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 they decided to act
through the existing Japanese gobernment. General MacArthur 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 completed by early 1946.

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 winter. 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 MacArthur asked the government to
send food, when they refus ed he sent another telegram that said,

"Send me food, or send me bullets." American troops were forbidden to
eat local food, as to keep from cutting from cutting into the sparse
local supply.

No food was was brought in expressly for the Japanese durning
the first six months after the American presence there. Herbert

Hoover, serving as chairman of a special presidential advisory
committee, recommended minimum imports to Japan of 870,000 tons of
food to be distributed in different urban areas. Fish, the source of
so much of the protein in the Japanese diet, were no longer available
in adequate quantities because the fishing fleet, particularly the
large vessels, had been badly decimated by the war and because the

U.S.S.R. closed off the fishing grounds in the north.

The most important aspect of the democratization policy was the
adoption of a new constitution and its supporting legislation. When
the Japanese government proved too confused or too reluctant to come
up with a constitutional reform that satisfied MacArthur, he had his
own staff draft a new constitution in February 1946. This, with only
minor changes, was then adopted by the Japanese government in the form
of an imperial amendment to the 1889 constitution and went into effect
on May 3, 1947. The new Constitution was a perfection of the British
parliamentary form of government that the Japanese had been moving
toward in the 1920s. Supreme political power was assigned to the Diet.

Cabinets were made responsible to the Diet by having the prime
minister elected by the lower house. The House of Peers was replaced
by an elected House of Councillors. The judicial system was made as
independent of executive interference as possible, and a newly created
supreme court was given the power to review the constitutionality of
laws. Local governments were given greatly increased powers.

The Emperor was reduced to being a symbol of the unity of the
nation. Japanese began to see him in person. He went to hospitals,
schools, mines, industrial plants; he broke ground for public
buildings and snipped tape at the opening of gates and highways. He
was steered here and there, shown things, and kept muttering, "Ah so,
ah so." People started to call him "Ah-so-san." Suddenly the puyblic
began to take this shy, ill-at-ease man to their hearts. They saw in
him something of their own conqured selves, force to do what was alien
to them. In 1948, in a newspaper poll, Emperior Hirohito was voted the
most popular man in Japan.

Civil liberties were emphasized, women were given full equality
with men. Article 13 and 19 in the new Constitution, prohibits
discrimination in political, economic, and social relations because of
race, creed, sex, social status, or family origen. This is one of the
most explicitly progressive statements on human rights anywhere in
law. Gerneral Douglas MacArthur emerged as a radical feminist because
he was "convinced that the place of women in