FRUITS OF AMERICAN OCCUPATION OF JAPAN

Author: B. RASKIN

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FRUITS OF AMERICAN OCCUPATION OF JAPAN

Children of the Bases "Kichi-no ko." What Do You Think of These Facts? Compiled by: Shimizu Ikutaro, Miyahara Seiichi and Ueda Shozaburo. Published by "Kobunsha," Tokyo 1953, 331 pp.

Children of the Bases tells the story of the grim life of Japanese children under the American occupation, and chiefly of those children living in the vicinity of the United States military bases on the territory of Japan. The book reproduces children's letters and excerpts from diaries in which, with the directness typical of the young, they write about life in the neighbourhood of the American bases.

In these letters we read how Japanese children, deprived of food, silently hold out their hands for alms in the streets and near the American barracks, at the entrance to cinemas and outside the cabarets patronized by foreigners. Millions of unemployed parents have nothing with which to feed their children, and not all those in employment can maintain their families on the miserable wages, especially in view of the rising cost of living.

No less acute in present-day Japan is the question of school education. Many parents lack the means necessary for sending the children to school. There is a shortage of school premises, while those in use are in a state of neglect. In Tokyo alone, according to Asahi, 230 elementary schools are in urgent need of repair. As a consequence, many children have their lessons in old, half-ruined buildings, shacks and other places wholly unsuited for the purpose. At the same time the Japanese authorities are requisitioning the best buildings, including schools, for the Americans. "We live in the Hammoku area in Yokohama. This is not a military base, it is simply a place of residence for men of the United States army.... America has grabbed everything-the sports ground ... and the school. ... We cannot put up ...

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