Thursday, June 21 1917

Whole family of five go mad in Yamaguchi

A whole family at Kamiyomura, Kugagori, Yamaguchi Prefecture, suddenly went frantic last Friday night, reports the “Jiji.”

A 70-year-old man and four other people of the family cried, ejaculated, sobbed, etc. in a frantic manner the whole night, and the mysterious illness of the family surprised the neighbors.

The doctor who was called in to investigate the cause stated that they were suffering from the effects of some kind of poisoning, and the next morning they were all restored to their former health.

It proved that they treated themselves the previous night to vermicelli and leaves of a sort of eggplant, the latter of which had a poisoning effect on them.

Friday, June 26, 1942

Imperial Naval Forces conquer Aleutians

June 8, 1942, will go down in Japanese history as a day when Japan — fighting for the construction of a world order envisioned by its founder — placed itself in a position where it can make a thrust against America from behind, which will be in the light of a coup de grace to a country already beaten at its front.

On that day the Imperial Naval Forces operating in the north landed on one of the Aleutian Islands and captured an enemy base that will be used by the Imperial Forces in the conduct of their operations against the American mainland.

Shin Saito, a member of the Navy press corps, was with the Imperial Naval Forces which landed on the Aleutians. His vivid description of the remarkable landing operations of the unit which he accompanied appears in the Nichi Nichi. Mr Saito’s story, in diary form, follows:

June 7 — It is the day for an attempt by us to make a landing in the face of resistance from the enemy.

We have a sack containing rice balls and a flask. Our legs were gaitered.

At 5:35 p.m., we sat for supper. Against the wall at the head of the table were put up, crossed, the Rising Sun flag and the naval ensign.

We were served with rice boiled together with red beans. We rose from our seats and drank toasts.

An atmosphere of penetrating silence reigned over the place. The ship’s captain called for cheers for the special landing party. Our shouts reverberated in the ship.

The commander of the unit addressed himself to us. In a deliberate tone of voice, he told us: “Depend upon it that we will do our job to your complete satisfaction.”

Thus he ended his memorable address.

Sunday, June 18, 1967

New ‘James Bond’ film drawing huge crowds

Despite the unfavorable publicity it received during its filming in Japan last year, Eon Films’ “You Only Live Twice,” the latest of the “James Bond” series, is drawing the biggest crowds since “Thunderball,” another Bond released in December 1965.

The much-heralded film about the British secret agent opened at Hibiya Theater in downtown Tokyo on Saturday in a simultaneous world premiere with London and New York.

A long queue surrounded the 1,483-seat theater, and the management said about 11,100 saw the film in six showings Saturday. Many who could not get seats stood to see the film.

The shooting of the picture in Kyushu had raised eyebrows on a number of occasions. For one thing, the director wanted to change the appearance of a rural landscape to make it look — in the Japanese eyes — to be Meiji Era. Tampering with the reality of the landscape to make it look more “exotic” is a temptation few foreign filmmakers in Japan are immune from.

Another “incident” occurred when the director allegedly asked a local high school girl extra to expose her body more than she had agreed to.

One factor for the generally critical press, it is believed, was what appeared to be a lack of cooperation on the part of the production staff. The star Sean Connery, for instance, was seldom available for between-shooting interviews.

Part of this seeming uncooperativeness has been explained by it having been necessary for production staff to keep secret the plot of the film story, which substantially departs from the original by Ian Fleming.

Tuesday, June 16, 1992

Government approves U.N. peacekeeping bill

The Diet gave final approval Monday evening to the government-proposed bill to enable overseas dispatch of Self-Defense Forces — a longtime taboo under the Constitution — to take part in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The bill passed 329-17 shortly before 8:30 p.m. with the joint support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the two centrist parties — Komeito and the Democratic Socialist Party. The Japanese Communist Party voted against it.

The largest opposition party, the Social Democratic Party of Japan, boycotted the voting after all Lower House SDPJ members submitted their resignations, which produced a tense, last-minute Diet confrontation over the controversial bill.

The resignations, which have yet to be accepted, could disrupt Diet affairs and possibly revive speculation about the Lower House’s dissolution in the near future.

At the end of a marathon plenary session of the Lower House that had dragged on for four days because of delaying tactics by the SDPJ and JCP, the LDP-centrist alliance voted in the bill.

The government has recently been trying to give the SDF a bigger role in international peace-building efforts based on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial security laws that loosened the constraints of the pacifist Constitution.

In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 120-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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