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4th April 1945

The English edition of the Mainichi today hits out with one of the strongest editorials of the war. “While we were talking about the war situation, saying that the war had drawn close to our shores, or that the foe had invaded such and such a place, the enemy has come within our gate… it is rather surprising to observe that we have been outmaneuvered at every turn.” But the Mainichi is more concerned about the home front than the battlefront and with a frankness that is well-nigh incredible lashes the administration for inefficiency and waste and the people for selfishness and indifference.

But an anecdote I heard today possibly brings out the state of affairs better than the Mainichi editorial. Two Japanese were discussing the cigarette rations. One said that he could not understand why the ration was three cigarettes a day in Tokyo and only two a day in much-bombed Nagoya. “I can understand the Tokyo ration,” he argued. “One cigarette after every meal.”

Well, rejoined the other, “that would still make it two cigarettes a day in Nagoya.”