AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
REPORT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN
THE SITUATION OF AMERICANS IN THE ORIENT *
following information was taken from the reports of the Swiss Minister in Tokyo, and the
delegates of the International Red Cross of Tokyo, except where noted.
The Swiss Legation in Tokyo expects to
report soon regarding the situation of the Americans interned in Kobe.
certain number of interned Americans in Japan
have been reportedly turned over to the International Red Cross delegate but
have not been received in Geneva. The Swiss Legation is making efforts to forward lists of Americans
through diplomatic channels.
International Red Cross delegate in Tokyo cabled May
11, that the approximate number of American prisoners of war taken in the Philippines is ten thousand. Fifteen thousand American prisoners were taken in Singapore
and four thousand six hundred in Java. No names were given.
number of lists and names of Americans interned by Japan and
reported to date by the International Red Cross is as follows: total number of
lists thirty-four; American civilians, 431 interned, 2 dead. American prisoners
of war, 1292 interned 16 dead.
Department of State continues negotiations for full compliance on the part of Japan in
regard to the Treaty of 1929, pointing out the full compliance on the part of
the United States Government.
Swiss Ministry reports that the Japanese authorities still create difficulties
in the way of delay in visitation on the part of the Swiss representative to
Foreign Mission Conference of North American reports financial assistance by
the State Department reaching Americans except in Hong Kong and Manila.
Swedish-American liner, "Gripsholm", may sail about the middle of
June with the first group of Japanese Diplomats and others from North and South America to be exchanged at
Laurenco Marque, Portuguese
East Africa. It is presumed that the American Diplomatic Corps will sail from Japan
about the same time.
is being given to women, children, aged, and sick in selecting Americans to be
exchanged on the first steamer.
between Basel and Tokyo organized by the Universal Postal Union, Bern, goes via Istanbul, Tiflis and Siberia. The International Red Cross is now able to send ordinary Mail for
P.O.W. and civilian internees.
- Taken from partially complete files of cables in the hands of
the Information Bureau. As these matters are in a continual state of change,
any portion of this report may become out of date at any time.
AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Inland Mission reports all missionaries in occupied territory are safe and
well, mostly residing in own homes, able to get out occasionally. We move
freely in the settlement (Chefoo). Schools much as usual. Mild rationing.
Wardrobes difficult. Free funds sufficient for three months. Seventy-one adults
and two hundred and twelve children, mostly in school, are located in Chefoo.
and University discontinued. All allowed freedom of campus and city.
HANGCHOW: Considerately treated. Living in homes, all well
hospital and central cottage systematically looted by Japanese. It appears
that missionaries have considerable freedom of movement although some have
been forced to leave their homes.
WUHU: Missionaries confined to mission compound. Homes all occupied by
self-invited guests. "Treated well." Have
TIENTSIN: Several missionaries in the International Concession. Funds until
May. Frequent visits from friends allowed.
HUPEI PROVINCE: Through the International Red Cross. Missionaries (church of the
Nazarene) are well. Needs provided. Treated well.
PAOTING: Missionaries report kind and considerate treatment. Given large liberties after routine checking of property. No
restrictions on exercise. Plenty of canned goods and coal for winter, abundant
supply of milk. Most folks in their own homes. Work going on.
KOREA: Maryknoll priests, brothers, and nuns safe. Residing on Mission property.
MANCHURIA: Missionaries, Maryknoll Society, well, in good health, well
treated. Limited use of churches permitted. Missionaries assembled in Dairien.
THAILAND: The Thailand Foreign Office replied to representations that
humanitarian principles are being applied to interned Americans. Since the number are few, etc., sees no reason to apply Treaty of
1929. Also military necessity requires representatives of the Protecting Power
to follow certain procedure (?) in visiting places of internment or detention.
There is no delegate of the International Red Cross in Thailand.
Report to Mission Headquarters is that all missionaries are in good health.
Bern. Missionaries are well, funds being received through Swiss
representative, effective March 1. - ?
BURMA: Twelve hundred persons carried out of Burma by
air before Japanese occupation. Mostly women and children, but some were
British soldiers who had fought without relief for months.
NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES: Registration of American and European nationals costs $81.00 for
men and $43.00 for women. Two Dutchmen
condemned to death by a Japanese military court at Batavia, Java, for
repeating rumors based on foreign radio reports. There is a ban on listening to
foreign broadcasts. Japanese military authorities decree that the Christian
calendar should be replaced by the Japanese calendar. Use of term, "Japan"
is banned. "Nippon", "Dai Nippon" is required.
THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS ARE TAKEN
FROM THE REPORTS OF THE FOREIGN MISSION CONFERENCE OF NORTH
Y.M.C.A. IN JAPAN: The National Y.M.C.A. in Japan has
withdrawn from the world Y.M.C.A. organization, preserving initiative for
further cooperation. Y.M.C.A. in Tokyo reports trying to receive permission to work among interned Americans.
Also the World Y.M.C.A. is endeavouring through the Swiss Minister in Tokyo and the Japanese Minister, Mintani, Bern, to have this
permission granted. To date, there is no information as to the success of
HONG KONG: Tokyo broadcasts claim two hundred thousand Hong Kong dollars had been advanced
for living expenses of foreign civilian internees.
Colonel Ride, British, at Chungking, has set up an informal Information Bureau at Kukong. He recently
advised people in Victoria, British Columbia, that he would undertake to give them word of Hong Kong friends and relatives
if they would send him the reply prepaid radiograms. It is understood that some
replies have come back.
Gordon King reports conditions in Hong Kong as bad. Little food and practically no medical care for the three
hundred Americans interned in the wardens' houses in Stanley Prison. He does
not believe that half of them can survive six months of such treatment, as much
dysentery and other sicknesses are developing. There are many women and
children in the group.
Petro, a French citizen who escaped from Hong Kong February 12, reports
as follows, United
officers are housed in two consular homes. Personnel allowed occasional visits
to the city under guard but are not allowed to communicate with the outside. No
food is furnished, but purchases allowed through certain channels. Outside of
restrictions, they are "all right". A proposal seems to be afoot to
transfer diplomats to Stanley Prison but keep them segregated from the rest of
the civilian internees. This, however, had not been done when Mr. Petro left Hong Kong.
J.F. Marsman, a citizen of the Philippines, who escaped from Hong Kong February 10, makes the following report: Civilians were often threatened.
Many losing all their belongings, ladies' handbags looted. Military prisoners
bound and gagged even when severely wounded. Japanese officers lecture civilians
on being "despicable". "Prisoner shot." Civilians hiked
for several hours with no water or food or relief even for women. The Japanese
were very nasty. Civilians slapped for not saluting. Even in the early days
of captivity, many civilians became sick with dysentery and boils which refused
to heal. Appeals rarely denied and nothing was done for the sick. Restrictions
in Hong Kong were getting tighter every day while the Japanese officers celebrated
in nearby hotels.
of Mr. Warrow, naturalized American citizen, who escaped on February 10:
Maryknoll Fathers badly treated, tied up and put in a garage with little food
for several days. Many British prisoners, including officers were beheaded in
their presence. The Fathers were later released and given three truck loads of
food. They are now interned In St. Stephens College. The Japanese would ask the British officers to
show them where they had hidden their field glasses and revolvers. After they
had shown them, the officers were bayoneted.
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