When I heard by accident that one of our students, the only one we had in the north of Japan, had “disappeared”, I hurried to the International Students’ Goodwill Society, which has direct charge of our government scholars. I was met with uneasy evasions. Even blunt old Ambassador Taketomi seemed to be afraid to talk.
“Is it true that he has disappeared?” I asked.
“But why were we not notified?”
“Oh, weren’t you? I was sure somebody had called up your embassy by telephone.”
“No, nobody did.”
“Ah, I am very sorry.”
“When did he disappear?”
“Oh, about — about 10 days ago.”
“Have you notified the police?”
He looked a little startled. “No, no,” he mumbled.
“What has been done to locate him?”
“Oh, we have asked here in Tokyo, at the place where we thought he might have gone to.”
“But surely you should ask the the help of the police.”
“I believe the school authorities in Hakodate have been working with the police. I am sorry. I cannot give you more details. You had better talk to the man from Daitoasho.”
But the man from Daitoasho was “out” although I heard his voice clearly over the telephone receiver. I pitied honest old Taketomi; as he scratched his gray head and shook it, I knew he was dying to tell me the truth, that our student had been arrested.