The impetus for an MA thesis on 'New Zealand and the Military Occupation of Japan 1945-48' came from discussions with individuals at Massey University, Internal Affairs Historical Branch, and the New Zealand J Force and BCOF Veterans Association. It became clear that this episode in New Zealand history had not previously been studied in depth, yet opportunities were diminishing for with the passing of time veterans' written and oral recollections and personnel papers were being lost. An ideal and somewhat urgent avenue for original historical research emerged. New Zealand's role in the military occupation of Japan had two inter-connecting sides, political and military. This thesis will examine both, and the relationship between the political and military parts, as well as the overall relevance of this slice of New Zealand history. A central question is 'was participation in the occupation of Japan important as a political or military event, or both'?