National / History | JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

German prisoners 'fare better than Russians'; Emperor urges cooperation; Sato promotes peace; Gorbachev accepts multiparty system

by Edan Corkill

Staff Writer

100 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1915

German prisoners ‘fare better than Russians’

The German prisoners of war in Japan fare far better than the Russian ones did 10 years ago, says a high officer of the Army, and that is largely due to the decisions of the Hague Conference to pay their salaries on top of other allowances.

At one time, this country accommodated over 70,000 Russians, while the number of the present captured is less than 5,000. This smaller number of course works in favor of the Germans in every way.

But aside from this consideration, what the Japanese authorities pay the officers and men is much more than what a captive was entitled to before the new convention came into force.

The German officers receive 70 sen for their daily food, besides the salaries of Japanese officers of corresponding rank. 40 sen is paid for the daily food of a quasi officer, 15 yen a month as salary and for clothing and 5 yen besides for his sundry expenses.

Except for German beer and free outing, the German prisoners suffer no privation at all.

The officers, in most cases, get European meals from restaurants at monthly rates, while non-commissioned officers and men cook their own food in their respective places of detention.

At present they are all pleased that the cold in this country is not so rigorous as in their Fatherland!


75 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1940

Emperor calls for cooperation in crisis

His Majesty the Emperor urged cooperation among the people in order to tide the nation over the present crisis in an Imperial message granted Sunday on the occasion of the 2,600th anniversary of the founding of the Empire.

The Imperial rescript, made public by the Government at 10 a.m. Sunday in an extra issue of the Official Gazette, reads in substance as follows.

“In accordance with the Sacred Way, the Emperor Jimmu established the foundation of the unbroken and everlasting lineage of Imperial rulers.

His successors have been all benevolent to the people the people loyal to the rulers until today when the nation greets its 2,600th anniversary.

“On this particularly significant Empire Day under emergency circumstances, our subjects, remember the initial achievements of the Emperor Jimmu and the vastness and profoundness of the Imperial policy.

“And in complete harmony overcome the present crisis in accordance with the national ideal, thereby enhancing the national prestige and living up to the desire of our Imperial Ancestors.”

The “present crisis” referred to was the war in China, which by this time had been continuing since 1937.


50 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Feb. 13, 1965

Sato promotes Japan peace role in Vietnam

Prime Minister Eisaku Sato said Friday that the United States was fully advised of Japan’s strong desire to see the spread of armed conflicts in Vietnam checked by all means.

“My government will carry out any positive role it feels it can play in promoting peace in Asia anytime,” he said.

Sato cited “the Japan-U.S. concurrence in views on the Vietnamese situation” reached between him and U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson during the Jan. 12-13 Washington conference as “verifying” the U.S. understanding of the Japan stand against escalation of the Vietnamese war.

Sato said he had requested the U.S. side not to expand the conflict in Vietnam soon after U.S. reprisal bombings were conducted in response to Viet Cong raids on U.S. military facilities in South Vietnam.

Sato also noted the third U.S. bombing, which took place on Thursday, was not a continuation of the first but was a separate reprisal for a separate Viet Cong raid. For this reason, he reasoned, the present bombings by the United States cannot be said to be an aggressive act.

The U.S. reprisal bombings referred to here were known as Operation Flaming Dart and Flaming Dart II. They were closely followed by a larger bombing campaign, Operation Rolling Thunder, which continued through 1968.


25 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1990

Gorbachev accepts multiparty system

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Monday that the Communist Party is ready to contend for power with other parties, his first public acceptance of a multiparty Soviet Union.

Gorbachev, opening a momentous plenum of the Communist Party leadership, presented to the approximately 300 full and candidate members of the Central Committee a draft plan to make the party more democratic.

Gorbachev’s statements were made amid intense grassroots pressure for fast radical reform.

Monday’s plenum was closed to the press but outside the Kremlin one of those attending, Oleg Nefyodov, gave brief details of Gorbachev’s remarks.

“He said it is necessary to take into account reality, that we are living and working already in a multiparty system,” Nefyodov reported.

Gorbachev did not give any detailed proposals about how and under what terms the Soviet Union’s multiplicity of political movements could be legalized as political parties, said Nefyodov, a vice president of the Academy of Sciences.

Others present at the session said Gorbachev also proposed replacing the position of party general secretary, which he holds, with a party chairman.

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. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.

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