Implementation of First War Guilt Information Program (October, 1945 - June, 1946)

Implementation of First War Guilt Information Program (October,1945 - June,1946)  (1946) 
by Civil Information and Education Section

OCTOBER, 1945 - JUNE, 1946


1. A running story, entitled Historical articles on the War in the Pacific (approximately 15,000 words) presenting the true history of the War, was prepared by CIE, approved by the Historian, G-3, and received almost complete coverage in the Japanese daily press from 8 December 1945 until the series ended. This history emphasised guilt for inception of the war, revelations of historical truth theretofore kept from the Japanese people, and facts about Japanese atrocities, particularly in Nanking and Manila. (Tab B-1).

2. Before the actual release of the above history, an information program emphasising war atrocities was carried out in conjunction with the Yamashita trial in Manila, the issuance of lists of Japanese war criminals to be apprehended and tried at Yokohama and, after 6 December 1945 in conjunction with the Historical Articles series itself. The atrocity and war guilt information program was divided into the following activities:

a. About 1,000 copies of the Sack of Manila (Tab B-2) were distributed to the Japanese press by CIE. The press was strongly urged to utilise this document in any part and at any time to give factual presentation of Japanese atrocities.
b. Appropriate excerpts and photographs from the Report on the Destruction of Manila and Japanese Atrocities (issued by the Office of the Resident Commission of the Philippines to the United States) were furnished to the Japanese press with strong recommendations for liberal use. (Tab B-3).

c. Information from the two publications mentioned above was supplemented by photos of captured Japanese documents giving evidence of rape, mass killings of civilians, torture of prisoners of war, beheadings and other atrocities. A dozen detailed stories of atrocities as quoted in Japanese documents were furnished to CIE by ATIS and released to the Japanese press, in November-December 1945.

3. Subsequent to December 1945, press releases in conjunction with radio series, "Now It Can Be Told" (Tabs E and H) were furnished to all newspapers, and on 9 February 1946, details of arrests of war criminals and the crimes with which they were charged were distributed to all newspapers by Kyodo News Agency.

4. Representative editorials of leading newspapers on the general subject of war guilt are carried under Tab B-4.


1. The Historial Articles on the War in the Pacific were translated into Japanese and published in book form (172 pages) by Takayama Shoin, a commercial publishing house. Two editions (March, 1946 and June, 1946), totaling 100,000 copies were printed and sold. (Tab C-1).

2. The following books, based on the "Truth Box" radio program, were published and circulated in the numbers indicated below:

a. The Truth Box, the actual state of the Pacific war, covering politics, diplomacy, land, sea and air battles, published by Cosmo Publishing Company, Tokyo: 20,000 copies sold in 1946. (Tab C-2).
b. These Are Facts, published by Rengo Press, Tokyo: 20,000 copies sold in 1946. (Tab C-3).


1. "Notes and Documents pertaining to the Surrender," a statement of Japan's position under the surrender terms, was released to all magazines in February, 1946. Comprehensive files of the publications are not available, but there is evidence that the material was not widely used.

2. Selected individual shows, an aired over the nationwide radio program, "Truth Box", were carried in the Japanese magazine Nihon Rekishi in June, July and August 1946. The June and July numbers carried the story of the Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway and the Aleutians; the August issue carried the story of the rape of Nanking. Circulation of the magazine at the time was 5,500 copies monthly.


1. "How It Can Be Told," a dramatization of the Historical Articles was broadcast in a series of ten weekly programs, from 9 December 1945 to 10 February 1946.

2. Concurrency, CIE initiated a nationwide radio program, known as

the "How It Can Be Told 'Question Box'", to allow for audience participation in asking questions prompted by the original program. When the original program ended, the "Question box" became the "Truth Box". This new program ran for 41 consecutive weeks, ending on 4 December 1946. It had a listener reaction which averaged 900 to 1200 letters weekly, a very high response for Japan at that time.


1. The following documentary pictures were produced and released in this period, under the aegis of CIE:

a. Who Drove the People to War? Produced by Riken, released 16 May 1946 to an estimated audience of 1,000,000. This two-reel short subject documentary recounts chronologically the story of intrigues and episodes which led the Japanese people into war.
b. Tokyo Trial Series No. 1, produced by Nippon, released 16 May 1946 to an estimated audience of 1,800,000. This one-reel short subject documentary, highlights the infamy later to be exposed in the war trials.

2. The following feature pictures were produced with the advice and guidance of CIE:

a. Who Is a War Criminal? Produced by Daiei Company, released 27 December 1945 to an estimated audience of 3,000,000. Story: A courageous politician opposes the war and bravely refuses to change his views despite oppression by militarists.
b. The Comedy Has Ended, produced by Shochiku Company, released 10 January 1946 to an estimated audience of 3,500,000. Story: A satire directed at Japanese wartime bureaucracy and militaristic tyranny.
c. Life's Album, produced by Shochiku Company, released 18 January 1946 to an estimated audience of 3,000,000. Story: A satire concerning an opportunistic wartime racketeer and contrasting his postwar activities with those of his employees who are sincerely trying to rebuild Japan.
d. Dawn of the Osone Family, produced by Shochiku Company, released 21 February 1946 to an estimated audience of 4,000,000. Story: A drama concerning a peace-loving family which loses its freedom because of the rise of militarism but is liberated from tyranny on the day of surrender. This picture was selected for third prize in the 1946 "Motion Picture Concours".
e. Public Enemy No. 1, produced by Toho Company, released 24 April 1946 to an estimated audience of 2,000,000. Story: A drama concerning a Japanese opposed to the war and depicting the evils of the militarists and the Zaibatsu.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).