100 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1913
Man survives train fall
Tamejiro Kawai, aged 48, a milk-hall keeper in Yamashita-cho, Yokohama, while going by rail from Tokyo to Yokohama a little after midnight Jan. 27, fell between the cars. A by-stander sounded the alarm, the engineer stopped the train, and an examination was made. Upon being informed that a man had fallen, all thought that he must have been killed or run over by the train. But fortunately, the man was not only not dead, but unhurt, as he fell just between the rails flat upon the ground and the train passed over him without touching him.
75 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Jan. 4, 1938
Yamato race must redistribute resources
By Ryutaro Nagai, Communications Minister — The new idea that “a state is not a body comprising various factions with complicated and conflicting interests but a body with a common aim of fulfilling a noble cultural mission, and that a nation is not a mere materialistic existence chasing after its own interests but a spiritual existence obliged to make contribution for the welfare of humanity” seems to have penetrated through the minds of the people dissatisfied with a materialistic civilization.
The supreme and noblest spirit manifesting the nucleus of “Japan Spirit” is the very basis of the national livelihood. The nation intends to adopt Western science, and systematize and adjust it with the spirit peculiar to Japan, thereby contributing much to the interest of the world.
The mission of the Yamato race, I am fully convinced, is to work for the redistribution of the natural resources of the world and thereby prevent the majority of the people from falling into poverty and despair, as well as to emancipate humanity from the Communist menace now threatening the world. Communists always take advantage of the dissatisfaction arising from poverty.
For the manifestation and enhancement of the “Japan Spirit” abroad, however, there is something to be done beforehand in this part of the world — the Orient. That is to reconstruct and rehabilitate the stricken Asian continent. We must first strengthen cooperation among Japan, Manchukuo and China, bound together as they are with a common civilization, establish a basic principle of sufficing one another from the standpoints of national defense and industries, check others’ malicious activities in the Orient and eventually build a new land for co-existence and co-prosperity among the three countries.
It is exceedingly regrettable, however, that China under the Nanking regime has not only betrayed the other two in that great task but has also resorted to a policy of anti-Japanese resistance.
Such being the situation, Japan was compelled to take arms against it. This is the origin of the current Sino-Japanese hostilities. Japan’s enemy, therefore, is not the Chinese people but the Government under General Chiang Kai-shek, who is dead to all sense of the shame of selling his country to others.
Japan must continue its fight in China till it can stabilize the foundation of that nation.
As for the Japanese people, they must be prepared to endure whatever sacrifice the country demands.
[Nagai, who had served as a Diet member since 1920, died on Dec. 4, 1944, during the Tokyo air raid.]
50 YEARS AGO
Monday, Jan. 7, 1963
Small arms to be made locally
The Defense Agency will begin this year mass production of small firearms to replace U.S.-made carbines, rifles and machineguns used by the Ground Self-Defense Force, it was learned Sunday.
The mass production plan grew out of recognition that U.S.-made arms are too large for Self-Defense Force personnel and most are now obsolete.
These arms were said to be inconvenient, especially where ammunition was concerned, because of the large variety of U.S. weapons.
A new machinegun developed by the Technical Research Headquarters of the Defense Agency was claimed to be better than the U.S.-made models A4 and A6 now in use by the GSDF.
A new rifle, tentatively known as model 64, also has been developed and is expected to be adopted officially by the defense forces next year.
[The new machinegun mentioned here was eventually manufactured by Sumitomo Heavy Industries and thus became known as the Sumitomo Type 62. “Model 64” later became known as Howa Type 64. Both weapons became standard issue in the GSDF and continue to be used to this day.]
25 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1988
Two killed by falling disco chandelier
Two women were killed and 15 others, including 11 women and four men, were injured when a two-ton chandelier fell on dancers at a disco in Tokyo’s Roppongi Tuesday night, the Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Board reported.
The women were identified as Akemi Mizobe, 21, and Keiko Takagi, 26.
When the rectangular-shaped chandelier fell around 9:40 p.m., about 200 guests at the Roppongi disco Turia were sent into mass pandemonium, an employee there said, adding that some of the victims were pinned under the light, while others caught fragments of flying glass.
The chandelier, measuring three meters by two meters by one meter thick, fell about 10 meters, from the second floor ceiling to a basement where about 100 guests were dancing.
The disco, located near the Defense Agency, is known for its selectiveness, with a video camera that monitors guests to determine fashionability.
In this feature in Timeout on the third Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 117-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity. Readers might be interested to know that The Japan Times digital archive is now available on DVD. For more information see jtimes.jp/de.