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Japan's new constitution dramatically restructured government and public affairs, although civilian and religious officials-including the Emperor-retained much of their authority. American goals for the occupation government emphasized three major themes: civil rights, popular sovereignty, and peace. It was within this context that General Douglas MacArthur, acting in his capacity as Supreme Commander, Allied Powers (SCAP), and his staff faced the difficult task of bringing about fundamental change while at the same time trying to foster stability. The 1,970 documents in this collection provide details on all the issues that American and Japanese officials dealt with in forging the new constitution: democratizing Japanese society, the role of the Emperor, defense and foreign relations (especially in the renunciation of war in Article 9), politics and political parties, social programs and Japanese society, and more.

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