In This Review

The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia
The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia
By Michael Schaller
Oxford, 1985, 351 pp.

This is a careful historian's account of the origins of the cold war in Asia with a particular focus on the U.S. occupation of Japan. It shows how the emerging U.S.-Soviet confrontation, the Chinese communist victory in 1949, and especially the Korean War combined to transform the image of Japan in the minds of American leaders and to produce a coherent Asian strategy based on containing communism. The Korean War was the great turning point. It deepened U.S. involvement in East and Southeast Asia, helped revive Japanese industry by creating a boom, convinced the Japanese to abandon the illusion of neutrality in the cold war, and led the United States to sign a generous peace treaty and security pact with its former adversary.