1 This chapter is based primarily on Draft Report, G-3 GHQ SCAP, "Report on Mass Repatriation in the Western Pacific," April 1947. Original strength statistics, however, have been adjusted using latest available figures as given in G-3 GHQ SCAP & FEC, Status of Repatriation Reports. Original strengths given in these reports have been revised to coincide with actual numbers repatriated. No allowance has been made for deaths of Japanese prior to repatriation, a highly controversial issue.
4 The following commanders participated in repatriation: Commander in Chief, Army Forces Pacific (CINCAFPAC); Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC); Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia Command (SACSEA); Commanding General, United States Army Forces in Korea (CG USAFIK); Commanding General of the Soviet Forces in the Far East; Generalissimo, China; General Officer Commanding Australian Military Forces(GOCAMF); and commanding generals of the Occupation armies.
6 Ibid, pp. 6-7. Since the majority of repatriates were in the military or naval categories, the demobilization process, at reception centers, was a major operation. Staff supervision was exercised by G-2, in the development of demobilization plans and procedures, in conjunction with the Sixth and Eighth Armies.
8 SCAJAP took over duties formerly performed by FLTLOSCAP (US Pacific Fleet Liaison Group with SCAP) and the Commander, U. S. Fifth Fleet-direct control over all ships greater than 100 gross tons operated by the Japanese. SCAP effected coordination with SCAJAP in repatriation matters through the G-3 Repatriation Section.
12 Normal carrying capacity of a liberty ship during combat was 1,500, and of an LST, 400; for emergency evacuation and short trips, up to 2,500 Americans can be carried on a liberty and 900 on an LST.
13 A distinction must be made between "repatriation" (G-3) i. e., overseas shipments and delivery to port centers and "demobilization" (G-2) i. e., inland movements from centers to home towns and villages.
16 By 31 December 1946, the third phase of repatriation was completed. A total of 5,103,323 had been repatriated to Japan, 1,152,632 evacuated from Japan, and 187,600 repatriated directly from other areas in the Pacific. (G-3 GHQ SCAP & FEC, Status of Repatriation Rpt, 6 Jan 47.)
19 A total of 87,546 Japanese were repatriated from Soviet controlled areas during May and June 1948. As of 30 October 1948 a total of 877,015 Japanese had been repatriated from these areas during the whole program while some 446,670 were still awaiting repatriation. Also during this fourth phase over 80,000 Japanese were repatriated from Southeast Asia, the program from that British controlled area being substantially completed by the end of 1947. (G-3 GHQ SCAP & FEC, Status of Repatriation Rpts, 5 Nov & 2 Jan 48.)
24 G-3 GHQ SCAP Rpt on Mass Repatriation in the Western Pac, Apr 47. This registration revealed that there remained approximately 508,100 Koreans in Japan, 9,200 of whom formerly lived in North Korea and 498,900 in South Korea.
37 Agreements on general policies included: utilization of US naval ships, when available, to augment Japanese shipping removing Japanese from areas occupied by forces in China; vessels to be back-loaded with Chinese, Formosans or Koreans and Japanese civilians from Japan; US cargo ships to be used for repatriation when space was available; embarkation rates aggregating 154,000 monthly for Japanese were established for the Tientsin, Tsingtao, and Shanghai areas; monthly rates of reception of Chinese from Japan were set at 10,000 for the Tientsin area and 2,000 for the Shanghai area.
Upon receipt of an offer from Washington of 100 Liberties and LST's as needed, for use in repatriation, a second conference was held at Tokyo on 7 December 1945, as a result of which it was recommended that 100 Liberties, 100 LST's and 7 hospital ships be made available to SCAP for repatriation. The ships were to be converted in Japan to carry repatriates and were to be crewed by the Japanese. (G-3 GHQ SCAP, Rpt on Mass Repatriation in the Western Pac, Apr 47, p. 39.)
38 Of the shipping requested, 106 Liberties and 100 LST's were received, but only 85 of the LST's were retained for repatriation, the remaining 15 LST's being utilized to support the economy of Korea. Upon arrival in Japan, under direction of SCAJAP these ships were modified to carry passengers, provided with trained Japanese crews, and placed in service at a rate of 25 a week. Six of the Liberties were converted into hospital ships of about 1,200 beds each. Since total available passenger capacity of these SCAJAP vessels was approximately 400,000 by the end of March 1946, all Seventh Fleet shipping was released from repatriation. Over 50 percent of the total Japanese repatriation fleet, with a capacity of 100,000 spaces supplemented US shipping. Consequently by 1 March, it became apparent that the flow of passengers from the interior could not fill available shipping to capacity.
39 Concurrently with the main repatriation program of Japanese in China, a total of approximately 31,200 Chinese and 32,000 Formosans were repatriated from Japan while 7,500 Chinese and 36,300 Formosans were repatriated from other areas in the Pacific. Also some 52,650 Koreans were repatriated from Chinese areas. The British assumed responsibility for return of 287 Koreans in Hong Kong.
40 G-3 GHQ SCAP, Rpt on Mass Repatriation in the Western Pac, Apr 47. These figures are based on information obtained from the Japanese Government. Although there is no absolute proof of their accuracy, Japanese Government figures proved to be quite accurate in repatriation from other areas.
45 It developed that initially about 14,000 passenger spaces in SEA recovered shipping were available, plus an additional 9,000 spaces from SCAP controlled shipping, making a total of 23,000 spaces allocated to service these areas. The first repatriation ship departed Singapore on 22 November 1945.
48 On 16 April 1946, the first of 48 Liberties and 4 LST's, in addition to 22 Japanese ships, departed Japan destined for SEA ports. In late May, 40 Liberties, 4 LST's and 15 Japanese ships comprised the second major lift to SEA areas.
56 On 22 August 1946 a radio was received from Washington which contained proposals, essentially the same as those proposed by SCAP at the Tokyo Conference, to be presented to the Soviet Government by the United States. As the situation later developed, this action was not undertaken by the US Government.
58 The first request for shipping, received shortly after the agreement was signed, was for 86,000 spaces during the month of January. The first ships to make this lift were enroute prior to 31 December 1946.
63 During May, June, and July 1948, approximately 45,000 Japanese were repatriated from Soviet controlled areas cach month. In August the number fell to approximately 40,000. (G-3 GHQ SCAP, Status of Repatriation Rpt, 17 Sep 48.)
66 According to the Japanese Government, the surrender of the Japanese Army in 1945 placed under Soviet responsibility 2,723,492 Japanese (civilian and military) approximately 700,000 of whom were transported from Manchuria and Korea into Soviet territory for internment. As of May 1949, the repatriation account showed 469,041 military and civilians still to be repatriated and chargeable to the Soviet prisoner of war authorities. These Soviet authorities were consequently accountable for 374,041 persons after crediting them with 95,000 to be repatriated by the end of 1949 by their own announcement. The Japanese Government estimated 153,509 possibly alive, based on the receipt of postal cards by relatives in 1947 and 1948; this was by no means conclusive, and exceeded, under any criterion, the official Soviet admission:
67 (1) GHQ FEC MIS GS, CIS Periodical Sum, 15 Feb and 15 Mar 49 (S); (2) GHQ FEC MIS GS, Plans and Est Br & CIS Sp Int, Internal Factors as Security Problems for the Occupation Forces (Rev), 1 Jan 49 (S).
68 (Nippon Shimbun) was published in Khabarovsk, Siberia, under the direction of political and propaganda specialists of the USSR Intelligence Section. It sparked the class hatreds between officers and enlisted men; it was the basic textbook in all phases of the political re-education of prisoners; it supported all changes ordered by Moscow. The influence of the Nippon Shimbun was tremendous as it was virtually the only source of "news" to the vast majority of internees.
70 When repatriation from Soviet controlled areas was resumed in June 1949 these disturbances continued. One of the most serious occurred on 4 July 1949 when a large group of members of the Communist Party and the League of Koreans Residing in Japan staged a demonstration at the Kyoto Railway Station. When the first trainload of repatriates debarked, the Communists tried to persuade them to join the demonstration. When police interfered, the Communists resorted to violence. Two of the Communist leaders were arrested. Repatriates who witnessed the arrests refused to board the train unless the two Communists were released. Officials finally persuaded them to board, but they got off again, singing the "Internationale", when asked by the Communists to remain and stage a joint struggle for the release of the two Communist leaders.
The second and third trains arrived several hours later and repatriates aboard were persuaded to join the struggle in front of the Kyoto station, making a total of approximately 18oo repatriates and looo Communists in the demonstration. The majority of the repatriates did not dare enter the special train in fear of their leaders. However, when eighty-seven who were returning to the Osaka district marched to the platform to board, members of the Communist Party attempted to stop them. Again, when the police interfered, violence ensued.
The Kyoto station authorities announced that two special trains would depart at approximately 1030. The repatriates refused to board. Shortly after midnight, however, the repatriates began to voluntarily move to the platform; by 0300 all of them were aboard and the trains had departed. The people on the platform had already returned to their homes by the time the repatriates boarded.
It was observed that the repatriates greatly feared their leaders and did not resort to "individual action". It was further noticed that they seemed to be shrinking from the Communist Party line. Some repatriates told the police that "succeeding units are outwardly the same as we. The police must go into action with determination. It is only that all of us are fearful of the leader." (CIC Sum of Info, 15 Jul 49, sub: Repatriate Incident at Kyoto Sta.)
Return to Chapter VI
Return to Table of Contents