December 15, 1945 – Occupation of Japan: General Douglas MacArthur orders that Shinto be abolished as the state religion of Japan. At the end of World War II, Japan was occupied by the Allied Powers, led by the United States with a contribution from the British Commonwealth. This foreign presence marked the first time in its history that the island nation had been occupied by a foreign power. The occupation transformed Japan into a democracy modeled somewhat after the American New Deal. The San Francisco Peace Treaty signed on September 8, 1951 marked the end of the Allied occupation, and after it came into force on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent country.