Reviving the workshop of Asia: U.S. containment strategy and Japan, 1947-1952
The American occupation of Japan (1945-1952) was marked by a significant change in 1948 from reform to recovery. This was brought by the emerging U.S.-Soviet rivalries and the subsequent American Cold War diplomacy. As a result, Japan went from a defeated enemy to be punished to a potential ally to be protected. There was a sharp conflict, however, in Washington as to the type of policy that should be employed in order to fulfill U.S. interests in Japan. This reflected not only power struggles and bureaucratic politics among governmental agencies and individual actors, but also a lack of general agreement in the Truman administration regarding how communism should be contained in Asia. After the outbreak of the Korean War, a consensus was made in Washington to take a less moderate approach in dealing with the communist expansionism in Asia and particularly the defense of Japan.