In the years immediately after World War II, Carl Shoup focused primarily on the reconstruction of the U.S. tax system, just as he had earlier. An unexpected opportunity arose, however, to undertake a major international tax mission – the mission to Japan during the American occupation. Shoup did not hesitate in seizing the opportunity. He recognized that the reform project would be of unprecedented scope and significance and might have the potential to influence the future of worldwide taxation. Meeting the challenge, however, would require far more effort and organization than in Shoup’s work in France and Cuba. The agenda would be much more robust; the mission’s objectives were more ambitious and complicated. It seemed to have the primary goal of promoting democracy in Japan, rather than relieving American creditors or taxpayers. It would require attention to the changes that Keynesian ideas had made in the analysis and prescriptive advice of economists. To implement the objectives of the mission, he decided that he had to revise the organizational platform for reform that General Douglas MacArthur had built during the American occupation of Japan. In particular, Shoup had to strengthen the commitment of both occupation authorities and the Japanese government to principles of tax reform, and to enhance their ability to investigate economic and fiscal conditions within Japan.
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