By Robin Gerster
In February 1946, the Australians of the British Commonwealth profession strength (BCOF) moved into western Japan to ‘demilitarise and democratise’ the atom-bombed backwater of Hiroshima Prefecture. For over six years, as much as 20,000 Australian servicemen, together with their better halves and youngsters, participated in an ancient scan in nation-rebuilding ruled by means of the U.S. and the occupation’s perfect commander, common MacArthur.
It used to be to be a watershed in Australian army heritage and diplomacy. BCOF used to be one of many final collective armed gestures of a moribund empire. The Chifley govt desired to make Australia’s autonomous presence felt in post-war Asia-Pacific affairs, but the enterprise heralded the nation’s enmeshment in American geopolitics. This used to be the forerunner of the today’s peacekeeping missions and engagements in contentious US-led army occupations.
Yet the career of Japan was once additionally a compelling human adventure. It used to be a cultural reconnaissance — the 1st time a number of Australians have been capable of discover intensive an Asian society and kingdom. It used to be an exceptional household come upon among peoples with it appears incompatible traditions and temperaments. Many relished exercise strength over a despised former enemy, and basked within the ‘atomic sunshine’ of yank Japan. yet various Australians built an intimacy with the previous enemy, which placed them at odds with the ‘Jap’ haters again domestic, and have become the trailblazers of a brand new period of bilateral friendship.
Travels in Atomic Sunshine is a salutary examine of the neocolonialism of international career, and of Australia’s attribute ambivalence concerning the Asian region.