National / History | JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

Mao Tse-tung seeks to quell internal friction; Shinkansen starts operations; Tokyo Olympics open; America's No. 1 threat?

by Edan Corkill

Staff Writer

Wednesday, Oct. 25 1939

Mao Tse-tung seeks to quell internal friction

Mao Tse-tung, an executive member of the Communist Party, issued an important article in the Hsin Hwa Ji Pao, an organ of the Chinese Communist Party in Chungking, of Oct. 19 under the caption “New Stage in Campaign of Resistance (by) Chinese Communist Party,” wherein he emphasized “thoroughgoing resistance” and manifested a vigorous attitude among the communists against internal friction, urging a united national front and voicing a strict warning to the Kuomintang. The article in substance reads as follows:

“The (war with Japan) recently entered the stage of ‘inactive confronting’ which proves complete validity of the foresight which was declared at the sixth enlarged plenary session of the Central Executive Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held in December last year. We should take advantage of (these circumstances) to prepare ourselves for a counter-offensive.

“Regarding the issue of the democratic government, the National People’s Congress should be immediately convoked to enforce genuine democracy. There are some people who talk of ‘plots of the Chinese Communists Party’ in an attempt to prejudice against the party’s progressive theory of resistance, which is (in fact) at the vanguard of the move towards liberation from the Japanese.”

Mao Tse-tung, who is in the executive position of the Chinese Communist Party, boldly and straightforwardly declared in the article the communists’ readiness to counteract any attempts to reject the Communist Party and voiced a strict warning against the possibility of separation of the Kuomintang from the Communist Party.

Friday, Oct. 2, 1964

World’s fastest trains inaugurate operations

The world’s fastest trains began operations Thursday as the Japanese National Railways’ ¥380,000 million New Tokaido Line opened between Tokyo and Osaka.

Opening of the 515-km railroad that connects the two cities in four hours was celebrated in a ceremony Thursday morning at the JNR head office in Marunouchi, Tokyo with the Emperor and Empress in attendance.

The Emperor said in a congratulatory speech: “May I express my great pleasure at the inauguration today of the New Tokaido Line that has been completed despite many difficulties. I hope for JNR’s continued efforts for increased transportation capacities and improved safety.”

Earlier this morning, the all-electrified New Tokaido Line’s first trains, Hikari No. 1 and 2, left Tokyo and Osaka at 6 a.m. simultaneously after gala ceremonies.

The Hikari No. 1, packed with nearly 1,000 people, first hit the maximum speed of 210 kph between Shin-Yokohama and Odawara as passengers cheered.

Both the first inbound and outbound trains arrived at their destination at 10 a.m. as scheduled.

Sunday, Oct. 11, 1964

XVIII Olympiad opens with pomp in Tokyo

The XVIII Olympiad, the first to be held in Asia, opened Saturday afternoon amid a profusion of pomp and youthful enthusiasm at the National Stadium before an over-capacity crowd of 80,000 spectators.

It was a flawlessly executed, color-splashed ceremony under a sparkling blue autumn sky.

Eager holders of opening ceremony tickets began to arrive at the stadium hours before the gates opened at 10 a.m. The huge oval was filled by 12:45 p.m., an hour before the ceremony began.

Cannons boomed, 10,000 homing pigeons soared above the stadium, a choir sang stirring music specially composed for the Olympiad and the drama of the world’s greatest international athletic event was climaxed by the lighting of the Olympic flame atop the stadium. The Emperor, the patron of the Tokyo Olympic Games, proclaimed the Olympiad open at 2.58 p.m. Before the Emperor read his message, 6,500 athletes and officials from 94 nations, including 18 nations participating in the Olympics for the first time, marched into the stadium.

Sunday, Oct. 8, 1989

Japan ‘greater threat’ to U.S. than Soviet Union

It came as a shock to many Japanese to learn through a Newsweek poll, conducted by the Gallup Organization in the U.S., that 52 percent of the 600 people interviewed by telephone on Sept. 28-29 thought “the economic power of Japan” was a “greater threat” to the U.S. than “the military power of the Soviet Union.”

The obvious conclusion is that Soviet strongman Mikhail Gorbachev and his cohorts have performed a good job of selling their disarmament promises. At the same time, the emergence of freedom-seekers inside the Soviet Union has been augmented by the movements among the Soviet satellite countries to shake off the Communist Party yoke.

But Foreign Office spokesman Taizo Watanabe saw the charges made against Japan in the magazine article to be serious enough to require a comment. He reportedly defined the word “threat” as meaning a combination of an intention to invade and the capability of doing so.

Watanabe said it was not a “threat” but rather a “challenge” which Japan was presenting—to produce higher quality goods at better prices for the satisfaction of consumers. This reminds one of the old story about building a better mousetrap and having the world beating a path to your door.

In this feature, which appears on the first Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times’ 117-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This edition was compiled with the assistance of Florian Meissner. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see

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