2. Documentary Evidence and Studies of Japanese War Crimes: An Interim Assessment
Revelation and Contention
From Mass Rape to Military “Comfort Women”
The rape of Chinese women by Japanese soldiers has long been identified with Japan’s war atrocities in China. Reports by American missionaries during the Rape of Nanking in late 1937 provided a glimpse into the extent of sexual violence committed by the Japanese Army. Numerous other incidents in China and later in Southeast Asia further tarnished the reputation of the Japanese forces. The postwar trials, however, largely considered rape to be part of a more general violation of law or inhumane treatment, and not a war crime per se.
Japanese authorities were aware of the problem during the war. In fact, Japanese records show that orders were issued to deal with the problem and that a small number of Japanese soldiers had been tried by Japan’s own military courts during the war for rape or other crimes against civilians. In part to reduce local resentment against Japan and in part to prevent the spread of venereal disease among its ranks, the Japanese military contracted private vendors to set up “comfort stations” for the troops as early as 1932. Again, this practice was known to the Allies but no criminal charges were filed at the trials. There was one exception. After Japan occupied the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), the Japanese military forced many young women—including Dutch as well as Eurasian—into providing sexual service to the Japanese. Those Japanese responsible were punished by the Dutch authorities after the war on account of the abuse of the Dutch women.
In the 1970s, a few writers in Japan began treating the subject as a crime committed by the Imperial Japanese Army. It was not until the early 1990s that the case of the military “comfort women” (ianfu) began to attract wide attention, following the first public testimony of a Korean woman who had been forced into military prostitution for the Japanese. Her account galvanized activists around the “comfort women” issue. Most publications on the subject initially appeared in Korean and Japanese. Numerous works have been also published in English.99 Gathering extensive oral histories, Su Zhiliang, a historian from Shanghai, published the most comprehensive work on this topic in China and set up a Center for the Study of Chinese Comfort Women at his university. In terms of scope and impact, perhaps no other Japanese war crime has reached the level of international publicity since the 1990s as that of the military “comfort women,” a phenomenon helped by new interest in human rights and standards regarding sexual violence toward women.
Initially, the Japanese government denied official involvement in the operation. Yoshimi Yoshiaki, a leading Japanese scholar on Japanese war crimes, made headlines by discovering documents in the Japanese Self-Defense Agency’s library that suggested direct military involvement. He went on to publish them in a collection of primary documents, which included numerous ATIS reports from NARA.102 Under public pressure, the Japanese government admitted its complicity and set up the Asian Women’s Fund (AWF) to compensate former “comfort women” from private sources. AWF established a History Committee in 1996 to gather and examine relevant documents in archives in Japan, the United States, Holland, and Taiwan. Historians hired by the AWF also interviewed former “comfort women” in Indonesia and the Philippines. Their work resulted in a multi-volume collection of documents and a comprehensive bibliography on the subject. Many are not fully satisfied, however. As Yoshimi points out, numerous Japanese government documents were either lost or remain classified. Among them are police records belonging to the former Home Ministry that allegedly had been destroyed. Private records, such as the journal of army doctor Aso Tetsuo, contributed much to the understanding of conditions in the comfort stations in China, but many others held by the Self-Defense Agency War History Department Library remained closed to the public for privacy reasons.
Many issues concerning the “comfort women” are still hotly disputed in Japan. The number of women victims remains a subject of disagreement; popular accounts frequently give the figure of 200,000. Takasaki Shōji, an expert on Korean history and chair of the AWF History Committee, emphasized the distinction between the Korean women’s volunteer corps (teishintai), who were sent to work in factories in Japan, and “comfort women.” As he noted, these two terms had been confused by many Korean activists and had led to an inflated estimate of the number of Korean “comfort women.” A bigger issue concerns the degrees of coercion and government involvement. Some also question the veracity of the testimony provided by former “comfort women” as well as their motivation to testify in public. Hata Ikuhiko, for one, has taken the lead and published many essays as well as a major work on this subject. Hata essentially equates the “comfort women” system with prostitution and finds similar practices during the war in other countries. He has been criticized by other Japanese scholars for downplaying the hardship of the “comfort women.”
Researching Japanese War Crimes Records, Introductory Essays.
Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group. 2006.
“Declassifying U.S. Documents on Japanese War Crimes
Responding to these concerns, on December 6, 2000, Congress passed the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act (Public Law 106-567), which put to rest any doubt that U.S. records relating to Japanese war crimes were included under the aegis of the 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (Public Law 105-246). The implementing directive ordered the Interagency Working Group (IWG) “to locate and disclose, subject to the statute’s exceptions,” any classified U.S. government documents pertaining to Japanese war crimes and to recommend their declassification and release to the public. President Clinton appointed IWG members from the major government agencies holding classified records as well as three outside members to represent the public. The Japanese Imperial Government Records Disclosure Act provided for a fourth public member, but none was appointed. IWG public members, Thomas H. Baer, Richard Ben-Veniste, and Elizabeth Holtzman, gave willingly of their valuable time. Their shared characteristic was a determination to make the record available to the American people. It is in large measure thanks to their efforts that the work of the IWG met with cooperation and success. It was due to their persistence that the CIA redoubled its search efforts and released additional information on Japanese war criminals. Special acknowledgment is due to Senators Mike DeWine and Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who supported the IWG’s work in Congress and worked with the IWG to elicit the full cooperation of the CIA in the search effort. The NARA staff members who worked on the Japanese portion of the IWG project under the able direction of David Van Tassel were responsive to authors’ queries, unfailingly provided requested materials, and searched collections meticulously to identify still-classified items. In particular, without the professional expertise of Senior Archivists William Cunliffe and Richard Myers and their superior working knowledge of the massive collections, the IWG could not have accomplished its goals. The distinguished IWG Historical Advisory Panel (HAP), chaired by Gerhard Weinberg, always provided sound guidance as the IWG navigated among record groups, constituencies, and politics. Professor Carol Gluck, a member of the HAP, provided insight into Japan’s wartime experience and also suggested the substantive approach of this volume. Steven Garfinkel, chair of the IWG, unfailingly identified sensitive issues during the search period, brought them to the attention of the public members and HAP, and acted to ensure they were expeditiously addressed. Larry Taylor, IWG executive director, skillfully managed the multiple day-to-day administrative responsibilities of the IWG, ensuring it functioned smoothly.
The government agencies that reviewed their classified record holdings for documents pertinent to Japanese war crimes were the CIA, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Air Force, the FBI, NARA, the Department of State, the National Security Agency, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the non-FBI components of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Information Agency, and the National Security Council.
An estimated 8 million pages of documents were declassified under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, whereas significantly fewer pages—100,000—were released under the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act. There are many reasons for this discrepancy, most of which fall under two overarching explanations. First, the United States originally confiscated fewer documents pertinent to Japanese war crimes than to Nazi war crimes. Second, by the time the disclosure laws were signed, far fewer World War II Japanese documents than Nazi documents remained classified by U.S. agencies.
Factors Influencing the Number of Documents in U.S. Possession
U.S. government agencies held far fewer records pertaining to Japanese war crimes than to Nazi war crimes. A major reason is that at war’s end, the Japanese destroyed or concealed important documents, which dramatically reduced the amount of evidence available for confiscation by U.S. authorities. How could this happen? At the time the Third Reich surrendered in May 1945, Allied armies occupied almost every inch of Germany. Document collection teams and specialists were on the scene and already confiscating Nazi records for use in announced war crimes trials. While the Germans, beginning in 1943, did engage in substantial efforts to obliterate evidence of such crimes as mass murder, and they destroyed a great deal of potentially incriminating records in 1945, a great deal survived, in part because not each one of the multiple copies had been burned. The situation was different in Japan. Between the announcement of a ceasefire on August 15, 1945, and the arrival of small advance parties of American troops in Japan on August 28, Japanese military and civil authorities systematically destroyed military, naval, and government archives, much of which was from the period 1942–1945. Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo dispatched enciphered messages to field commands throughout the Pacific and East Asia ordering units to burn incriminating evidence of war crimes, especially offenses against prisoners of war. The director of Japan’s Military History Archives of the National Institute for Defense Studies estimated in 2003 that as much as 70 percent of the army’s wartime records were burned or otherwise destroyed.
Nevertheless, some important records survived by chance. Documents discovered in an old safe in the burned-out Navy Ministry turned out to be Imperial Navy planning and policy papers from the 1930s. The salvaged materials reposed with the Metropolitan Police Agency in Tokyo, which transferred them in 1955 to the cabinet archives. They remained there until 1968, when the Defense Agency’s National Institute for Defense Studies took control of the collection.
Japanese authorities also willfully concealed other wartime records. During the Allied occupation, former Col. Hattori Takushirō, a wartime senior staff officer at Imperial General Headquarters, ordered subordinates to conceal key policy and operational documents from occupation authorities. Once the occupiers departed, Hattori intended to write a factual history of Japan’s war based on the important concealed materials. Individuals also hid official documents or personal diaries, some of which came to light only decades later. For example, in 1989, Kaikōsha, the association of former Imperial Japanese Army officers, published a history of the Nanjing operations together with a two-volume collection of contemporary military documents pertinent to the campaign. These had not been previously available to the public. Disturbing excerpts from December 1937 entries in the diary of Lt. Gen. Nakajima Kesago, commander of the 16th Division at Nanjing, were published in a mass circulation monthly magazine in the early 1980s, with permission of the family. These enormously valuable documents, however, had never been in the possession of U.S. authorities.
The compartmentalization of the war in Asia also diminished the possibility that one nation would end up with the lion’s share of Japanese documentation. Unlike the German case, there was no one central repository for Asia-specific war crimes documentation. BritishEmpire forces, for example, took charge of Japanese materials in Southeast Asia. Returning colonial authorities in Indochina and the Dutch East Indies gathered material for their war crimes trials. As many as 40,000 U.S. Marines garrisoned transportation centers in north China from October 1945 into 1947 and accepted the surrender of Japanese units, but otherwise there was little U.S. presence in the huge country, and U.S. units collected relatively few Japanese documents from China. The continuation of the civil war between the central government and the Communists complicated efforts to secure documentation in China. The Chinese central government confiscated Japanese material in 1945; the victorious Chinese Communists, in turn, seized it from them in 1949. The Soviet Union also captured important records about Unit 731 and the Japanese Army when it overran Japanese forces in Manchuria in August 1945. Sixty years later some of this documentation was still coming to light. In August 2005, for instance, the Chinese publicized detailed research findings based on previously unavailable Unit 731 documents, and in Japan two of Gen. Ishii’s notebooks with brief entries for August 1945 and January through November 1946 were made public. Thus, archival material remains fragmented, and while the United States might hold a large amount of Japanese navy or government archival material, many Japanese Army files apparently remained in the possession of other Allied nations or in Japanese hands concealed from the Occupation authorities.
Factors Influencing the Number of Documents Still Classified
Many records relating to the war in Asia were declassified long before the Disclosure Acts were passed, leaving fewer classified records to review. Because much of the material from the European Theater dealt with the former Soviet Union or its eastern European satellites, it was regarded as useful after the War; records that concerned intelligence sources and methods were considered indispensable during the Cold War. As a result, an enormous number of these documents remained security classified until the IWG’s review. The case in the Asia-Pacific Theaters was different. The United States perceived no immediate threat from the region in 1945. By the time perceptions changed with the Chinese Communist victory on the mainland in 1949 and the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950, the great bulk of the Japanese records had already been declassified.
A second reason is that declassification agreements with foreign governments affected the ease with which documents could be opened. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) gathered intelligence in the European Theater, often in cooperation with Allied governments. Before declassifying these documents, the CIA, as successor to the OSS, had to obtain agreement from the nations that had equities in them. However, the U.S. military—not the OSS—had control of most of the Asian Theater records. It created, captured, or confiscated records without the involvement of Allied foreign governments, which enabled the United States to declassify documents unilaterally. Most of these Japan-related records, including wartime intelligence records, were routinely declassified in the 1970s and 1980s by the Army, Navy, and other Department of Defense entities in the course of their regular review programs. In short, the United States could declassify and release Japanese records much earlier than it could German records, but the quantity and quality of the Japanese cache was also inferior to the German.
Furthermore, there were few still-classified postwar records relating to Japanese war criminals because there was not a continuing hunt for Japanese perpetrators as there was for Nazis; therefore, the Army Counterintelligence Corps, CIA, and FBI did not create dossiers on large numbers of Japanese individuals as possible intelligence assets, suspected spies, or prospective immigrants. This is not to say the U.S. Army did not employ unsavory characters in Japan, but for intelligence about the Soviet Union the U.S. government relied less on ex-Imperial Japanese Army officers than it did on former Nazis in Europe.
Finally, the United States focused on its war against Japan at the expense of other major combat theaters in Asia, especially China. This emphasis resulted in less scrutiny of Japan’s treatment of fellow Asians and the Imperial Army’s conduct on the Asian mainland. One might compare the situation to the attention given to the Holocaust, the genocidal campaign against Jews and other “undesirables.” The enormity of these Nazi crimes stamped an indelible mark on the collective consciousness, yet Americans displayed only vague awareness of the even larger scale of the Nazi barbarities inflicted on the people of the Soviet Union beginning in June 1941. Both the Chinese and the Soviets dealt with Nazi and Japanese war criminals as they saw fit, and the United States demonstrated little concern about how they did it, unless Washington complained that the tribunals were being used as propaganda forums to embarrass the West for complicity in Axis crimes. In sum, the U.S. government acted quickly to declassify Japanese wartime documents in its possession. By the time the IWG began its work, there were relatively few postwar records related to Japanese war criminals that remained classified.”
“Topics of Special Interest
In addition to adhering to the IWG’s guidelines when conducting their searches for classified records pertinent to the Disclosure Acts, agencies also paid particular attention to records that might contain information about Japanese atrocities perpetrated on civilians, such as the Rape of Nanking, “comfort women,” the mistreatment of POWs and civilian internees, medical experimentation on humans, Unit 731, and records related to the U.S. decision not to prosecute Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. It is important to note, however, that during World War II and its immediate aftermath, not all areas of Japanese war criminality were explored in depth. For example, while the “comfort women” issue is of great current importance, the U.S. government did not systematically collect or create records related to the topic during or after the war. As a consequence, there are very few documents pertaining to the topic in the archives. The same is true for records related to the Rape of Nanking.
The atrocities at Nanjing occurred four years before the United States entered the war. At that time, the U.S. government did not have a large military or diplomatic intelligence network in China. A handful of trained military or embassy personnel reported on events, sometimes second-hand; compared with the sensational press coverage, the official U.S. documentation was scant. As a result, with the exception of the records produced during the postwar Class A war crimes trial of the commanding general of Japanese forces deemed responsible for the Rape of Nanking, there are few materials on this subject at the National Archives.
Immediately after the war, American attention focused on the Japanese responsible for the Pearl Harbor attack, those involved in mistreatment of U.S. prisoners of war, and Japanese military and civilian officials implicated in war crimes, including rape (especially of Filipina women) or forced prostitution of Caucasian women. There was also knowledge of the Imperial Japanese Army’s field brothel system, as shown in scattered reports declassified during the 1960s. However, the scope of the brothel network (particularly in China) and the Japanese Army’s official sponsorship of the system were not well understood. Licensed prostitution was legal in prewar Japan, and Allied officials viewed the small part of the overseas system they uncovered as an extension of homeland practices. Prosecuting Japanese soldiers for rape, a notorious crime everywhere the army set foot, took precedence over investigating the circumstances of “comfort women,” who were seen as professional prostitutes, not as unwilling victims coerced into brothels by employees of the Japanese military. For instance, a significant document that linked the Japanese government with the military field brothel system, “Amenities in the Japanese Armed Forces,” was translated in November 1945 by ATIS and declassified in the 1960s. Although available to the public for years, it received little attention until the “comfort women” issue focused attention on these wrongdoings in the 1990s.
As for Unit 731, researchers found no new classified evidence related to Gen. Ishii’s experiments or the unit’s treatment of POWs. The small amount of newly released material adds more evidence to the already well-documented facts about Japanese abuse of prisoners. As for the primary question of Unit 731’s alleged experimentation on captured American servicemen, multiple government agencies conducted exhaustive searches in intelligence, military, and diplomatic records but found no definitive evidence. This was not surprising, because repeated Congressional inquiries about Japan’s alleged use of American prisoners in experiments resulted in extensive examination of U.S. Army and other government agency records in the 1970s, 1980s, and again in early 1990s. In other words, Congressional interest in Japanese war crimes, especially those perpetrated against American POWs, had already opened the existing Unit 731 documents in the possession of the U.S. government and made them available to the public.
Finally, allegations arose that the U.S. government engaged in a cover-up to conceal incriminating documents pertaining to war crimes in order not to embarrass the Japanese government. Exhaustive searches by several agencies for classified materials, conducted independently of outside political interference of any sort, followed the guidelines imposed by the IWG. They found no evidence to support such assertions. There were miscarriages of justice—Ishii’s case being the most obvious and disturbing—and the question of Emperor Hirohito’s war responsibility remains a source of controversy in the United States and elsewhere. U.S. government archives, however, yielded no new information on these controversial topics. This result may not satisfy those who insist incriminating or embarrassing documents remain hidden, but disinterested parties will appreciate that the IWG has managed to open the remaining classified files pertinent to Japanese war crimes and to make that evidence available to the public. Archival holdings in Japan, China, and the former Soviet Union also offer the possibility of files that may clarify or lead to reinterpretation of our understanding of Japanese atrocities.”
SOUTH-EAST ASIA TRANSLATION AND INTERROGATION CENTER
INTERROGATION BULLETIN No 2
[logo mark] S. E. A. T. I. C .
Allender Swift. [Signature] Colonel, Inf., U.S. Army, Superintendent, S. E. A. T. I. C.
PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE S. E. A. T. I. C. INTERROGATION BULLETIN No. 2 dated 30 November 1944.
−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−− The information contained in this Bulletin is obtained by Interrogation. The reference numbers shown against each item denote the the informants. P.W. captured by American or Chinese Forces are indicated by the latter A/- or C/- respectively. The addition of (Preliminary) to the reference number indicates that the information has been extracted from a Preliminary (Operational) Interrogation Report.
A record of the original material on which this information is based is kept for reference. Any enquiries should state the number and paragraph, and should be sent direct to the Officer Commanding, C. S. D. I. C. (I), Red Fort, Delhi.
Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the information in this Bulletin should be treated with reserve until confirmed from other sources. −−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−
LIST OF CONTENTS Pars. 1. Effect of Allied Propaganda upon the Japanese Army in Burma.
2. “Do’s and Don’ts” in Propaganda to the Japanese, a P.W’s essay.
3. Detailed Criticism upon one issue of the “GUNJIN SHIMBUN” by a P.W.
4. The notorious Col. MARUYAMA.
5. Disregard of troop’s welfare by Japanese Officers.
6. Difficulties due to re-inforcements from different depots.
1. EFFECT OF ALLIED PROPAGANDA UPON THE JAPANESE ARMY IN BURMA.
(COMMENT: P.W. Reports upon the effect of Allied propaganda are conflicting. They differ greatly according to P.W’s personality and own experiences. If he is of a non-susceptible type, with most of his service in a rear area, and has experienced but little Allied propaganda, he reports the effect as beeing practically nil. However, the resentment aroused by certain types of propaganda may indicate that some effect has been produced. If the P.W. has suffered considerable hardships prior to capture, and has been subjected to more extensive propaganda, much of it applicable to his own misfortunes, he reports the effect as being considerable. These considerations should be borne in mind in evaluating the following P.W. peport.)
(a) M.555, a Lt. of Ⅲ Bn., 55 Inf. Regt., was captured at Myitkyina on 19 July 1944.
(ⅰ) Prior to his capture M.555 had read many of the leaflets dropped by Allied planes, and says that day after day planes came over dropping leaflets. He reports that for the most part these had very littie effect on the men’s morale. M.555 dose not in general consider these leaflets as being well produced, he thinks their composition is mediocre and the general subject matter not of a nature likely to appeal to the mind of the average Japanese O.R. (Ref. his essay below.)
M.555 had listened frequently to the Japanese broadcasts from Delhi, in fact it was a common practice amongst the officers of his unit. Listening to the Delhi was strictly forbidden, but they all did it secretly on the ordinary field W/T sets, either Type 3 or Type 5, as they had no private receiving sets of their own. The news as put out from Delhi was regarded as bring so much propaganda, and only half of it taken as being anywhere near the truth. M.555 said they always recognised the Delhi Broadcasts because of the announcer’s obviuosly foreign accent.
M.555 has listened to Forward Broadcasts , the last occasion being just before his capture at Myitkyina. He says that Forward Broadcasts have a strong effect on the morale of Japanese troops providing that those to whom the broadcasts are made are “up against it”.
(ⅱ) Essay written by M.555 whilst under Interrogation at C. S. D. I. C. (I) giving his iwn views upon Allied propaganda. (Translation; original retained at C. S. D. I. C. (l).).
“EFFECT OF ALLIED PROPAGANDA ON THE JAPANESE ARMY.
“During the five years of my army career I have been indoctrinated against enemy propaganda as a soldier, at the officers’ school and as an Officer. The object of this teaching is to prepare us against all types of enemy propaganda, so as to let nothing stand in the way, to to believe in the Army (Command), to perform our utmost for the Empire.
The principles above-mentioned are clearly stated in the manuals “General Instructions regarding the Confuct of Infantry in Battle” and “Combat regulation” and also in the Mandate on “Soldiers’ Morale”.
Therefore in order to make effective propaganda, articles against “BUSHIDO” should be avoided, since the Japanese Army is too well indoctrinated agsinst (such) propaganda and with the Army spirit. A carefull study if the (charcter of the) Japanese people as a whole should be made, and articles which deal with this should have a better effect when sent at the right moment, both in time and un situation.
I will quote a few examples Allied propaganda used against us during the North Burma campaign since last January and their effect.
The statements I make represent my straight-forward opinion, and in no way am I holding anything back just because I am a P.W. and receiving good treatment from you.
In the Hukawng Valley one Bn. attacked an enemy pisition for two days without success, and we withdrew to regroup for another attack. On the night before we were to make this attack, we had just finished supper and were about to get some sleep when a plane flew overhead and dropped some propaganda leaflets. These leaflets told of the situation in the South East Pacific, and the troops were greatly surprised to get news of such a character, but the one thing which spoiled its effect was the last part which contained uncomplimentary remarks about the Emperor and the Imperial Household. Officers and men were very much hurt by these, although the article on the S.W.Pacific was very good and appreciated. It aroused great resentment and morale became very high. Consequently when we attacked the position again on the third day, we succeeded in capturing it.
So by just a few lines saying the wrong thing, propaganda intended to lower morale will instead back-fire on the Allies.
Propaganda concerning Surrender:
From ancient times there has been no instance where a Japanese soldier has voluntarily surrendered. (Edit. Comment: C. S. D. I. C. (I) have a number of instance to the contrary.) The reason for this is that throughout the whole of Japan the Japanese Spirit is pounded deeo into the heart of each and every Japanese from the time he or she is born, in other wors BUSHIDO. Also in the Imperial Rescript, Field Manuals, and other documents, it us specifically stated that it is grave dishonor and disgrace to become the P.W. To be captured and to give out military information is disgraceful, but it is an honor to commit suicide in order to “save one’s face”. So therefore in any circumstances anyone with the true Imperial spirit and ideal will never give himself up to be taken as a P.W.
On two or three occasions leaflets stating that if we would wave the leaflets above our heads and give ourselves up, the Allies would treat us well and no harm woul befall us. I was in hospital at the time one of these leaflets was dropped; a soldier brought one in and we all had big laugh over it. Since in the Japanese Army there is a great shortage of paper we make use of them in more ways in one.
From your point of view it is just a waste of money and paper to drop such propaganda. The leaflets are sent back to our Intelligence Department so as to gather information on the Allies. The Intelligence people check the quality of the paper, ink, and the type of literature, etc., and can get some knowledge of your economic situation. And if the leaflets were not carefully prepared, they may give the Japanese much needed information.
In one of the propaganda leaflets there was a sentry stating with the jungle night as a background. When we got one of these, we had finished supper and were going to sleep. After looking at the picture it brought back forgotten memories of home and thoughts within ourselves that we may never get to return home. To thise who had wives and children, it brings thoughts of tgem, and to others, it recalls many memories to their minds. No matter who he may be, thoughts of wife, children and parents, especially to one who cannot go home, will arise.
On the other half of the leaflets was a short script on home-front conditions, and the conversation at of people at home, and thoughts of wives, children parents after going to bed. Here out in the front lines we get no letters for long periods of time, no news from home, no radio news or newspapers.
So in my opinion if such things could be considered and utilized, it would carry a great effect.
In the Signals men set up receiving sets in the trenches and listen to news. Mainly they listen to news broadcast from Delhi. They are incredurous of the war news, but music and drama have a great sentimental. One of the broadcasts dealt with the anti-war sentiments of the noted Japanese statesman NAGANO Seigo. I think that broadcasting views of leading statesmen who are against the war will have a great effect.
The most ideal time is to send over your propaganda is when a situation arises of shortage of amunition, arms and rations. It is important to choose the and to send the right type of propaganda.
In my opinion the effect of Allied propaganda in North Burma up to now has been only 5%.
(b) M.493, a Sjt. Maj. of H.Q. 114 Inf. Rgmt., was captured at Myitkyina on 7 Aug 1944.
M.493 reports that while at Myitkyina in June 1944 he saw some dozen different leaflets which had been dropped at various times. In his opinion the effect of these upon morale of the men was considerable and made them very despondent. Many would have liked to surrender, but did not get the chance as they were closely watched by their officers. The officers ordered all leaflets to be handed in or destroyed.
M.493 had not seen the GUNJIN SHIMBUN prior to capture, but has read it since. He is of the opinion that this publication dropped in rear area would have more effect on morale than when dropped in the forward areas, as troops in the rear have more time to read and digest its contents.
In June 1944 while at Myitkyina he saw and read one copy of the “Battlefront News”. This he considered was very effective on account of its brevity; and he is of opinion that the troops for the most part believed the news it contained.
M.493 listened to forward Broadcasts when at Myitkyina; they were from a distance of 500 yds. He considers they had an undermining effect upon Japanese morale, and gave his opinion that the Japanese songs made the men feel home-sick and despondent and the subsequent adress urging them to surrender had a great effect.
(c) M.170, a L/Cpl of Sigs Unit, Ⅱ Bn. 214 Inf. Rgmt., csptured at Bishenpur in May 1944, gives a completely opposite report to M.493 (para. b.)
M.170 had seen and read leaflets dropped in the Imphal area in May 1944. These were treated as a joke, as the men considered them to be merely lying propaganda. At that time the morale of the men were in his Rgmt. was high, and they paid no attention to the subject matter, merely using the paper for making cigarettes and for other purposes.
M.170 had listened to Forward Broadcasts about the same time. He reports that the men enjoyed the music and the songs, but were quite unaffected by the subsequent talk urging them to surrender.
(d) M.309 a L/Cpl of Ⅲ Bty. 21 Fd. Arty. Rgmt., captured in the Sangshak area in July 1944, gives a similar report.
M.309 had seen leaflets dropped in the Imphal area during June-July 1944. At that time he says the morale of 21 Fd. Arty. Rgmt. was high and the troops paid no attention to them whatsoever.
He had also listened to Forward Broadcasts about the same time, and reports that apart from the songs, which the men enjoyed, the broadcasts had no effect.