Four years after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese newspaper Asahi gazed out of the windows from their editorial offices and saw the charred remains of their enemy-occupied homeland and recognized that they'd made a fatal mistake:
"We once more refresh our horror at the colossal crime committed and are filled with a solemn sense of reflection and self-reproach..."
"On Tuesday, August 28 (Tokyo time), the Japs got their first taste of the ignominy of surrender... The occupation forces were ordered to go ashore much as they regularly did in amphibious operations - with full combat equipment and battle dress, across beaches and onto docks. No chances were to be taken."
The attached article is about the governance of
General Douglas MacArthur (1880 – 1964) over conquered Japan following the close of World War II and was written half way through the American occupation period by the well-respected American journalist George Creel (1876 - 1953). The article clarifies what regime change meant for post-war Japan and the roll that MacArthur's creed and character played in the process:
"Why democracy? Because MacArthur believes it and Christianity are the world's greatest ideas and ideals...On October 4, 1945 [MacArthur] took the bold step of proclaiming a civil-liberties bill that ended totalitarianism, giving Japan the right of free speech, free press, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly."
Click here to read about the 1918 portrait of General MacArthur painted by Joseph Cummings Chase.
As the American occupation forces began to pour in and spread throughout the cities and countryside of Japan, both occupied and occupier slowly get to learn of the other. The cordial attitude of the Japanese leads General MacArthur to conclude that the military presence need not be as large as he had once believed:
"Curious and awed, increasingly friendly Japanese flocked to watch what they called the 'race of giants' at work."
"The big question for the United States is how long American troops are to occupy Japan. The Potsdam Declaration says that the occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as the objectives outlined are accomplished and 'there has been established in accordance with the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.'"
"U.S. officials appear to be thinking in terms of an occupation of only 5 or 10 years. Japanese officials, however, in looking ahead to a resurgence of Japanese power, appear to be thinking in terms of 50 to 100 years."
Read about the German POWs who were schooled in virtues of democracy.
•Fascinating Color Footage of Japan During the War Years: 1937 - 1945•