Putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen coop is asking for trouble. In relying on Japan’s Ministry of Education to implement education reforms during the Occupation (1945-52), U.S. authorities ensured that their good intentions would come to naught.

Despite efforts at decentralization and devolution of authority over textbook content, by 1958 the central government bureaucrats reasserted control over what was taught in Japan’s schools.

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