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Tokyo Station nears completion, Hitler lauds Japan, high-schools surge, Constitution to keep Article 9, PM declares

by Edan Corkill

100 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Feb. 2, 1913

Tokyo Central station nears completion

The Tokyo Central Railway Station, now under construction at Eiraku-cho, Kojimachi Ward [a now-defunct ward spanning much of present-day Chiyoda Ward], will, when completed next year, make one of the finest structures of the metropolis. The station is expected to be ready for general use by June of next year.

It is the authorities’ intention that the station, which is being constructed on a 65,300-tsubo (21-hectare) plot of land east of the Imperial Palace, will be made the terminus of the Tokaido Line and also that of the Central Eastern and Sobu lines.

The new station building features state-of-the-art materials. It is hardened by concrete and the building itself is made of steel. Brick and stone are applied to cover the steel framework and the floor is built of fireproof ferroconcrete.

The price of land in the neighborhood has risen considerably. Mitsubishi Co., a large landowner in that area, expects to take this opportunity to make a big fortune. It is its intention to make a couple of private roads off the grand highway that will be made leading westward from the station, and that the lands the company owns along these new roads will be let in not less than 600-tsubo (2,000-sq.-meter) plots.

It is expected these plots will be occupied by large commercial and banking corporations, such as seen in the West and it is not difficult to predict there will be built a sort of “Imperial Bazaar” and “International Buildings.” There will also be put up various kinds of hotels, clubs and restaurants.

75 YEARS AGO
Monday, Feb. 21, 1938

Hitler lauds Japan; hails Manchukuo

Formal German recognition of Manchukuo [the Imperial Japanese puppet state established in 1932 in northeast China and Inner Mongolia] was announced by Reichsfuehrer Adolf Hitler in his much-awaited speech before the Reichstag this afternoon, declaring that whatever the outcome of the Sino-Japanese conflict may be, Germany regards Japan as the defender of Western civilization in the Far East.

Openly supporting Japan for the first time since the start of the crisis, the Chancellor, in his 2 hr. 55-min. pronouncement of domestic and foreign policy, condemned the Soviet Union as the “incarnation of the urge to destruction.”

Declaring that Germany does not want any international institution to impose upon her an attitude which does not resemble an attitude taken by reasonable persons, the Chancellor briefly stated that Germany will recognize Manchukuo.

“I believe that defeat of Japan in the Far East would solely profit the U.S.S.R.,” he shouted, adding that “the greatest Japanese victory would be much less dangerous for world culture than a Bolshevik victory.”

He also announced Germany’s decision never to return to the League of Nations, which, he said, always threatens to involve Germany in disputes in which she has no vital interests. The Chancellor’s speech was unprecedentedly violent. He repeatedly attacked the French and British press for hindering the peaceful German relations with neighboring countries. He warned that if ever international agitation against Germany manages to upset the European peace, that “iron and steel will speak.”

50 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Feb. 7, 1963

High-schools surge

Only a few prefectural governments will be able to meet the April deadline for expanding public high-school capacity in order to accommodate the large 1963 class, which is estimated to number 1.5 million students in comparison with the 1 million in 1960, it was learned recently.

Tokyo is the best prepared, with figures from the Metropolitan Office of Education showing its public high schools will have to take 52,343 students in 1963. It will thus be necessary to add 341 more 50-student classes than in 1960. For this purpose, the office has decided to build 25 new high schools for 183 classes and to enlarge the existing 119 schools to handle the remaining 158 classes. All but one of the new schools is set to be finished by the start of the new academic year in April.

In Kanagawa and Niigata prefectures, only two of seven new schools will be ready by April. Fukushima, Yamagata and Ibaraki prefectures are also behind schedule.

Due to the shortfalls, officials are thinking of using gymnasiums and renting classrooms in junior high schools. Increasing class sizes from 50 to 55 is also part of the Education Ministry’s plan for coping with the situation.

25 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 1988

Constitution to keep Article 9, PM declares

Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita told the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee session Monday that his government would not propose to amend Japan’s four-decade-old Constitution.

Noting that the Constitution, drawn up under U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the supreme commander of the allied powers occupying Japan, was once called a “translated Constitution,” Takeshita said, “As a young man, I had a sense of reservation toward (accepting) it. But I do not intend at all to put a Constitutional amendment on our political schedule.”

He said “no one” would think of changing the war-renouncing Article 9 or the democratic principles. However, the party platform of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which he heads, aims to develop an “independent Constitution.”

In the same session, Takeshita also confirmed that the “three non-nuclear principles” — of not making, not having and not introducing nuclear weapons into Japan — is a fundamental policy of his government. However, he refused demands from the floor for Japan to make a formal inquiry with the United States on the possible introduction of nuclear missiles into U.S. bases in the country.

In this feature in Timeout on the third Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 117-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity. Readers may be interested to know that The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available on Blu-ray Disc. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.