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Civil Censorship Detachment

On August 15, 1945 Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces. General MacArthur arrived in Japan on August 30, 1945. Within three weeks, General MacArthur's General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) issued a ten-point Press Code for the Japanese news media. The Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD), an operating unit overseen by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (G-2) and transferred from the Philippines to Japan at the beginning of the Occupation, was responsible for censorship of civilian communications (mail, telephone, telegraph, film, radio and publications). The CCD operation was brought to a close in November 1949. The holdings of the Prange Collection are the materials that once constituted the publication files of the CCD.

Between October of 1945 and November of 1949, Japanese publishers, including publishing houses, organizations and individuals, were required to submit two copies of their proposed publications to the CCD for review. The publications were submitted in pre-publication form, such as galley proofs or manuscripts, or in published form. Censorship markings were written directly on the publications by CCD examiners, usually in colored pencil, and included CCD classification and accession numbers, date received, Romanized title, proposed circulation and paper type. If a CCD examiner felt that a publication violated the Code for the Japanese Press, he/she translated the objectionable portion into English for review (and final determination of censorship action) by the examiner’s supervisor. One copy of the publication was returned to the publisher with publishing instructions. The second copy was retained as a file copy by the CCD.

Censorship action included deletions, complete suppression, publishing delays and other changes. No indication of censorship could appear in publications, such as blackening out of text or use of ellipses. Type had to be reset or spaces left by the deletions had to be filled with new material. Consequently, the Japanese public was unaware that censorship was in place until well after the occupation ended.