Over the side

75 years ago.

Official caption: “Japanese ammunition being dumped into the sea on September 21, 1945.”

During the U.S. occupation, almost all of the Japanese war industry and existing armament that fell into Allied hands in the Home Islands was dismantled, with the country’s self-defense forces eventually rebuilt a decade later with U.S. military aid.

The detritus of the Empire outside of the Home Islands, on the other hand, was quickly recycled. From Indonesian separatists in Java fighting the Dutch to Viet Mihn scrapping the French soon put surplus Arisakas and Nambus to use. Meanwhile, Americans fighting the Chinese in North Korea in the 1950s often found themselves on the receiving end of Japanese-made ordnance, washed clean of its imperialist origins via the hands of Mao’s eager Red Army.

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