Civil Information and Education Section memorandum (December 21, 1945)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Civil Information and Education Section memorandum (December 21, 1945)
by Ken R. Dyke

GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
CIVIL INFORMATION AND EDUCATION SECTION

21 December 1945

MEMORANDUM:
TO : Section Chiefs

The following information plan will be used in connection with the arrest and trial of war crime suspects:

I. Background:

By official definition, Japanese war crimes are divided into the following tree classes:
A. "Planning, preparation, initiation and waging of war of agression in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.
B. "Violations of the laws or customs of war; such violations shall include but not be limited to murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas or elsewhere, improper treatment of hostages, plunder of public or private property, whether destruction of cities, towns or villages or devastation not justified by military necessity.
C. "Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts committed against any civilian population before or during the war or persecutions on political racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime defined herein, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

II. Objectives:

A. To show that there is adequate oral basis for punishing those found guilty of planning, preparing, initiating, waging or conspiring to wage a war of aggression.
B. To show that is is in behalf of all mankind that action is being taken against those suspected of war crimes.
C. To show that punishment of war criminals is necessary for the construction of peaceful and prosperous Japan and for future world security.
D. To show that war criminals bear the major responsibility for the present blight of the Japanese people, but that the people themselves share a co-responsibility for tolerating or actively supporting the militarist regime.
E. To make clear to the Japanese people their responsibility to prevent to preestablishment of a system which would countenance war crimes.
F. To show that diverse groups within Japan, such as politicians, industrialists, leading propagandists, etc. share war responsibility.
G. To show that war criminals suspects receive a fair and open trial.
H. To forestall possible criticism of sentences to die by hanging. as in the Yamashita case, by making clear that those responsible of atrocities are not entitled to considerations of honor when the form and nature of their punishment are devised.
I. To stimulate discussion, among the Japanese people on war crimes and war criminals.

III. Media Plans:

A. Press and Magazines:
1. Pre-trial period
a. Conference with responsible Tokyo newspaper and magazine editors, and representatives of Legal Section and International Prosecution Section will participate.
b. The Press Section will publicize prepared releases on activities of other media in reference to war crime.
c. Daily serial on history of the war will be continued in all Japanese newspapers.
2. Trial Period
a. A representative of the Press Section will meet Japanese press representatives after each trial session to answer the questions of the Japanese reporters. Policy questions will be referred to Legal and International Prosecution Sections for explanations.
b. The Press Section will prepare a daily 15 minute round-up on the trials for broadcast by Radio Section.
c. Periodic meetings with Japanese newspaper editors will be held if and then the necessity arises.
c. Biographical material on prosecutors, judges, etc., will be prepared.
B. Radio:
1. Pre-trial period
a. Speakers programs: 3 broadcasts (11,12,14 Dec)

b. Round Table Form, 15 Dec: Who Should Be Labelled a War Criminal?
c. The Farm Hour: Crimes Against the Farmer.
d. The Labor Hour: Crimes Against Labor.
e. The Student's Hour: Crimes Against Students.
f. The Women's Hour: Crimes Against Women.
g. The Children's Hour: The Nature of a War Crime.
h. Men-on-the-Street Program: Cross Section of Jap Opinion on War Crimes.
i. Editorial Round-Up: What Jap Editors Have to Say On War Crimes and Criminals.
j. Weekly Dramatic Show: "Now It Can Be Told", on the history of the war.
2. Trial Period
a. Use of above-named sustaining programs will be continued to provide commentary framework for the trials. This will include comment by selected Japanese reporters covering the trials.
b. Nightly news round-up as written by Press Section.
c. Weekly 1/2 hour show featuring actual testimony recorded during trials using March of Time technique.
d. Weekly Dramatic Show: "Now It Can Be Told", on the history of the war.
C. Newsreels:
1. Pre-trial period
a. Newsreels will cover the biographical backgrounds of those arrested, employing the "flash back" technique to recall past action of individuals and linking Japanese war-time leaders with the present plight of the nation.
2. Trial Period
a. Complete newsreel coverage will be given trials, using Signal Corps or other official footage.
Those will be edited and shown as a "must" in all theaters.
D. Slidefilms:
1. Pre-trial period
a. Slidefilms will show portraits of war criminal suspects, including biographical backgrounds. Diagrams will show the nature of a war crime.

2. Trial period
a. Newsreel shots (or equivalent) will be used in producing additional slide films during trials quoting significant testimony.
b. Wider adult coverage will be secured by showing films in railroad stations and other public gathering places.
E. Documentaries:
1. Post-Trial period
a. An official documentary will do produced covering the whole war criminal question, the nature of a war crime, the arrest of suspects, their trials, their conviction. The documentary will be shown as a "must" in all theaters.
F. Organizations:
1. Pro-Trial and Trial Periods
a. Farm, Labor, Political, Youth and Women's organizations known to favor vigorous prosecutions of war criminals will be encouraged to:
(1) Hold public discussion on the question of war criminals.
(2) take their stand known to the press.


/s/Ken R. Dyke

/t/KEN R. DYKE
Brig. General, AUS

Concurrences by

International Prosecution Section _J.B.K._
Legal Section _A.C.C._

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).