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The story begins before Japan's unconditional surrender in August 1945, and concludes with the restoration of Japanese sovereignty in 1952. In a larger sense the story is still unfinished, for the people of today's Japan were raised in a society profoundly affected by the educational reforms introduced during the occupation. Part 1 consists of records of official sources, primarily from several U.S. agencies and the UN, with smaller groups from Japan and Australia. Prominent among the U.S. sources are the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC), the Office of War Information, the Office of Strategic Services, and the War Department. Some of these documents date from as early as 1943. One important nongovernmental report, from the American Council on Education, 1950, is also included.

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