Japan: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Japan, the American occupation after the War and Ampo, industrial development.



American troops occupied Japan following the war, not returning sovereignty until 1952. The peace treaty which reestablished Japanese sovereignty did not call for the removal of American troops, however. Instead, the 2 governments negotiated a mutual security pact, known as "Ampo," providing for U.S. bases in Japan. Despite anti-"Ampo" demonstrations, the 2 governments renewed the treaty in 1960, and since 1970 they have agreed to let the 1960 treaty remain in force. Under the terms of "Ampo," the U.S. has had as many as 186,000 troops in Japan (in 1953, at the conclusion of the Korean War). Today the U.S. has 18,000 troops in Japan (not including Okinawa), but no ground combat forces.

Rapid industrial development in Japan's small area has brought severe environmental problems, including air and water pollution, urban congestion, and housing shortages. Unlike other nations', Japan's environmental movement has been led by the poor. When, in the late '50s, several people died from eating mercury-polluted fish, 1,500 fishermen invaded the polluting factory. Poor people have led fights to halt industrial expansion, and popular movements have opposed the use of nuclear energy (the Japanese, at least, remember Hiroshima).

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