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(1)Educational Policy for the Construction of a New Japan

The Ministry of Education first presented its thinking about postwar educational policy in a paper entitled the Educational Policy for the Construction of a New Japan published on September 15, 1945. This paper is of special importance as it was released before the Occupation authorities announced any of their plans, and thus can be understood as a wholly Japanese view on what should constitute the "new education." The main points of this paper can be summarized as follows:

1) Policies for the "New Education": Planning for educational policies suitable for the new conditions of the postwar period is under way. The basic aim of future educational policy will be to abolish militaristic attitudes while firmly preserving the national polity and to create in their place attitudes conductive to a peaceful nation. Emphasis will be placed on improving the education of the Japanese people, fostering the growth and acceptance of scientific thought, and cultivating a commitment to the love of peace.

2) Reorientation of Educational Attitudes: There will be a return from the wartime system of education to a peaceful system; military education in the schools will be completely abolished and research centers engaged in war-related activities will be redirected to peaceful purposes.

3) Textbooks: Textbooks will be thoroughly revised to accord with the new educational policies; until such a revision has been completed, portions for correction or deletion will be indicated.

4) Teaching Staff: As it is vital that teachers be able to provide an education consistent with the "new educational" goals, plans are being formulated for the reeducation of the teaching staff.

5) Students: Measures will be taken to compensate for students' academic deficiencies. Policies are being considered which would enable some students to change schools or departments. Students and graduates of the army and naval schools who so desire may enter schools administered by the Ministry of Education.

6) Scientific Education: Rather than emphasizing practical considerations, the Ministry will promote education which is grounded in scientific theory and oriented to the pursuit of truth.

7) Social Education: Raising the standard of public morality and improving the people's education are regarded as the bases for the construction of a new Japan. Hence the Ministry plans to promote several types of social education - adult education, worker education, family education, etc. Concrete plans for raising the cultural level of the citizenry are being formulated.

8) Youth Groups: With the dissolution of the Student Brigades, the Ministry will encourage local volunteers to organize new youth groups rather than reconstruct a new centrally administered program.

9) Religion: A religious spirit should be cultivated among the Japanese people both as a means toward the construction of a new Japan and to build the foundation for the realization of international amity and world peace.

10) Physical Education: Hygiene, medical care, and work will be emphasized as a means of restoring the students' physical condition which has been run down by the strains of the wartime period, with an appropriate balance struck between labor and study. Labor activities will include work projects to increase the food supply and to restore war-damaged areas. Sports will be encouraged and sports competition will provide an opportunity for international friendship.

11) A Reform of the Structure of the Ministry of Education: In order to carry out the policies mentioned in this paper, the administrative structure of the Ministry has been changed: the Student Mobilization Bureau has been abolished, the Physical Education Bureau revived and the Science Education Bureau newly established, and further reforms are under consideration.

To acquaint teachers and administrators with this new policy, the heads of various teacher training schools and prefectural chief school inspectors were assembled in Tokyo in mid-October for special seminars. In addition, study sessions attended by the principals of National Schools and youth schools were held in each prefecture. At these sessions it was emphasized that the "new education" reached beyond structural reform to embrace changes in the values imparted through education. Teachers were encouraged to use a spontaneous and original teaching method that exemplified the scientific approach. At the same time, teachers were reminded that their goal should be to enrich the personalities of their students and promote a high standard of moral character.

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(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

((C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

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