Chronology of Main Events

Taken from Richard B. Finn, Winners in Peace: MacArthur, Yoshida, and Postwar Japan (UC Press, 1992) , pp. 317-21.



July 26 Potsdam Declaration issued by the United States, the United Kingdom, and China


Aug. 6 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima

9 Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki

Soviet Union declares war on Japan

15 Emperor's speech (aka, the Gyokuon braodcast) accepting Potsdam terms

17 Higashikuni cabinet formed

19 Japanese delegation receives surrender plans at Manila

26 Japanese set up the CLO

30 MacArthur lands at Atsugi


Sept. 2 Surrender ceremony takes place aboard the Missouri

3 Shigemitsu meets MacArthur regarding "direct occupation"

10 SCAP orders free speech, press, and communications

17 Yoshida named foreign minister

20 MacArthur and Yoshida meet for first time

22 U.S. initial policy for Japan made public

27 First of eleven meetings of MacArthur and emperor


Oct. 4 SCAP "bill of rights" directive issued

5 Higashikuni cabinet resigns

9 Shidehara cabinet formed

1 MacArthur asks Shidehara to make five major reforms

16 SCAP announces Japanese demobilization completed


Nov. 3 U.S. basic policy directive sent to SCAP

6 Four biggest zaibatsu companies dissolved

8 SCAP "restricts" 354 zaibatsu companies

Dec. 9 SCAP ordered a liberal land reform program

12 Pauley initial reparations report made public

15 State Shintô disestablished;

Universal adult suffrage law enacted


17 Trials of Class B and C war criminals begin

21 Labor Union Law enacted

26 FEC and ACJ set up




Jan. 1 Emperor's declaration of humanity made public

4 SCAP purge orders issued

11 SWNCC 228 on political reform received by SCAP

19 SCAP announces charter of IMTFE

20 SCAP designates 389 factories for reparations

25 MacArthur cables opinion discouraging trial of emperor


Feb. 3 MacArthur tells GS to draft new constitution

13 Japanese government given draft

19 Emperor begins series of visits around the country

26 First meeting of the FEC


Mar. 6 Emperor publicly supports new constitution

30 First shipment of food from the United States arrives

Stoddard education report presented (6-3-3-4 system)


Apr. 1 Final report of Pauley reparations commission filed

5 MacArthur addresses first meeting of ACJ

10 Election of new lower house held; no majority winner

20 HCLC set up


May 3 Trial of major war criminals begins

Soviet forces evacuate Manchuria

4 Hatoyama, head of Liberal Party, purged

5 Hoover commission studying food shortages arrives

19 May Day riots occur over food shortages

22 Yoshida forms first cabinet


June 25 Revised constitution submitted to Diet


Aug. 12 ESB set up


Sept. 20 Labor relations adjustment law approved


Oct.7 Revised constitution passes Diet

21 Revised land reform bill approved


Nov. 3 Revised constitution officially promulgated

Dec. 27 Cabinet approves priority production plan



Jan.1 Yoshida calls labor leaders "lawless"

4 Under SCAP pressure Japan orders purge of local officials, eco-

nomic leaders, and media leaders

18 Labor unions announce Gencral Strike for Feb. 1

31 MacArthur press statement prohibits strike



Feb.6 MacArthur orders general election


Mar. 19 MacArthur publicly calls for early peace treaty

22 Fundamental law of education enacted


Apr. 4 United States orders interim reparations program

14 Antimonopoly law goes into effect

25 Socialists win majoriry in lower house election


May 1 Emperor holds his first press conference

3 Revised constitution goes into effect

12 United States sends FEC-230 deconcentration policy to FEC


June 1 Katayama forms three-party cabinet


July 3 SCAP orders breakup of Mitsui and Mitsubishi trading companies


Aug. 15 Limited foreign trade opened

26 Diet begins investigation of wartime hoarded goods


Sept. 13 Ashida memo on defense policy given to Eichelberger


Nov. 12 Strike committee report for reduced reparations filed


Dec. 9 Law to bar excessive industrial concentrations passed

17 Police reform law enacted, barring centralized force

31 Home Ministry abolished, its functions dispersed



Jan. 6 Secretary of Army Royall cails for self-supporting Japan

16 First shipment of interinm reparations sent to China

21 United States notifies FEC of new U.S. focus on economic recovery


Feb. 10 Katayama cabinet resigns


Mar. 8 Police law goes into effect

10 Ashida coalition cabinet fonned without election


June 23 Arrests begin in Shôwa Denkô bribery scandal


July 22 MacArthur orders Ashida to revise public service law

30 Exclusion of banks from deconcentration law announced

31 Ashida cabinet issues ordinance 201 revising NPSL


Oct. 7 Ashida cabinet resigns because of Shoden scandal

9 Truman approves NSC 13/2

15 Yoshida forms second cabinet after Party dissension


Nov. 12 Twenty-five major war criminals found guilty

Dec. 7 Ashida arrested in bribery scandal

9 United States withdraws FEC-230 deconcentration plan

19 Japan given nine-point directive calling for economic stabilization

Dec. 23 Tôjô and six other war criminals hanged

Yoshida voted out of office by prearranged deal



Jan. 1 MacArthur permits flying of Japanese flag

23 Yoshida's Liberal Party wins overwhelming victory


Feb. 1 Dodge arrives to enforce economic austerity

16 Third Yoshida cabinet formed


Apr. 23 Yen/dollar rate set at 360:1


May 12 United States announces end of Japan reparations program

30 Start of campaign of violence by railway workers


June 18 Antimonopoly law amended


July 6 Shimoyama, president of National Railways, killed

Sept. 2 MacArthur states communism not a threat to Japan

Dec. 1 Foreign exchange and foreign trade control law passed



Jan. 8 Cominform criticizes peace policy of Communist Party leader Nosaka


Feb. 9 Japanese govemment authorized to set up overseas offices


Apr. 24 Dulles advocates early peace for Japan


June 6 SCAP purges twenry-four members of Communist Party Ccentral Committee


21 Dulles arrives to explore peace treaty prospects

25 War starts in Korea


July 8 MacArthur orders creation of 75,000-man police reserve

24 Japanese private sector begins Red Purge of leftists


Oct. 13 Ten thousand Japanese released from 1946 purge



Jan. 29 Dulles begins peace treaty talks with Yoshida


Feb. 9 Dulles and Yoshida approve five treaty documents


Apr. 11 Truman recalls MacArthur

14 Ridgway arrives in Tokyo to succeed MacArthur

16 Dulles arrives in Tokyo for third visit


Sept. 8 Peace and security treaties signed in San Francisco

Dec. 10 Dulles arrives in Tokyo to clarify China policy



Jan. 16 Yoshida letter to Dulles on China policy made public


Feb. 28 U.S.-Japan administrative agreement signed


Apr. 28 Peace and security treaties come into force