Concept of Military Government

The present-day connotation of "military government", developed following the close of World War II, is an outgrowth of control measures under the Potsdam Declaration initiated by the Occupation forces of Germany and Japan. The Occupation of Japan differed widely in its manner of operating from that of Germany.1

In Germany, with the collapse of the Nazi regime, all government agencies disintegrated, or had to be purged, leaving the four occupying powers no alternative but to create a new government system for the whole country. The Occupation of Japan presented a different picture. The abrupt termination of hostilities, permitting an unopposed landing in Japan, was not designed to disrupt an integrated, responsible government and it continued to function almost intact.

A decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, implemented by appropriate SCAP action, to utilize the Japanese governmental agencies for the execution of Allied policies made the task of Occupation in Japan much easier than in Europe. By preserving the Emperor system, the Allies continued an acknowledged head of the Japanese people, whose traditional influence permitted immediate governmental control. Although stripped of his former power, the Emperor still commanded the respect of the Japanese masses who obeyed implicitly his order to cooperate with the Occupation forces.2 These factors determined the method under which Military Government was to operate in Japan.3

Since the Japanese civil government was capable of operating, Occupation authorities were relieved from directly administering a "conquered" country; instead, they were charged with seeing that the Japanese Government complied with SCAP's di-


rectives.4 Military Government was also to advise Japanese officials on matters in which they had no previous experience under a totalitarian regime. In effect, there was no "military government" in Japan in the literal sense of the word. It was simply a SCAP superstructure over already existing government machinery, designed to observe and assist the Japanese along the new democratic channels of administration.

General MacArthur exercised governmental authority through instructions issued directly to the Japanese Government by the Central Liaison Committee.5 The Central Liaison Committee routed these instructions to the proper Japanese ministry which, through Japanese governmental channels, notified prefectural governors of the action required by SCAR Neither the Occupation authorities, civil and military, nor any subordinate agency ever displaced any element of the Japanese Government. The operational directives which were used to implement the SCAP policies were designed to carry out the ultimate Allied objectives, as stated in the United States Initial Post Surrender Policy for Japan:6

The ultimate objectives of the United States in regard to Japan to which policies in the initial period must conform are to insure that Japan will not again become a menace to the United States or to the peace and security of the world, and to bring about the eventual establishment of a peaceful and responsible government which will respect the rights of other states and will support the objectives of the United States as reflected in the ideals and principles of the charter of the United Nations. The United States desires that this government should conform as closely as may be to principles of democratic self government but it is not the responsibility of the Allied Powers to impose upon Japan any form of government not supported by the freely expressed will of the people.

Military Government, while supervising the economic, political, social, and cultural structure of Japan, was to intervene as little as possible in Japanese governmental matters. The governmental reins remained in the hands of Japanese officials, and intervention was limited to cases of inadvertent or deliberate abuse of this privilege. The Japanese were constantly being prompted to take the initiative in bringing about prescribed reforms.

Military Government operated on two levels: the policy and plans level, a General Headquarters function, and the operating level, in the Sixth and Eighth U. S. Armies. General MacArthur established seven staff sections,7 which were primarily concerned with the non-military, civil affairs, and governmental aspects of the Occupation, for planning and policy direction.

On the operational level, the commanding generals of the Sixth8 and Eighth Armies were


Plate No. 63, Japan's Emperor and the New Democracy
The Emperor, renouncing a tradition of divinity, steps from behind the
bamboo screen to meet the people.

Plate No. 63, Japan's Emperor and the New Democracy
The people, free for the first time to express convictions, meet to protest
against an unpopular government policy.

Japan's Emperor and the New Democracy


Plate No. 64, Disposition of Military Government Units, January 1946

Disposition of Military Government Units, January 1946


charged with the implementation of SCAP directives. After inactivation of the Sixth Army in January 1946, the Eighth Army, under General Eichelberger, assumed responsibility for the organization, activities, and proper functioning of Military Government in all Japan.9 His mission on this level was to oversee the Japanese in executing the general directives of the Supreme Commander. To accomplish this, local operational directives designed to implement the policies, plans, and directives of the Supreme Commander were issued to tactical units as well as Military Government teams.

Eighth Army Military Government was organized with three principal agencies: a staff section at Army Headquarters, a staff section at each of the two corps headquarters, and Military Government units stationed throughout Japan. Eighth Army served both as an enforcing agency, implementing SCAP policies, and as a reporting agency.

Formative Period

The development of Military Government in Japan can be traced in certain background activities. While Eighth Army was still in the Philippines, Military Government was set up as Civil Affairs Section under G-1.10 Anticipating the problems that could arise with an abrupt termination of the war, this section was expanded during the summer of 1945 and began detailed planning for eventual control of Japan.

Immediately after the surrender, GHQ, AFPAC, authorized the organization of four MG companies. These were formed of specialists provided by GHQ and Civil Affairs units operating in the Philippines. Officer specialists and Military Government units activated in the United States were held in readiness, subject to call when Occupation requirements were determined.

In anticipation of any emergencies which might develop upon arrival in Japan, selected members of tactical units were organized into Military Government staff sections at divisional and regimental levels. These sections conducted necessary liaison with Japanese officials, requisitioned labor and billets and performed general Military Government duties. In October 1945, as trained Military Government units began to arrive, tactical units were gradually relieved of their Military Government responsibilities. On Army level, Military Government activities continued under the Civil Affairs Section until 21 September 1945, when the section was redesignated the Military Government Subsection of G-1.11

Soon after the Occupation began, duties of this section assumed greater proportions; it was reorganized as the Military Government Special Staff Section. Headquarters, Eighth Army. The newly established section was to make appropriate recommendations to the


commanding general concerning economic, political, and sociological matters pertaining to the civil population; prepare and disseminate local orders and directives necessary to carry out SCAP orders; coordinate and control the procurement of supplies, labor and other facilities from the Japanese Government; and maintain liaison on matters of Military Government with the other general and special staff sections, the Navy, and separate commands of the United States and the Allied Powers stationed in the Eighth Army area.12

Military Government units had been formed into groups and subordinate companies.13 Both contained specialists in engineering, legal matters, medicine, public safety, natural resources, industry, supply, translator service, labor supervision and control, salvage operations, and transportation.

By mid-November 1945 seven groups and eighteen companies had been assigned to the Eighth Army. Three groups and two companies were placed directly under the Army; the others were attached to the corps under Eighth Army and the U. S. Army Service Command-C (USASCOM-C),14 which operated at corps level in the Kanagawa Prefecture. A special detachment was set up to administer Military Government in Tokyo.

Eighth Army planned to have Military Government administration uniform throughout Japan. Military Government groups and companies were slated for use as integral teams and were not to be assigned other duties. The scheme had groups attached to corps for the purpose of administering the functions of Military Government on a geographical, regional level and companies attached to subordinate units within the corps to perform identical duties in one or more prefectures.15

After all Occupation duties were assumed by Eighth Army on 1 January 1946, the Military Government units throughout Japan were reorganized to make up six groups, twenty-four companies, and twenty-eight detachments.16 (Plate No. 64)

The first six months of 1946 was a period of exceptionally heavy readjustment and tactical redeployment of troops. Redeployment in the number of tactical units brought about a series of administrative changes and consolidations among Military Government units; however, no major policy changes were involved. In the BCOF zone and in the Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectures, the work went on directly under the Eighth Army staff section; elsewhere the activities continued under Military Government groups or special staff sections under the corps.

Since there were not enough Military Government units for each of the prefectures, it became necessary to break up some of the organizations into detachments. As the administrative procedures became more complex and it appeared that qualified specialists were not being employed to the best advantage, a new type unit known as a "team" replaced


Plate No. 65, Organization of Military Government in Japan, July 1948

Organization of Military Government in Japan, July 1948


the detachment. The new team paralleled Japanese governmental organization, so that Military Government groups, companies, and detachments transformed into teams were identified with the name of the prefecture to which they were assigned.17 For the purpose of administration and control, prefectural teams were grouped under seven regional Military Government teams. (Plate No. 65) Economy in the use of critical personnel was achieved by creating three types of prefectural teams- major, intermediate, minor-and two special teams, each in accordance with the relative importance of the area to which assigned and the nature of the requirements.18

Evolution of Organization: 1946-1948

Military Government organization, as evolved in Japan, (Plate No. 66) consisted of a staff section at Eighth Army Headquarters, two corps headquarters, I and IX Corps, each of which had a Military Government staff section, and fifty-three Military Government teams-one team for each of the forty-six prefectures and one for each of the seven administrative and geographical regions. Hokkaido was considered a "district" in which one unit combined the functions of both the district headquarters and the prefectural team. With the exception of the Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka prefectural teams, the regional and prefectural teams within each corps area were attached to the corps and operated under the direct supervision of the corps commander.19 The three excepted teams and all regional and prefectural teams in the BCOF area operated under the direct supervision of the Eighth Army Commander. Although no Military Government responsibilities were delegated to the BCOF Commander, a number of Australian officers and enlisted men did serve in each of the eleven MG teams in the BCOF zone of occupation.20

The duties of the Military Government staff sections consisted mainly of administration, investigation, and the preparation of numerous reports. The sections were also charged with inspections of field teams, training of subordinate units, and supervision of the adminis-


Plate No. 66, Military Government in Japan, January 1946-July 1948

Military Government in Japan, January 1946-July 1948


tration and supply activities of the regional prefectural teams.21

The prefectural teams were the "front line units" of Military Government in the field. The personnel of these teams came in frequent contact with the local Japanese and could observe conditions and activities at first hand. They advised the Japanese authorities as to missions and objectives of the Occupation and kept them informed of directives and the initiation of programs designed to promote the welfare and education of the people in the community. (Plate No. 67) The reports in matters of compliance with SCAP policies came from these teams. Suggestions were offered for the correction of observed errors in the execution of directives. Despite these manifold activities, team commanders were in no sense military governors.22 The direct issuance of an order or the taking over of any Japanese governmental agency was to be undertaken only in grave emergencies or when specifically authorized by the Army commander.

Social Affairs Division

Those phases of the Military Government mission which required the most direct approach to the Japanese people as individuals were handled through a Social Affairs Division, consisting of five sub-sections devoted to Civil Education, Civil Information, Public Health, Public Welfare, and Repatriation. All of these sub-branches dealt with social, as distinguished from financial or economic, responsibilities of the Japanese Government.

On the basis of reports and recommendations submitted by Military Government units in the field, the MG staff section forwarded consolidated reports and recommendations to GHQ, SCAP, designed to keep policy-making officials fully informed regarding the impact of the Occupation upon Japanese social and economic conditions.23

At corps level, MG functioned through a staff section with intermediate control over the execution of operational directives, applying them to corps zone conditions, facilities, and available personnel. The regional MG offices, at the next lower level, provided a working relationship with the Japanese Government's regional bureaus and a channel to the teams and tactical units in the region. In operating at team level, MG, particularly through the activities directed by the Social Affairs Division, worked closely with the Japanese people through individuals and groups representing the Japanese Government and civilian organizations in prefectures, cities, towns, and villages.

The prefectural team, SCAP, approached the Japanese people through a variety of channels; these included newspapers, motion pictures, street shows (kamishibai), radio programs, courses of instruction, demonstrations, exhibits, conferences, interviews, inspections, mass meetings, and special meetings of pro-


Plate No. 67, Functions of Military Government Units in Japan, July 1948

Functions of Military Government Units in Japan, July 1948


fessional and non-professional groups (teachers, farmers, parents, students, doctors, editors, unionists and others). Through these channels the team collected first-hand information on current and anticipated conditions, lent advice and assistance in the solution of immediate problems, and submitted reports and recommendations.24

Civil Education: The Potsdam Declaration directed the Japanese Government to establish "freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought." The United States Initial Post-Surrender Policy for Japan declared that "ultra-nationalistic and militaristic organizations and movements will not be permitted to hide behind the cloak of religion."

Prior to the surrender, the Japanese school system was highly centralized and was administered by a hierarchy of officials headed by the Minister of Education; all officials and teachers were appointed by the government, and all courses and teaching methods were prescribed by the Ministry. The strictly controlled education program was heavily influenced by ultra-nationalism, militarism, and "State Shintoism".25 There was no real freedom of speech, thought, learning, or religion.

By the time the war ended, the educational system had been disrupted and paralyzed. Over 3,000 of the nation's 40,000 school buildings had been destroyed; thirty-one of the country's forty-nine universities were partially demolished; approximately 16,000,000students were idle; and only a small percentage of the necessary equipment, textbooks, and other supplies was available. The need for a complete reorganization was obvious and acute. Before Occupation forces landed, the Japanese Ministry of Education had ordered the schools reopened, directed the closing of military and naval academies, abolished military training in the schools, issued a statement of new educational principles, specified methods of modifying and adapting text books, and removed militarists from teaching positions. In outlining the basic policy for education reform, SCAP directed that dissemination of militaristic and ultra-nationalistic ideology and all military education and drill be discontinued. Inculcation of concepts and establishment of practices in harmony with representative government, international peace, dignity of the individual as well as such fundamental rights as freedom of assembly, speech, and religion were encouraged. Following the new education policy, existing curricula, text books, and teachers' manuals were examined and replaced as soon as new instruction materials could be prepared. Personnel of all educational institutions were investigated, approved or removed, reinstated or appointed, and reorientated and supervised in accordance with the new policy. Religious activities were separated from governmental control, banning "State Shintoism" from the educational system.26

Under the policy guidance of the Civil In-


formation and Education Section (SCAP) in the reform and rehabilitation of the nationwide school system, civil education officers of MG teams were required to give special attention to surveillance activities, personnel investigations, school inspections; assistance in school management, budgeting, and administrative matters; guidance in teacher training and placement; and encouragement of local leadership and responsibility.

Although the screening of school officials and teachers was directed in October 1945, it was May 1946 before the Japanese Government submitted a plan for screening, through special committees established in each prefecture, which was acceptable to SCAP. In November 1946 a Military Government survey of prefectural committees indicated that twenty-one of the forty-six were unsatisfactory and should be reorganized; in April 1947 screening committees' tabulations showed that approximately 22 percent of the nation's school officials and teachers had resigned or were removed by the screening committees. By June 1948 approximately 700,000 individuals had been screened, of whom less than 3,000 had been found unfit to continue in the educational service.27

The program to eliminate objectionable courses, practices, and textbooks from the schools became a matter of continuing concern to Military Government. SCAP had directed the Japanese Government to reform the school program, specifically eliminating the teaching of Japanese history, morals, and geography until all traces of the old nationalism and militarism had been erased from these subjects.28

The Ministry of Education issued instructions for bringing textbooks and the subject matter of courses into line with the new program. Corps commands were directed to inspect five schools in each prefecture of their commands every month to assure that schools and teachers complied with the instructions of the Ministry; eventually the responsibility for these inspections was delegated to the civil education officers of the MG teams.

Many of the reforms recommended by the U.S. Education Mission which visited Japan in March 1946 were inititated.29 Among these were the plans for decentralizing the school system and the introduction of compulsory teaching of "Romaji", a simplified system of writing Japanese in Roman characters. Efforts toward developing a modern system of free education continued.

Civil Information : Constituted as a subsection of the Social Affairs Division, the Civil Information Branch was responsible for observing and reporting on all similar Japanese activities. This necessitated the indoctrination of press and radio representatives in the privileges and responsibilities attached to their positions in conjunction with other SCAP agencies.30 The civil information program was planned, controlled, and implemented at the SCAP level through the Japanese Government and the utilization of the Japanese press, radio, and motion picture industries on a nationwide basis. At the lower levels the information program was a part of the civil education mission, and a large measure of the progress made


Plate No. 68, Modernized Civil Education, March 1946
An American Education Mission studies the school system. Many of the suggestions of
this mission have been incorporated in the Japanese educational program.

Plate No. 68, Modernized Civil Education, March 1946
Self-instruction material for adults is provided by Civil Information
and Education Libraries located in the major cities of Japan.

Modernized Civil Education, March 1946


in education reforms was due to the information projects for reorientation of the Japanese people. It became particularly helpful in connection with matters of public health and welfare, crop collections, price control and rationing, land reform, conservation and utilization of natural resources, tax collections, labor relations, and all forms of education.

Civil Information programs, on the SCAP level, were evolved with Japanese Government agencies.31 Upon the basis of national planning, the Civil Information Subsection, in cooperation with other staff section elements, prepared detailed information plans and distributed these to the units in the field. Corps and regional offices processed the plans through other elements on their levels and forwarded the program to the prefectural teams.

The approach to the Japanese at the local level, was through Japanese newspapers, radio stations, and receivers which were outlets for the Broadcasting Corporation of Japan;32 all public speaking systems; motion picture projectors and theaters; citizen's public halls; magazine, book and pamphlet publishers; public libraries and reading rooms (except school libraries and SCAP libraries); dramatic and theater groups; and English-speaking societies. Primary responsibility for MG activities in connection with other Japanese agencies (such as farm organizations, public welfare institutions, and professional societies) rested in each case with the team officer whose special work was related to that particular agency.

Censorship as such was not a responsibility of civil information officers. Materials which came to their attention and seemed to violate censorship policy were reported to the nearest Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) or to G-2, GHQ, SCAP. Neither was the suppression of obscene books, pictures, and films a function of Military Government; complaints or observations in matters of this kind, however, were called to the attention of the proper SCAP civil section and certain Japanese law and enforcement agencies.33

Public Health: In the occupation of a devastated and impoverished country where health and sanitation were at best sub-standard and resistance to disease was dangerously low, the initiation of an adequate public health program became an immediate public problem and development of the program was a major objective. MG officers, in conjunction with the Public Health and Welfare Section, SCAP, began at once to exercise close supervision over all Japanese health agencies and facilities and gave assistance wherever needed. Their efforts during the first three years of the Occupation had an important bearing upon the reduction in dysentery cases and other intestinal maladies traceable to unsanitary conditions and practices. Through their vigilant surveillance and reporting, they forced the Japanese Government and its agencies to take positive action against venereal diseases, illegal use of narcotics, disease-bearing insects and rodents, impure foods, and other threats to national health.

As in other phases of military government, the burden of work was in the field. Policies and national programs were developed by the Ministry of Welfare with SCAP-level direction, advice and assistance, but the success of the plans depended directly upon prefectural and local agencies. The prefectural health depart-


ment, the city health offices and clinics, and the district health centers were the agencies through which the MG team public health officer and his staff worked.34

An example of the operations of Military Government surveillance in public health was the abolition of neighborhood health associations at the end of August 1948. The SCAP directive was based on field reports indicating that "racketeers" had obtained control of health associations and were selling vaccines, drugs, and insecticides initially issued by Japanese health authorities to local governments for free distribution. Counterintelligence reports also showed that political bosses were beginning to control the health associations as substitutes for the SCAP prohibited Tonari Gumi (Neighborhood Associations) through which the Ministry of Interior used to exercise complete political control over the people.35

Public Welfare: Public welfare was one of the first concerns of Military Government in Japan, a country in which the government had previously acknowledged relatively little responsibility for the care of its people, in need of food, clothing, shelter, or medical attention. It was estimated that at least one-ninth of the population needed employment or public assistance. Occupation authorities initiated and supervised nationwide surveys of relief needs, assisted in the organization of emergency relief programs, exercised surveillance over Japanese agencies responsible for the disposal of former army and navy supplies, and checked on the distribution of commodities through ration channels. When the SCAP-inspired "Daily Life Security Law," the first comprehensive welfare legislation ever enacted in Japan, was passed by the Diet, MG teams were required to see that the prefectural and municipal officials understood the law and complied with its provisions. This act placed the burden of responsibility for public welfare on local government agencies and provided for assistance to the destitute, care of the homeless, distribution of free food and clothing in necessitous cases, care of foreign nationals, inspection of institutions, and disaster relief planning. In view of the impoverished condition of the country, the lethargy of public officials, and the lack of trained social workers, the position of the public welfare officer in Military Government was difficult.

Typical of the many matters confronting welfare officers were the grievances of foreign nationals, the illegal disposal of food and clothing formerly the property of the Japanese Army and Navy, falsification of relief claims, and the problem of caring for vagrants and homeless children. Foreign nationals complained about unfair distribution of ration tickets, high prices, and the unsanitary conditions in the stores designated by the Japanese Government to handle the supplemental food rations.

Early in 194.6 MG units verified the Japanese inventories of former army and navy food supply and clothing stocks held by prefectural governments and kept surveillance over the disposition of these supplies and over the relief program for unemployed. Despite all efforts, unreported or diverted stocks of food and clothing continued to be a source of illegitimate


Plate No. 69, Control of Medical Supplies and Distribution of Army Rations
Large stocks of Japanese Army and Navy medical supplies, uncovered by Military
Government officials, are distributed to Japanese medical and relief agencies.

Plate No. 69, Control of Medical Supplies and Distribution of Army Rations
Excess American Army food is distributed to the needy to augment the
depleted Japanese stocks.

Control of Medical Supplies and Distribution of Army Rations


income for unscrupulous blackmarket profiteers. Welfare Ministry investigating teams, acting under Military Government surveillance, discovered vast stores of unreported goods in various prefectures. As a result of their findings, seven prefectural governors were removed, five reassigned, and others severely reprimanded for their lax administration of relief.36

In mid-summer of 1946 a field study of the child welfare situation revealed that the larger cities were overrun with homeless children, without visible means of support. A survey was conducted to determine the number of orphanages available, the types of educational facilities provided in them, the source of their funds and rations, and the number of waifs at large. At Military Government urging, Japanese authorities were required to enforce control, conduct more frequent "pick-up" campaigns, and make maximum use of the established relief stations for vagrants. The Military Government representatives developed and maintained a close working relationship with national, prefectural, and local Japanese public and private welfare agencies. The primary objectives of the over-all program were: to establish and maintain a program which would provide for the welfare of the civil population to the extent necessary to prevent unrest, to provide for a system of administering public assistance and welfare services on the basis of individual need, and to improve the care of inmates in welfare institutions. For operational purposes, the field of public welfare was divided into eight major projects: public assistance, child welfare, disaster relief, penal and welfare institutions, in-service training of welfare personnel, community organization, foreign nationals' rations, and information.

Repatriation: The subject of repatriation of millions of Japanese nationals to Japan, and foreign nationals (mainly Chinese, Koreans, Formosans, and Ryukyuans) from Japan, has been covered in all its aspects in Chapter VI. The very complicated governmental machinery designed to operate this project was planned by G-2 and G-3, GHQ, in conjunction with the former Japanese military and naval authorities. The work of manning and operating ships, providing supplies, operating medical, sanitary, and customs inspections was done by the Japanese Welfare Ministry.

The part played by Military Government in the repatriation program was limited to supervision over standards prescribed by SCAP, quarantine controls, maintenance of records, inquiries regarding disposition of exceptional cases, and forwarding recommendations for improved service. MG representatives maintained surveillance of port operations, investigated charges of discrimination lodged against Japanese officers by outgoing repatriates, checked into shipments of repatriates' baggage, uncovered contraband, assisted Japanese officials in the


diagnosis and disposition of communicable diseases found among repatriates, and through strict quarantine and other control measures helped to localize outbreak of disease in port areas. They were also responsible for sanitary inspection of all repatriation ships. Thus, although Military Government was not directly responsible for any phase of repatriation, its representatives contributed to the success of the program which caused more than seven and one-half million persons to move into or out of Japan in less than three years.

Economic Division

The primary duty of the Economic Division was described in an Occupation report "Through surveillance, supervision, investigation, surveys, inventories, studies, and reports, Military Government kept thousands of sensitive fingers on the economic pulse of the patient, and by advice and assistance, encouragement and insistence, injected stimulants into the economic bloodstream."37

This Division, from the earliest days of the Occupation, operated through field sub-sections responsible for particular phases of Japanese economy. Some of the original sub-sections were dropped, others added. In August 1948 there were four: Natural Resources, Manufacturing and Industry, Labor, and Trade and Commerce. Their individual importance varied with the changing political and economic situation.38

During the war much of Japan's productive capacity had been crippled by aerial bombardment, food production had declined steadily as manpower was drained from the farms, and consumer goods had been depleted because of

the complete conversion of the Japanese industry to the war effort. The cessation of hostilities brought this disrupted economy to a virtual halt. ESS and NRS, the major civil sections, SCAP, influenced the Japanese recovery to an important degree, utilizing Military Government and Technical Intelligence teams for the field supervision of such programs as land reform, development of natural resources, education and organization of an alert labor force, and maintenance of agriculture experimental stations.

Natural Resources: When the war ended, the natural resources of the nation were in a depleted state. This was particularly noticeable in the fields of agriculture, fishing, electric power, and mining. It was immediately apparent that production would have to be increased tremendously to meet the needs of the populace, and that the feudal agricultural system would have to be revamped if the farmers were to increase the yield. It was necessary to increase fertilizer stocks and the supply of farm implements in order to augment food supplies. Since it was obvious that actual starvation would result if food production were not supplemented by outside stocks, the Occupation authorities recommended and supervised a rationing system. Stocks of American food were added whenever the domestic stocks fell below the subsistence level.

With only one-fifth of the land in Japan arable, it was important that all tillable land be cultivated. The many Japanese airstrips which. were no longer needed were released for farming. Later, a program was initiated in the urban communities to place under cultivation much of the land laid waste by Allied bombing.


One of the principal problems facing Military Government was keeping farm products in the authorized channels. The farmers, who mistrusted government promises of fertilizer and farm implements, withheld large quantities of their products from the legitimate distribution channels and diverted them into the blackmarket. The first attempted solution of the problem was the establishment of patriotic farmers' unions which encouraged full deliveries of the rice quotas set by the government. Concurrently, the pressure for land reform legislation was increased until acceptable laws were passed in late 1946.

By the end of the year resentment of farmers over the failure of the government to provide fertilizer and implements which had been promised resulted in a movement to hold up rice deliveries until the incentive goods were received.39 Actually, only 45 percent of the 1946 rice quotas were filled by the end of the year, and if it had not been for the efforts of the Military Government teams which kept the collection agencies under close surveillance and did all in their power to encourage farmer compliance, collections would have been even less.

During 1947, under the Land Reform Program, the government purchased over two million acres of land for redistribution. By May 1948 the first prefecture, Yamagata, reported that it had completed the resale of government purchased land to tenant farmers. Constant liaison with the regional bureaus of finance and agriculture, education of the farmers concerning their rights, and supervision of the actual transactions did much to expedite this program.

Of immediate importance to the economic recovery of the country was the rehabilitation of the coal mining industry. When the Occupation forces first entered Japan, the mines were in need of drilling equipment, were hampered by other shortages caused by rail breakdown, and were operated by slave labor which was immediately eliminated. Stockpiles of coal had dropped to less than two million tons by the end of 1945. Following the SCAP instructions to repatriate the Korean coal miners, the shortage became so serious that the mining industry was placed under special study. One of the big problems was the labor unrest and the many work stoppages, especially prevalent in Hokkaido. The Natural Resources Sub-section worked in cooperation with the Labor Sub-section and, through development of unions, higher wage rates, use of special food rations for the miners, and release of incentive goods such as American cigarettes and clothing, coal production was gradually increased.40 At the same time, special attention was given to the rehabilitation of the rock drill manufacturing companies.41

The third major project of the Natural Resources Sub-section was the rehabilitation of the fishing industry. Initially, the greatest need was for boats. Another serious shortage was in twines and nets, but with the partial rehabilitation of the spinning industry and the importation of hemp from the Philippines, this shortage was overcome. Fuel remained


a critical item, but the amount of fish available for distribution increased steadily from the beginning of the Occupation and, with increased fuel allotments, this trend continued.

Electrical output was inadequate in the early days of the Occupation, and during the severe drought of 1947 a national educational program to conserve electricity was fostered and publicized. The production of hydroelectric and thermoelectric power became more satisfactory in 1948.

Manufacturing and Industry: During the early phases of the Occupation the basic mission of the Manufacturing and Industry Sub-section was to initiate procedures for the early resumption of production and distribution of commodities and services necessary to meet Occupation needs and a subsistence requirement for the Japanese, and to make an inventory of the industrial machinery earmarked for reparations to the Allied nations. The physical problem in inventorying all the potential reparations plants entailed so much labor that it became necessary to draw personnel from tactical units. These units were also utilized to furnish guards for the plants listed for reparations until the armed strength had been so depleted through the redeployment program that Military Government was forced to utilize Japanese guards to protect the plants.42

Loss of rolling stock imposed an almost insurmountable transportation bottleneck. The big industrialists would not operate for fear that their plants would be seized as war booty; labor was scarce and lethargic; and electric power and coal were lacking for those industries still capable of operation.

The first step taken by ESS, SCAP, was to initiate a licensing system under which the manufacturers could receive permits to operate with some guarantee that their plants would not be touched for reparations. This step, administered through the Manufacturing and Industry Sub-section, MG, resulted in a noticeable increase in production.43

With the removal of some plants from the reparation lists, the lessening of governmental restrictions, and the encouragement of the Economic Division, producers began to retool for production; but they continued to be hampered by the lack of raw materials. Coal production was the key to the industrial situation and the greatest emphasis on the MG teams during this phase was the rehabilitation of those plants most needed to produce the tools required for the full operation of coal mines.

In November 1946 GHQ, SCAP, issued instructions relieving Eighth Army Military Government of the responsibility of processing the Japanese Government requests to utilize plants slated for reparations.44 This function was taken over directly by SCAP. Shipment of reparations equipment began on 16 January 1948 when a load of machinery was dispatched to China. Crating and shipping of reparations machinery continued under the supervision of the Military Government teams. Concurrently with this program, the Manufactur-


Plate No. 70, Rehabilitation of Industry
Indicative of progress in rehabilitation of industry is the launching of a train-ferry boat,
second ship completed by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Ltd., after the end of the war.

Plate No. 70, Rehabilitation of Industry
The first shipment of silk from occupied Japan is loaded on the
Marine Falcon, 18 March 1946

Rehabilitation of Industry


ing and Industry Sub-section carried out a program for the destruction of machinery capable of producing armaments and continued the high priority inventory of critical materials.

Labor: When the Labor Sub-section, MG, was first established, it faced the conflicting problems of meeting the labor requirements of the Occupation forces and of sponsoring an organized, informed, and independent labor force. The first mission of the Sub-section was the detailed study of the over-all wage picture for presentation to the Economic and Scientific Section of GHQ, SCAP, which had the final responsibility of promulgating a wage scale that would be equitable and applicable to the entire country.

The first labor unrest became evident about three months after the beginning of the Occupation. At that time workers began to assert themselves and test their newly granted rights. The Labor Sub-section kept in close touch with the situation and watched the effect of the new policy on the wage picture.

A difficult problem was the control and eventual elimination of the gumi, or contractors' gangs, which were rigidly controlled by labor bosses (oyabun), who exercised complete control over pools of unskilled labor. Following a completely feudalistic pattern, the bosses accepted contracts for these groups, collecting the rations and pay and giving the laborers only as much as they thought suitable. In an effort to combat this vicious system, employment agencies were established where all workers could register and become available for employment on Occupation projects. Bids by at least three labor organizations were required for any major project, and wages and rations were paid directly to the workers. The bosses were required to register and to submit the financial reports required of other employers.

Another practice which became an issue early in the Occupation was the employment of prison labor by private industry. This labor was allotted to employers at rates ranging from one-third to one-half of the prevailing wage scale. The prisoners were allowed to retain one-tenth of their pay, the remainder being kept by the authorities for the upkeep of prisons. Thus, prison labor not only provided unfair competition against free labor but also gave employers a cost advantage over their competitors. This practice was discontinued during the prison reform movement, initiated by the Public Safety Division, SCAR

By early spring 1946, labor unions had enrolled 2,700,000 members-over six times more members than had ever been enrolled in prewar Japan. Labor then had the numbers to carry out successful programs but lacked the discipline and knowledge necessary to develop workable ones. Consequently, the working men frequently ran into difficulties because of undisciplined actions and impossible demands.

Throughout 1946 the unionization movement was evident in mass parades and labor demonstrations, all of which were closely observed by Occupation authorities. Evidence of communistic agitation was uncovered, although in general the parades were orderly and well handled. Many of the banners, while publicizing the specific objectives of the groups which paraded, thanked the Americans for having given them a true freedom. Typical demands of the parading groups included petitions for complete purge of war criminals, supervision of food rationing by the people, protection for working women, and closer regulation of prices.

By the end of 1946 the Japanese themselves realized the complexity of their labor problem and established a Labor Ministry during the first Diet session after the adoption of the new constitution.


Following the many evidences of ignorance in the newly organized labor groups the Occupation officials responsible for labor relations placed major emphasis on education of the laboring man. The educational program was carried out through the encouragement of union educational committees and discussion groups, the establishment of libraries, the dissemination of literature on the labor movement, and the advocacy of "recourse to law" for the meeting of many union objectives. Second in importance to the educational program was the constant surveillance of factories to see that the newly adopted labor policies were enforced, and of the Japanese Labor Standards Office to see that it performed its functions whenever violations of the labor laws were discovered. Other major concerns of the Labor Sub-section included continued efforts to maintain employment at the highest possible level, to require labor bosses to comply with the new labor laws, and to check prefectural governments' records to guarantee that the legally liable employers filed reports and paid the premiums required by the unemployment compensation provisions of the new laws.

Trade and Commerce: Prices skyrocketed after the surrender, and it was essential that some of the wartime controls be continued to prevent the complete collapse of the Japanese financial system. This was the mission of the Price Control Sub-section which was later to be merged with the Trade and Commerce Sub-section. To prevent the defrauding of U.S. Army personnel, street peddling was abolished and supervised bazaars were established. A tax exemption certificate relieved Occupation personnel of paying the high tax on luxury items. Prices in laundry and dry cleaning establishments were fixed and the Japanese police were prodded into forcing Japanese merchants to observe the official price scale. Bringing the prices throughout Japan under control was not simple, for the blackmarket had become part of the national scene. The acute food shortage, the insufficient official prices paid to producers for rationed food, the breakdown of the collection system, and the despair and loss of morale of a defeated people were all contributing factors to wide-open blackmarket practices.

Although price control, as it concerned domestic prices, was left to the Japanese, the MG sub-sections did aid in reducing prices by offering incentive goods to the food producers who delivered their output to the official agencies. They also worked with the Economic and Scientific Section, SCAP, in the rehabilitation of those industries which were necessary to supply needs for food, clothing, fuel, and building materials.

The MG Trade and Commerce Sub-section began an immediate inventory of Japanese goods suitable for export. Of these, the most important single item was raw silk. Although nothing was done immediately to open foreign trade, early in 1946 GHQ, SCAP, authorized the organization of Boeki Cho (the Japanese Government Board of Trade).

The Price Control Sub-section was absorbed by the Trade and Commerce Sub-section in 1946. The duties of the expanded Sub-section included the supervision and coordination of imports and exports; storage, release and return of imported goods; price control and rationing; crop collection; storage and inter-prefecture shipmen of rice allotments; surveillance of textile projects and the pearl industry; control and disposition of Japanese Army-Navy supplies; and disposition of U.S. Army scrap and waste materials.

The major emphasis was on imports and exports, crop collection, price control, and rationing. Imports fell into three categories those considered essential to prevent disease and unrest, those required to accomplish the


Plate No. 71, Blackmarket and Precious Metals
Japanese accused of blackmarket activities await trial by military provost court.

Plate No. 71, Blackmarket and Precious Metals
Silver ingots, uncovered by Military Government teams, are loaded on
trucks for transfer to the Bank of Japan vaults in Tokyo.

Blackmarket and Precious Metals


Occupation mission, and those needed to sustain a minimum economy under policy directives of ESS. All imports in the first year of Occupation were included in the first two categories. All of the initial import-export business was carried on by a system tantamount to barter; contracts for export items were not approved until they were covered by contracts for imports of equal value. Trading was carried on by only one Government agency, Boeki Cho, which was required to route all of its contracts through GHQ, SCAP, for final approval. As the demand for Japanese products began to increase, more products were made available for export, and contracts were permitted which called for payment in dollars or sterling, or on open accounts when such agreements existed. Because one government agency handled foreign trade for the entire nation and thus prevented the desired expansion in trading volume, individual traders and exporters were permitted to carry on negotiations among themselves by mid-August. They were required to procure export licenses issued by Boeki Cho, however, and their sales contracts required both Boeki Cho approval and SCAP validation.

Control of inflation was a problem from the earliest days of the Occupation. Military Government personnel worked with all echelons of the Japanese Government in an effort to prevent runaway inflation and economic chaos. Japanese reports in the field of economics were found to be unreliable and misleading, making close supervision over this phase of the problem essential.

Legal and Government Division

All aspects of an occupation depend directly upon the functioning of government. In Japan, because the existing governmental machinery was used to execute SCAP directives, the functions and operation of the MG Legal and Government Division (initially the Legal Division) were limited.45 The mission of the Legal and Government Division was to expedite the establishment of an efficient, democratic, and decentralized Japanese Government, with effective law enforcement agencies working for public interest, and a fair and efficient court system upholding individual rights. To accomplish this, Legal and Government personnel exercised surveillance, made studies and investigations, and filed reports with the Government Section, SCAP. They observed elections, interpreted Japanese law for military authorities, served as liaison in legal matters with Japanese agencies, and gave legal advice and assistance to all echelons; they offered instruction and guidance to Japanese officials, and served as advisers and reporters on all matters related to Japanese law, courts, the new constitution, the purge of officials, governmental and political activities, elections, and public safety. The Division was also responsible for the surveillance of certain customs and immigration matters and served as an advisory agency on these subjects to the MG teams in the field.46


Surveillance of the Administration of Justice: Legal and Government representatives personally dealt with Japanese officials and institutions in carrying out their mission of observation and close supervision; the officers frequently visited summary and district courts and local procurators' offices to show Japanese officials that the Occupation forces were interested in the operations of the courts. They encouraged and assisted Japanese officials to administer justice in accordance with the new constitution, the new criminal code, changes in court practices, and other new legislation. It must be pointed out, however, that Military Government did not give orders to nor interpret Japanese laws for Japanese courts. In the discussions, emphasis was placed on the civil liberties provisions of the constitution. An attempt was made to develop the dignity of the judicial system, to eliminate favoritism toward influential persons, and to reduce the backlog of untried cases.47 Interpretations placed upon instructions and new laws by the local Japanese authorities were checked against SCAP and Eighth Army directives; bureaucrats, as well as elected individuals, were warned that they were serving the people.

Legal and Government Division officers worked closely with individual Japanese officials, and were familiar with police organization in their prefectures, though policy direction was charged to PSD, SCAR Recommendations were made by Military Government concerning removal of undesirable officials for acts detrimental to the Occupation, for improper activities, and for inefficiency.

Surveillance of Political Parties and Elections: Conferences were held with party leaders and members of local assemblies to determine their programs and platform. The strength of parties and their activities were subjects of monthly reports. Observation of elections was one of the periodic tasks of the MG Legal and Government Division. When the number of polling places was so large that Military Government could not provide enough teams to insure adequate supervision, tactical troop personnel furnished assistance.

Civil Liberties, Inspections of Jails and Police Methods: Prior to the Occupation the Japanese police were notorious for mistreating suspects, confining prisoners for long periods without trial, and denying them counsel. The new constitution and the new criminal code forbade these and other abridgements of civil rights. Jails, police stations, and other places of confinement were visited, and by personal observation and questioning of inmates, MG representatives determined whether individual rights had been violated. Violations were reported to the proper Japanese authority, and a report was sent to higher headquarters.48 When Japanese individuals were deprived of civil rights by the Occupation forces, Military Government took corrective action by contacting the military unit concerned.

Surveillance of the Administration of the Purge: The administration of the purge program became ultimately a Japanese responsibility, and Military Government did not attempt to interpret purge laws for screening committees.49 However, when MG officers


Plate No. 72, Women's Franchise:  Milestones of Politics, April 1946
Women, permitted for the first time to take part in the elective and administrative
functions of the government, cast their ballots in an election of Diet members.

Plate No. 72, Women's Franchise:  Milestones of Politics, April 1946
The Women Diet Members' Club meets to discuss current affairs.

Women's Franchise: Milestones of Politics, April 1946


suspected a violation or when violations were reported by the Japanese, the information was forwarded to SCAP. The actual purge list was practically completed by the end of 1947. Thereafter, emphasis was placed on injunctions prohibiting these persons from holding public office, engaging in politics, or exercising influence in public life or over persons holding public office. SCAP directed local investigations of reported violations.

Legal and Government Division was also responsible for making investigations, forwarding claims, and maintaining liaison with other Occupation officials and with appropriate Japanese authorities. Another important function of this Division was the surveillance of customs, quarantine, and immigration.

Investigations were made when required by higher headquarters or upon receipt of information from other sources. Japanese police, procurators, and agencies were utilized. The police were encouraged and supported in their efforts to control large scale blackmarketing.

Military Government did not operate a claims service, but Japanese and other nationals often requested information and submitted claims to the teams. These were forwarded through channels to the Judge Advocate Section, Headquarters, Eighth Army, or to SCAP for appropriate action.

The Legal and Government Division officer maintained close liaison with Civil Intelligence Section and tactical troops on legal, government, and police affairs, and with appropriate Japanese authorities concerning government admission, laws, courts, procurators, legislative bodies, political parties, fire departments, and penal institutions.50 Civil Information officers were assisted in publicizing elections and new legislation.

The Legal and Government Division was concerned with the entry and exit of personnel and personal property, the import and export of commercial cargo, and the surveillance of Japanese customs. Although these functions were the duties of Military Government customs units at the designated ports, vessels occasionally stopped at other than specified ports of entry. For this reason all Military Government teams were required to be familiar with directives and regulations pertaining to customs, quarantine, and immigration.

The arrival or departure of all non-military personnel, personal baggage, and cargo was checked at designated ports in accordance with SCAP directives. Observation of the Japanese in customs inspection and examination of international parcel post was another duty of Military Government. Surveillance generally consisted of semi-monthly inspections. When the regulations established by SCAP for weight or content of packages were violated, the excessive or prohibited articles were confiscated and given to Military Government for disposition through established relief agencies.

Finance and Civil Property Division

The initial concern of the Finance (later redesignated the Finance and Civil Property) Division of Military Government was to assure Japanese compliance with SCAP instructions as they pertained to the closing of stock exchanges, and to the closing and liquidation of wartime banks, development companies, and other financial institutions which were


organized to finance the Japanese war effort or to aid in the exploitation of occupied countries.51 From these strictly fiscal activities, the Division's field of responsibility was broadened to include the custody and control of Axis property, precious metals and stones belonging to the Japanese Government, and valuables belonging to designated individuals, institutions, and organizations scheduled by SCAP for restriction or dissolution.

The Bank of Tokyo was designated as the liquidating agency for certain banks. The Division maintained close supervision of the personnel engaged in this work to prevent removal, defacement, or destruction of books, records, or other property. It submitted weekly reports on the progress of liquidation and matters of special financial interest. One of the spectacular tasks of the Occupation dealt with collecting and putting under guard the great hoards of gold, silver, precious stones, foreign postage stamps, engraving plates, and all currency not legal in Japan. Even though the bulk of this wealth was collected and placed under United States military custody by Japanese officials, undeclared caches of these treasures were known to exist. Consequently, the task of investigating, uncovering, inventorying, and safeguarding all property in this category was a continuing and increasing responsibility.52 The precious metals were stored in the United States vaults of the Bank of Japan at Tokyo and in the Imperial Mint at Osaka. Eighth Army furnished custodial staffs for both depositories. The Osaka vaults were initially used for the storage of all types of seized property but in May 1946 the Bank of Japan was designated as the sole depository for precious stones.

In April 1946 Eighth Army was relieved of supervising bank liquidations and its responsibilities were limited to the guarding of buildings, records, and physical assets. The functions of the Division thereafter were mainly: inspection and supervision of Japanese tax collection and administration; rehabilitation of postal savings branch offices; supervision of matters pertaining to the seizure and custody of civil property; and preservation and protection of United Nations nationals' property (not yet restored to its owners), Axis property, and looted property (which included packing, crating, and delivery to owners. Civil Property Custodian personnel (SCAP) attached to Military Government teams handled civil property affairs in areas not covered by regional custodian service teams.

Tax Collections: During the fiscal year beginning with April 1947, Japanese tax collections lagged to a serious extent. In January 1948 Military Government was directed to expedite national tax collections. Surveillance was begun immediately by the seven regional bureaus located at Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, and Kumamoto. Teams from tactical units began detailed supervision of the 450 local tax offices in February. Fifty-five teams were initially used on this project, which enabled semi-monthly inspections at each local tax office. Initial difficulties were: the public's general noncompliance with tax laws, particularly payment in advance of the self-assessed income tax, and the opposition and slowdown tactics of tax collectors' unions. However, improvement in tax payments was immediately notice-


able when the program started, and supervision was extended for an indefinite period.

Occupation personnel did not attempt to interpret tax laws to Japanese officials. They first ascertained the tax goals set for each financial bureau and the allocation of quotas to local tax offices, then determined the progress made in the collections. Following that, they encouraged publicity of the program and exerted their influence to promote efficiency. Action was taken to alleviate the general shortage of competent personnel in the Japanese tax structure. Surveillance discouraged corrupt practices, and much was accomplished through the prosecution of dishonest tax officials and tax evaders, although relatively few of them were brought to trial.

Financial Restrictions: The Zaibatsu53 and the many affiliates and subsidiaries which controlled the Japanese industry prior to the Occupation were reorganized by SCAP to eliminate monopolistic practices. These restricted firms were not permitted to perform financial transactions, except normal operating collections and payments, without specific SCAP approval. SCAP approval was necessary for: loan transactions, property transfers, stock transactions, construction contracts, and donations.54 Military Government personnel did not maintain surveillance over these firms but did report monopolistic practices and illegal transactions by such concerns whenever reliable information indicated such violations.

The Japanese financial institutions which were created to finance and exploit Japanese conquests outside the home islands were closed early in the Occupation period. The "Closed Institutions Liquidating Commission" (Japanese) accomplished the detailed work of liquidation.

Rehabilitation of Postal Savings Branch Offices: The progress of rehabilitation in fourteen of the twenty-eight Postal Savings Branch offices in Japan was subject to surveillance and report by Military Government. Japanese made deposits in local post offices, but permanent records were kept in branch offices. During the war many of the branch offices were damaged and records were destroyed. Originally, reports on all twenty-eight branches were required, but with improved conditions, supervision and reports for fourteen of the branches were discontinued by April 1948.55

Civil Property Custodian Regional Service Teams: The Civil Property Custodian Section (CPC) was established by SCAP on 8 March 1946. It developed general policies and established procedures for control or custody of the various properties and assets over which SCAP exercised authority. The seizure and custody functions became the responsibility of both MG field teams and tactical units; in view of manpower limitations and the technical nature of some of the property, it was found necessary to attach CPC (SCAP) personnel to Military Government units for this type of work.

Regional service teams of the Property Service Branch, Comptroller Division (CPC) were attached to Military Government teams in areas which could not be conveniently covered from Tokyo. The teams, composed of civilian personnel and augmented by Japanese hired locally, varied in strength and composition. Members had the same status


Plate No. 73, Field Inspection of Laboratories by Technical Intelligence Detachment, G-2, GHQ, FEC
Study of synthesis of nylon is carried on in the Organic Chemistry
Laboratory, Noguchi Research Institute, Tokyo.

Plate No. 73, Field Inspection of Laboratories by Technical Intelligence Detachment, G-2, GHQ, FEC
Study of Van de Graeff Generator is made in the Physical Chemistry Laboratory,
Tokyo University.

Field Inspection of Laboratories by Technical Intelligence
Detachment, G-2, GHQ, FEC


as members of the Military Government teams to which they were attached except that work assignments were made by CPC.

Seizure and Custody of Government Property: Eighth Army was directed to seize and maintain custody of precious metals and diamond stockpiles owned or controlled by the Japanese or Axis governments in Japan during the war. Eighth Army agencies were also authorized to confiscate and deposit precious metals and gems in the United States vaults in Tokyo or Osaka whenever such items were to be found in violation of SCAP directives. The program, as it pertained to known stocks, was practically complete by August 1948. Hoarded precious metals and industrial diamonds, found from time to time by field units, were taken into custody,56 and many offenders were prosecuted in provost courts.

Eighth Army was directed to take custody of excess movable property of Axis repatriates and movable property of Axis business firms which had ceased operating. Property to be taken in custody was specified for each repatriation operation of Axis nationals and for each seizure from Axis individuals or concerns. Seizure was accomplished by tactical troops on orders from Eighth Army. This property was then stored in three CPC warehouses which were operated by Eighth Army agencies in Tokyo, Kurihama, and Osaka respectively. The local accounting system in each CPC warehouse was prescribed by Eighth Army. Under the direct supervision of the CPC, property subject to deterioration was sold; it was auctioned off to the Occupation forces for dollars, while property unsuitable for sale to Occupation forces was sold to the Japanese Government for yen.57

United Nations and Axis Property: The preservation and protection of United Nations property confiscated by the wartime Japanese Government became a concern of Military Government teams. The Japanese prefectural governments were required to furnish prefectural MG teams lists of wrongfully transferred items; checks were then made to determine whether there was proper maintenance and protection of such property. The Japanese Government was charged with preventing deterioration but was not required to rehabilitate war damage. It was further required to impound and maintain Axis property, and periodic inspections were made by Military Government teams to ensure compliance.

Restitution: Surveillance was maintained over the restoration of United Nations nationals' property. Most of it was American, British, or Dutch property which was taken over or disposed of by the Japanese Enemy Property Custodian during the war.

Copies of the applicable SCAPIN were given to the owner and to the Military Government team in the area where the restitution was to be made. A Military Government officer was present at the meeting between the owner and the Japanese Government representative in charge of the restitution to guarantee that SCAP directives had been obeyed and the owner received just compensation.

Some property ordered restored to United Nations owners had been utilized under procurement demand by the Occupation forces. In these cases the title transaction was completed by the military forces who continued to occupy the property until the necessity for its


continued use no longer existed.

Looted Property: All property suspected as having been seized in areas occupied by the Japanese armed forces was classified as looted property unless definite legal ownership could be established. In general, it was handled directly by SCAP through the Japanese Government. Military Government personnel reported illegal transactions, prevented unauthorized transfers or movements, and maintained general surveillance over such property. Plundered property included occasionally in reparation plans was ordered removed from reparations inventory. In such cases, the property (usually machinery) was left in place and given a Civil Property Custodian number.

The Japanese Government was directed to maintain a "watch list" of looted vehicles. In August 1948 it was directed that all property which had been taken from or produced in areas occupied by Japanese armed forces during the war be impounded and reported. The Japanese Government was required to pack, safeguard, and deliver pillaged items to ports of shipment. Close observation and spot checks were conducted to ensure compliance.

Procurement Demand

The Occupation forces in Japan were self-sustaining in food, clothing, ammunition, and other essential supplies. It was necessary, however, to procure billeting and office space, certain communication facilities, construction supplies, and labor.

A General Procurement Board was established in September 1945, and authority was delegated to the commanding generals of the Sixth and Eighth Armies for the normal over-all procurement of indigenous supplies. The Japanese Government created a Central Liaison Office in September 1945 which established branch offices in each of the prefectural governments to expedite all requests submitted by the Occupation forces. Initial operations were carried out by the Supply Division (later redesignated Procurement Division) of Military Government, which was instrumental in determining policy and procured all supplies and services needed by military units under Sixth and Eighth Army control. In January 1946 Eighth Army assumed control of all Occupation troops in Japan, and by March 1946 every Military Government unit included in its organization a procurement officer who was responsible for processing demands made by the various units located within his area. In order to expedite the procurement of various items and services, the commanding general of Eighth Army, in March 1946, delegated approving authority to the commanders of I and IX Corps, base commanders, and senior commanders of Air, Navy and BCOF forces.

To minimize Occupation demands upon the exhausted Japanese economy, special lists were prepared enumerating the items which could not be procured without specific approval from the controlling headquarters involved. These lists included such items as medical and dental supplies, nearly all types of food, petroleum products, certain categories of commercial vehicles and communications equipment, and numerous other indigenous products. Certain classes of real property which could not be procured without direct approval from Headquarters, Eighth Army, included religious institutions, any property occupied by members of the royal family, educational institutions, hospitals, and facilities designated for the distribution of food, clothing and shelter.

The procurement of communications and transportation was a Military Government responsibility at the beginning of the Occupation, but by the end of November 1946 procurement of communications supplies and


Plate No. 74, Military Government Team in Action, February 1948
Check on Japanese machinery marked for reparations. This machine, destined
for Great Britain, is inspected for proper crating.

Plate No. 74, Military Government Team in Action, February 1948
Military Government representatives check scrapping of "special purpose" machines
which cannot be converted to any peaceful use.

Military Government Team in Action, February 1948


services became a direct responsibility of Eighth Army Signal Section. In January 1947 the Third Military Railway Service assumed control of the procurement of all necessary rail service, right-of-way, and related facilities.

Early in the Occupation hand receipts were required where immediate procurement was necessary, but numerous reports showed that unauthorized appropriation was common practice throughout Japan. Many of these local appropriations were justified; in view of this fact SCAP ruled that all hand receipts in the possession of Japanese nationals dated prior to April 1946 would be honored on a confirming procurement demand.58

Under the procurement plan all supply requests were submitted to the Military Government teams in the area of the approving headquarters. Necessary papers were prepared by the local procurement officers and submitted to the Japanese liaison official. The Japanese Government was responsible for locating manufacturers and raw materials and allocating the latter. By late 1946 certain changes in Occupation missions and the institution of long range planning made central procurement necessary. Team procurement offices were closed and, in July 1947, Eighth Army announced that all items and services would be obtained thereafter by central procurement on a forecast basis. The Procurement Division set up four district offices at Sapporo, Sendai, Yokohama, and Kyoto. The main islands were divided into four administrative districts, but because of the large area under the Kyoto district, four branch officers were established at Osaka, Kure, Kobe (later at Nagoya), and Kokura. In addition, because of heavy needs, a Tokyo branch of the Yokohama Office became responsible for procurement for GHQ and other units in that area.

Before a request for an article could be submitted, the design and other physical aspects of the required item were ascertained. Following final approval, the necessary papers were submitted by the Procurement Division to the Japanese Government which placed the contract. Working against specific delivery deadlines, the manufacturer was required to submit samples to the requesting agency for testing. The Procurement Division maintained a testing laboratory available to all interested parties.

Whenever an adequate supply of raw materials was not immediately available, the expediting officers of the Procurement Division attempted to locate the needed materials, even though this was a Japanese responsibility. Upon final delivery, each shipment was accepted on a procurement receipt which indicated completion of the contract and enabled the supplier to collect payment from the Japanese Government. The expediters were not in control of fuel and power allocations but assisted in obtaining increased allotments for manufacturers of items on procurement demand.

In August 1947, by direction of SCAP, a Special Procurement Board (SPB) was established as an agency of the Japanese Government to replace the agencies previously utilized for procurement purposes. The detailed operational procedures of the SPB became the responsibility of the Eighth Army Commander, who in turn delegated the authority to the Procurement Division. The Division implemented SCAP procurement policy and fulfilled requirements by methods based on practices in the Zone of Interior. The Tokyo branch of the Yokohama District Office supervised the over-all operation of the Special Procurement Board. The agency and its field repre-


sentatives were authorized to receive and settle procurement receipts and to make payments to suppliers, thus expediting both delivery and payments.

Real estate and local construction projects also came within the province of the Procurement Division. Large amounts of real estate were placed on demand early in the Occupation. Many pieces of property, however, had been Japanese military or naval holdings and as such, were confiscated as surrendered enemy equipment and installations.59

From the beginning, the over-all effort was primarily a vast planning program. Producers and contractors were instructed in modern production methods and standardization of specifications and design. By centralized procurement and large scale contracts, the Procurement Division substantially reduced production time and materially increased production. In April 1948. to meet the demands of its mission, the Procurement Division was established as a special staff section of Headquarters, Eighth Army.

General Conclusion

The functions of Military Government in Japan were limited to inspecting the activities of the government whose officials continued to perform the duties of actual administration of the country. All officers in the Japanese Government were appointed or dismissed by the Japanese themselves, subject only to the SCAP purge directives. All of them were directly responsible to Japanese authorities. The Military Government agencies could report on and recommend the removal of any Japanese government official found corrupt, inefficient, or uncooperative.

The smoothness with which the complicated machinery of the Occupation worked in Japan surprised competent observers all over the world. Its success must be credited to four main factors: the foresight of Allied high level planning in utilizing the existing Japanese Government and the authority of the Emperor institution; the wisdom of the Supreme Commander in solving the complex problems arising from a program designed to transform a totalitarian country into a democracy, by tolerant and humane treatment of a vanquished foe, rather than by punitive measures for past crimes; the patience and tact with which Occupation agencies handled a humiliated and defeated people whose national psychology differed radically from that of any western peoples; and the unexpected cooperation of Japanese officials and population, in response to tolerant and intelligent guidance.




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