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Proposed War Guilt Information Program (Third Phase)

Civil Information and Education Section

3 March 1948

Proposed War Guilt Information Program (Third Phase)


1. To counter current and/or suspected attitudes on the part of certain Japanese which indicates that they are construing the bombing of Hiroshima andNagasaki as atrocities, and that American rehabilitation projects in Hiroshima should be undertaken in a spirit of atonement.
2. To interpret correctly the Tojo role and the felloacious thinking behind the growing feeling of justification for the Japanese nation's policy of aggresation.
3. To help obviste the possible emergence of ultra-nationalist thinking which would, at the termination of Occupation, negate democratic progress made during the Occupation.


1. Extreme caution is indicated on the grounds that a direct, frontel attack information program might act as a boomerang, and be the means of inciting and solidifying the ajority of public opinion whoreas present available decumentation points to "ultra-nationalist" and "atrocity" thinking being confined to a minority.
2. The question of whether these is a conflict in policy also must be considered in relation to an all-out information program. Present policy indieates that Japan is to be re-built economically, and that a quick peace treaty is desireable. In instituting a "frontel-attack" program on these subjects, the Occupation tacitly admits to the American people that the Japanese are not to be trusted and that therefore, economic assistances is debatable, and a peace treaty is underirable.
3. It is the consemens that the Tojo trials and the Hiroshima-Nagasaki "atrocities" properly should be considered as coming under the beading of a "war guilt" program. Treatment, however, may vary in specific methods as outlined in the following plan.


1. Strong emphaies on political information and education as an antidote for ultra-nationalism. (This has and is being covered to a large extant, but an even more ?ntrated program as been evolved and is new amaiting approval).
2. Pull coverage to be givin in the expose of any conerate movements which show resurgence of ultra-nationalistie movements, the ????ious thinking in back of such movements, and the inevitable conecences? of such movements.
3. Constant lisison with influential editors and leaders in the fields of Labor, agriculture, education, government, etc., wherein the virtues of free society versues a totalitarian state would be emphasised.
4. Encouragement of the development of progressive, liberal groups.


1. The Press:
a. The Press and Publications Unit, CIE has appointed a special press officer whose role duty is to maintain liaison. with Japanese editors, and endeavor to impress upon them not only the ideologies epressed in Tab G, but also to attempt to encourage objective editorial comment and news coverage on the ??mation and verdict of the Tojo and other war criminal trials, as well as news items on Hiroshima projects.

b. The Press and Publication liaison officer at the IMTFE (Tab G), will continue informational activities on the objectives and duties of the free press, with special amphasis during the Tojo summation and verdict phases.
c. Press and Publication Unit will send a press representative to the dedication ceremoniee scheduled for April, 1948 at Hiroshima encourage correct interpretation by the Japanese press.
d. Appropriate material for news releases will be requested from interested SCAP sections on both the Tojo and Hiroshima phases, which will help to counteract impressions montioned previously. (A statement from General MacArthur would be of great assistance).
2. Radio:
a. CIE Radio Unit will continue to stress the "war guilt" theme in regularly scheduled programs as outlined in Tab H for the duration of the war crime trais, and will continue constantly to refer to this subject in other programs as outlined in Tab H.
b. Major coverage will be given the summation and verdict of the Tojo phase of the trials.
c. A special CIE radio presentative, who will counsel and guide Japanese radio people in correct interpretation, will sent to Hiroshima for the April dedication ceremoniee.
3. Exhibits:
a. CIE Exhibits Unit has already prepared in rough outline from a series (13) of posters on War Crime Trials, subject to the approval of interested SCAP ????? with themes based on way war trials are bold..... ?ow a minority group threw the nation and the world into chaos......the average citizen did not have true voice in management of his own life..... consequences of accepting false information......moneys spent on warships, planes, ammunition in relation to what could have been spend in ?????? pursuits, vis., new housing, power, modernisation, etc......lessons to be learned from war trials.
4. Publications:
a. Serious consideration should be givin to the feasibility of bringing to Japan, as a CIS consultant, a competent? and recognised American historian to write a new history of Pacific War, which whould include War Crimes Trials and Occupation objectives. The purpose would be to turn the manuscript over to a Japanese publisher, without cost, and permit him to publish this own history as commercial venture.
b. Serious consideration should also be givin to the posibility of an article being published in leading American magazine sovering a recommendation? of Hiroshima, the main theme of which would be Japanese statement and the steps being takes in recommendation,peaceful, cultural, activities, etc., to prove to ? world that the Japanese are aware of the ? of tehir present plight and are trying to help themselves and thir nation. A suggested mathod of inspiring such an articlw would be to take private arrangements with Brig. Gen. ????? F. Feller (USA, Ret.) now in Washington, D. C.
c. Encouragement will be givin to Asahi Shimbun or another likely publisher to publish the entire text of the Prosecution's summation at the War Crime Tribural, to angment Chief Counsel Keenan's statement already being published by Asahi (Tab J-2 and J-3).

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).