Japanese Education since 1945: A Documentary Study

By Edward R. Beauchamp; James M. Vardaman | Go to book overview

tasks and will require large numbers of civilian experts for their performance. Their early recruitment by some agency of the U.S. Government would appear to be essential to the success of any program.


20
Bases for Educational Reconstruction

March 8, 1946

Source: General Headquarters, SCAP, CIE, Education Division, Education in the New Japan, vol. 2 ( Tokyo, 1948) pp. 248- 265 (excerpts).

(Address by Japanese Minister of Education, Abe Yoshishige, at first meeting of the U.S. Education Mission to Japan)

… While war is the most deplorable and abominable happening for the human race, we cannot overlook the fact that through war peoples are brought into closer contact with each other. Actually, as the result of our defeat, an unprecented number of your countrymen have come to our land. We see them everywhere, and we come into daily contact with their ways of thinking and acting. Moreover, we are to be under the control of your countrymen in everything, in our politics, economy, culture, and education. Although we cannot call it an honor for us, it is yet undeniable that it serves to make our contact with your people more frequent and more profound than ever. In fact, our daily life materially and spiritually has come to be unthinkable without taking into account the influence which your country and your people are exercising upon it….

… We believe that your country is not going to violate truth and justice on the strength of being a victor. And we pray that the pressure brought upon us by this victory—for we cannot help feeling it as a pressure—will help to make truth and justice permeate all our country, and serve as a chance for us to eliminate quickly and vigorously all the injustices and defects existing in our society and all the weaknesses and evils underlying our national character and customs…. As you may guess it is a severe trial and a hard task to be a defeated country and a defeated people, but if I may say so, it must also be a very difficult thing to be a good victor. While we hope that we are not going to be mean and servile as a defeated nation, we believe that you are not going to be needlessly proud and arrogant as a victorious nation….

-82-

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