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Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012

JAPAN TIMES GONE BY

The colonial exposition, Japan branded "aggressor nation," Cuban missile crisis, Black Monday stock market crash


100 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 3, 1912

Crowds flock to Tokyo Colonial Exposition

Despite rainy weather yesterday, the Colonial Exposition at Ueno [in central Tokyo] was visited by an enormous number of people, who thronged in and about the building to enjoy the queer objects.

The precious treasures of Prince Yi of Chosen [Korea] are in two cases. The exhibits are of objects that have been handed down for 500 years, and include a collection of pottery and a golden helmet and armor.

The people may feel their mouths water before a fine collection of vegetables and fruits fresh from Chosen and other colonies.

The Ainu cottage draws enthusiastic crowds to see the uncivilized yet loyal inhabitants. Seeing visitors calling at their door, the always meek Northerners will give affectionate responses.

The dwellers are always three, one being an old woman. She is tattooed in blue all over her mouth and cheeks and this makes her appearance rather fearsome, but she is a fair entertainer, and her round large eyes shine with joy and pleasure direct upon her good-wishers. She tackles a bit of Japanese, which sounds very nice and even graceful. Poor woman! She has lived a well-to-do life, feeling very little want, but years ago she met an unlucky event to outlive her husband, whom she characterizes as the most loving and faithful man and husband.

[A total of 18 indigenous peoples, including Formosan aborigines, were reportedly "exhibited" in the Colonial Exposition, the purpose of which was to teach the Japanese about far-flung regions of their empire.]

75 YEARS AGO
Friday, Oct. 8, 1937

U.S. brands Japan as 'aggressor nation'

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — Quickly Following Up President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Chicago Speech In Which He Bitterly Criticized Aggressor Nations The U.s. State Department In A Formal Statement Issued Today Branded Japan As Aggressor Of The Orient And Violator Of The Nine-power Treaty And The Kellogg-briand Antiwar Pact.

The statement declared that, in light of developments in the Far East [the rapidly escalating war between Japan and the Republic of China], the U.S. government has been forced to the conclusion that the action being taken by Japan in China "is inconsistent with the principles which should govern relationships among nations and is contrary to the provisions of the Nine-Power Treaty of Feb. 6, 1922, regarding principles and policies to be followed in matters concerning China, and those of the Kellogg-Briand pact of Aug. 27, 1928."

"Thus," the statement continued, "the conclusions of this government with respect to the foregoing are in general in accord with those of the Assembly of the League of Nations."

Commenting on the State Department's pronouncement, observers pointed out that the United States for the first time formally declared a nation an aggressor and violator of peace treaties, and interpreted the action as Washington's full support of the League.

Administration officials viewed the action as having fulfilled Roosevelt's implied promise in his Chicago speech of U.S. support for any concerted action of peace-aiding nations against threats of conflict.

50 YEARS AGO
Thursday, Oct. 25, 1962

Japan backs U.S. blockade of Cuba

The government fully understands the United States' stand in enforcing a naval blockade against Cuba and expects the problem to be solved amicably, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasumi Kurogane said yesterday evening.

He said that Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda will send a letter to U.S. President John F. Kennedy in a day or two in reply to a personal letter from the President which sought Japan's cooperation.

Kurogane said, "The establishment of offensive missile bases in Cuba with Soviet military aid not only poses serious threats to the security of the American continent, but also greatly upsets the international equilibrium which has maintained world peace to date.

He continued, "The Government understands the stands taken by the U.S. and Central and South American countries (to impose a military blockade on Cuba)."

[The Cuban Missile Crisis, as these events have come to be known, was resolved peacefully on Oct. 28.]

25 YEARS AGO
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 1987

TSE in record crash

Wall Street's crash on Monday spread to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Tuesday, with the closely watched market barometer suffering the worst single-day fall ever, plummeting 3,836.48 points to close at 21,910.08 under a hectic selling spree.

It was also the record for a single-day decline, which saw it fall 14.9 percent. The previous record was a 10.0 percent drop on March 5, 1953, immediately after the death of [Soviet dictator] Joseph Stalin.

From the opening of the morning session on the TSE, a wave of sell orders dominated the market and most shares were offered for selling but failed to meet buy orders.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average, a 620.18 loser on the previous day, shed another 1,873.80 to go down to 23,872.76 by the close of the morning session. In the afternoon session, the NSA continued to plunge against expectations for a minor rebounding, and closed at 21,910.08. The market was awash with bearish sentiment with no prospects of its recovery in sight.

Asked to comment on the crash of the stock market, Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone dismissed the possibility of the 1929 Great Depression being repeated.

"The present economic situation is different from in the past," Nakasone said, adding that the rate of decline in Tokyo was much lower than Wall Street's 22 percent.

[The 22 percent drop in the Dow Jones index on "Black Monday," Oct. 19, 1987, remains the biggest one-day percentage decline in its history.]

In this feature in Timeout on the third Sunday of each month, we delve into The Japan Times' 116-year-old archive to present a selection of stories from the past. Stories may be edited for brevity.



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