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World War Two - Post-War Japan

First Election Planned for Post-Fascist Japan (Philadelphia Record, 1945)

"The Japanese Cabinet decided yesterday a general election will be held January 20 to 31 [1946], and the Tokyo newspaper Yomuri Hochi urged 'spontaneous and vigorous action' toward forming a democratic government."

Wanting the Japanese Cabinet to know who was in charge, General MacArthur moved the date up to December seventeenth [1945]. It was the first time Japanese women had ever voted.


Identifying The War Criminals (PM Tabloid, 1945)

"Conspicuously absent from the first list of Japanese war criminals issued by Allied occupation authorities is the Zaibatsu - the industrialist class which backed the military's war plans, then fattened of the raw materials brought in from conquered territory and from war profits at home... The arrest order includes the entire Tojo Cabinet responsible for the sneak attack on Pearl harbor, and 28 others ranging from the infamous Lt. General Massaharu Homma down to lesser officers charged with atrocities against prisoners."

Click here to read more about the Zaibatsu.


''Our Balance Sheet In Japan'' (Collier's Magazine, 1946)

Here is an honest report card concerning the first six months of the American occupation of Japan. The list of things that we did successfully at that point were considerably shorter than the list of our failings. Much is said concerning the Japanese "deep state" and their resistance to the new order.


The Question of Japanese Youth (PM Tabloid, 1945)

Far-flung correspondent Max Lerner (1902 - 1992) penned the attached editorial concerning the necessity of reëducation Japanese school children:

"The Japanese youth are the key to Japan's future. There were 12,000,000 of them in the elementary schools before the war, dressed in school uniforms, bowing before the Emperor's portrait every day on entering and leaving... The values taught to him were feudal and fascist values, but the weapons given him were modern weapons. This is the combination that produced the suicide-squadrons of the Kamikaze."

A similar article about German youth can be read here.


Tokyo Living ('48 Magazine, 1948)

The post-war life of a Tokyo family as experienced by "Mrs. Tanaya": the wife of a carpenter and mother of one son. This is an eleven page magazine article that will allow you to gain some understanding as to how the Tokyo black-market operated and how that city began to rebuild itself after so many years of war. Also of some interest the Tokyo reaction to the American occupying army:

"There is a lot of talk about Americans. To the Japanese women and their husbands, the conquerors are a puzzling combination of good and bad. But they often thank their gods for 'Marshal' MacArthur..."

•Click here to read about post-World War II Kyoto.

Articles about the daily hardships in post-war Germany can be read by clicking here.


To Live in Occupied Tokyo (Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1947)

A breezy account of American occupied Tokyo as reported by a literary magazine:

"Regardless of the festivities, the War Crimes Trials proceed as usual and the accused sit with earphones listening intently as the defense presents the China Phase."
"Japan seems to be striving toward Democracy, their interest in government affairs has broadened, and the voting in the national elections showed their arousal."

Should you like to read how the city of Kyoto fared during the Second World War, click here.


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