Give information about the post WW2 U.S. occupation of Japan.
Why is Japan considered a 'victory' in the Cold War? What did Truman do to keep the Soviets out and what did the U.S. do in rebuilding Japan?
Japan could be considered a victor in the cold war for several reasons.
First, the American occupation at the end of the war had many beneficial effects for Japan. The Emperor was removed from power, effectively becoming a symbol, which helped bring Japan out of their medieval power structure. Separation of religion and government were introduced along with universal suffrage and guaranteed human rights, all of which helped to modernize Japan socially.
When the Korean War broke out, Japan’s economy began to flourish. The standard of living almost doubled by the 1960’s. Infrastructure was improved, including the beginning of the famous bullet trains even though it led to a large amount of pollution and a severe oil scare in the 1970’s. By the end of the 1980’s, Japan was an economic powerhouse and a close friend of the U.S.
All of these postwar changes were remarkable, especially when you compare them to how things went in the eastern block countries occupied by the Soviets. Had the U.S.S.R. been the ones who occupied Japan, their recovery might not have been nearly as robust as under the U.S. That’s why you could argue that Japan was a victor in the Cold War.