100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, May 12, 1921
Crown Prince urges peace for world
His Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince of Japan, was tendered a great reception by the City of London today, when he received an Address of Welcome from the Corporation at the Guild Hall, and lunched with the Mayor at the Mansion House.
His Imperial Highness, accompanied by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and Prince Kanin, was escorted in procession from Buckingham Palace to Guild Hall at noon. The sun was shining brightly, the streets and business places were decorated with flags, and the route lined with cheering crowds. At the Guild Hall the Royal Party was received by the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and a distinguished company, including the Duke of York, the Duke of Connaught and Mr. Edward Shortt, Secretary of State for Home Affairs.
Replying to the Lord Mayor’s most cordial speech of welcome, the Crown Prince emphasized the tremendous responsibility upon the survivors of the war to redeem the bloodshed of millions of the fellowmen by establishing forever a reign of peace and justice. He paid tribute to Great Britain, the faithful ally of Japan, whose friendship the Japanese needed in the great task of consolidating the peace of the Orient.
75 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, May 28, 1946
New Hiroshima city to be best in Orient
Grass and houses are sprouting again in this atom-bombed town whose officials have begun a five-year reconstruction program to make a new city dedicated to “international amity.”
Spurred by part-time advice of a young American lieutenant, John D. Montgomery of Kalamazoo, Michigan, municipal and prefectural authorities already have drawn plans for a ¥70 million new city which will be one of most scientifically planned in the Orient.
It will cluster around the skeletal dome of the former Museum of Industrial Art which is the almost exact center of the first atomic blast and which will be preserved as a ghostly monument to the explosion.
Today, Hiroshima is a teeming community, neater, more alert and better fed than Tokyo. Spring grass, poking through the ruins, has given residents confidence to return. Mayor Kihara said the present population totals 172,000 and is increasing by approximately 5,000 monthly. The population totaled 500,000 when the bomb fell.
“The people don’t fear radioactivity or other bad effects,” said one resident, “as long as they can see the grass growing.”
Hundreds of small wooden houses have been erected across the city which first was flattened by the atom bomb, then inundated by a heavy flood last September. The city has built over 200 small houses for bomb indigents and plans more, said Kihara.
Some businesses have begun returning to the concrete buildings which were gutted by fire are still erect, including the former Chamber of Commerce within 300 yards of the blast’s center. Other businesses are booming in small neatly-painted wooden buildings including a movie house now showing “Watch on the Rhine”; a beauty parlor and several souvenir shops with signs reading “Welcome Occupation Forces.”
But the fiery imprint of the bomb still is all around — in the charred, barren trees waving grotesque arms, in the sprawled rubble of buildings and rutted streets.
Kihara talks of the future in his charred windowless office in the once ornate municipal building.
“We hope to get half of the money from the national government while the city supplies the rest,” said the Mayor whose predecessor was killed in the same office by the blast. Kihara does not add an appeal for funds from the United States as he did once before.
Montgomery, who is advising officials on plans in his spare time, said the present blueprint calls for erection of an “Institute of International Amity” in the park near the ruined dome marking the bomb monument.
“I have already applied to SCAP for all available literature on the atomic bomb as the nucleus for the library which will be located in the institute,” said the enthusiastic lieutenant. The project would be supported by the University of Hiroshima — the largest in southwestern Honshu — and Montgomery hopes to see the University specialize in international relations.
“This can be the center of new international understanding,” he added. Montgomery is labor relations officer of the 76th Military Government Company stationed in nearby Kure and helping on Hiroshima plans because of personal interest in the topic.
50 YEARS AGO
Thursday, May 13, 1971
Japanese hippie barred from plane
The hippie son of a Japanese banker was barred from a Tokyo-bound plane which was also carrying Sweden’s Princess Christina because the airport manager felt he was badly dressed and smelled, a Stockholm newspaper reported Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Japanese — who was not named — was being deported at his own request because he had run out of money here after failing to find a job, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper said in a front page article.
It said the man was taken to Stockholm International Airport by two policemen on Saturday but was stopped by the airport manager who said: “He smells too much and is badly dressed. He cannot travel on this plane. We must think of Princess Christina.”
The policemen replied that the princess was traveling first class and “won’t have to come near this man,” the newspaper said. But the manager was adamant and told them the Japanese would have to take another plane.
25 YEARS AGO
Tuesday, May 14, 1996
Kawasaki scraps clause against hiring foreigner
The Personnel Commission of Kawasaki City moved Monday to formally scrap a nationality requirement for municipal public servants starting this year, making Kawasaki the first major city in Japan to open its jobs to non-Japanese.
But to try to satisfy objections by the Home Affairs Ministry, the city adopted a rule preventing foreign employees from being promoted to the level of section chief or higher.
The commission is scheduled to distribute application forms for its municipal employee recruiting exam this month. The exam will be held June 30, commission officials said.
The landmark decision came despite opposition from the Home Affairs Ministry, which contends that public servants having administrative authority must be Japanese nationals.
The Kawasaki Municipal Government has had frequent contact with the ministry since February to discuss the ministry’s position and has concluded that only 182 of the 3,500 types of jobs held by municipal employees involve use of administrative authority.
To prevent non-Japanese from taking such posts, the city will not promote them to the position of section chief or higher.
The ministry, concerned that other municipal governments may follow suit, plans to continue to try to persuade Kawasaki to maintain the nationality requirement ministry officials said.
They expressed concern about the regulation on the promotion of non-Japanese, saying it constitutes discrimination against non-Japanese nationals.
“It’s certain this will become a problem when foreign employees reach an age eligible for section chief,” a senior ministry official said.
But the ministry has no authority to interfere with personnel affairs of municipal governments because it is up to the localities to decide on how to hire city employees.
Kawasaki Mayor Kiyoshi Takahashi said because the commission’s decision was made unanimously, commission members fully understood the municipal government’s idea and position.
Takahashi said the positions subject to the limit on promotion account for a mere 20 percent of all city jobs.
Compiled by Tadasu Takahashi. In this feature, we delve into The Japan Times’ 125-year archive to present a selection of stories from the past. The Japan Times’ archive is now available in digital format. For more details, see jtimes.jp/de.
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