Another View of Japan

[ The New York Times : January 16, 1938 ]

Another View of Japan
Exception Is Taken to Statements In Dr. Brown's Letter

I venture to disagree with some of the things which Dr. Arthur J. Brown says in his letter to THE TIMES.
I cannot agree with the statement that press reports of the Far Eastern disturbance have been fair. When the Japanese Army is accused, in general terms, of all sorts of atrocities at Nanking, specifically including the dragging of women from refugee camps, and when, a few days later, well-supported circumstantial reports appeared showing that such acts were committed by Chinese, including officers of as high rank that of colonel, it means that the original statement has, for many readers, including, apparently, Dr. Brown, gone uncorrected.

No Dictator
It seems misleading to suggest, in terms allusive to European conditions, that the government of Japan is a military dictatorship. The distribution of power in the Japanese Government has its roots in so long a history and one so different from that of Europe that I cannot expatiate upon it here; but there can be no dictatorship without a dictator, and there is no dictator in Japan. The Navy and Army Ministers have direct access to the throne; so has the civilian Ministry; and the head of the whole Ministry is always accounted a civilian. It is, further, a mistake to suppose that the Navy and Army Ministers always act in concert.
"What degree of control he [the Emperor] really exercises," says Dr. Brown, "few men in Japan and no one outside of it know." This is true in the sense that, as the exercise of the Emperor's prerogatives is optional, it cannot be predicted. But that his power can be very great is shown by the way in which it was exercised during the Meiji reign (1868-1912), and was suggested by the way in which the disorders of February, 1936, were terminated.

Close to War
Again, I disagree with the statement that "the people of Japan have no means of intelligently judging," etc. The censorship of the press in Japan is by no means "rigid." Such utterances as those of President Roosevelt at Chicago and of Secretary Hull at various times have been printed in full in Japan.
Furthermore, the Japanese have the advantage, which most people here have not, of having always lived close to the arena of conflict and of being well acquainted with its history. It is probably an understatement to say that nine-tenths of the people hereabouts who are now expressing opinions knew little or nothing about the situation before the breaking out of hostilities and headlines. Dr. Brown does not come within that category and will probably agree with the statement.
I do not think that the Japanese people, as a whole or in large part, desire any further subordination of the armed forces to any one below the throne. In conceivable circumstances they might like to see civilian influences work up through the throne and back to the forces. This does not indicate a servile subjugation. The Japanese, though a docile and homogenous, are an exceedingly high-spirited people, and no government which fails to take this into account can hope to succeed.
Date: 2015.02.10
Category: Comparison of the descriptions

Population of Nanking

[ THE GOOD MAN OF NANKING : November 28, page 39 ]
"Wang Kopang, the chief of police, has repeatedly declared that 200,000 Chinese are still living in the city."

[ THE GOOD MAN OF NANKING : December 10, page 58 ]
"We're anxiously awaiting an answer to our telegrams from the Japanese authorities and from Chiang Kai-shek. The fate of the city and 200,000 people are at risk."

[ December 17, 1937 ]
"In other words, on the 13th when your troops entered the city, we had nearly all the civilian population gathered in a Zone [...]."
"It is hard to see how starvation may be prevented amongst many of the 200,000 Chinese civilians [...]."
(PDF)*International Committee for Nanking Safety Zone

[ THE GOOD MAN OF NANKING : December 25, page 96 ]
"The Japanese have decreed that every refugee must be registered. This has to be completed within the next ten days. No easy matter, what with 200,000 people."

[ January 14, 1938 ]
"We understand that you registered 160,000 people without including children under 10 years of age, and in some sections without including older women. Therefore, there are probably 250,000 to 300,000 civilians in the city."
(PDF)*Mr. Tokuyasu Fukuda

[ THE GOOD MAN OF NANKING : January 17, page 135 ]
"Estimates of the total population of the Zone are now around 250,000. The increase of about 50,000 comes from the ruined parts of the city."

[ February 10, 1938 ]
"A population of 250,000 should have at least 2,000 tan of rice or 1,600 bags of rice per day."
(PDF)*Relief Problems in Nanking upon which Cooperation of Japanese Authorities is Especially Urgent


[ THE GOOD MAN OF NANKING : December 6, page 52 ]
"Why didn't they force the well-off inhabitants, those 800,000 propertied citizens who fled, to stay? Why is it always the poorest people who must forfeit their lives?"

[ The New York Times : November 22, 1937 : JAPAN TO DEMAND ALL CHINA'S RIGHTS IN SHANGHAI AREA ]
"The capital, which had a population of more than 1,000,000 last July is now estimates to have only 200,000."

[ The New York Times : January 31, 1938 : NANKING DISORDER REPORTED WANING ]
"Cut off from newspapers, radio and all outside interests, living in a ruined city which in midsummer boasted a population of more than 1,000,000, fewer than 200,000 Chinese remain."
Date: 2015.02.10
Category: Comparison of the descriptions

Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone : Dec. 27

Dear Sirs:
On December 1st when former Mayor Ma of Nanking turned over to the International Comittee responsibility for the care of the civilians in the Safety Zone, he asigned to the Comittee 30,000 tan (piclus) of rice and 10,000 bags of flour to be used in feeding the population.
He agreed that this should be used at the discretion of the Committee: either to be given freely where needed, through soup kitchens, or to be sold to those that could afford it.
Between December 1st and December 11th, when your Army's attack on the city made it necessary to close the gates, our committee succeeded in moving 10,000 tan of rice and 1,000 bags flour into the Zone.
The remainder we hoped to get as soon as the fighting was over.

Since the Chinese military had 100,000 tan of rice (besides our *30,00 tan) in the vicinity of Nanking, we plead that you allow us to get these 20,000 tan for feeding the 200,000 civilians.
John H.D.Rabe, Chairman.

* diplomatic copy
(PDF) *Dec. 27, 1937 "International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone" : From Yale University Library : NMP0175

[ LETTER TO JAPANESE EMBASSY : January 26, 1937 ]
Dear Sirs:
In his letter of November 30, former Mayor Ma promised the International Committee 30,000 tan of rice, and in another letter of December 3 he gave us 10,000 bags of flour. Later he verbally promised us another 10,000 bags of flour at the press conference.
On December 2 we received an assignment voucher for 15,000 bags of rice and on December 5 another assignment voucher for 5,009 bags of rice. Of this amount we were able to haul in only 8,476 bags and assigned 600 bags to refugees in Hsiakwan, or a total receipt of 9,076 bags containing ll,345 tan. But since the bag vouchers only totalled 20,000 bags, we can only claim 10,933 bags of rice as still coming to us when the Japanese troops took the city on December 13.
We did not get any of the 10,000 bags of flour for which we had a written assignment.
You will note that the above food supplies were definitely assigned to an international relief committee for use in its relief work in Nanking.
We would be pleased if you would favor us with a written reply of how your authorities wish to handle this matter in order that it may be perfectly clear.
John H. D. Rabe, Chairman.

(books.google.co.jp)*Documents on the Rape of Nanking
or *nanjinggenpatsu.com

December 1, 1937 (page 43)
"Mayor Ma appears with his staff at the meeting and promises us 30,000 sacks of rice and 10,000 sacks of flour. Unfortunately we have no trucks for delivering these rations to the refugee zone. We can sell the rice and flour, but we have to fix the price."

December 2 (page 47)
"We're having great difficulty finding vehicles to transport the rice and flour placed at our disposal, some of which is stored outside the Safety Zone without anyone guarding it. We're told that large quantities have already been removed by military authorities. Allegedly only 15,000 sacks of rice are still left of the 30,000 given us."

December 7 (page 53-54)
"We've been able at best to get a quarter of the food promised us into the Zone, because we don't have enough vehicles, which are constantly being commandeered by the military."
"We brought 2,117 sacks of rice into the city today. It's doubtful that we'll still be able to get through the gates again tomorrow."
Date: 2015.02.10
Category: Comparison of the descriptions
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Last Update : March 25, 2017
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