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Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009
JAPAN TIMES GONE BY
Anti-Japanese Bills, military budget eases unemployment, foreigners shun ski fields and socialists drop class struggle
By EDAN CORKILL
100 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1909
Hawaii legislature and the Japanese
The resolution concerning Japanese residents in Hawaii passed in the Lower House of Hawaii on the 19th inst., (it) reads as follows:
There reside many Japanese in Hawaii who maintain close relations with the citizens and form an important class for the development of industry. There are, however, some States in America whose legislatures have tried to enact laws unfavorable to the Japanese, which may lead to the estrangement of the two countries. Hence President Roosevelt took up the task of suppressing such laws and endeavored to maintain friendly relations between Japan and America in the spirit of justice and cordiality. It is, therefore, resolved that the House shall present its thanks to the President for his meritorious action.
The House congratulates its neighboring Legislatures on rejecting the anti-Japanese Bill with a majority. The resolution shall be sent to the President and the Japanese Consulate at Honolulu.
75 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Feb. 15, 1934
Big military budget helps to relieve unemployment
The recent rise of the munitions industries in Japan is reported to be reducing the number of Japan's unemployed. An official report made by the Ministry of Home Affairs today proves that the inflation boom, principally attributable to the rise of the munitions industries, has served to decrease the number of the nation's unemployed to a great extent.
The total number of unemployed in Japan on Oct. 1, 1933, was 392,294, according to the statistics compiled by the Bureau of Social Affairs of the Home Ministry. This figure showed a decrease of 7,824 from the previous month and a 111,664 decrease as compared with the corresponding month of the preceding year.
The authorities of the Bureau of Social Affairs predict that the number of unemployed will be reduced to a greater extent when the munitions industries and other cardinal industries increase production activities this year.
50 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1959
Is skiing on the rocks? Tourists shun Japan
By HAMILTON MESERVE
Japan's tourist industry is chronically underdeveloped. But most underdeveloped is the nation's magnificent skiing country.
It doesn't add up. Japan's slopes and winter mountain scenery rank equal with Europe's and America's and are second only to the near virgin expanses of the South American Andes. So, why do the foreign skiers stay away?
The three major ski tourism agencies — Japan Travel Bureau, Everett Travel Service and American Express — report their combined clientele thus far this year is a big fat 10 (JTB 10, the other two nil).
They say the big snag is accommodations. In all of Japan's vast skiing ranges there are exactly 697 Western-style rooms. That's 103 less than the Imperial Hotel in downtown Tokyo.
JTB sent a 10-man, ¥8,000-per-head party for three days to Iwahara Ski Lodge in Niigata Prefecture last weekend and hopes for a 20-man party there over George Washington's Birthday (Feb. 21-23).
As a JTB manager said, "If we send up any bigger parties, we would flood the hotels and shut out any other foreigners going up on their own. The hotels themselves would veto that."
The Everett man said that foreigners wanted Western-style accommodations or none at all. "Westerners normally don't like the food at Japanese-style inns (raw egg, rice and pickles for breakfast), sleeping in futon on a rather hard tatami floor or struggling with traditional non-flush, squat down plumbing."
American Express added that Japanese ski trains scare half the foreigners away at the very start. "The best trains run at night and, even then, it may take six, seven or eight hours," he said.
He added that a minor drawback was the kamikaze tactics of the Japanese skier. He cited a German Bavarian girl who returned from her first skiing trip in Japan with a triple-fractured leg — "thanks to some Japanese kamikaze skier with no brakes," he said.
Why don't the hotel owners start pushing the skiing tourist trade themselves? The AE manager said that perhaps here was the basic reason why Japan was missing out on skiing dollars.
"The hotel owner here isn't interested in attracting foreign skiers since he can usually fill all his rooms with yen-paying Japanese. He's not to be bothered with a possible tourist boom in skiing five, 10 years hence. He doesn't think so far ahead."
How about the U.S. military?
The AE manager said American Express spent ¥250,000 last year in ski promotion down in Okinawa. "We got four people — and after they battled the trains, the food and the Japanese skiers, they said they'd never do it again."
25 YEARS AGO
Saturday, Feb. 4, 1984
Socialist leaders drop idea of need for class struggle
The Japan Socialist Party has dropped its long-held concept of class struggle and says it would maintain close relations with the United States if it came to power. The party no longer sees class struggle as inevitable for the establishment of a socialist government, according to an explanation drawn up by the new party leadership under Chairman Masashi Ishibashi. The explanation, drawn up to explain the party's proposed "new socialism," admits that even a socialist revolution would not bring about paradise overnight.
This feature, which appears in TIMEOUT on the third Sunday of the month, delves into The Japan Times' 113-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity.