World War II Aftermath: Peace Treaty and Alliance (1951)

Figure 1.--The United States and Japan signed the Treaty of San Francisco formally ending World War II and the American occupation of Japan (1951. It went into force the following year and which time America and Japan exchanged ambassadors. Here is a Consul General arriving in Seattle Washington. Given the barbarity of the Pacific War, it is striking how quicjky normal relatins were resumed. The ustrlians had a haeder time at this than the Americans. The Seattle oress caption here read, "Office Helper: Yoshihiko Takeno, 12, showed his father, Yoshiharu Takeno, the new Japanese consul-general for Seattkle, a new nameplate made for the diplomat's desk in the Central Buildinh, Tkeno will serve Washington, laska, Montana and Northern Idaho." The paper described him as the happiest boy in Seattle. The photograph was dated June 18, 1957.

The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) began to assess the political and economic future of Japan (1950). SCAP began to consider a peace treaty to formally end both the war and the occupation. The Umited States durung the occupation brought about a remsrkable transformation. In only a few short years, Japan was chabged from a war obsessed aggressor nation to a peace-loving democracy--a spectcular chievement. . The U.S. perception of international threats had changed fundamentally in the immediate post-War period. Most Americans had seen the Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan) as the major threat to peace. Largely ignored bcause of the role the Red Army played in defeating the Germans was that for nearly 2 years that the Soviet Union was a NAZI ally. It was the NAZI-Soviet Non-Agression Pact Pact (1939) that made World War II possible. Both Germany and the Soviets invaded Poland and together they partitioned Europe (1939). The Soviets proceeded with a series of aggressions comparable to those of the Germans. After the War, the Soviet Union renewed its aggressive foreign policy and effort to dominate other countries. This was done by the Red Army in Eastern Europe and the Soviets sought to use domestic Communist policie in Western Europe. Now Germany and Japan were emerging aspotential allies in the escalating Cold War conflict with the Soviet Union. The Peace Treaty (Treaty of Dan Francisco) which the Japanese Government did help fashion allowed the United States to maintain its bases in Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan. The United States offered Japan a bilateral security pact. Restrictions on the military left the country unavle to dfend itself. A meeting in San Franciso brought together 52 countries to discuss the Peace Treaty (September 1951). Eventually 49 countries sined the Treaty. The Soviet Union and the puppet governments of Czechoslovakia and Poland refused to sign. Their primary objection was the povision to support the Republic of China (by then reduced to Taiwan) and not do business with the People's Republic of China that had intervened in the Korean War. The United States had insisted on this provision. The Treaty went i ti force (April 28, 1952). This formally ending the occupation and restored full sovereignty to Japan, except for the island chains of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, which the United States continued to hold until 1968/1972. The United States and Jaoan exchnged ambassadors and rsumed niormaln diplomatic relations (1952). The Japan Self-Defense Forces were formed with U.S. assistance. Jaopan's Yoshida Doctrine prioritized economic growth over defense spending and relied on an American securiuty umbrella for its defense. Japan's economivc policy of Guided Capitalism led to the Economic Miracle. The United States-Japanese Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security formalized the militry relationship (1960). Japan would play an important non-military role in the Cold War.



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Created: 3:28 AM 11/8/2008
Last updated: 3:28 AM 11/8/2008