Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952

By Howard B. Schonberger | Go to book overview

7 JOSEPH M. DODGE
The Integration of Japan into the World Economy

A short, solemn American with thin graying hair and rimless glasses arrived in Tokyo on 1 February 1949, with the innocuous title of financial advisor to SCAP. Within two months the Economist in England commented that this financial "expert has finally taken over from the soldier in Japan." GeneralDouglas MacArthur might still be the supreme commander but Joseph Dodge, president of the Detroit Bank, was "the new power behind the throne."1 Japanese newspapers and magazines soon were filled with articles analyzing, criticizing, and occasionally praising the Dodge Mission and Dodge Line. Though virtually unknown in the United States today, Dodge is remembered in Japan along with General Douglas MacArthur and John Foster Dulles as one of the triumvirate of Americans who shaped the course of Occupation history.


The Man

Joseph Dodge was a shy and introverted man who never sought attention from the public. But his recognized competency in the banking field thrust him to the heights of power in the world of national and international affairs. Dodge did not have the credentials of most of his colleagues in business and government. He was born in Detroit in 1891, the son of a poor Quaker artist. He never attended college. After graduation from high school he worked as a bank messenger and in clerical and bookkeeping positions. Then in 1911 he began employment with the state of Michigan in the securities and banking

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