The ruins of the 10th March fire in Tokyo are haunted by a stench of leaking gas. Hundreds of twisted faucets are still dripping in the ruins. Possibly as a result of this there was no water running in the house of my colleagues in Yotsuya, where I put up now when I am in Tokyo. Just as we were going to bed the maid rushed in with the news that the radio had announced the resignation of the Koiso cabinet. It had lasted from Saipan to Yiojima. “The resignation,” said the official announcement of the board of information, “has been decided upon by the cabinet so as to make way for a more powerful cabinet in consideration of the grave situation.” After nine months in office the cabinet was called into special session at 9 o’clock this morning. After collecting the written resignations of his colleagues, General Koiso presented himself at the imperial palace at 10:30 and submitted the resignations en bloc.
Saipan led to Yiojima and Yiojima may lead to the mainland, warned the Mainichi today. Apparently in preparation for invasion the vice-minister officer, Shibayama, in reply to interpellations in the commons yesterday, revealed that “the fighting services at present are making nationwide preparations for the organization of a defense corps”. This defense corps will be composed of former service-men, with units in every army regional command in Japan. Their arms will be manufactured locally in the different regions. “In case we directly face an enemy invasion,” concluded Shibayama, “not only this defense corps but also the volunteer corps, the patrol corps, and the police forces, etc., will be unified and mobilized.” The volunteer corps refers to another organization proposed by Koiso himself yesterday; details are not yet available but it will be drawn from the people at large, who will be armed and trained to fight as guerrillas.
Unable to write during last few days because of my malaria. I didn’t feel like doing anything. Felt like the old days in Bataan and the long, horrible months in the concentration camp.
Raids last Saturday. Saw planes bombing Grace Park. First few bombs immediately hit objectives. Black columns of smoke shot upward to sky. Planes dove and dove at objectives again and again. Thrilling sight.
When bombers come flying over, from northeast, they look like schools of little fishes swimming in clouds. Never saw so many in my life. Even Jap sentries in streets, shook their heads and remarked, “Takusan, takusan”, i.e., “so many, many.”
Read an Osaka Mainichi paper, a back issue. It was all about the fall of Saipan. This was a great loss to Japan, a severe blow on Jap morale. With its fall, Jap editor admitted that U.S. has perforated inner defense circle of Japan proper.
Meanwhile Manilans are anxious about Leyte battle. Question being asked by everyone “Why haven’t they finished with Leyte yet?” Some say: “It seems the Army of Kreuger is bogged down.” Reason for this was previous belief that Leyte would be over in “a couple of days.” Undoubtedly, “Leyte battle is progressing slower than expected.”
Continuous rumors of shelling in eastern coast of Luzon.