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The Scientific Community Post-Defeat

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Chapter Summary

Until the end of the war, the science sections of universities were engaged in mobilization research, and laboratories had been evacuated to countryside in spite of their staff's continuing teaching commitments. The period between the surrender and the Occupation Forces' arrival was very confusing; rumours were rife that the Occupation troops would rob, rape and kill Japanese people. The arrival of the Occupation Forces, though, did not alleviate the confusion. General Headquarters (GHQs) initial orders to the Eighth Army were to dislodge the parts worthy of confiscating for reparations from the ex-military equipment and then destroy the rest. GHQ ordered a purge of all military personnel from public positions as part of the demilitarization programme. In the beginning of Occupation it was estimated that the official purge would apply to one third of natural scientists in Imperial Universities, which might have dealt a fatal blow to the Japanese scientific community.

Keywords: General Headquarters (GHQs); imperial universities; Japanese scientific community; Occupation Forces



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