Document Type

Book Chapter


The United States may have dominated control of the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), but Australia also contributed to the occupation force and occupation control machinery. The aims of the Occupation were to demilitarise and democratise Japan. Australian male military personnel began to arrive in Kure, a city in the Hiroshima prefecture southeast of Hiroshima city, as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in February and March 1946, where they retained a presence until 1952. About 45,000 Australians served overall with BCOF, the most provided by any of the participating Commonwealth nations. The Australian base was in Hiro, while the BCOF headquarters was located in nearby Kure. BCOF was comprised of Australian, New Zealand, British and British-Indian troops, but always had an Australian Commander-in-Chief. At the height of its presence in 1946, Australia provided almost 12,000 troops to BCOF. Diplomatically, Australia contributed: the British Commonwealth representative to the advisory body, the Allied Council for Japan (ACJ), based in Tokyo; the president of the International Military Tribunal of the Far East, Sir William Flood Webb; and a separate delegation to the policy-making body for the Occupation, the Far Eastern Commission (FEC), based in Washington DC.