This article examines how the defeated and demoralized Japanese, faced with Soviet detention and repatriation policies, were embroiled in Cold War antagonism that originated with the division of Europe. The article addresses three main questions. First, how did the Japanese government seek to facilitate the return of Japanese from the Soviet-occupied zone? Second, how did negotiations over Japanese repatriation intersect with U.S.-Soviet relations? Third, how did Soviet repatriation policy effect Japanese foreign policy in the initial stage of the Cold War? This episode brings out important aspects of U.S.-Soviet-Japanese interactions during the early Cold War.