The American Occupation of Japan - Press Code


The press in Japan was censored by the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) of the General Headquarters (GHQ), the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) from September 19th, 1945 to April 28th, 1952.


During the American occupation of Japan, the press was censored by GHQ. Any criticism of the American occupation was not allowed while criticism of Japan during and before the war was repeatedly reported. The September 29th issue of Toyo Keizai Shimpo (a Japanese magazine) was confiscated by CCD on October 1st, 1945, because the magazine reported violence of American soldiers of occupation. Although Japanese people were suffered from violence of Korean people, the press cannot report such kinds of news. The news of the atomic bombs including the damage and victims was not disclosed to people.

Actually, Japanese media was not allowed by GHQ to report any news that fell in the following 30 categories.

  1. Criticism of SCAP
  2. Criticism of Military tribunal
  3. Criticism of SCAP writing Constitution
  4. References to Censorship
  5. Criticism of U.S.
  6. Criticism of Russia
  7. Criticism of Britain
  8. Criticism of Koreans
  9. Criticism of China
  10. Criticism of Other Allies
  11. General Criticism of Allies
  12. Criticism of Japanese Treatment in Manchuria
  13. Criticism of Allies' Pre-War Policies
  14. Third World War Comments
  15. Russia vs Western Powers Comments
  16. Defense of War Propaganda
  17. Divine Descendant Nation Propaganda
  18. Militaristic Propaganda
  19. Nationalistic Propaganda
  20. Greater East Asia Propaganda
  21. Other Propaganda
  22. Justification or Defense of War Criminals
  23. Fraternization
  24. Black Market Activities
  25. Criticism of Occupation Forces
  26. Overlaying Starvation
  27. Incitement to Violence & Unrest
  28. Untrue Statements
  29. Key Log

Why this fact affects the rightward trend?

The Japan Constitution was enacted on May 3rd, 1947, in which the censorship is prohibited in Article 21 as:

Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.

The Japan Constitution was drafted by GHQ, SCAP so that Japan would become a democratic country. On the other hand, GHQ introduced the censorship to monitor the Japanese media and prohibited the press which was inconvenient to SCAP.

It is a popular common understanding that the democracy was introduced by USA after the World War II with the new Japan Constitution, but the fact shows that there was no freedom of the press in Japan during the American occupation of Japan.

Another fact that surprises people who found this truth is that the violence of Koreans was intentionally suppressed by USA.

The postwar public opinion had been formulated under the situation that truth was hidden.