Propaganda texts were employed by United States forces to avoid needless killing and bloodshed, as well as to encourage Japanese troops, civilians, and natives to enter the American lines for interrogation. Effectiveness of this method may be judged in part by the fact that large numbers of civilians reported having seen and read these leaflets. A small number of the Japanese military personnel captured made similar statements.
Propaganda texts were disseminated by means of aerial drops, artillery (which fired bundles of leaflets), and public address systems. Because of language variations the texts were prepared for three groups: Japanese, Koreans and natives. Samples of each of these follow:
JAPANESE TEXT NO. 1
"Your officers have been lying to you."
GUADALCANAL, TULAGI, ATTU, NEW GEORGIA, LAE, BOUGAINVILLE, MAKIN, TARAWA, KWAJALEIN, ENIWETOK, ADMIRALTY GROUP ISLANDS.
Your officers told you that the Japanese Navy and Air Force would come to your aid in all of these places. However, these statements of your officers were all lies. Haven't the Japanese troops who had faith in their officers come to a miserable end?
Why do you go on fighting for officers who lie to you? It is not necessary to fight to the last man or to commit suicide.
Your officers are not thinking of your interests. They are lying to you. They tell you it is the duty of the soldier to die along with them. They told you such lies because they were thinking only of their own honor. You do not gain anything by dying. Do not sacrifice your valuable lives in order to protect their honor. "While there is life there is hope." When the American forces attack this island, use the Life-Saving Guarantee without fear.
"Your officers have been lying to you."
JAPANESE SURRENDER TICKET
The bearer of this card has the special right to be aided by the American forces.
According to international law, we will give you fair treatment and will grant you sufficient clothing, food, and shelter as well as tobacco and medical treatment.
American troops will make every effort to preserve the lives of persons who desire aid.
Rules for the use of this card
Raise both hands high above your head, and, holding nothing in your hands except this card, advance slowly toward the positions of the American troops.
Don't crowd up; advance one by one.
Never approach American positions at night unless specifically invited to by radio broadcast. This card can be used by Japanese troops, Japanese civilians, Korean laborers, and islanders. Use this card and save your life.
KOREAN TEXT NO. 1
The Japanese cannot protect you! Even though the Japanese are unable to protect you, you will still die because of them.
Have the Japanese bayoneted or shot your people?
Kill the Japanese if they threaten to bayonet or shoot you!
Even if they haven't bayoneted or shot you it is of course an actual fact that they don't trust you. If you haven't been bayoneted or shot, look out for yourselves and think of the ways to save your lives. Without hesitation come quickly toward the American lines. Don't worry because the American definitely will not kill you.
Use this opportunity to save your lives! You are KOREANS!
You are not Japanese!
Why should you die for the Japanese?
Use this opportunity to save yourselves NOW!! Act immediately!
Even if you are not able to get ahold of this all-important Life-Saving Guarantee, if you raise your hands over your heads and come toward the American lines, you will be in no danger. Why should you die for the Japanese? Save yourselves!!
KOREAN SURRENDER TICKET
All persons coming to the American side bearing this paper will be saved.
This is in accordance with international law.
You will receive sufficient food, clothing, tobacco and medical treatment.
All of you who want to save your lives use this Life-Saving Guarantee and be saved by the American troops.
With both hands over your heads and holding up this paper, go to the American troops.
Come individually, not in a group!
Don't go to the American positions at night.
Even during the daytime, wait until the Americans give the order.
Japanese soldiers, Japanese and Korean laborers, islanders, Japanese civilians all can use this ticket.
Take this paper and save your life.
Native Text (in Katakana) No. 2
America is not fighting the inhabitants of this island. When the American troops attack this island, take this opportunity to save your life and do as it says below:
If you can, get away from the fighting area and take cover.
Don't help the Japanese troops at all.
When the fighting subsides a little, come to the American side as quickly as possible.
The American troops will give you food, clothing and tobacco. If you are wounded, they will give you medicine. When the fighting is over you can return home. Don't help the Japanese troops at all. If you can come to the American side without endangering yourself, come.
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1. NTLF G-2 Report, Appendix F.