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Students storm Diet; families flee New York amid tensions; ANA plane crashes; scores volunteer for Mideast mission


Staff Writer

Saturday, Feb. 19, 1916

Hundreds of students storm Lower House

About 400 students of the four private law colleges in Tokyo, the Meiji, Chuo, Nippon and Hosei University’s, invaded the Lower House on Thursday morning. They were led by a committee and proceeded to the parliamentary building with banners representing the crests of the different schools at the head of the procession.

At the House committee they asked to see representative lawmakers of various political parties, in order to hear their opinions on the question of the revision of the system of examination for higher civil service, judicial service and lawyers. The present system of examination provides special treatment for the graduates of government universities, which is regarded as favouritism by the students of private institutions.

For several years past, a movement has been carried on by the students of private law colleges aiming at the revision of the regulations so as to remove preferential treatment to the graduates of the government colleges.

Several lawmakers’ accepted the request of the committee and made impromptu speeches in the back compound of the parliamentary building. Their utterances were all in favour of the agitation and flattering to the students. Satisfied with the reception, the students dispersed at 3 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 10, 1941

Families flee New York amid war tensions

Japanese banks and business establishments in New York have decided to evacuate all members of the families of their employees to Japan shortly in view of the tense and delicate situation in the Far East and in Europe, according to a New York dispatch to Asahi.

The directors of the Japanese banks and business establishments in New York have been considering the evacuation of the families of their employees, and recently decided to send back to Japan some 150 women and children.

Owing to the tightening of economic measures by America directed against Japan, business between Japan and America has been shrinking markedly of late. The New York agencies of the South Manchuria Railway Co., and the Kanegafuchi Spinning Co. have already decided to close their doors and other Japanese business establishments are leaving for Japan.

It is pointed out that when the decree calling for further strengthening of the export license system is enforced by the United States government on Feb. 15, as scheduled, cargoes from America carried by the Japanese ships plying between Yokohama and New York will be cut by 80 percent, as the enforcement of the decree means an embargo on the export of oil from America to Japan in a practical sense.

Saturday, Feb. 5, 1966

Passenger jet crashes in Tokyo Bay; 133 dead

An All Nippon Airways (ANA) jetliner carrying 126 passengers and a crew of seven was believed to have crashed in Tokyo Bay Friday night.

Authorities concerned in the search and rescue operation held little hope for the plane turning up with the personnel on board safe.

The Boeing 727 tri-jet was scheduled to arrive at Tokyo International Airport at 7:05 p.m. from Chitose Airport in Hokkaido.

About 40 vessels including fishing boats and patrol boats of the Maritime Safety Agency, Maritime Self-Defense Force and Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Department combed the waters of Tokyo Bay throughout last night.

ANA announced last night that the jetliner contacted the airport control tower around 7:01 p.m. for landing permission. The craft was spotted on radar over Kisarazu on Boso Peninsula.

The control tower gave the plan clearance to land, but the plane failed to come into sight.

A merchant ship, the Kita Maru, cruising off Kisarazu, reported to the Maritime Safety Agency that it had spotted “a fireball falling from the sky.”

The same ship radioed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Agency that it had recovered what it believed to be part of an aircraft’s wreckage at around 8:15 p.m.

According to ANA, the plane carried fuel enough to fly up to 8:45 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8, 1991

Scores volunteer for U.N. Mideast mission

Nearly 100 Japanese have volunteered at the Tokyo office of the United Nations Development Plan to go to the Persian Gulf region to support people displaced as a result of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

“We would like to dispatch as many Japanese volunteers as possible to the Gulf region to support relief activities for evacuees,” said Makoto Hinei, head of the office.

U.N. Volunteer Tokyo has so far received about 600 inquires about how to help relief activities in the region. Of those, nearly 100 people have registered, he said.

The ability to comprehend English is a prerequisite for U.N. volunteers, Hinei said, but the Tokyo group does not require volunteers to possess any special skills for relief assistance.

The exact number of Japanese volunteers who will go to the Gulf area is not yet finalized, although the Tokyo unit’s budget can cover about 20. Those selected will be assigned to Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Iran — countries where no fighting has taken place, Hinei said.

The volunteers will receive transportation and living expenses and daily allowances. The organization pays for medical and life insurance. It will also arrange visas.

In this feature, which appears on the first Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 118-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was collated with the assistance of Atticus Massari. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.