Mr. Max W. Bishop, of the Office of the Political Adviser in Japan, to the Secretary of State

No. 283

Sir: I have the honor to forward three copies of a press release12 (a four-month summarization report) by Brigadier General Ken R. Dyke, Chief of the Civil Information and Education Section, General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. These copies, which were the only ones available, were courteously furnished by the above Section at our request.

General Dyke states that “The Japanese educational system is freeing itself of the insidious poison of militarism and ultranationalism and is moving into an era of democratic reform.” Other points emphasized are that for the first time both the Japanese Minister and Vice Minister of Education13 are professional educators; that a new program of education is being worked out; that cooperation with SCAP officers has been notable; that the examination and screening of [Page 156] teachers is proceeding satisfactorily; that military drill and education have been prohibited and are being eliminated.

He adds that new texts are being prepared; that the school years have been restored to their pre-war length; that teachers and educational officials suspended or forced to resign for liberal opinions, if now qualified, are being re-appointed. He also reviews the use of radio, and of special courses and manuals to re-orient and direct the teachers and school administrators. General Dyke calls attention to the establishment of the principle of co-education and of equal education for girls and women. He is optimistic that this end will be attained within a reasonable time. He commends the appointment by the Japanese Government of a committee of educators to cooperate with the Mission of American Education, which is now on its way to Japan to “study the educational system and advise General Mac-Arthur on matters of policy and long-range objectives. After the departure of the American Mission, the Japanese committee will continue to serve the Ministry as an advisory body on educational reform.” Certain Japanese have pointed out that only the government-supported schools are represented on this Japanese committee. This deficiency is under consideration and may be remedied.

General Dyke expresses the opinion that “The great task of educational reform in Japan has only just begun. A tentative blueprint has been laid down, but the careful, painstaking process of carrying out the provisions of Potsdam lies ahead. It will not be an easy undertaking.”

Respectfully yours,

Max W. Bishop

Foreign Service Officer
  1. Not printed.
  2. Yoshishige Abe and Knnisuke Yamazaki, respectively.