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Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP)

Designation for the chief executive of the Allied occupation of Japan. Its commonly-used acronym, SCAP, refered both to the chief executive and to his General Headquarters (GHQ) in Tokyo. General Douglas Macarthur and his successor, General Matthew B. Ridgway, both served as supreme commander. The supreme commander served as the sole executive authority for the Allied powers in Japan and was subject to the policy-making authority of the Far Eastern Commission in Washington. The Occupation authorities did not institute direct military government. Instead, each SCAP section was responsible for direct contact with the Japanese government on matters within its jurisdiction. United States military government teams were set up throughout Japan under the control of the US Eighth Army, based in Yokohama, to oversee the implementation of SCAP orders and to maintain contact with local Japanese officials. (see "MacArthur, Douglas")(adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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