Diary of Leon Ma. Guerrero

22nd May 1945

On the anniversary of Emperor Meiji’s rescript on education, a new wartime education law was promulgated today which virtually turns the schools of Japan into factories and barracks. The spirit of the new ordinance is given in its first article; “The student should shoulder the national destiny with a loyal spirit, devote himself to work vitally necessary in wartime, and display fully the results of the education he has hitherto obtained as well as train his intellectual capacity.” The law merely recognizes and legalizes the existing situation. Instead of going to school Japanese students will, as heretofore, work in the farms and factories or on defense works. But it is now legally provided that for these activities those who die or are wounded in line of duty, who are mobilized or conscripted, or who concentrate on wartime studies will be graduated or receive similar treatment without attending school or undergoing examinations; thus one might call them graudates “laboris causa”. Furthermore a student corps shall be organized in each school and a federation of student corps shall be established in each region. These corps will absorb the Dai Nippon Youth Association which once numbered 15 million members.