The SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS (SCAP) (originally
briefly styled SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ALLIED POWERS ) was the title
held by General
Douglas MacArthur during the Allied occupation of
These actions led MacArthur to be viewed as the new Imperial force in
* 1 Immunity given to Imperial family and bacteriological research units members
* 1.1 Apology rebuffed
* 2 Media censorship * 3 End of SCAP * 4 References * 5 Further reading
IMMUNITY GIVEN TO IMPERIAL FAMILY AND BACTERIOLOGICAL RESEARCH UNITS MEMBERS
Douglas MacArthur and his SCAP staff played a primary role in exonerating Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) and all members of the imperial family implicated in the war such as Prince Chichibu , Prince Tsuneyoshi Takeda , Prince Asaka , Prince Higashikuni and Prince Hiroyasu Fushimi from criminal prosecutions before the Tokyo tribunal .
As soon as November 26, 1945, MacArthur confirmed to admiral Mitsumasa Yonai that the emperor's abdication would not be necessary. Before the war crimes trials actually convened, SCAP, the IPS and Shōwa officials worked behind the scenes not only to prevent the imperial family being indicted, but also to slant the testimony of the defendants to ensure that no one implicated the Emperor. High officials in court circles and the Shōwa government collaborated with Allied GHQ in compiling lists of prospective war criminals , while the individuals arrested as Class A suspects and incarcerated in Sugamo Prison solemnly vowed to protect their sovereign against any possible taint of war responsibility.
As Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, MacArthur also gave immunity to Shiro Ishii and all members of the bacteriological research units in exchange for germ warfare data based on human experimentation . On May 6, 1947, he wrote to Washington that "additional data, possibly some statements from Ishii probably can be obtained by informing Japanese involved that information will be retained in intelligence channels and will not be employed as "War Crimes" evidence." The deal was concluded in 1948.
According to popular historian
Herbert Bix in
Toward the end of the occupation, Emperor
Patrick Lennox Tierney had an intimate perspective on events which unfolded in SCAP headquarters. Tierney's office was on the fifth floor of the Dai-Ichi Insurance Building in Tokyo, the same floor where MacArthur's suite of offices was located. He was there on the day the Emperor came to offer this apology; but when the emperor arrived, MacArthur refused to admit him or acknowledge him. A pivotal moment passed. Many years later, Tierney made an effort to explain his understanding of the significance of what he had personally witnessed: "Apology is a very important thing in Japan." Issues which might have been addressed were allowed to remain open, and consequences unfolded across the decades which followed.
Above the political and economic control SCAP had for the seven years following Japan’s surrender, SCAP also had strict control over all of the Japanese media, under the formation of the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) of SCAP. The CCD eventually banned a total of 31 topics from all forms of media. These topics included:
* Criticism of SCAP (individuals and the organization).
* All Allied countries.
* Criticism of Allied policy pre- and post-war.
* Any form of imperial propaganda.
* Defense of war criminals .
* Praise of “undemocratic” forms of government , though praise
of SCAP itself was permitted.
* The atomic bomb .
* Black market activities.
* Open discussion of allied diplomatic relations (Soviet
Although some of the CCD censorship laws considerably relaxed towards the end of SCAP, some topics, like the atomic bomb, were taboo until 1952 at the end of the occupation.
END OF SCAP
MacArthur was succeeded as SCAP by General
Matthew Ridgway when
MacArthur was relieved by President
Harry S. Truman
The American military maintains a presence in numerous Japanese cities and towns, particularly on the Japanese island of Okinawa .
* ^ We, the Japanese people, p. 360, Dale M. Hellegers, Stanford
University Press, 2002
* ^ A B Dower, John W. (1999). Embracing Defeat:
* Bix, Herbert P. (2000).