For many japanese the events of August 1945 placed their country in a special position. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki gave Japan the dubious distinction of being the only country to have sustained atomic bomb attacks. Acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration meant that the military government was eradicated overnight, along with the extraordinary status of the emperor who had presided over it. Although the emperor himself remained on the throne, democracy came to Japan, and with it an entree into the international economic community.

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