Essay: Japan and Korea Occupation

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[. . .] S. As a capitalist leader of allied powers. Both the countries wanted for Korea a political and economic system that could have furthered their ideological agendas. The U.S. wanted for Korea what it had achieved in Japan, modernization of society and economy and a Korean State friendly to the U.S. polices. Same was desired by Russia when it occupied the Northern parts of Korea, thereby expanding the communist influence further into East Asia. While the U.S. comprehensively gained control of the political and economic system of Japan, it could not do the same in Korea due to Russian forces being already stationed in North Korea. In fact the U.S. only succeeded in eliminating the threat of Korea being wholly ruled by the Russian backed communists. Therefore, both the countries adopted same formula for the occupation of Korea as has been adopted in Germany when the latter was divided into East and West Germany. However, a major difference was that East and West Germany demolished the Berlin wall and reunited in 1989 but North and South Korea only strengthened their animosity by making the Armistice line a permanent border between both Korean parts.

The Korean War: The cold war between Russia and the U.S. did not remain cold for long and both the powers used the Korean land as a means to fight each other, both at economic as well as the military ends. The Russian and Chinese backed North Korea waged a full-fledged war against South Korea and civil war like situation prevailed for around three years. The U.N backed forces (mainly composed of the U.S. military) pushed the Northerners back and Seoul was regained by the U.N forces, back as the capital of South Korea.

Difference in forms and difference in results

Korea was a colony of Japan before being occupied by allied forces. Until the occupation of Japan, the allied forces (mainly Russia and the U.S.) were somewhat trustworthy for each other. However, as time passed and the victories of allied forces strengthened, the commonality of objectives started getting eliminated. The mutual objectives were gradually being attained and now came the turn for the concealed agendas of both powers to be fulfilled. Therefore, the results of both Japanese and Korean occupation are strikingly different than each other. Japanese occupation did not result in the country becoming battleground of ideologies (ideology regarding how economic and political systems should operate). Capitalist ideology was comprehensively adopted in the whole of mainland Japan. On the other hand, Korea became a battle field for Russia and America, each trying to constrain the influence of other. To achieve this end, each of the then superpowers increased influence in their respective part of Korea and made the division permanent. Capitalist-democratic system was not allowed by Russia to seep into Northern part of Korea whereas communist expansion was made to halt in Southern part. In fact, the U.S. successes in transforming the fate of Southern part and South Korea are far ahead of North when compared with respect to economic and social progress.

It is safe to opine that Japan and South Korea have come out as winners as a consequence of occupation (notwithstanding and disregarding the loss of life during battles) whereas North Korea paid the heaviest price of being occupied, being stripped from affluent Southern part and suffering by having to side with faltering communist power of Russia. While Japan was occupied by allied forces for battling against them, Korea was annexed by same allied forces (the U.S. And Russia) to gain geographic, political, and military advantage over each other. The consequences of occupation were also different for both of the occupied countries. Korea got disintegrated but Japan did not. Korea's economic progress got limited to the Southern part only (one occupied by the U.S.) whereas Japan progressed as a unified country. Japan progressed to become sixth largest military power of the world (although amenable to the U.S.) and third largest world economy after the U.S. And China. South Korea is now amongst the G20 countries having high income population; North Korea is significantly underdeveloped compared to the North.

Works Cited

Dower, John W. Embracing defeat: Japan in the wake of World War II. WW Norton & Company, 2000.

Molasky, Michael S. The American occupation of Japan and Okinawa: Literature and memory. Routledge, 2001.

Oberdorfer, Don. The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History. Addison-Wesley, 1997.

Schaller, Michael. The American occupation of Japan: the origins of the Cold War in Asia. Oxford University Press, 1985.

Takemae, Eiji. The allied occupation of Japan. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003.

Weinberg, Gerhard L. A world at arms: a global history of World War II. Cambridge University Press, 1994. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Japan and Korea Occupation.  (2013, November 9).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from

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"Japan and Korea Occupation."  9 November 2013.  Web.  21 May 2019. <>.

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"Japan and Korea Occupation."  November 9, 2013.  Accessed May 21, 2019.