100 YEARS AGO
Friday, Nov. 4, 1912
Great Democratic victory in U.S.
Ever since Colonel (Theodore) Roosevelt split the Republican Party, and the Democrats at Baltimore chose Dr. (Woodrow) Wilson for their presidential nominee, it was apparent to all unbiased observers that the Democratic candidate would prevail. Colonel Roosevelt’s vigorous campaigning, his magnetic personality, along with a new wave of sympathy in his favor brought on by a recent dastardly attempt on his life all apparently improved his chances of election. But, ultimately, Dr. Wilson gained a sweeping victory, obtaining more than 300 votes out of 531 in the electoral college. By securing this victory, the Democrats seem to have come a fair way to regaining the great prestige they enjoyed before the Civil War.
Foremost in the new president’s program is tariff reform. We do not believe that the Democrats will try to revolutionize the present system. There may not be any sweeping reduction in the present high import duties, say on Japanese silk goods, but there is likewise no fear of those duties being raised still higher. In foreign relations, too, we expect there will be some relief. Imperialism and the ambitious navy so vigorously pressed by the Republican leaders, will doubtless be maintained, but in a milder form. If the Japanese emigration question will not meet any kindlier treatment from the Democrats, it will certainly not fare any worse.
75 YEARS AGO
Monday, Nov. 8, 1937
Italy joins German-Japanese anti-Red pact
The participation of Italy in the German-Japan Anti-Comintern Pact in the midst of the current China Incident [the war between Japan and China, which began in July, 1937] will draw the world’s attention as a particularly significant development. We heartily welcome the signing of this pact. When the German-Japanese pact was signed last year, it was already rumored that sooner or later Italy would join, too.
Since the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese Incident, Italy has fully understood that Japan is fighting single-handedly in East Asia against the spread of Communism, and Premier Mussolini had formally declared his support to Japan. At the Brussels Conference [where the Sino-Japanese conflict was being discussed], Italy is aiding the stand of Japan directly and indirectly.
Those who are slandering Japan by purposely misinterpreting Japan’s actions should realize the threat of the Red tide in learning of the strengthening of the German-Italo-Japanese tri-lateral front against the Comintern, and should know that to prepare to fight the Comintern effectively, following this example, is to save themselves.
50 YEARS AGO
Monday, Nov. 26, 1962
Takeshima blocks Japan-ROK accord
Informed circles Saturday said the 10-year-old Japan-Republic of Korea territorial dispute over the tiny Japan Sea island of Takeshima is taxing the brains of Japanese authorities in connection with their bid to normalize Japan’s relations with the ROK at an early date.
While all other issues between the two nations have been boiled down to near settlement, the two countries still disagree as widely as ever on the problem of this island, called Dokdo by the Koreans, informants said.
Japan has claimed its historical sovereignty over the island on the basis of an official proclamation by the authorities of Shimane Prefecture on the nearest Japanese coast as of February 1905 that the island is part of the prefecture.
The island has been used chiefly as a haven for Japanese fishermen and temporarily as a U.S. forces drill site after the war.
But the ROK declared its own sovereignty over the island in 1952 and has since kept a garrison unit on it.
The Japanese government says the island has been traditionally part of Japan and the dispute with the ROK should be solved by a trial at the International Court of Justice. The ROK has refused to accept the legal challenge.
The ROK Government has recently suggested settling the dispute through mediation by a third nation, namely, the United States. But such a mediation would have no legal basis and may be shelved by either nation if repugnant.
Turning the island into a “joint territory,” though practicable, is no basic answer and may be intolerable for either nation or both from their national feelings, sources said.
[Japan and the Republic of Korea normalized diplomatic relations in 1965. No resolution was achieved on Takeshima sovereignty and the dispute continues to simmer to this day.]
25 YEARS AGO
Friday, Nov. 29, 1987
Sony buys CBS Records for $2 billion
Sony Corp., a leading Japanese maker of consumer electronic products, said Thursday it has signed an agreement with CBS Inc. to purchase CBS Records Group for $2 billion.
The deal was the largest takeover of a foreign firm by any Japanese corporation, company officials said.
CBS Records is the world’s largest record company, with diversified activities including production, manufacturing and sales of records, tapes and compact discs in more than 50 countries. Its sales were roughly $1.5 billion in 1986, with an operating profit of more than $160 million.
Norio Oga, the president of Sony Corp., told the press that the Sony group would further expand its audio-visual software business through the acquisition.
Since 1968, Sony’s joint venture with CBS in Japan, called CBS Sony Group, has grown into Japan’s largest record company.
CBS currently has contracts with many famous artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Placido Domingo and Isaac Stern.
Oga said in a statement, “Based on our experience with CBS/Sony, we are confident of Sony’s ability to achieve equal success worldwide.”
In this feature in Timeout on the third Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 116-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity.