27th August, 1945

Tomorrow the first invading conqueror in Japan’s history will land from the skies on Atsugi airfield. How do the Japanese feel? What do they think about it? It is frankly impossible to tell from the expressionless faces of those who go about their business on the streets of Tokyo. One can only gather from the newspapers what they are told …

23rd August, 1945

A heavy storm raged all last night and it was still pouring this morning. Will the Japanese take it as a sign of the displeasure of the goods, a belated divine wind? An official announcement released yesterday said that the first allied units would arrive in Japan on the 26th. This typhoon may conceivably delay them. It will not stop …

13th August 1945

The American reply to Japan’s peace offer has been announced by San Francisco. Delivered yesterday the 12th it demands that the authority of the emperor and the Japanese government be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, presumably General of the Army McArthur. The question is more alive than ever: will the Japanese accept? The tone of the …

2nd of August, 1945

The warlords gave Japan’s answer to the Potsdam ultimatum at 5 p.m. yesterday. A special communique from imperial headquarters announced that “our army and navy preparations to cope with the enemy’s invasion operations are being steadily strengthened.” The somber implication is that Japan will fight to the end. However the furtive hope of a bargain is not necessarily dismissed. The …

29th July, 1945

Japan will ignore the Potsdam declaration. It develops that Foreign Minister Togo reported its contents to the cabinet at its regular meeting on the 28th and that the Japanese government would “say nothing on it”. No one else had anything to say on it. The Mainichi said the proposal was “most insolent” and “based on self-conceit” but neither in its …

25th July, 1945

For two weeks now the amazing American task force has raged like a typhoon along the Pacific coast of the Japanese homeland; yesterday it struck its most devastating blow so far. According to the joint army and navy communique which today, in headline type, covers fully one half of the Mainichi’s tabloid front-page, approximately 2,000 large and small American planes …

5th July 1945

“Hate the enemy!” cries an editorial in the Mainichi today. Under this startling title the vernacular points out: “Enemy air attacks on medium-sized cities are becoming intensified. In the near future there may not be a single medium-sized city west of the Tokaido that has escaped being made a target of enemy attacks . . . . How are our …

23rd June 1945

Today the wartime emergency measure law went into effect. It was about time, if not too late. The vernaculars were speaking of “gradually mounting losses” in the “death grapple” on Okinawa; more than 500-B-29’s had once again hidden the sun in dust and smoke over the naval base at Kure and the regions under the central army command. There was …

28th May 1945

Almost unnoticed amid the mourning for Tokyo was the first faint death-rattle of Okinawa. On the night of the 24th the Giretsu air-borne unit of the special attack corps (Giretsu means heroism) clambered into the black bellies of a squadron of transport planes to spearhead a a Japanese general counter-offensive on Okinawa. Almost two months had passed in blood and …