 1952, but maintained 260,000 troops inside the country.

The U.S. had destroyed even the shell of democracy in Japan by the time it granted the country independence. One historian ironically laments that "democracy came and went so quickly that the Japanese were soon debating whether they had ever had it."102 Its occupation policy had empowered the old reactionary bureaucracy to such an extent that it, not the elected government, really made all decisions in politics and economics. Moreover, they rigged the electoral system. The SCAP wiped out the opposing political forces–the Communist Party, the unions and Korean organizations. The "independent" Japanese regime only continued this repression. For example, during the first May Day after independence, which drew 400,000 demonstrators, the police opened fire on 6,000 workers who had broken away from the main demonstration to rally in People’s Plaza, killed two, injured 2,300 and arrested 1,000.103 The U.S. propped up and sustained the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party which remained in power for the second half of the 20th century. Historian Chalmers Johnson describes the "gray, single-party" regime that has ruled Japan as a "soft authoritarianism." He writes "the Liberal Democratic Party successfully prevented any alteration in political power and dutifully legitimated Japan’s status as a satellite of the United States. Unfortunately, it did little else, leaving the actual governance of the country to the state bureaucracy, ensuring that any impulses the citizenry might have toward self-government would atrophy. By the 1990s Japan was the world’s second-richest country, but with a government remarkably similar to that of the former East Germany."104

During the Cold War, the U.S. stood behind this soft authoritarian regime and manipulated it like a puppet master. Japan expert Patrick Smith argues that "Washington did in Japan what it did in many Third World countries during the Cold War: It covertly but actively supported the political elite it had restored in 1948. Then it invited the rest of the world to pretend along with Americans that Japan was a working democracy."105 The CIA financed the one-party state through the "M-Fund" which it created in part out of the loot from Japan’s former colonies. Amounting to $35 billion in 1960, the CIA used it to buy elections for the Liberal Democrats, disrupt opposition parties and even assassinate political activists. After 1960, it was turned over to the Liberal Democrats who continued to use it for the same purposes. Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Norbert Schlei writes that as a result of the U.S. and Japanese use of the M-Fund "Japan today retains a significant totalitarian quality in its political and economic life."106 Even with the M-Fund in Japanese hands, the CIA continued to act independently to manipulate Japanese politics and economics through the 1970s. During the 1960s, the CIA channeled from $2—10 million a year into the Liberal Democrats’ coffers and as the Vietnam War heated up, it spent $1 million a year on a campaign to bribe the media and politicians into supporting the unpopular war against democracy in Southeast Asia.107

The Liberal Democrats were only too happy to please their paymasters. For example, Liberal Democrats had to overrule the sentiments of the vast majority of Japanese to renew the Security Treaty. Because of their bitter memories of the Second World War, the Japanese people opposed U.S. imperialism’s desire to use their country as a fortress for war in Asia. Therefore, they agitated against the renewal of the Security Treaty in 1960 and the power of their protests had even begun to sway politicians. The U.S. orchestrated the 1958 election of Kishi Nobusuke to suppress the opposition and push the treaty through the parliament. Kishi was in fact a top war criminal who was jailed in the early years of the occupation. After a celebratory tour of the United States in which he threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium and graced the cover of Time, Kishi returned to Japan with his assignment–pass the Security Treaty. But he confronted opposition of hundreds of thousands in the streets and several members in parliament. So he ordered police to remove the dissenting representatives from parliament, railroaded the vote through and delivered the treaty to Washington. Japan erupted in protest, which Kishi’s government put down with the utmost brutality.108

The U.S. occupation of Japan secured U.S. dominance in Asia and the Pacific. Far from bringing Japan and the region liberation and democracy, the U.S. created a collection of reactionary regimes that served the American interests and suppressed the aspirations of workers and peasants. Eventually, with its vast economic expansion, Japan’s rulers have attempted to pursue their own ambitions in Asia and the world. Far from an encouraging sign, this augurs a new battle between the U.S., China and Japan for the redivision of Asia’s riches, laborers and markets. The alternative to this dismal prospect lies in the kind of movement of workers and oppressed that swept Asia at the end of the Second World War. Only such a movement against these capitalist states and for international socialism can free Asia from yet another round of imperialist war.


1 "Bush vows to rebuild Iraq if U.S. goes to war," CNN, online edition, March 1, 2003, available online at

2 John Dower, Embracing Defeat (New York: WW Norton and Company, 1999), p. 23.

3 Sidney Lens, The Forging of the American Empire (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1971), p. 307.

4 For a full argument about the U.S. aims in the Second World War, see Ashley Smith, "The good war?" International Socialist Review, issue 10, Winter 2000.

5 Quoted in Garbriel Kolko, The Politics of War (New York: Pantheon Books, 1968), p. 251.

6 John Dower, Japan in War and Peace (New York: New Press, 1993), p. 163.

7 Michael Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 22.

8 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 204.

9 Ibid., p. 550.

10 "Liberators and enemies can look a lot alike," New York Times, April 5, 2003.

11 Takemae Eiji, Inside GHQ, (New York: Continuum, 2002), p. 78.

12 Ibid., p. 79

13 Ibid, p. 165.

14 Ibid., p. 67.

15 Ibid.

16 Ibid., p. 126

17 Ibid.

18 Quoted in Schaller, p. 125.

19 Takemae, p. 75.

20 Ibid., p. 70.

21 Jon Halliday, A Political History of Japanese Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1975), p. 165.

22 Takemae, p. 220.

23 Halliday, p. 161.

24 Ibid., p. 311.

25 Ibid., p. 312.

26 Walter LaFeber, The Clash (New York: Norton and Company, 1997), p. 265.

27 Takemae, p. 114.

28 Herbert Bix, Hirohito (New York: Harper Collins, 2001), p. 520.

29 Takemae, p. 236.

30 Bix, p. 568.

31 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 213.

32 Quoted in Takemae, p. 473.

33 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 375.

34 Ibid., p. 407.

35 Ibid., p. 407.

36 Takemae, p. 390.

37 Ibid., p. 452.

38 Chalmers Johnson, Blowback (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000), p. 38.

39 Takemae ,p. 122

40 Ibid., p. 443.

41 Ibid., p. 162.

42 Ibid., p. 53.

43 Ibid., p. 161.

44 Halliday, p. 173.

45 Takemae, p. 255.

46 Ibid., p. 461.

47 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 211.

48 Japanese Policy Research Institute, Peter Borton, "The Japanese Communist Party and its transformations," Working Paper No. 67, May 2000, available online at

49 Quoted in Nigel Harris, "Japanese workers’ struggles after the Second World War," International Socialism 24, Summer 1984, p. 125.

50 Halliday, p. 206.

51 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 257.

52 Ibid., p. 257.

53 I borrow the periodization of the U.S. occupation of Japan from John Dower, Japan in War and Peace, see "Occupied Japan and the Cold War in Asia."

54 Quoted in Schaller, p. 62.

55 Takemae, p. 555.

56 Quoted in Schaller, p. 118.

57 Schaller, p. 84.

58 Schaller, p. 51.

59 Takemae, p. 462.

60 Schaller, p. 50.

61 Takemae, p. 316.

62 Ibid., p. 320.

63 Ibid., p. 467.

64 Ibid., pp. 465—66.

65 Schaller, p. 51.

66 Halliday, p. 216.

67 Ibid., p. 450.

68 Ibid., p. 463.

69 Ibid.

70 Ibid., p. 464.

71 Ibid.

72 Ibid., p. 467.

73 Dower, Japan in War and Peace, p. 183.

74 Takemae, p. 513.

75 Schaller, p. 146

76 Halliday, p. 189.

77 Takemae , p. 470.

78 Ibid., p. 470.

79 Ibid., p. 473.

80 Ibid., p. 482.

81 Ibid., p. 482.

82 Ibid., p. 482.

83 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 437.

84 Ibid., p. 487.

85 Halliday, p. 198.

86 Takemae, p. 488.

87 Halliday, p. 198.

88 Schaller, p. 288.

89 Ibid.

90 Takemae, p. 491.

91 Ibid., p. 491.

92 Halliday, p. 186.

93 Schaller, p. 291.

94 Halliday, p. 186.

95 Schaller, p. 179.

96 Ibid., p. 158.

97 Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy (New York: Hill and Wang, 1991), p. 52.

98 Dower, Japan in War and Peace, p. 193.

99 Dower, Embracing Defeat, p. 182.

100 Takemae, pp. 504—506.

101 Johnson, p. 34.

102 Patrick Smith, Japan: A Reinterpretation (New York: Vintage Books, 1998), p. 10.

103 Takemae, p. 495.

104 Johnson, p. 23.

105 Patrick Smith, p. 12.

106 Japanese Policy Research Institute, Norbert Schlei, " Japan’s ‘M-Fund’ Memorandum," January 7, 1991.

107 Takemae, p. 539.

108 Patrick Smith, pp. 21—24.

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