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May 24, 1944 (Wednesday)

Party of Ambassador Murata. At 5:00 p.m. we were special guests of Ambassador [to the Philippines] [Shōzō] Murata at a dinner party held at the official residence of the Daitōa Minister. Ambassador Murata specially gave the party to hear us “air our grievances,” and we did this frankly and unhesitatingly. I was one of those who spoke very frankly. I told the Ambassador about the lack of understanding between our immediate superiors and us; about the defects in the administration. I even told him that we are very hard up for money and that our superiors seem most reluctant to pay such important expenses as dental bills, citing my own case where the doctor is charging me ¥470. Our dormitory superintendent was present, but very diplomatically I told the Ambassador that we cannot understand each other. He is kind and a good-hearted fellow, perhaps, but, unfortunately, we just cannot get along well. Finally, I requested the Ambassador to talk to the President of the Philippines about our plight and to reassure him that we are trying our best here in Japan.

It was a very cordial talk, and I think we were able to tell everything we wanted to say. Tonight was another of those unexpected but very historic events. Who would ever dream that we would be talking the way we did to the highest representative of Japanese sovereignty in the Philippines!

Special Fire Brigade (Tokubetsu Shōbō Buntai). At 2:00 p.m. we visited the Special Fire-Brigade at Hibiya Park as part of our educational program. This fire unit is a special organization for emergency cases, aside from the ordinary fire stations. This brigade has about 500 fire engines and 3 companies of firemen. (Each company is made up of 4 platoons or squads.) Special fire maneuvers were held just for us, traffic being temporarily delayed for the purpose. The fire hydrants in Tokyo are located underground, unlike the ones in the Philippines. The fire department in Tokyo, also unlike in the Philippines, is part of the Metropolitan Police Board, not an independent organ.

Kendo. At the gymnasium of the Metropolitan Police Board Building, for the first time I tried kendo, wearing the full armor. I found it very tiresome, but also interesting. This, too, is part of our course.