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Mail to Siberia, acension in Manchoukuo, conserving whales and freeing Toyotas

by Edan Corkill

100 YEARS AGO

Friday, Jan. 29, 1909

Mails via Siberia

Some time last year the Government opened the direct dispatch of mails via Siberia. But the service was restricted only to post cards and letters specially designated for the Siberian route, while the printed matter and other mails were excluded on account of the inconvenience regarding transit charge. For the benefit of the public the authorities have now settled an arrangement to open the route to all ordinary mail matter including letters, cards, printed matter, business correspondence, commercial samples, etc. to all European countries and Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. As the result newspapers and magazines if shipped in due time will reach Moscow in fifteen days.

75 YEARS AGO

Monday, Jan. 22, 1934

Gaimusho says enthronement should dispel talk of Manchoukuo annexation

Upon the receipt of the announcement that His Excellency Pu-yi the Regent of Manchoukuo is to ascend to the imperial throne, the spokesman of the Foreign Office issued the following statement:

Japan as a neighbor nation is greatly pleased at the news.

For nearly two years since the establishment of Manchoukuo His Excellency Pu-yi has as regent administered the affairs of the state so wisely and benevolently so that the 30,000,000 people of Manchoukuo, genuinely eager to acclaim him as their monarch, have of late presented the government with countless petitions. His enthronement will no doubt be hailed with profound satisfaction.

The Manchoukuo authorities have made it clear that the accession does not mean the restoration of the Manchu dynasty of the former Chinese Empire. Manchoukuo will remain a new state and abide by the same principles on which it was founded. There will be no change in the frontiers of the country, so that North China will not be affected in any way, disposing of the apprehensions for invasion of that territory.

The accession will serve to emphasize the fact of the independence of Manchoukuo, and serve to dissipate the baseless rumors of her annexation by Japan. I am certain that the domestic administration will continue to make progress in the satisfactory direction, while her relations with other Powers will become closer.

50 YEARS AGO

Friday, Jan. 9, 1959

Whaling predicament

The 1959 Antarctic whaling season opened Wednesday when 20 whaling fleets from five nations started on their race to catch as big a share of the international quota as possible. This year the limit is 15,000 blue whale units and when this limit is reached, or when April 7 arrives, whichever occurs first, the season will be over.

Japan, represented by six fleets, hopes to catch about one-third of the total quota this year.

Only Norway, the greatest whaling nation, has a larger number of ships engaged in the enterprise. The recent withdrawal of Norway and the Netherlands from the international whaling convention does not effect this season’s catch. Reports from London indicate that a fresh round of talks between Norway, the Netherlands, Japan and Britain may be held there shortly in order to see if agreement can be reached on the distribution of the next season’s quota.

Under the recommendations made at the talks last November, 3,000 whales or 20 percent out of the present whaling limit of 15,000 blue whales — fixed under the 17-nation international whaling convention — are allotted to Soviet Russia.

The remaining 80 percent must be allocated to the other four nations by quotas to be negotiated before June 1. But the division of this 80 percent has so far proved problematic. The suggestion that each nation should, like Soviet Russia, take 20 percent each has not met with approval. Norway and the Netherlands have their own ideas on this matter and hence their notice of withdrawal.

Japan’s position is that the best course would be to permit free competition between the whaling nations, within the limit of 15,000 whales permitted by the whaling convention as is the case this year. The proposed agreement between the five nations must be finalized by June 1, and there is therefore time to reconsider the matter on a cooperative basis if all concerned are willing.

We should greatly regret any return to indiscriminate whaling. Whales breed slowly, the females giving birth to young — as a rule one only — just once in about two years. There is therefore, in view of the destructive nature of modern whaling methods, need for close conservation.

25 YEARS AGO

Saturday, Jan. 28, 1984

Toyota chief calls for an end to curb on exports to U.S.

Shoichiro Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., Thursday called for an end to Japan’s auto export restraints to the United States by the end of March next year because the U.S. auto industry is rapidly recovering from the recession.

Toyoda, speaking at a party in Tokyo, said he regretted that the three-year agreement restricting Japanese auto exports to the U.S. that expires in March has been extended for another year under pressure from the U.S.

“Export controls hurt not only American consumers but free trade principles,” he insisted.

In this feature, which appears in TimeOut on the third Sunday of each month along with our regular Week 3 stories, we delve into The Japan Times’ 113-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity.