100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, May 31 1917
An extraordinary case of wanton mischief by Post Office employes was recently revealed by Mr. K. Ishikawa of Azabu, who made a formal complaint to the director of mails of the Department of Communications. Mr. Ishikawa contends that the Post Office employees have purposely crossed out the address written on a registered letter and written an entirely different address.
Mr. Ishikawa sent a registered letter to a friend in South Manchuria on May 10, but the letter did not reach the destination at the proper time, and he made repeated requests to the Post Offices to trace the letter. The Post Office which received the registered packet duly forwarded it, but no trace of the letter could be found.
However on the evening of May 25, the registered letter in question came back to the original sender, bearing a note from the Post Office that the addressee could not be found at the address written on the envelope. Mr. Ishikawa looked at the letter, and found that “South Manchuria” originally written on the envelope was crossed out with red ink, and “Formosa” was written by its side. The letter went to Formosa consequently, and came back to Tokyo undelivered.
The receipt given Mr. Ishikawa at the Azabu Post Office says that the letter is for a person in South Manchuria, and consequently it must be someone in the Post Office who changed the address written on the envelope. The miscarriage of mails often happens, but the practice of changing the address written on letters is a most extraordinary outrage on the part of the Post Office.
75 YEARS AGO
Friday, May 8, 1942
Japan forces defeat U.S. at Corregidor fortress
The much-vaulted invulnerability of Corregidor in the Philippines was proven false, as the fortress, firmly entrenched by the American-Filipino troops was completely reduced by Japanese attacking forces Thursday, according to an Imperial headquarters communique issued at 5:50 p.m. on the same day.
The communique reads: “Imperial Japanese Army and Navy forces in the Philippine area succeeded in effecting a forced landing on the island fortress of Corregidor at 11:15 p.m. on May 5 and then completely reduced the island and all forts on other islands at the mouth of Manila Bay at 8 a.m. on May 7.”
The fugitive American-Filipino troops, who were defeated in the Bataan Peninsula by Japanese forces on April 11, had been offering useless resistance on Corregidor subsequently. They, however, had been exposed to the devastating bombings of the Army and Navy Air Forces almost every day since. Their defeat was a mere question of time.
The landing in the face of enemy resistance by the daring Japanese Army and Navy units at 11:15 p.m. on May 5 finally dealt the finishing blow to the enemy. Unable to resist the furious onset of the Japanese forces, the whole island as well as its neighboring fort-isles was completely reduced on Thursday.
This was the 27th day since the capitulation of the Bataan Peninsula. As a result, the whole region of Luzon, to which this island belongs, has been occupied by Japanese forces. The advance base of the American operation in East Asia thus has been completely upset.
50 YEARS AGO
Friday, May 26, 1967
Mount Fuji is losing its symmetric outline
The government plans to take steps to save the symmetric outline of Mount Fuji, symbolic of Japan’s scenic beauty, which is slowly being disfigured by a creeping landslide near the crater.
Construction Minister Eiichi Nishimura Thursday instructed his men to study a remedy immediately in cooperation with experts of the Agriculture-Forestry Ministry.
The landslide started more than a dozen years ago on its western slope. It has slowly but steadily spread so that now the landslide is 500 meters in width, 2,800 meters in length and 125 meters in maximum depth.
Already the disfiguration of the mountain is clearly visible from the southern, western and eastern foothills.
The ministry has built two retaining walls in the western foothills of the mountain to keep the moving earth from sliding further.
However, more drastic and gigantic construction work near the peak will be necessary. Concrete embankments on both sides of the sliding area or retaining walls at intervals of about 50 meters on the slope are, at present, considered to combat the landslide.
25 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, May 19, 1992
Tokyo residents avoid talking to foreigners
About 60 percent of Tokyo residents said they do not want to become acquainted with foreigners, according to a survey on living conditions released Monday.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government last November interviewed 3,000 Japanese living in Tokyo age 20 or older. There were 2,106 responses. The questions included working and living conditions, and lifestyles of Tokyo residents.
Older Tokyo women showed the greatest reluctance to associate with foreigners. About 73 percent of women in their 70s said they would prefer to avoid such associations.
Metropolitan government officials blamed language barriers for the desire to remain separate from foreigners.
“We think the result does not mean the Japanese dislike foreigners, but they hesitate to talk to foreigners because they cannot speak foreign languages,” an information official claimed.
If asked by foreigners for directions, however, 69 percent said they would try and help.
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.