U.S. Occupation Policy and Nation Building in Germany and Japan

Authored by: James F. Dobbins

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415888479
eBook ISBN: 9781135070991
Adobe ISBN: 9781135071028

10.4324/9781135070991.ch21

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Abstract

The Second World War ended with the unconditional surrender and military occupation of Germany and Japan. Following Germany’s surrender in May 1945, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France occupied zones in the west, while the Soviets occupied the east. The capital of Berlin was also partitioned among these four powers. On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered, thereby concluding the war in the Pacific. American intentions in these occupations were initially more punitive than humanitarian, yet relief efforts proved the first order of business. The end result of both occupations was the thoroughgoing transformation of these authoritarian and aggressive societies into two of the world’s most democratic and peaceful states.

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