THE PRIMARY GOALS of SCAP (the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, i.e., Gen. Douglas MacArthur; but used here to refer to Allied authorities in general) were the demilitarization and democratization of Japan. Although the first goal was accomplished easily within a few months, the second task was more difficult and took much longer. The Occupation agency within General MacArthur's headquarters that directed political reforms was Government Section. This key agency was headed by Brigadier General Courtney Whitney (from December 1945), whose deputy was Colonel Charles Kades (from September 1946). Reformers in Government Section planned to democratize political parties and to revise the election regulations, but it is doubtful that they anticipated the problem of widespread political bribery. An exception among the reformers was Harry E. Wiles, whose books on pre-1945Japan display a special interest in bribery and other forms of political corruption.
Determined to promote democratic self-government, SCAP began in January 1946 to purge undesirable organizations and people from public life. One consequence of this drastic action was a wholesale removal of politicians from the postwar political parties; this removal resulted in a "leadership vacuum that opened the way for a new generation of political leaders. Prominent among these new leaders were men who had risen to high positions in the national bureaucracy. Since the American Occupation was an indirect occupation that worked through the existing Japanese government structure, the bureaucracy was left relatively untouched by the purge."1
SCAP also promoted democratic self-government by pressuring officials to liberalize national election regulations. Although the enfranchisement of women was insisted upon, it appears that the Japanese were given a free hand in altering the law governing election to