These are the observations of an American woman in fascist Japan; the writer was Joy Homer. In this article she tells of her travels to Tokyo in 1940 where she was asked to secretly address those small groups that silently wished for a republican form of government while silently opposing their country's imperial conquest of China.
This 1938 article concerned the gas rationing and and other assorted inconveniences that the Japanese population had to suffer during the Sino-Japanese conflict. The reporter was surprised to discover that the general citizenry was kept in a reasonable state of ignorance as to their military's intentions in China:
"[The] Japanese behind the lines actually believe that their armies are marching to help the Chinese, to establish peace and to rid the world of the communist devil. Consequently, there is no hatred against the Chinese people. The often cited example of the Chinese community, living in Tokyo undisturbed and at ease, is no figment. Chinese dressed in their national costumes, have been among crowds that saw Nipponese soldiers march to the front and they were not molested."
Some attention is paid to the sacrifices made by the Japanese industrial classes, such as the Yasuda, Iwasaki, and Mitsui families.
•Recently Discovered Color Footage of the Japanese Army in China•
"The Japanese censorship boards have drafted regulations for the press in territory under their control, and unsuccessful attempts were made to control news dispatches in Shanghai's foreign-owned newspapers. In Peiping, Tientsin, Tsingtao and other cities where the Japanese are in complete control, foreign editors are having their troubles, as evidenced by the 'secret' instructions to the press issued by the Special Military Missions to China, with Headquarters in Peiping... Under the heading 'Important Standards for Press Censorship' come the following regulations..."
-what follows is an enormous laundry list of "DONT'S" issued to the officers of the foreign press stationed in Japanese-occupied China.
Kind words are written herein by Lt. Commander Charles G. Dobbin regarding the "Himmler of the East", General Dai Li(1897 - 1946), founder of China's secret police under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (1887 – 1975). Written in 1946, this reminiscence concerns the tight cooperation that existed between General Li's guerrilla units and the American military (Sino-American Co-Operative Organization: S.A.C.O.) during the later years of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Dobbins emphasized how deeply General Dai Li's intelligence operatives were able to circulate during the period in which U.S. Rear Admiral Milton "Mary" Miles commanded the S.A.C.O. troops.
"...Peiping Associated Press dispatches tell of a major battle between Japanese and Chinese armies for possession of Chiumenkow Pass in the Great Wall of China. The Pass is one of the most important gateways leading into the rich province of Jehol which, it is reported, Japan purposes to cut off from China and add to Manchukuo...This collision forms the second chapter in the Shanhaikwan dispute, and it comes quickly."
An article that seems remarkable for lacking those politically correct qualities we're all so used to reading in today's magazine columns, this article presents a somewhat slanted, pro-Western vision of the Japanese Army, depicting it as an organized and highly disciplined peasant army:
"Some of the finest raw material in the world makes up Japan's infantry...The material is not so adaptable for horsed and mechanized units, as the Japanese possess little natural aptitude for dealing with animals or machines."
Some attention is paid to the strict diet of the Japanese soldier.
Click here to read a 1945 assessment of the World War II Japanese soldier.