Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Marcia Yonemoto

Second Advisor

Tim Weston

Third Advisor

Miriam Kingsberg


On July 18, 1946, The New York Times published an article stating that Army fiscal offices had "transferred to the United States $35,000,000 more than the entire occupation [had] been paid." GHQ quickly discovered that U.S. soldiers were actively involved in selling American goods on the black market and sending their profits home. Although SCAP implemented a number of policies to discourage U.S. soldiers from illegally selling American goods, these policies failed to eliminate black marketeering during the Occupation of Japan (1945-1952).

I argue that these policies failed for two reasons. First, SCAP failed to crack down aggressively on the organized crime syndicates that ran the black markets in Japan. Second, a black market culture had developed throughout Japan and the high demand for American goods coupled with the GI's willingness to sell these goods to Japanese civilians made it difficult for SCAP to stop black marketeering.