Japan and World War II

The Economic Effect on Japan during Post World War II
Japan’s economy was greatly affected by the atomic bombs
dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan’s
economic recovery as a result of this incident transformed
Japan’s economic growth which has become known as the
“Economic Miracle.” The bombs caused Japan to
reconstruct many more facilities in which the economy
moved forward. The Economic Planning Agency, which
used to be known as the Economic Stabilization Board,
helped Japan to become one of the leading economic
nations. The United States also contributed to much of
Japan’s recovery by occuping it from 1945-1951. After the
bombs shattered the cities on August 6 and August 9 in
1945 the war was concluded. Japan had many parts to pick
up such as the deaths of innocent citizens and the
dilapidation of their major cities. Peter Tasker (40) mouthed
“When the casualties were counted they calculated to more
than three million people and left more than ten million
people lacking housing.” The war forced the economy to be
cut off from its normal flow of trade. That was hurtful
because Japan needed to trade with other nations to receive
money to rebuild their damaged cites. Many Japanese
people suffered severely because they were forced to live on
the black market to stay alive which helped them in some
ways because they could purchase goods for a much
cheaper price. Even though the black market is illegal, Japan
stayed on it to survive the post war age. Edwin Reischauer
(103) uttered that “The unfortunate circumstance about the
tragedy was that the hearts of many civilians had been
burned out as well as their cities.” What Reischauer said is
probably correct because many Japanese civilians were
presumably so shocked at what surrounded them that they
did not know what to do in this astonishing situation.
Because of the war Japan experienced shortages of food,
clothing and other goods and services. This was very harmful
because many people had lost all their food and clothing
during the explosions and they needed to change their lives
drastically. The only fortunate thing about the bombs was
that they did in fact leave the railways and electric power
with little damage. That was very positive for Japan because
they still had power to the factories where people could go
to work and get money to reconstruct their lives. In Paul
Langer’s book, Japan Yesterday and Today (135) he said,
”The bombs left the prices to rise 10 per cent a month in
which the civilians had to pay because of the United States’
destruction to Japan.” The ruins that were leftover from the
attack left Japan in a time for a major recovery. The
destruction from the war is one of major items that will go
down in Japanese history forever. The United States, the
nation which caused this frightful and fatal period, engaged in
Japan from the day after the releasing of the bomb until 1951
when a treaty was signed forcing the United States to leave
Japan. General Douglas Mac Arthur led the American army
into Japan to give them help. The United States helped
Japan by bringing in food and in the year of 1946, 800,000
tons of American food was rushed into Japan. Paul Langer
(136) mouthed, “From the damages done the United States
had to pay about one million dollars per day which included
the bill for food, fertilizer and other major essentials.” The
United States had to pay this enormous amount of money
because they were forced to help Japan recover both
physically and economically. Japan, a nation that was in
great need of aid, accepted the United States’ support but
tried to pretend that they did not need them. While the
Americans stayed in Japan they wanted to destroy the
power, privileges and wealth of Japanese ruling classes who
were blamed for Japanese militarism. The United States
occupation of Japan led to the distribution of many of the
American ideas and practices into the Japanese culture. This
was a negative aspect because Japan and the United States
are two different countries who have different ideas and
practices. So, in fact the American occupation of Japan tore
away from the Japanese culture and filled it with American
culture and traditions which was harmful to the Japanese
civilized life. Besides destroying Japan, the United States
introduced many new reforms. One of the improvement
programs that was broken up was called the Zaibatsu which
was a land-reform program that required landlords to sell
land cheaply to their tenants. This was broken up because
after the war the land was destroyed and many of the
landlord’s tenants wanted to buy the