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27th March 1945

The forcible “spacing” of houses has now extended to the vicinity of my colleagues’ house in Yotsuya. Their place was saved from condemnation and destruction only by the fact that it is occupied by embassy personnel. The houses all around it are to be pulled down, including the Catholic chapel nearby, to protect the great concrete school-building across the street.

The program has yielded an unexpected by-product. It may now be easier to get a telephone by transfer from one of the condemned buildings. It was never easy to get a telephone in Tokyo; even before the war the installation itself cost a thousand yen. Since the war it has been next to impossible to get one at any cost. Now however my colleagues have been offered a telephone in the “black market” for three thousand yen.