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A Short Summary of America’s Role in
Rebuilding Japan After WWII
Despite the negative feelings of many U.S. citizens towards Japan
after WWII, the United States military forces occupied Japan in efforts to
help rebuild the weakened sociopolitical and economic structures of the
country. Clearly, Japan was in need of help; the country was in ruins from
extensive bombing during the war and its prominent military leaders were
tried and convicted of war crimes. Even though the emperor was allowed
to retain his position under a new title, Japan was still temporarily placed
under U.S. military rule to enforce the restructuring of the country’s
political system into a democracy.
However, it wasn’t long before Soviet powers began to occupy parts
of Japan and communist ideals started to threaten the efforts that were
being made to promote democracy and capitalism in the country. Due to
the fact that Japan’s weakened state made them susceptible to invasions
and the fact that they would not be able to defend themselves against
warfare at this time, they were seen as an easy target. For Soviet powers,
which were interested in occupying and taking over territories to expand
their power and influence, this seemed perfect.
The United States saw what was happening and made efforts to
protect Japan from being taken over by Soviet powers. Much funding and
allied support was given to Japan from the United States government even
though there was little support and much distrust coming from United
States civilians. In fact, many US citizens opposed this support outwardly
and condemned the government for helping Japan. To this day, Japan and
the United States remain allied forces and work to maintain a positive
international relationship in many different aspects.