Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1910

Korean peerage and education

We welcome news (from the recently annexed Korea) that the gracious act of our Court in conferring the patent of peerage and other marks of honor on Koreans of noble lineage and distinguished careers has been received with general satisfaction in the peninsula. It was a wise and generous policy to win over the class whose discontent would have proved most troublesome to the new regime.

So far so good, then; but it must not be forgotten that there is a lesson to learn from the state of things of India. For, while the loyalty of the aristocracy of India to the British Crown is undoubted, that very fact seems to be a source of dissatisfaction to some class of Indians. Thus, we must turn our attention to the education of those Koreans who are not of the noble class. Nothing will be more miscalculated than to suppose that a stereotypical form of education, however effective in Japan, will produce exactly the same results in Korea. A system of education suited to the Koreans must be developed. The creation of Korean peerage, if followed by a blundering policy of education and administration, would prove an endless source of trouble to this country and of unhappiness to Koreans themselves.

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 1935

Fourth national census begins

The taking of the fourth national census began this morning and was carried out throughout the Empire by 250,000 census takers.

The results of the present census are expected to be announced by the Statistical Bureau of the Cabinet around December 20 this year.

Many difficulties were experienced in taking the census in Tokyo, which is not only the largest population in the Empire, but also has the largest number of vagrants, and a higher rate of increase in population than any other city in the Empire.

A total of 13,000 census takers were engaged to locate vagrants in Tokyo. In one case, some vagrants who were awoken in their camps in Sumida Park flew into a rage because they thought they had been disturbed for no purpose. Their attitude changed when they learned the official status of the party.

Thursday, Oct. 13, 1960

Asanuma assassinated

A knife-wielding rightist student yesterday assassinated Inejiro Asanuma, chairman of the Japan Socialist Party, in the midst of a three-way debate among the heads of the three major political parties.

Asanuma, who was 61, was denouncing the Liberal-Democratic Party for the manner in which it secured ratification of the new Japan-U.S. Security Treaty when Otoya Yamaguchi, a freshman at Daito Gakuin College and a former member of the Dai Nippon Aikokuto (Greater Japan Patriotic Party) plunged a short sword into his left side.

Asanuma was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m. at Hibiya Hospital, where he was rushed immediately after the attack.

The Socialist leader was assassinated in the Hibiya Public Hall, where he, Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda, and Suehiro Nishio, chairman of the Democratic Socialist Party, were engaged in a public debate.

Yamaguchi leaped to the stage of the hall where Asanuma was speaking to a capacity crowd of some 3,000 people, rushed to the Socialist leader’s side, and thrust the blade into his chest just below the heart. The assassin was subdued by the audience and politicians and arrested immediately by Marunouchi police.

The debate was sponsored jointly by the Tokyo Metropolitan Election Administration Committee and the Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) in connection with the coming general elections. It was called off after the attack.

According to police, Yamaguchi, who is the son of a Ground Self-Defense Force colonel, had been arrested 10 times on charges of interfering with police duties and violating traffic laws.

Asanuma is the third Japanese politician of note to be stabbed this year, although he is the first to have succumbed to his injuries.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 1985

More sanctions for South Africa

Japan will take additional economic sanctions against South Africa, including a ban on the export of computers to Pretoria government organizations to further pressure South Africa to end its policy of apartheid, Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe said in a statement Wednesday.

The government will also request private companies to voluntarily curtail their importation of Krugerrand gold coins from South Africa, Abe said.

These new steps came a month after the U.S. and European countries announced limited sanctions against South Africa.

Japan already bans direct investment in South Africa, restricts bank loans and limits visas for S. Africans in the athletic, cultural and educational fields as well as banning military equipment-related trade. It has long declined to exchange ambassadors with Pretoria.

Officials suggested that Japan cannot take tougher sanctions because cutting off trade with South Africa would also hurt Japan. South Africa produces gold, cobalt and other scarce metals which are vital to Japan’s high-tech industry.

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.

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