B.C.O.F. JOB COMPLETED
(From Denis Warner-A.A.P.-
TOKIO. - British Common-
wealth Occupation Forces have completed another of their occu- pation roles - the processing of Japanese repatriates from the South Pacific through the little
port of Ujina, a few miles from Hiroshima.
The big maps on the walls of the barracks that detailed the destroyed areas of Japan and showed the re- turning soldiers and sailors whether their homes had survived tho atomic bombs and fire bombs of 1945 have been pulled down. The few Japanese still to come here will go to Kure
if they are well, or to hospital on the island of Ninoshima if they are ill.
Ujina ls the last of the three re-
patriation centres to be closed. Here, at Otake and at Sensaki 691,143 Jap- anese have been processed. Nearly 05,000 Koreans, Ryukyuans and For- mosans Have been sent back to their homes.
Ujina's busy days began toward the end of 1945 when U.S. forces estab- lished a repatriation centre there. When B.C.O.F. arrived and occupied tho Hiroshima prefecture, Australian troops took over supervision of in- coming Japanese and outgoing re- patriates. Ships arrived from the China coast and Pacific areas cram- med with returning soldiers. Some- times five or six at a time, ranging from aircraft carriers to liberty ships, luy off Ujina waiting to disembark the disillusioned remnants of the Japanese armies.
Some of the troops who came back were sullen and bitter; some grin- ning and half ashamed.
They came from Rabaul, New Zea-
land and Australia, Singapore and Manchuria, Borneo and Rangoon and tho East Indies. Generals rub- ber shoulders with privates and a former vice-admiral might be seen asking for a light from a former deck hand. There was no way of telling what their former rank or service may have been, for all insignia was stripped from their uniforms.
HAD NO HOMES
Manager at Ujina was a Japanese social worker, Shigeru Morlya, who steered the thousands of repatriates through the two-day process of see- ing them on the way to their homes. Not all the repatriates wanted to go home, however. Often they found from the wall maps that they had
Most of them were astonished when they saw Hiroshima, still bear- ing thc scars of thc atom. But for better or for wor.se they were home 'and they took tho fact philosophic- ally, exhibiting little or no feeling.