100 YEARS AGO
Friday, April 13 1917
Wife no longer hesitant in taking a bath first
It has been discovered that cherry trees at Yoshino-yama, the most celebrated cherry flower resort in Japan, have been attacked by white ants.
This has given no small surprise to the caretakers of the resort and on Monday last Dr. Nawa, prominent entomologist, and several members of the Nawa Institute for Entomological Research visited Yoshino-yama and instituted investigations as to the damage wrought by the white ants.
A vigorous crusade against invaders has been launched and is reported to be still in progress. It is regrettable to learn that a number of ancient cherry trees have already fallen victims.
75 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, April 14, 1942
Bataan Peninsula falls after MacArthur flees
The complete occupation of the Bataan Peninsula was announced in a communique issued by the Imperial Headquarters at 4:20 p.m. on Monday. The announcement reads: “The Imperial Army Units in the Philippine area crushed the main body of the American-Philippine forces falling back on strong fortresses, and on April 11, eight days since the commencement of the general attack, completed the occupation of the Bataan Peninsula.”
Another communique was issued by the Imperial Headquarters at 4:25 p.m. the same day. It stated: “The Supreme Commander of the Army Forces in the Philippine area is Lt.-Gen. Masaharu Homma.”
Domei has the following to say in comment on the reduction of the Bataan Peninsula: “Following the capture of Manila on Jan. 3, the remnants of the defeated American-Philippine forces, thrown into consternation by the lightning speed with which the Imperial Forces advanced, betook themselves to fortresses in the Bataan Peninsula. There the enemy troops, in geographically advantageous positions, made frantic efforts to check the further advance of the Japanese.
“Gen. MacArthur, commander-in-chief of American-Philippine forces, escaped to Australia, leaving the men under him to their fate when he saw that he was in danger. Without a leader, the American-Philippine forces which had by this time been reduced to a strength of 70,000 men, had, until they surrendered, been putting up ineffectual resistance against the Japanese. The general attack on the enemy troops in the Bataan Peninsula was commenced on April 3, on the occasion of Jimmu Tenno-Sai, anniversary of the demise of the Emperor Jimmu. The bombardment of the fortresses upon which the enemy troops were falling back was so violent that it almost changed the shape of spear-like mountains on which they were located.
50 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, April 5, 1967
Wife no longer hesitant in taking a bath first
The Japanese wife no longer hesitates to take a bath ahead of her husband.
This was reported last week by the Life Science Research Society after it had polled some 1,000 persons of both sexes.
There was a time when the husband was the first to take a bath while other members of the household had to wait their turns. This is no longer true, the pollsters said.
On the status of women, 17.3 percent believed Japanese women had grown “strong.” But 34 percent believed men still enjoyed the extra privileges. Most of those who believed women are enjoying equal rights were in their 20s, the pollsters said.
Asked if equal rights were desirable, 18.6 percent replied in the affirmative while 15.7 percent said women tended to be too assertive. About 30 percent believed “things are just right.” About 56 percent said there exist equal rights in their homes, but 13 percent believed the husband “tended to lord it over.” Twenty-six percent said men asserted their authority too much but that was “all right.” Only 4.1 percent believed women were domineering.
About 18 percent said men and women were “inferior in ability.”
25 YEARS AGO
Saturday, April 18, 1992
Fingerprint revision passes amid outcry
The Lower House passed a bill Friday to limit the fingerprinting requirement for alien registration to nonpermanent foreign residents. But some foreign residents have criticized the bill for failing to abolish the fingerprinting system altogether and for treating any violator of any section of the law as a criminal.
If the bill, a revision of the Alien Registration Law, is passed by the Upper House during the current Diet session, it is expected to take effect by next Jan. 10.
The Justice Ministry will abolish the fingerprinting system for permanent residents and introduce a family registration system, which will use the resident’s picture and signature and will contain information on parents and spouses living in Japan.
The current law requires all foreign residents who are 16 years or older and who stay in Japan for over one year to give a print of their left index finger when applying for alien registration certificates.
Under the new law, permanent foreign residents who will become 16 between the date of the bill’s passage and the date when it takes effect will not be required to give their prints. The bill also contains a rider that says it will be revised thoroughly in 1998 so its basic purpose will be changed from the control of foreign residents to provision of government services for them.
But even under the new law, about 320,000 nonpermanent residents, including 40,000 Koreans, will have to give their fingerprints. It will be impossible to erase the prints already on government files because they are on microfilm along with other information.
Both permanent and nonpermanent foreign residents will also be required to carry alien registration certificates at all times, as under the current law.
“The revision shows the government still treats foreigners as a potential national security threat and tries to control them,” said Robert Ricketts, an American who is teaching English at Wako University.
In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 120-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. This month’s edition was collated with the assistance of Lena Knue. The Japan Times’ entire archive is now available to purchase in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.
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