Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bertrand Roehner

My terrific historiographer, Bertrand Roehner, just emailed me about some of his frustrations researching in Japan about the U.S. military during the postwar period. He was reading "Documents concerning the Allied Occupation and Control of Japan, Vol. II, Political, Military and Cultural compiled by Division of Special Records, Foreign Office, Japanese Government. The document is dated March 1949. It contains a letter written in April 26, 1946 from the Central Liaison Office of Japan (now Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to MacArthur on the subject of Compensation for Damage Caused by Allied Military Personnel. The fifth point in the letter says: "The misconduct and accidents involving Allied military personnel have reached considerable numbers, as set forth in Enclosures 1 to 3, and not a few of the victims stand in need of speedy relief."

Guess what? The bottom of the document reads: "Enclosure omitted." The note from the archivist is as follows:
"We are sorry to inform you that we can not show you the enclosures which were
attached to covering letters. We do not possess the enclosures and there is no
information about them".

"Fairly surprising, isn't it," writes Bertrand, "when one thinks that the enclosures were written by the
Japanese side?"

No comments: