Occupying Power: Sex Workers and Servicemen in Postwar Japan, by Sarah Kovner. Stanford University Press, 2012, 240 pp., $50.00 (hardcover) Love, Sex and Democracy During the American Occupation, by Mark McClelland. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012, 252 pp., $85.00 (hardcover)

Six decades after the U.S. occupation of Japan (1945-52) ended, two fascinating books probe the sexual policies, politics and norms that animated and emanated from this encounter with considerable reward from rather different angles.

Sarah Kovner focuses on the post-1945 sex industry serving GIs, while Mark McClelland delves into how the American presence influenced carnal attitudes and practices among Japanese.

Kovner argues that "Sex work provides a powerful subject to analyze social change." She discusses the establishment of official brothels by the Japanese government for the occupying troops and their disbandment by American Gen. Douglas MacArthur due to health and moral considerations. This did not stifle private enterprise and did not help limit sexually transmitted diseases among the troops, much of which they apparently brought with them and spread among Japanese sex workers and hence their colleagues.