National / History | JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

Germans at Kurume ‘getting arrogant’; Throne Assistance body meets; hope abandoned for 208 missing fishermen; Kaifu congratulates unified Germany

by Edan Corkill

Staff Writer

100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 7, 1915

Germans at Kurume ‘getting arrogant’

According to a message from Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, some 700 German prisoners of war currently held at Kurume detention camp are becoming insolent. They refused to respond when the usual roll was called and burst out singing martial songs, paying no regard to the admonitions of the authorities. The demonstration was brought under control when some 100 soldiers with loaded rifles were dispatched to the camp from Kurume Regiment. Some practical measures will, it is understood, be taken to deal with the prisoners as they deserve.

Recently the prisoners at Kurume have been markedly remiss in discipline, some trying to escape from the camp. Last Monday, camp director Masaki told the prisoners to be more careful in their conduct. Shortly after the director’s order was given, a prisoner failed to obey an order and was consequently punished severely. This incident led to the rebellious conduct the same evening. In this connection, it may be worth mentioning that the prisoners had been hoping for the return of four of their comrades who had escaped some time ago only to be recaptured, and that it was to their great disappointment that those four prisoners had subsequently been committed to prison by a court-martial.


75 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Oct. 13, 1940

Throne Assistance body meets for the first time

The Association for Assisting the Throne held its inaugural meeting today, marking the first step toward the realization of Japan’s new national order.

Present were Premier Prince Fumimaro Konoye, all Cabinet ministers except Commerce and Industry Minister Ichizo Kobayashi, who is in the Netherlands East Indies, along with assorted advisers, directors, councilors, and bureau and department heads of the association.

After an opening address by Cabinet Secretary Kenji Tomita, the attendants paid their respects to the Emperor, prayed for victory, offered a silent tribute to the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the State in the China Affair and sang the national anthem.

Premier Prince Konoye then read the historic declaration of the Association to the following effect: “Japan is now confronted with an epochal transitional period. The time has arrived when we should proceed with the establishment of a new order in Greater Asia and also a new world order, consolidating our league with our good neighbors internationally and establishing a new structure internally.

“In view of the current international situation, the Government is bending all its efforts on the construction of a highly organized national defense structure in obedience to His Majesty’s command.

“Such a structure will become possible when all old shells are cast off the fields of politics, economy, culture and others, and when all people start to cooperate with each other in one mind and every field of state mechanisms are enabled to function organically and smoothly.

“The object of the Association is to enable the people to render their sincerest service to the Throne day and night through their respective occupations.”

The association’s name is now commonly translated as Imperial Rule Assistance Association.


50 YEARS AGO
Sunday, Oct. 10, 1965

Hope abandoned for missing fishermen

The Maritime Safety Agency virtually gave up hope Saturday afternoon for the survival of the 208 Japanese fishermen missing in the Marianas in the central Pacific after their boats were caught in Typhoon Carmen on Thursday.

U.S. Navy and Coast Guard rescue planes dispatched from Guam Island and 16 Japanese fishing boats were combing waters near Agrihan Island in the Marianas, where seven Japanese fishing boats with a total of 251 fishermen were caught in the typhoon.

As of Saturday morning only one of the seven boats — the 160 ton No. 11 Benten Maru with a crew of 40 — was found aground near the island, with one crew member reported missing.

Among the crewmen of the missing boats were 11 minors fresh out of junior high schools. The teenage boys were recruited by shipowners to help ease the short supply of fishermen.

This is the second worst maritime disaster in modern Japanese fishing history. The worst accident was the one on May 9 and 10, 1954, when a total of 409 fishing boats were lost in waters off Hokkaido in a violent storm, killing 337 fishermen.


25 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 4, 1990

Kaifu congratulates unified Germany

A message of congratulations on Germany’s unification from Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu was aired on German television Tuesday, government officials said.

“I heartily congratulate you on the accomplishment of unification of East and West Germany, the earnest wish of the German people, and pay deep tribute to the indomitable patience and wisdom shown by the German people for realization of unification,” Kaifu said. “I am convinced that a unified Germany will play a more important role in Europe, which seeks a new order, and for peace and prosperity of the international community.

“There has not been a time like today when both Japan and Germany are being urged to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the international community.”

German reunification is not likely to affect Japan’s foreign policy for the time being, government sources said.

However, they expressed hope that creation of a unified German as a key member of the European Community might work against the emergence of a protectionist trading bloc.

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.