Mac Arthur's first priority was to set up a food distribution network; following the collapse of the ruling government and the wholesale destruction of most major cities, virtually everyone was starving.
Even with these measures, millions of people were still on the brink of starvation for several years after the surrender.
This foreign presence marked the only time in Japan's history that it had been occupied by a foreign power.
was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, and effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was fully restored.
He also rejected the claims of members of the imperial family such as Prince Mikasa and Prince Higashikuni and demands of intellectuals like Tatsuji Miyoshi, who sought the emperor's abdication.Once the food network was in place Mac Arthur set out to win the support of Hirohito.The two men met for the first time on September 27; the photograph of the two together is one of the most famous in Japanese history.Had this occurred, there might have eventually been a communist state in the Soviet zone of occupation.However, unlike the Soviet occupations of East Germany and North Korea, these plans were frustrated by Truman's opposition.