Many Western commentators have expressed their admiration for the Japanese police system, tracing its origins to the American Occupation of Japan (1945-52).
This study challenges the assumptions that underlie these accounts, focusing on the problems that attended the reform of the Japanese police during the Occupation. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Christopher Aldous explores the extent to which America failed in it's goal of 'democratizing' the Japanese police force, arguing that deeply-rooted tradition, the pivotal importance of the black market, and the US's decision to opt for an indirect Occupation produced resistance to reform. His study concludes with a consideration of the postwar legacy of the Occupation's police reform, and touches on a number of recent controversies, most notably the case of Aum Shinrikyo.
Christopher Aldous is Lecturer in Japanese history, King Alfred's College, Winchester
'Aldous can rightly claim that this is the first rigorous and detailed study of the police during the occupation period.' - Pacific Affairs