The U.S. Propaganda Blitz in Post-War Japan

A report written in 1959 by Mark May, a Yale University professor and expert on psychological warfare, detailed the extensive operations by the United States Information Service (USIS) in Japan after the end of World War II. The report was recently uncovered in the National Archives in Washington by Kenneth Osgood, an assistant professor of history at Florida Atlantic University. The report reveals that 23 of 50 USIS-sponsored programs were not publicly identified as U.S. funded projects. USIS sponsored radio news and commentary programs "which are tape-recorded and utilized by commercial stations, yet the listening public is unaware of the source of these programs," May wrote. Other programs funded movies and conservative academics. One of the aims of USIS was to reduce anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan in the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. May reported that the promotion of the civilian "Atoms for Peace" nuclear power program resulted in the number of people equating the word "atom" with "harmful" falling from 70 percent in 1956 to 30 percent in 1958.