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Am J Public Health. 2008 Mar;98(3):424-34. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.088906. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Promoting health during the American occupation of Japan the public health section, Kyoto Military Government Team, 1945-1949.

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Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, Room 316, Victoria College, Toronto, Canada M5S1K7.


During the American occupation of Japan (1945-1952), young public health officers from the US Army Medical Corps were posted in local US Army military government teams. These young doctors (aged 25 to 27 years), who had not absorbed the strong anti-Japanese tradition of the US military during World War II, seem to have alleviated the initial resentment felt by the Japanese toward the new governors of their homeland. The case of the Kyoto Military Government Team illustrates the Kyoto citizenry's positive view of some American-directed public health measures. The team's services helped to counter widely held negative views on colonialism, occupation, and public health; lessened resentment toward the unilateral command structure of the occupation forces; and contributed to improved relations between the United States and Japan at the local level.

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