chapter  17
15 Pages

Douglas MacArthur and the Occupation of Japan: British Perceptions and Reactions

D ouglas MacArthur was a figure of deep controversy in hislifetime and remains as controversial today: Unquestionabl~ MacArthur possessed potent leadership qualities and exerted extensive influence in East Asia in the later stages of the war against Japan and in the occupation ofJapan. His military record was impressive over a prolonged period in the US arm~culminating in his direction of the South-West Pacific Command between 1942 and 1945.As a personality MacArthur was charismatic, assertive, and noted for his theatrical gifts and conduct: all who met him remarked on his dramatic character and capacity for stage management. He was a man ofvision and outstanding ability, yet simultaneously flawed. MacArthur did not welcome views contrary to his own and liked to be surrounded by sycophants who would demonstrate appropriate deference and strengthen his confidence in his commanding talent.