Japan – June 1945

Hidecki Tojo meets with Wang and other officials

From: the diary of Commander Tadakazu Yoshioka, 26th Air Flotilla, Luzon

… following the Vassal’s Conference, a new ‘Gist of the Future War Guidance’ was issued say:

Policy: Based upon the firm belief that Loyalty to His Majesty should be fulfilled even though one should be born seven times, the war must be accomplished completely with the unified power of the land and the unified power of the people in order to protect the nationality of our nation, to defend the Imperial Domain, and to attain the object of the war subjugation.

Meanwhile however overtures were being made to the Allies via Moscow, as the Soviet Union had not yet declared war on Japan.  But the negotiations faltered when Stalin and Molotov headed to Berlin to attend the Potsdam Conference.  One result of the conference was the declaration demanding Japan’s unconditional surrender.  When some began to voice their fear that the Soviet would break its neutrality agreement and attack Japanese forces in Manchuria, Secretary Tanemura berated his colleagues for defeatism, “They should be planning for victory on the mainland.,”

Tannemura said,  “In the evening, I received an unofficial order from the Chief of the Military Affairs Bureau, Yoshizumi, transferring me as a staff officer to the Korean Army.  Simultaneously with thanking my superior for the favor of giving me a place to die at this final phase of the war, I left the Imperial General Headquarters after 5 years and 8 months with the feeling of utter shame in my inability to serve His Majesty, which led to this situation.  I will compensate for my past crime by burying my bones on the front line.”

Tanemura was captured in Korea and spent 4½ years in a Soviet prisoner-of-war camp before being returned to Japan in January 1950.

*****          *****          *****

Evacuation of school children into rural areas.

The Japanese home front was elaborately organized, block by block, with full-scale food rationing and many controls over labor. The government used propaganda heavily and planned in minute detail regarding the mobilization of manpower, identification of critical choke points, food supplies, logistics, air raid shelters, and the evacuation of children and civilians from targeted cities. Food supplies were very tight before the heavy bombing began in the Fall of ’44 and then grew to a crisis

Agricultural production in the home islands held up well during the war until the bombing started. It fell from an index of 110 in 1942 to 84 in 1944 and only 65 in 1945. Worse, imports dried up. The Japanese food rationing system was effective throughout the war, and there were no serious incidences of malnutrition. A government survey in Tokyo showed that in 1944 families depended on the black market for 9% of their rice, 38% of their fish, and 69% of their vegetables.

The Japanese domestic food supply depended upon imports, which were largely cut off by the American submarine and bombing campaigns. Likewise there was little deep sea fishing, so that the fish ration by 1941 was mostly squid harvested from coastal waters. The result was a growing food shortage, especially in the cities. There was some malnutrition but no reported starvation.  Despite government rationing of food, some families were forced to spend more than their monthly income could offer on black market food purchases. They would rely on savings or exchange food for clothes or other possessions

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current News – 

Tomorrow is POW/MIA Day here in the United States.  Please spare a moment to remember those who never made it home.

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Antolik – Nanticoke, PA; US Army, Korea, Co. A/85th Tank Battalion, Cpl.

Edward Brook – Lancashire, ENG; Royal Navy, WWII

Glenn Frazier – AL; US Army, WWII, PTO, Col., 75th Ordnance Co., (Bataan March survivor)

Josseph Gagner – Cranston, RI; US Coast Guard, Academy graduate, Chief Petty Officer (Ret. 20y.)

James Howard – Maiden Rock, WI; US Army, WWII

William Liell – Staten Island, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. C/511th // Co. A/187th RCT, Korea

Max McLaughlin – Mobile, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Freddie Oversteegen – Schoten, BEL; Civilian resistance fighter, WWII

Leonard Tyma – Dyer, IN; USMC, WWII, KIA (Betio)

James Welch – Salt Lake City, UT; USMC, WWII, PTO, Purple Heart

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 20, 2018, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.

  1. Yet another reason we should never underestimate the power of focus or the value of our collective past histories!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. War? Yes. I really love the loyalty to nation during those times. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really glad American GIs didn’t fight in Japan block by block

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting post. Many here in my area are concerned about food mobilization should war or natural disaster occur.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There always is a tidbit or two in your posts that might not be related to the main point, but which intrigues me. For example: I’ve known for much of my life what a Molotov cocktail is, but I never knew there was a person named Molotov. I found this very interesting article that got me sort of up to date on the man.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. dank voor je bezoek op m’n blog
    ja ik vond die link mooi passen nu bij het blog van Fab Four 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A very interesting account. The attitude of the Japanese at this point often reminds me of what I think is a line from an old song by Gracie Fields: ” He’s dead but he won’t lie down!”.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Your pill is always sweetened by the sweetening and levity of your cartoons.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Any follow up on Tanemura after 1950, G, since obviously he didn’t bury his bones on the front line? –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Perhaps Tannemura should have done the right thing and committed seppuku, when he returned to Japan if he was so ashamed. I wonder if His majesty forgave him

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Truly fascinating post! I hadn’t known the extent of the food rationing in Japan although it certainly makes sense during the war. They certainly were isolated from trade and such. Their organization skills really paid off as no one starved to death.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Van pow/mia Day had ik nog nooit vroeger gehoord.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Want de lange zoektochten naar de missing in action (MIA) stonden stil. We zijn dankbaar dat forensische antropologen samen met andere specialisten en amateurs uit vele landen, we identificeren deze mannen geleidelijk en brengen ze naar huis voor begrafenis.

      Like

  13. Is there such a day for those who are still being sent to fight abroad?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reading through is like walking inside a museum. Great to know about the past and how things evolved. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for another interesting piece! I’d just been reading about food shortages for the guys who were captured as Japanese POWs, and wondered how far those had spread- nice timing 🙂 Thanks also for the reminder of tomorrow’s remembrance. It’s easy to loose track of these days during the busy days- appreciate these reminders.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Japanese did not have a word for retreat in WWII and surrender was considered an ultimate disgrace, so they could not conceive of having a war and ending up with the number of prisoners that they did, nor did they have any respect for the POWs. Thank you for your comment, I wish I had the time to comment more on other blogs!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I got a kick out of the cartoon with the “skins you love to touch” reference. I remember those Woodbury soap commercials very well.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Thank you for the history lesson Sir. This article brought up logical things yet they are things that I personally had not thought of. Being that I find this to be a good read I am going to reblog this for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I continue to be amazed by the commitment of the Japanese in winning this war. It is fascinating to read these behind-the-scenes recounts.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Interesting point of view.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. It must have been strange to go from considering victory to mean world domination to defending your homeland.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. The story of Tanemura shows again the extreme form of the Japanese honour code. For him surviving the war must have been the ultimate shame.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Hi G.P. – It’s always interesting to read about “the other side.”
    Doesn’t the second-to-last paragraph, seem self-contradictory? Rationing was effective, but 69% of vegetables were obtained on the black market – those two statements seem conflicting to me.
    I appreciate all the posts you’ve done, where you present info from non-American sources!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Indeed, the black market was where my grandpa bought food for my mom and aunt. The grandparents were lower level aristocrats and were able to obviously afford food. But it wasn’t steak and potatoes. For example, one thing my aunt remembers grandpa bring back a small bag of a sweetener (a by-product of processing sweet beans if I remember right).

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Very interesting to read about the Japanese government and military mindset as the days leading up to Hiroshima approached. Thanks, GP!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I suppose I should have some retrospective sympathy for the civilians suffering those food shortages. But try as I might, I don’t really feel any. I am reminded of an ancient saying. “You reap what you sow”. And I can only imagine the treatment they would have dished out had they won the war.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Most of their supplies were imported. As they saw it, FDR imposed the blockade on them and caused the shortage in the first place. Remember, the government had control of what the civilians knew and did not know.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. As always, it’s fascinating when you bring us another side to the war story.

    Liked by 3 people

  1. Pingback: FEATURED BLOGGER: Japan – June 1945 by //Pacific Paratrooper | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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