Early Cold War:
Occupation Period: Japan and Korea


World War II ended with the surrender of Japan on 15 August 1945. The US occupation of Japan confronted the Army with substantial counterintelligence problems. The immediate necessity was to apprehend war criminals and purge the governmental apparatus of individuals unsympathetic to democratic reforms. The General Headquarters, Far East Command, issued policies and directives for the Counter Intelligence Corps. By command of the Supreme Commander, Allied Powers, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, CIC agents were authorized to operate with minimum restrictions on their movements, which meant they were not to be confined by military custom or prohibitions, nor interfered with by military police when executing their assigned duties. Additionally, Circular No. 8, established that the Military Occupation Courts had jurisdiction over certain types of offenses committed anytime after 2 September 1945.

One of the Counter Intelligence Corps’ first tasks was to locate and arrest individuals suspected of committing war crimes. The number one name was General Hideki Tojo, former Prime Minister and Chief of the Imperial General Staff, who was considered most responsible for Japan’s acts of aggression. When CIC agents arrived at the general’s house, he could be seen at a window. He no more than disappeared from sight when a shot was heard from inside the house. Breaking down the door, the CIC agents found Tojo slumped in a chair bleeding from a self-inflicted wound. Medical treatment was administered and Tojo survived, only to face trial and execution for his crimes. The CIC agents confiscated both the suicide pistol and a back-up pistol that Tojo had at the ready, if needed.