Japan After World War II

Rebuilding Japan After WWII,
The Korean War, and The
Vietnam War
Rebuilding Japan After
World War II
Japan Surrenders
• In 1945, the United States dropped atomic
bombs on two Japanese cities- Hiroshima
and Nagasaki.
• The Japanese finally admitted defeat and
• Japanese farms and industries had been
destroyed, the government was in a
shambles, and the Japanese people no
longer saw their emperor as a god-like hero.
Japan’s Post-War Infrastructure
• Much of Japan’s infrastructure had been
completely destroyed by battle and atomic
• infrastructure- the basic structures or
features of a city or nation; transportation,
communication, sewage, water, and
electric systems are all a part of
• Atomic bombs
were dropped on
Hiroshima and
Nagasaki by the
U.S. in August
Hiroshima Before the Bomb
Hiroshima After the Bomb
• Nagasaki before
and after the
atomic bomb
U.S. Occupation of Japan
• The U.S. was put in charge of helping to
rebuild Japan.
• Japan was now controlled by a U.S.
army occupation led by General
Douglas MacArthur.
• MacArthur’s job was to rebuild Japan in
a way that would guarantee that it would
not pose a military threat to other
countries in the future.
U.S. Occupation of Japan
• Previously, Japanese society had been
heavily focused on the military and
• The U.S. wanted Japan to become a
peaceful, democratic nation.
Rebuilding Japan
• The U.S. believed the social, political, and
economic conditions that led to this heavy
military focus had to be destroyed and the
Japanese mindset changed.
• Business leaders who had been tied to the
old militaristic Japan were stripped of their
• Transportation systems, industry, urban
infrastructure, and businesses had to be
Rebuilding Japan
• A land reform program was started.
• Labor unions were created.
• Japan got to keep its home islands, but had
to give up control of all its overseas
• Japan gave Manchuria back to China and
gave up Taiwan.
• In general, the Japanese people were happy
with these political and economic changes.
Japan’s New Constitution
• General MacArthur wanted Japan to have a
democratic government, but he also
appreciated the important place the
Japanese emperor held in Japanese culture.
• He decided Japan would become a
Constitutional Monarchy.
• He wrote a constitution for Japan that is still
called the MacArthur Constitution today.
Japan’s New Constitution
• The constitution created a two-house
parliament called The Diet.
• Everyone over the age of 20 could vote for
members of the Diet.
• The constitution also included a Bill of
Rights and guaranteed basic freedoms.
• The emperor remained as a symbol of the
country, but was stripped of his power.
Japan’s New Constitution
• The constitution stated that Japan could
never again declare war on another
• Japan is allowed to fight only if it is
attacked first.
• Japan could not use its land, sea, or air
forces to settle international disputes.
• Today, the Japanese government is one of
the strongest in the world.
Nagasaki Today
Hiroshima Today
Tokyo, Japan
The Cold War Heats Up
American Involvement
• Containment– The US policy to stop
Communism from
spreading to other
• Domino Theory– The belief that if one
country fell to
Communism, other
countries would follow
This map is
from an
from 1950.
This shows
how much the
US feared
communism in
the far east.
The Truman Doctrine
• The Truman Doctrine stated that the USA
would lend aid to any country not wishing
to be suppressed by the political ideals
(communism) of any other country.
United Nations
• It would fight with the South
Korean army.
• Commanded by an American
General – Douglas MacArthur
• MacArthur was later fired by
Truman for getting the Chinese
involved in the war. MacArthur
wanted to use nuclear weapons
on the Chinese.
Soviet Union
• Soviets sold Chinese military
equipment, including artillery
and MIG fighter planes.
• The USSR also provided
advisers and military hardware
to the North Koreans.
• Soviet pilots flew MIGs against
US planes.
• However, Stalin was unwilling
to become involved with the
United States in a war over
United States
• The US provided the majority
of the UN military forces which
drove the North Koreans out of
South Korea and still stand
guard along the border.
The US moved their troops into
South Korea quickly.
• The US and the Soviets
agreed to divide Korea
temporarily to avoid long term
decisions regarding Korea's
• Although the United States
took the lead in the Korean
action, it did so under the order
of the United Nations.
Why did China enter the war?
• UN forces pushed
north to China
• Crossed 38th parallel
– Yalu River and border
with China
• Mao Zedong already
made it clear that
China would not
tolerate foreign forces
on border
What happens next?
• October 14 to November 1, 1950
– Chinese send 180,000 of the People’s
Volunteer Army to cross Yalu River
– They pushed the American forces back
• November 2
– UN realizes that the attack was done by
Communist China
“Home-by-Christmas” offensive
• November 24 –
MacArthur launches
offensive attack
• Chinese army
retaliates with full
• American and South
Korean units retreat
• Ends January 1951
The Korean War Armistice
• Designed to insure an end to
warfare and all acts of armed
force in Korea until a definitive
peaceful could be achieved
• It was signed on July 27,1953
• Covered issues such as
- exchange of prisoners of war
- location of a Demilitarized
Zone (DMZ)
• Intended as a temporary
measure, but the 38th parallel
remains standing even today.
Map of Korea
• After three years, July 27, 1953- ceasefire
stopped the fighting
• Although there was no declared winner,
South Korea never succumbed to a
communist rule.
• Korea is still split up
into North Korea
(communist) and
South Korea (noncommunist)
• The border between
the two countries has
remained one of the
most heavily-armed
stretches of land on
Vietnam War
American Involvement
• The Geneva Convention
– Divided Vietnam into North and South
• North: Communist, controlled by Ho Chi Minh
[Supported by China and the USSR]
• South: non-Communist, controlled by Ngo Dinh Diem
[Supported by the US]
– Would allow the Vietnamese people to vote on
which government they wanted
– The US was greatly concerned whether or not
Vietnam would “fall” to Communism
American Involvement
• Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)– The North Vietnamese allegedly attacked US
Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin
– President Lyndon Johnson received full
support from Congress to increase US
• 1965: US ground troops sent into Vietnam
US Difficulties in Vietnam
• Ho Chi Minh Trail– The supply line used by Ho Chi Minh and his troops
– The US was never able to stop the supply line
• Viet Cong– The Communist forces in South Vietnam that fought
against the US and the South Vietnamese
• The CNN Effect
– For the first time Americans could watch news cover
of the war from their homes, caused a loss of support
from the general public
The End of US Involvement
• Lost the support of the American public
– “Counter-Culture” movement
• Anti-war groups, hippies, flower children, etc…
• The Tet Offensive (1968)– Large assault by the North Vietnamese
Communist forces
• Vietnamization– The process of the US turning over control to
the South Vietnamese Government while the
US withdrew
The End of US Involvement
• Paris Peace Accord (1973)
– US troops pulled out of Vietnam
End of the War
• The war ended in 1975 when the South
Vietnamese surrendered to the North
• 1976- North and South Vietnam were united
into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
• What was the role of the United States in
the rebuilding of Japan after WWII?
• What are the reasons for foreign
involvement in Korea and Vietnam in
terms of containment of Communism?
• What were the results of the Korean and
Vietnam War?
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