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Cheap imitations from Osaka, Communists arrested, Japan resumes own air defense, young becoming selfish

by Edan Corkill

100 YEARS AGO
Friday, Dec. 16, 1910

The awakening of the Osaka people

Several times in the past, this journal has raised a note of warning against the suicidal practice of a section of exporters and manufacturers in our sister city to the south, Osaka, who have been sending abroad imitations of foreign articles and goods of inferior quality in general — so far, however, in vain, we regret to say.

But we are now glad to notice that the businessmen of Osaka are waking up to the mistaken practice they have hitherto pursued. As reported in our last issue, they find the Chinese market for their exports all but lost to them for no other reason than that they are being driven out by goods of better quality than theirs. This is a salutary discovery. A market may be captured with merchandise which has nothing to recommend it but cheapness; but that will be only for a time and never permanently.

In these days of international competition, with all of the facilities of transportation, mere cheapness can never retain a market whether at home or abroad. These are, in short, the days of honest goods, and not of tricks of trade. Osaka exporters, blinded by immediate gain, have failed to grasp the unalterable law of commerce. But now that they are actually tasting the bitterness of the penalty they have brought upon themselves by the disregard of the law, it is to be hoped they will profit by the lesson.

75 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1935

184 Communists arrested in July

The case of Communist activity in Hokkaido and the arrest of 184 Communists on July 10 was released for publication Monday afternoon.

The remnants of the Communist group of Hokkaido, leaders of which were arrested in January 1929, had attempted to renew their activity and, commencing propaganda among workmen of the factories in Sapporo and Otaru, had already formed branch groups at Hakodate, Asahikawa, Kushiro and important districts of Hokkaido.

They also organized a Communist society in the Hokkaido Imperial University. But as their activities became known to the police, the wholesale arrest of 184 Communists was made on July 10. Among them was Yoshio Yokooka, professor of the Preparatory Course, Hokkaido Imperial University. Nine of those arrested have already been indicted.

50 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1960

JASDF to take all air-defense duties

The Defense Agency yesterday disclosed that Japan will shortly take over its entire air-defense system from the U.S. Security Forces with the imminent assigning of 25 jet fighters each to the Chitose Air Base in Hokkaido and the Komatsu Air Base in Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.

The assignment of F-86D day-and-night fighters and F-86F day fighters to the two bases as “scramble” units — emergency interceptor groups — will complete the scramble system over all of Japan. One more unit is already stationed at Nittawara in Miyazaki Prefecture on the northern Pacific coast, said the agency.

Japan will thus be completely on its own in defending its air space, 15 years after the end of the Pacific War. Air-defense radar bases here were transferred to Japan from U.S. forces last July.

The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, inaugurated July 1, 1954, has been training to qualify for the complete takeover of air-defense duties.

25 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Dec. 21, 1985

Young people now seek individualism

Young people in contemporary Japan enjoying material affluence tend to concern themselves more with personal, individualistic values rather than the needs of society as a whole, according to a government report released on Friday.

Changing values among young people are partly responsible for the emergence of violence within the family and at schools, it said.

The report, approved by the Cabinet in a regular session Friday, recommended that the government should try to channel young people’s energy into volunteer activities so as to foster a greater sense of social responsibility.

The report attributed the spread of individualistic values among young people mainly to the major socio-economic transformations in postwar Japan.

These factors include better living standards, the decline in the size of the average family, the influence of a TV-centered information society, and more stringent educational standards, it said.

The typical Japanese youth, according to a Prime Minister’s Office survey cited by the report, tends to find ties among friends and the things they do together more rewarding than traditional obligations to society.

Also, with the improvement in living standards, youngsters tend to avoid unglamorous challenges and look for easy, eye-catching options.

Youngsters tend to pursue their personal pleasures very seriously, the report said.

Youth apathy towards society and the lack of a sense of responsibility, however, are not just inventions of adult prejudice, the report said. Young people are also aware of these shortcomings, it said.

In this feature, which appears in Timeout on the third Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 114-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity.