Six Inch Rule: Revisiting the Australian Occupation of Japan 1946–1952

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Australia’s proactive participation in the US-led occupation of Japan is a pivotal chapter in the national narrative of engagement with Asia. The documentary and literary record bequeathed by the Australian occupying force is deeply contradictory. The official policy of non-fraternisation (indicated by the ‘six inch rule’) was compromised by degrees of intimacy which enabled post-war reconciliation with Japan. Yet many ‘occupationnaires’ relished exercising power over a despised people and luxuriated in the comforts of occupier. Australia’s role in Japan is a salutary case study of the neo-colonial discourses of foreign occupation, and of Australian regional ambivalence. This article has been peer-reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42.1-42.16
Number of pages16
JournalHistory Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

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