Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact

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War Guilt Information Program (WGIP) and “History Warfare” Introduction

By Takahashi Shiro,

War Guilt Information Program (WGIP) and “History Warfare”
–Recover morals of the Japanese people

By Takahashi Shiro
Published by The Institute of Moralogy


This book originated from this author’s series of manuscripts, titled Another “Chrysanthemums and the Sword”, which was published in the monthly magazine MOKU for three years, starting in April 2013. I rearranged these manuscripts according to theme, made some corrections and additions and wrote this book.

I went to the United States in 1980 and studied there for three years. While studying in graduate school, University of Maryland, where censored papers during the Military Occupation of Japan are archived, I was absorbed in studying papers of the Civil Information Education (CIE) Section, General Headquarters, which are located in the United States National Archives.

In July 1981, I drove across the American Continent and went to San Francisco to study at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University, where personal papers of Joseph Trainor, deputy chief of the Education Division of the CIE, are held. At the Institute, I purchased all of Trainer papers and the CIE papers in the form of microfilm and microfiche, which I later brought back to Meisei University in Japan. At Meisei University, the Center to Study History of Postwar Education was established (the first chief of the Center was Meisei University President Kodama Mitsuo) and I regularly contributed my findings to the Center’s bulletin, Study of History of Postwar Education.

I became the youngest member of an expert committee of the Ad Hoc Education Council (a governmental council on education) launched in 1984 and participated in the discussion on educational reform, which was held every week for three hours at the Cabinet Office for nearly three years. As I was the only education scholar among the committee members, I was often asked to state my opinion about impending issues in education, such as bullying at school. To comply with the needs of the time, I was obliged to study “clinical education” and taught “clinical education” at Tamagawa University Graduate School and published a book, titled Clinical Education and Education for Sensitivity. Later, I became a lecturer and reviewer of the entrance examination for Matsushita Sekikei Juku (School of Politics and Economy), which led me to establish the “Teachers’ School” in Tokyo, Saitama, Osaka and Fukuoka Prefectures. Furthermore, facing the problem of “classroom collapse,” I established the Association to Promote “Parental Learning” and worked to educate teachers and parents in terms of human relationships.

A big change in my life suddenly occurred after I changed my field of study from history to education. In April 2012, immediately after the “Diet Members Association to Promote Parental Learning” was established, false information and misconceptions promoted by the Association, that “lack of parental love results in children’s developmental disorders,” took hold of the public and we were obliged to step back.

On this challenge, “adversity is the best teacher”, and interpreting this as a sign to return to my roots, that is, the study of history of Japan under the military occupation, I restarted investigation of overseas documents and papers related to Japan under Allied military occupation. A series of manuscripts in the magazine MOKU is a vivid account of my renewed research.

The main theme of my research is “War Guilt Information Program” (WGIP). As I stated in detail in another book of mine, Review—Postwar Education, published more than twenty years ago, due to limited access to public papers and documents at the time, primary sources to support my study were limited to only thirty-nine pages CIE papers and I did not succeed in proving the CIE’s consistent involvement in anti-Japanese psychological warfare orchestrated by the United States Government.

Papers related to Bradford Smith and Bonner F. Fellers, who led the WGIP, papers of the Office of War Information (OWI), to which the two of them belonged, and papers of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), papers of Geoffrey Gorer, who established basic strategy for anti-Japanese psychological warfare as chief of the OWI’s section to analyze foreign military’s fighting spirits and Ruth Benedict, who was appointed as his successor, were made public, one after another, by the University of Sussex and Vassar College, which made it possible for me to empirically research the origin of the WGIP and the process by which the Program developed.

Through the disclosure of confidential papers in the British National Archives and the Venona Papers, in which American and British intelligence agencies decoded encrypted Soviet correspondences, and others items, Soviet agents and collaborators were unmasked. The papers also disclosed a program to brainwash Japanese P.O.W.s in China, thus becoming a model for the WGIP.

Along with the investigation of these papers abroad, I participated, as an observer, in the International Advisory Committee held in Abu Dhabi, which decided on papers to be published related to the Great Nanjing Massacre to the list of the UNESCO “Memory of the World”. I have also inspected, on site, all comfort women statues installed in various places in California. This book also includes papers based on my own experiences, such as speeches to local Americans about the comfort women issue and the bullying of Japanese children living in the States, sponsored and scheduled by Japanese Consulates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta.

A trend still prevails, interpreting prewar education and postwar education as binary or in opposition, equating the Imperial Rescript on Education and school textbook for moral training with militarism and condemning prewar education. Even seventy years after the end of the War, politicians who just mention the Imperial Rescript on Education are severely attacked by the mass media. Like it or not, we are in a bizarre “closed linguistic bubble”.

Why is it that we are still faced with prewar censorship of speech? Issues regarding history textbooks, visits to Yasukuni Shrine, comfort women, Korean wartime workers (mobilized laborers) are all a “war over history,” which started in Japan, ignited by “anti-Japanese Japanese.” And at the bottom of all issues concerning historical recognition lies “traditional Japanese morals or militarism” which the WGIP manipulated for the sake of American interests. It is urgent that we correctly recognize the facts, based on true history.

I sincerely wish to revive true Japanese morals through analyzing how a brainwashing strategy came into being and the functioning of the WGIP in terms of theory and actual operations, all of which contrived as an extension of U.S. military psychological strategy.

Due to page limitations, I was obliged to leave out much of my previous writings. However, to vividly convey what is actually going on in the field of research, I don’t think it enough just to list reports on the discovery of historical sources. What I left in I wrote in a diary-like style, as much as possible.

Lastly, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Yasue Etsuko of the Publishing Department of the Institute of Moralogy, who has greatly contributed to the publication of this book.

November 20, 2018 Takahashi Shiro

Table of Contents


Prologue: On the trip to investigate overseas archives
Back to the original place
Pledge to study from diversified perspectives
Confidential papers related to Elizabeth Vining
Encounters on the trip

Chapter I: Shared illusion called “traditional militarism”
The discovered diary of Kishimoto Hideo
A fixed “artificial eye”
Strength resilient enough to cope with the “clash of civilizations”
Absurd misunderstanding regarding the Japanese “national traits”
A meeting to analyze the “structure of the Japanese character”
When biased propaganda became fact—the meaning of studying the postwar history

Chapter II: The process how the War Guilt Information Program was made
The beginning of the war crime campaign
The sense of value of the Allied Occupation Forces permeated Japan
The origin of the program to change the Japanese mentality (WGIP)
The source of the War Guilt Information Program
The transition from the “early policy against Japan” to “reorientation of the Japanese people on the part of the United States
The continuity from the psychological strategy against Japan—papers of Fellers and Smith
The contact between The History of the Pacific War and the Great Nanjing Massacre propaganda

Chapter III: Comparative consideration on Benedict and Mears
Attitudes toward Japanese study
Severe criticism against Mears
What is impartial justice
A book on Japanese culture: A Daughter of the Samurai resolved “the misunderstanding”

Chapter IV: Conflict over “the Imperial Declaration of Humanity”
The “conflict” emerging from new historical sources
The Emperor Showa clearly demonstrates the origin of reverence toward the traditional thinking

Chapter V: “History war” in the United States
Japan bashing staged by China and Korea gaining momentum in the United States
The international consequence of the false reporting by the Asahi Newspaper and the IWG report
A lie becomes fact unless objected otherwise
The real circumstance of anti-Japanese siege evident with the installation of comfort woman statues in the United States
Anti-Japanese siege getting tighter, empowered by false arguments
The real damages of racism against Japan spread across the United States

Chapter VI: “History War” in UNESCO
Court records of false charges became the “Memory of the World”
Historical sources not translated into Japanese adopted as grounds for international controversy
Utter blunder committed by the Japanese diplomacy—China’s political propaganda inscribed to “Memory of the World”
The Japanese diplomacy deceived by “secret strategy” –Never repeat defeat in history war
Sympathetic creation to overcome historical conflict—thoroughly carry out the presentation and confirmation of the facts from an inclusive point of view

Consideration on the latest trend of UNESCO “Memory of the World”
Papers pertaining to the 201st executive committee of UNESCO (the report on the progress of the International Advisory Committee)
Preliminary recommendations to the application and response
Problems regarding the classification of collaborated application papers into three types
The Constitution of UNESCO and the investigative report of the United States Congress
Specific problems regarding collaborated application papers
Technical problems regarding collaborated application

List of major references