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3 corrections, most recently by stanj - Show corrections



Jap Garrison And Natives Starving

From a Special Correspondent

On the quarterdeck of the Aus- tralian frigate HMAS Diamantina, on Thursday Captain Hisay-aki Solda, commander of all Japanese forces there, surrendered the phosphate island of Nauru. The surrender was accepted by Brigadier J. R. Steven- son, representing Lieut-General V. A. H. Sturdee, GOC 1st Australian Army,

A tale of cold-blooded cruelty and murder was revealed when a Japan- ese envoy boarded Diamantina at Nauru to open negotiations for the

surrender. He was Lieut-Commander,

Akiho Hishimoto, and he was accom-   panied by a Chinese interpreter, Marr, who promptly made his nationality known when he set foot on the Australian frigate. Hishi- moto revealed that food was so short on the island that at last the gar- rison, natives, and Chinese eked out existence with fish supplemented by pumpkins. About 300 Japanese died of starvation alone, despite the fact that they had seized all the best cul- tivated ground on the island and had forced the natives and Chinese to work for them. Among themselves the Japanese practised cannibalism, eating those who became too ill to fend for themselves.   When told that the Japanese must evacuate the whole of the main resi- dential area by 3pm on Thursday,

Hishimoto pleaded for permission to, continue fishing in the adjacent sea,   as fish were all they had to live   upon. He was told abruptly by Cap- tain George Renwick, of Vaucluse, Sydney, "We will deal with the feed- ing of Japanese later. Meanwhile these instructions will be carried out."   As the Japanese party was filing out for return to the island with the instructions, Lieutenant George Lording asked the Chinese inter- preter Marr if he felt that his life

would be in any way endangered by,

returning to the Japanese. Marr  

shook his head doubtfully, and was given permission to remain for a time on board. Speaking with great emotion. Marr said: "For years we

have waited and longed for this day,  

as our population slowly dwindled under starvation and ill-treatment.  

The most-used phrase on the island   was, 'When the British come back' " The vivid contrast of British and Japanese codes of decency is demon- strated by the Australian forces oc- cupying Nauru. While relatives of Australian soldiers captured by the Japanese waited years for news, the Australian commander, even before the occupation had perfected plans for prompt notification to Tokyo of names of Japanese prisoners in their