100 YEARS AGO
Saturday, May 15, 1915
Japanese Red Cross opening in Paris
The opening of the new Japanese Red Cross hospital in Paris took place on April 3, a Japanese national holiday. The presence of M. Gerard, former Ambassador to Tokyo, attracted attention at the event.
As the Japanese nurses were already engaged in their work, only two were present. The director of the Military Health Bureau paid a tribute to them for their diligence.
There are provided at the new facility 150 beds, of which 128 are already occupied by wounded French soldiers (who are engaged in fighting with German forces). Most are serious cases. The work of our sisters is really appreciated by the French, but it is to be regretted that their knowledge of the language is very poor.
75 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, May 15, 1940
Tokyo inns to ban rice, serve bread at lunch
Along with the government’s policy of economizing on rice, native-style hotels and inns throughout Tokyo will adopt bread and Western-style meals for their guests from now on, according to the Yomiuri.
This plan received the unanimous approval of innkeepers in the metropolis, who gathered together during a general meeting of the Tokyo Inn (Ryokan) Association.
Members at the meeting cited examples where guests complained of inferior rice being served on the hotel menus. For example, a guest would eat fairy white rice at one inn, but get a much poorer grade at another inn in the neighboring district. This was the result of uneven distribution of rice to the different inns.
In other words, the inns that were unfortunate enough to receive rice at the bottom of the sack, or rice that had been laid up in the storehouses, were inclined to be of a dirtier color than the rice at the top, although there was supposedly no difference in quality.
Innkeepers remarked that they were tired of hearing complaints and adopting bread for noon-day lunches would be in keeping with the national “rice-saving” policy at the same time.
It is estimated that at least 50 bushels of rice will be saved per day if all the inns in Tokyo adopt this new plan.
50 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, May 26, 1965
U.S. nuclear submarine arrives in Sasebo
The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Snook entered the northern Kyushu port of Sasebo Tuesday morning to meet a rather quiet reception by demonstrators. In Tokyo, however, seven Zengakuren students had to be arrested after an hour-and-half-long scuffle between riot police and 250 militant, stone-throwing students.
About 500 demonstrators, mostly unionists and members of the Japan Socialist Party and the Japan Communist Party, marched near the U.S. Sasebo base during the morning. They were joined by 200 more in the afternoon.
About 600 police officers formed a strong picket in front of the demonstrators on the street leading to the Snook’s landing pier. Unable to break through the police, the demonstrators made a detour to the Sasebo waterfront, where they lined up and shouted, “Go home, nuclear sub,” for the rest of the day.
In Tokyo, militant members of the National Federation of Students Self-Government Associations (Zengakuren) attempted to storm the Foreign Office to protest the visit. The students, all members of the anti-JCP faction of Zengakuren, first tangled with about 200 steel-helmeted riot police in front of the Foreign Office.
As they were pushed back, the students sat down on the pavement outside, chanting, “Go home, nuclear submarine.”
The submarine, according to U.S. naval authorities, visited the port for rest and recreation purposes. It will also take on necessary supplies during its stay here.
25 YEARS AGO
Friday, May 25, 1990
Colonial ‘sufferings’ regretted by Emperor
The Emperor expressed his “deepest regret” Thursday over the “sufferings” Koreans experienced during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 until the end of World War II.
Addressing an Imperial Palace banquet for the visiting South Korean president, Roh Tae Woo, the Emperor said, “I think of the sufferings your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by my country, and cannot but feel the deepest regret.”
The Emperor’s statement was apparently aimed at putting an end to the longstanding dispute between the two countries over South Korea’s demand for a “clear-cut apology” by the Emperor for the brutalities Japan inflicted on Koreans for 36 years.
The governments of both Seoul and Tokyo share the perception that without resolving the so-called apology issue, the two countries can not make a fresh start on bilateral relations, Japanese officials said.
Citing a statement made by the late Emperor Showa in 1984, the Emperor said the “unfortunate past … should not be repeated again.”
He expressed hope that Japan and South Korea will deepen their mutual understanding and that a “new friendship will be the groundwork for the two countries to join forces in making a significant contribution to the future of mankind.”
Roh replied that “historical facts” regarding bilateral relations cannot be erased. But he added that the two nations must not remain “bound up in memories.”
Japan and South Korea, Roh went on to say, “must now forge a new era of friendship and cooperation,” putting the “mistakes of the past truly behind us.”
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 month’s edition was compiled with the assistance of Delaney Lake. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5