|THE JAPANESE ARMYfS RADIO STRATEGY IN MANCHURIA
THE JAPANESE ARMYfS RADIO STRATEGY IN MANCHURIA
BY TAKETOSHI YAMAMOTO (WASEDA UNIVERSITY)
¡ The radio and warfare propaganda
During World War I, countries such as Britain and Germany inundated the European war fronts in Europe with massive numbers of leaflets and posters. Such printed media influenced the minds of the general public and was one of the factors that led to the victory of Britain and the Allies.
In his book Propaganda Technique in the World War (1927), Harold D.Lasswell -- known as a pioneer in the studies of modern American politics and mass communication ?- analyzed the role the media played in total war in manipulating the masses. Since the book was published, the word gpropagandah came to be commonly used among academics.
By the dawn of World War II, the word propaganda was being used in politics and the military, referring to systematic communication activities taken to influence the minds and behavior of the masses.
Hitler, who felt that Germanyfs loss in World War I lay in Britainfs skillful strategy of propaganda, appointed Joseph Goebbels as his propaganda chief as soon as he came into power.
Averse to Hitlerfs use of the word propaganda, countries such as the United States and Britain, as well as Japan, often used the term gpsychological warfareh.
Whatever the term, the tactics and strategies related to propaganda became increasingly important during World War II with the emergence of the radio, a new media that had not existed in the previous world war.
The radio made its appearance in the early 1920s in the United States when private radio stations were set up for the purpose of entertainment.
It did not take long for the military to notice the usefulness of the radio, with its spontaneity and ability to immediately convey the feeling of place through voice and sound.@The military saw in this new media of targeting the masses to effectively quench the fighting spirit of enemy armies and countries.
Having made careful research in its use before the war, each country started using the radio for its advantage once World War II started.
Radio broadcasting was like a new missile flying in the skies, but more convenient. During times when war had not yet been declared, the radio could cross borders and no accusations could be made of violating international law. During war, using radio messages was safer than distributing leaflets on enemy ground.
The concern for those sending the radio messages was whether people in the enemy countries had the proper equipment to receive the broadcasts and whether the messages were being jammed, or systematically intercepted.
It is not known when exactly the radio began to be used for military propaganda, but it was certainly sometime during World War I and World War II.
According to recently published data, the Soviet Union launched the worldfs first short wave radio for the purpose of propaganda in 1925, and used it in its war against Romania in 1926.
The data interestingly shows that the Japanese army set up a radio station in 1931 immediately before the Manchurian incident and then went on with its military operations.1) This seems to imply that the Kwantung army took over the radio station set up by the Japanese government in Dairen in 1925 and used it for the Manchurian incident.2)
Following the Liutiaokou incident on September 18, 1931, the Kwantung army took over the Shenyang radio station on October 6, reestablishing it as the Mukden radio station under military control.
It is clear that it was the Manchurian incident which prompted the Japanese army to be among the first to use the radio for military purposes.
It is probably within reason to say that in the subsequent 15 years of war, including the Sino-Japanese war and Pearl Harbor, the Japanese army was foremost in the world, or if not, at least in Asia, in the military use of the radio.
One telling incident was the time the Japanese army went ahead of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in using the gblack radioh whereby the transmission source is hidden, in the war fronts in China, Burma, and India. The OSS was greatly alarmed at discovering it had lagged behind. 3)
The Japanese armyfs radio strategy following the Manchurian incident in invading Manchuria and China is a phenomenon that deserves attention not only in the history of Japanese warfare but in world warfare history.
Incidentally, it is to be noted that in Japan, the use of the radio for propaganda was often referred to as broadcasting warfare.
¡ Broadcasting operations in Manchuria
After the Manchurian incident, the Kwantung army rapidly invaded the northeastern part of China (Mukden, Kirin, Heilungkiang) and also placed the eastern part of Inner Mongolia under military rule. In March 1932 the state of Manchukuo was erected.
However, there was military tension in the north and in the northeast such as where the borders with the Soviet Union lay.
In the south and in the west south, tension existed between China, particularly with the Kuomintang.
Tension was absent only in the borders with Korea, but even there the influx of Koreans rising for the independence of their country was eroding stability.
Another headache for Japan was the criticism from the international community, with the United League of Nations and the United States, pressuring Japan to make an early withdrawal.
Finding itself without support on the global stage, Japan decided to leave the United League of Nations a year after the establishment of Manchukuo.
The international tension that Japan faced in ruling Manchuria was immense compared to the times it had colonized Taiwan and Korea. Under such circumstances, the Manchurian government and the Kwantung army put great effort in propaganda activities with an eye to maintaining domestic stability and garnering international support.
The move to swiftly start operations at the Mukden radio station reflects the importance that was placed on the radio as media for propaganda.
Shortly afterwards, the Kwantung army seized the Harbin radio station, and in 1932 established the Hsinking radio station in the new capital city of Hsinking.
These radio stations were initially controlled by the Kwantung armyfs special radio department (which later became the special communications department).
Later, with the establishment of the state of Manchukuo, the radio operations were overseen by the transport department under the State Councilfs Home Ministry.
In September 1933, the management of the radio stations was placed in the hands of the Manchuria Telephone and Telegraph Company, a special entity set up jointly by Japan and Manchuria. The companyfs hold on management continued until the end of the war.
From 1941, the Information Bureau of the Home Ministry began to oversee operations such as editing and censoring, with the Transport Department retaining only the rights concerning management.4)
In its early days, the Mukden radio station broadcast programs in Japanese, Manchurian5), Korean and Russian. For the British and Americans, 20-minute news programs were broadcast three times a week.
Meant mainly for a Japanese audience, the programs ranged from news and analysis on economic and political matters, to entertainment such as singing, Japanese gshiginh poetry reciting and gkodanh story-telling.
The following is a program broadcast on Oct. 15, 1934. 6)
Rates for gold and silver
Lecture by city government official
Lecture gAwareness for Womenh by a female member of the Concordia Association (Kyowakai)
Weather forecast by Mukden meteorological agency
News by the Liaoning news agency
Manchurian language lesson by Shigetoshi Imanishi
Nationwide news from Tokyo
Lecture (in Manchurian)
Analysis of current events
Solo singing and choir singing
Conducting and piano accompaniment by Kiyoshi Komatsu
Solo singing by Kyosei Akimoto
The Pain in My Heart Lyrics by Kyosei Akimoto
The Sacred Waters of the Rhine Lyrics by Kamesuke Shioiri
Night Music h
You Once More h
I Dream of You
Our Shining Homeland Lyrics by Kyosei Akimoto
gShiginh poetry recited by Kazuo Ogiri
My Emperorfs Generation Written by Takeo Hirose
Song for Real Intention Written by Takayoshi Kido
gKodanh storytelling by Yajiro Sekine and Nanryu Tanabe
8:30 p.m. Time tone from Tokyo
8:31 p.m. Lecture on military progress at Dongbian Dao by Kwantung army infantry colonel Yaheita Saito
8:45 News from Rengo and Dentsu news agencies reported by
the local radio station
9:00 News (in English)
Music from several records
It is evident that programs for Manchurians were short and only supplementary. Broadcasts in Korean were even shorter, and programs in Russian were made only four times a week for just 20 minutes each.
Despite the fact that the programs were targeted mainly for them, dissatisfaction among the Japanese audience grew toward broadcasting being peppered with foreign languages.
In 1936, the Harbin radio station set up a second channel on the 100 kw for broadcasting in Manchurian and other languages. The existing radio wave was used for the No. 1 channel carrying Japanese programs.
Dual wave broadcasting also started in Darien at the same time, and in Mukden in 1938 and in Harbin in 1940.This trend spread to regional radio stations that were set up in succession, and by the end of the war, 16 of the 18 radio stations were making broadcasting on two channels.
In 1942, the Harbin radio station set up a third channel solely for Russian broadcasting. In 1945, the Hingan radio station started broadcasting Mongolian and Manchurian programs on its No.2 channel.
Programs broadcast from Japanese radio stations became more popular as the number of Japanese immigrants from Japan increased. A policy was taken to increase the programs from Japan to entertain Japanese in the remote farming areas, particularly near the borders with the Soviet Union where groups of immigrants had come as settlers.
The programs were initially sent from Japan on medium wave, but were soon changed to short wave. The programs were still fraught with noise however, and sometimes the sounds were cut off due to seasonal factors. Such problems were also seen in broadcasts from Hsinking to local radio stations.
The technical problems in broadcasting from Japan were largely resolved in December 1939 with the installment of a non-loading cable between Tokyo and Mukden . Cable facilities were also set up linking Hsinking, Harbin, Dairen and Mukden.
In June 1939, a 20kw short wave was launched, ensuring stable broadcasting between Hsinking and the regional radio stations. The local stations received the programs on the new short wave, and relayed it to the local listeners by medium wave.
Thus in steps and bounds a radio network was completed, connecting Tokyo and other Japanese stations with the four central broadcasting stations (Hsinking, Mukden, Harbin and Dairen), and the local stations. It marked a progress in the plan to integrate Japan and Manchuria, at least in the area of broadcasting.
By 1941, about half of the programs on the No. 1 channels were being relayed from Japan. 7) Later, the broadcasting hours were made longer as the Japanese audience became bigger, and in response to their requests, the number of programs sent from Japan were increased.
At the Hsinking radio station, the 20kw short wave was used to boost propaganda in the mid-eastern part and the southern part of China.
In September 1941, the languages and the radio frequencies used for broadcasting to the various regions were as follows.8)
1. Broadcasting for Europe
broadcasting time 6 a.m.-7 a.m.
frequency 9,545 kc (October-April)
11,775kc (April- September)
language English, German
2. Broadcasting for the western part of North America
broadcasting time 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
frequency 11,775 kc (September-April)
15,330 kc (April-September)
3. Broadcasting for southern China and the southern seas
brodcasting time 10:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
frequency 9,545 kc
language English, Manchurian
4. Broadcasting for the whole Far East area
broadcasting time 5 p.m.-5:20 p.m.
frequency 6,125 kc
broadcasting time 10:30 p.m.-11:10 p.m.
frequency 6,035 kc
The following is a program 9)found among data received by the United States in 1943 during World War II. The program was broadcast August 16 of that year for audiences in North America and Hawaii.
Eastern standard time
1:30 p.m. Starting signal
1:30-1:45 p.m. News (in English)
1:45-2:00 p.m. Music
2:00-2:20 p.m. News analysis (in English)
2:20-2:30 p.m. Music
2:30-2:45 p.m. News (in English)
2:45-3:00 p.m. Music
3:00 p.m. End
Many records in the OSS data lament the difficulty of penetrating spies into Manchuria which closed off information to the outside world. The radio thus became an important source of information and U.S. intelligence agencies listened in on the broadcasts from cities such as Hsinking and Darien.
From its facilities in San Francisco and Portland in Oregon, the Federal Broadcast Intelligence Service (FBIS) listened to the short wave broadcasts for overseas audiences sent by Hsinking. The Office of War Information (OWI) probably listened to the domestic programs sent by the Darien radio station from Chongqing.
n Programs and censorship
With the exception of programs relayed from Japan, each of the radio stations made their own programs in accordance with policies.10) The line of command in broadcasting operations was as follows:
(top policy decision making)
information liaison meeting Kwantung army
Manchuria T&T Company
(broadcast content deliberating)
broadcasting council Information Bureau
Manchuria T&T company
central broadcasting stations
local broadcasting stations
The broadcasting committee was revived and renamed as the broadcasting council, 11) vested with the supreme decision-making power. It included the Kwantung army, the@ÖÇ, the government, and the Manchuria Telephone and Telegraph Company. The Information Board under the Home Ministry represented the government.
The broadcasting council deliberated on the contents and the effects of all the local programs broadcast in Manchuria. Consisting of representatives from the Information Board, the Transport Department, the Manchuria Telephone and Telegraph Company, the Kwantung army, and theÖÇ, it was headquartered at the Manchurian Telephone and Telegraph Company.
The radio stations in Hsinking, Muken, Harbin, and Darien were responsible for communicating and making adjustments with the local stations.
The central radio stations and the local radio stations kept in close contact with the director of the postal management bureau to make necessary adjustments.
Since the radio was an accessible to a much wider general public, the governmentfs censorship for the radio was stricter than for the newspaper, with particular attention being paid to the broadcasting on the No. 2 channels.
The government took the stance that gthe radiofs absolute goal is for the benefit of the public good. Therefore any false or incorrect broadcasting, and anything else deemed harmful to the state must never be broadcast.ff12)
The names of these organizations changed with time, but the essential framework remained the same. The following is an excerpt from a report in 1941 describing the making of radio programs.13)
gThe Manchuria Telephone and Telephone Company adopts a program policy each month in line with the fundamental instructions given by the Information Bureau of the State Council. In accordance with this policy, each radio station submits a program proposal to its head office by the tenth of each month.
The head office collects the proposals, and deliberations and decisions on the radio programs are made at a meeting comprising of officials from the government agencies, the telephone and telegraph department, and the four central radio stations in Hsinking, Mukden, Harbin and Darien.
There is also the broadcasting council which meets every month to make sure that the contents of the programs are appropriate. This meeting comprises of members who have been recommended by the army, the government, the Concordia Association, news agencies, and the broadcasting industry.
Under the broadcasting council is a subcommittee for broadcasting in schools and another for outer broadcasting.
The former subcommittee is separated into two groups? one for Japanese elementary and junior high schools and the other for Manchurian elementary and junior high schools.h
¡ Radio proliferation ? a double edged sword
Taiwan and Korea were essentially homogenous societies with one language. In ruling Manchuria, Japan experienced for the first time the difficulty of ruling a country with different peoples and languages, each with their complex historical backgrounds.
From the outset, the foremost slogan in setting up Manchuria was the gharmony of the five racesh-- namely the Japanese, the Manchurians, the Chinese, the Mongolians and the Koreans. In addition, there were the minority people in inner Manchuria, such as the Russians and the Uighurs.
It was no easy feat for Japan to assimilate the peoples and have them accept Japanese rule. There was also criticism from the international community against Japanfs rule of Manchuria to contend with.
The characteristics of the radio proved useful in a country like Manchuria that had huge expanses of land scattered with a small population, but broadcasting was not without its problems. Electronic malfunctions stemming from natural causes such as atmospherics and noise were serious. And areas equipped with electricity were limited only to the cities and surroundings.
In addition, apart from the Japanese, there were few families@which could afford to buy a radio transmitter and antennae and pay the monthly radio service fees of one yen.
Yet for the rulers who wanted to influence the masses through propaganda, no other effective media existed than the radio, with its ability to transmit information directly through the ear.
Propaganda using printed media such as magazines and leaflets was not the ideal option given the high rate of illiteracy among Manchurians. Movies with their visual impact were viewed by the authorities to be important, but unlike the radio, they could not be used to control people by the transmission of news bulletins.
After every possibility was considered, the Kanto army and the Manchurian government came to regard the radio as an inexpensive and the most potent propaganda media.
By 1940, the number of Manchurians owning radios had exceeded that of the Japanese as shown in the table below. The figures for each fiscal year are compiled from the Manchurian Directory.
Japanese Manchurians Others Total
1933 7,143 409 443 7,995
1938 88,576 37,531 1,310 127,417
1940 162,958 173,543 3,800 340,301
1944 252,696 312,095 5,904 570,690
Behind this growth was the increasing number of radio stations and entertainment programs aimed exclusively for the Manchurians, the development and sales of cheaper receiver sets, the rise in the earning salaries of Manchurians, as well as better service in the form of repair and maintenance offices.
By this time it was largely established within the Kwantung army and the government that the radio was the primary media by which to maintain the rule of Manchuria.
In 1945 when the war was about to end, the percentage of households with radios stood at 70% among Japanese and 7% among Manchurians. Even the Japanese authorities had not expected such high figures.
Many bought the radio receivers to listen for entertainment and recreational purposes, but others bought them to listen to news on the military situation.
To spur interest among Manchurians in the radio, public listening places around radio towers and broadcasting towers were set up in busy city streets, parks and in front of stations.
In 1939, 20 such public listening places were set up. The aim behind the move can be described in the following excerpt.
gIt is difficult to persuade people to buy and listen to the radio without at first showing them what exactly this device is like. The recent radio towers are better than the makeshift ones set up experimentally in the past in Hsingking. The recent ones are considerably sturdy and are audible from a distance of 100 meters.h14)
Records show that towers were also set up in the rural cities, with one report noting gthe three existing broadcasting towers in Tong Hua city.h15)
Cable broadcasting was also implemented, whereby programs were received by a master receiver in a fixed location. gThe currents carrying voice frequencies are sent to many households by cable, and the slave receivers of each household are simultaneously activated.h 16)
This system was easy to use and was also economical, since with the exception of the master receiver, no electricity was required. In areas without electricity, the authorities considered using battery-operated master receivers.
By around 1939, the view gained ground among the authorities that the proliferation of the radio was more important in the farming villages than in the cities.
Prompted by the calls made by certain advocates in the radio industries for gmore radios in the farming villages,ff 17)
wealthy farmers began showing interest in the newest technology. There must have been quite a few who bought the radios to show off to their neighbors.
As a result of the efforts the Manchurian rulers put into making the radio more widespread, No. 2 channel broadcasts attracted more attention and the numbers of Manchurian listeners increased.
Many of them were from the affluent classes. Some success was also seen in gaining gradual support for Japanfs ideologies and its self-claimed right in ruling Manchuria.
Yet despite the energy the authorities placed in boosting purchases of the radio, and in spite of their expectations that it was the best tool for propaganda and pacification, the radio also began to be used for purposes they had not foreseen.
From the early 1940s, there was a rapid rise in the number of reported incidents of anti-Japanese, anti-Manchuria broadcasting being heard on radio. Such reports were made from various government offices, but most markedly in the areas close to the borders.
For example, a report from Mutanchiang says, gIn the border areas, broadcasting from the Soviet Union and Manchuria is received but not from Mutanchiang. The county has expressed the view that use of the use of the radio should be stopped.h 18) Usage of the radio was actually banned in Mutanchiang, although the ban was probably not a long-term one.
Records show that at a meeting on rumors, one participant said, gThe other day, when I was on a mission to Dadong port, I noticed that a Manchurian tradesman started bustling about at around 3 in the morning and switched on the radio. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he wanted to listen to broadcasts from Chongqing. I also learned that expensive radios are selling well in the cities.h 19)
Expensive radios were probably needed to tune in to programs from faraway Chongqing where the Kuomintang was situated.
Gradually the authorities became aware that the spread of the radio meant people could receive information which was not convenient for the rulers.
In a move aimed at blocking information from enemies and imagined enemies, joint radio receiving facilities such as cable radio stations, were set up in the border areas.
A report notes that of those labeled ghizoku,h (rebels), garound 90 percent of are ideological hizokuh.20) The authorities knew that these rebels received instructions by radio from the Soviet Union together with information on anti-Japanese movements.
No records have been found urging caution against the radio broadcasting of the Chinese Communist party in Yenan. But there are records that condemn the broadcasting from Chongqing by Chiang Kaishekfs Kuomintang, with one article describing it to gfalse broadcastingh and another saying that the gmoves to fan anti-Japanese sentiment by radio have become extreme.h21)
Such records are sporadic and do not show much sense of urgency, probably due to the fact that in inner Manchuria, the distance was too great for the broadcasting to be heard clearly.
In contrast, it is clear even from the fragmentary records which exist that the authorities were far more wary the broadcasting from the Soviet Union. The broadcasts were condemned as gstrange broadcastingh although the authorities refrained from outright criticism.
Nonetheless, cable radio stations were set up in the militarily strategic cities such as Manzhouli , Hunchun, and Suifenho on the Manchuria-Soviet border. Their number, as well as that of the households registered for their service, were limited.22)
While being concerned about the negative influence from Soviet radio, the Japanese rulers forged ahead with their policies of popularizing the radio, confident in the view that the advantages of the radio more than compensated for its drawbacks.
Meanwhile, in Japan and the Asian countries occupied by Japan, a strict ban was imposed on the use of short wave receivers and of all wave receivers, as well as on listening to foreign broadcasts.
Quite a few records exist relating to these bans in Japan and other Asian countries, but no such materials in Manchuria have been found.
The absence of such data suggests that in Manchuria, where short waves were used for domestic broadcasting, authorities turned a blind eye to people listening to programs relayed on short waves in areas where medium wave broadcasts were not clearly audible.
Indeed, it was near impossible to keep any such bans in place in a land as expansive as Manchuria. Consequently, the Manchurians secretly listened in to foreign broadcasts to keep up with the war situation. The following excerpt testifies to such activities.
gIn addition to prohibiting listening to short waves, the government took the thorough step of cutting off the short wave devices of the gall waveh receivers in peoplefs ownership.
So the unexpectedly large number of secondhand gall waveh receivers that turned up after the war came as a big surprise. Most of them had probably been kept hidden by the Chinese. The sight again drove home the fact that it is very difficult to prevent people from listening to the radio.23)h
Demand for radio receiver sets soon overwhelmed supply, and toward the end of the war, there were not enough radio parts. According to broadcasts received by the United States, the Darien radio station was telling Japanese neighborhoods to help each other in sharing radio parts, and to listen to radios in groups. 24)
The shortage became so serious that at the end of the war, there was no replacement for the prized 100kw vacuum tube at the Hsinking station. gThere was only one left and no prospect of getting new ones.h25)
¡ Radio and the pacification activities
While the official line in Manchuria was for the five Asian races to live in harmony, in reality, the rulers were the Kwantung army and the Japanese bureaucrats.
The Japanese immigrants to Manchuria came as settlers, but instead of toiling in undeveloped land, they moved into land that had already been cultivated.
The Manchurians were forced to sell their farmland for prices less than half the normal market prices and were made into tenanted farmers or forced to leave. Furthermore, the immigrants often had a military nature, often forming volunteer corps. 26)
The policies taken for these immigrants stirred feelings of resentment among the Manchurians and Koreans against the Japanese.
A radio program broadcast Oct. 15 1934 at 8:31 p.m. 27) shows that by around that year, the Kwantung army was having difficulty controlling the increasing guerilla activities by anti-Japanese partisans close to the borders with Korea and the Soviet Union.
The authorities in Tong Hua province estimated that there were around 900 communist rebels, and that around 500 of them were Koreans. Their leader was Yan Jiang Feng, but there are reports of the growing prominence of Kim Il Sung.28)
gThe roughly 200 rebels under Kim Il Sung based in the densely forested mountain areas near the borders of Linjiang and Changbai, call themselves the fourth division of the anti-Japanese united army. Yan Jian Feng has been extremely violent since spring last year. In contrast, Kim does not send out much information. Seeing that Kim is in charge of Yanfs areas, it is likely that they have matching strengths, and that after Yanfs death Kim will replace him.h
In Tong Hua province there were posts for information officials and staff at the various levels of province, county, and village. The information head of the province had at his command a staff divided into groups for to manage general affairs, propaganda, information and movies.29)
In Manchuria, people in charge of information were appointed for each country, province, county, village and small ghokouh communities where neighborhood residents watched over each other. Taking orders from such people were the information staff and so-called gsenbukanh (pacification officers).
The instructions on and the censorship of the contents of the media, were made by the information liaison meeting which comprised of Kwantung army, ÖÇ, the government, the Concordia Association, the Manchuria Telephone and Telegraph Company.
The pacification staff helped to set up radio towers for the public listening places in villages and communities, and also worked to make the cable more common in order to prevent people from listening to radio broadcasts from the Soviet Union.
The military and the police, and sometimes the Concordia Association often accompanied the activities of the pacification groups.30)
A song called the gSong of the Information Staffh expresses more a sense of grim resolve than zeal for their propaganda mission.31)
Enjoying the cherry blossoms in spring
And the beauty of the moon in autumn
Idle people drink and become merry
But we set out on our fight for propaganda
Knowing we may perish in the bloom of our youth
Over mountains and rivers we cross
For many hundreds of miles
To help our comrades in distress
Will our paths lead to the flowery gardens
Of the glorious land of Manchuria
Or instead to the valley of death?
The lives of the information staff were always in danger since the pacification activities were carried out in the farming villages where guerilla activities were rampant. Many on duty were killed in guerilla attacks.32)
Pacification activities were divided into those made through economic and material aid, and those aimed at psychological appeasement.
For the latter aim, media such as the radio, leaflets, posters, movies and gkamishibaih picture card shows were used. The information staff who carried the radio sets to the small ghokouh communities also selected news from the radio, writing them out and placing them in strategic spots on the streets. 33)
Information organizations in other areas took similar pacification activities, using the radio and other kinds of media, and always in the knowledge that their lives were at risk.
n The invisible workings behind the radio
Given the small numbers of radio owners and the far-from-perfect performance of the radio, use of the radio in the pacification policies tended to be limited in comparison to other forms of media.
Still, the radio was a wonder of modern technology which residents of farming villages had never seen, and the pacification corps who came to demonstrate their use were held in high regard by such people.
Buying a radio receiver was no casual purchase and anyone who did could boast of it to the rest of the community. The leaders of villages and small ghokouh neighborhood communities who cooperated with the pacification corps were sometimes given radio receivers for free.
And by cooperating with their leader, the residents of a village or small community were able to listen to the radio, which for them meant entertainment and recreation.
There may have been some intellectuals who listened to the broadcasts of lectures by Manchurian officials and noticed that they were ideological propaganda. Yet the number must have been fractional.
The vast majority of people were unaware that the radio was being used for a secret military strategy. Not only the Manchurians, but most of the Japanese did not know that the radio had begun to be used as a tool against the partisans.
Of course, nothing was mentioned on the radio, or on any other media about the relationship between the radio and pacification activities. For the Manchurians in particular, the radio was an invisible tool.
The Manchuria Motion Picture Corporation headed by Masahiko Amakasu, is said to have categorized movies into those for entertainment and those for enlightenment of the public.
If the radio were to be categorized in the same way, the former would be made up of music programs and radio dramas, while the latter would consist of lectures and speeches.
Amakasu himself never uttered a word about the fact that the movies were being used for pacification policies. The militaryfs use of the media was carried on the orders of the Kwantung army, and was a top secret matter.
The radio listeners knew that the Manchuria Telephone and Telegraph Company operated the radio stations. The company name was familiar to them since they would naturally hear or see the name when signing papers for radio service, or buying the radio receivers and going to the repair service stations.
And it was common knowledge, at least among the intellectuals, that a government body ? the Information Bureau, was in charge of supervising and censoring the broadcasts. If one played close attention, this was written in newspapers and magazines.
However, what was never mentioned in the general media was the Kwantung armyfs use of the radio for pacification activities. It was never made known that the Kwantung army participated in the broadcasting liaison meeting where the final decisions regarding editing, instructions and management were adopted.
For the insiders, it was general knowledge that at these liaison meetings, the Kwantung armyfs say was final. The participants including the information bureau, the transport department, and the Concordia Association could not voice dissent over the armyfs policies.
Thus radio broadcasting was controlled by three bodies with different functions. One body was the Manchurian Telephone and Telegraph Company in charge of entertainment, another was the Information Bureau responsible for propaganda, and the third was the Kwantung army overseeing pacification.
An outsider may have got an inkling of the surface of this three-tiered system, but it would have been extremely difficult for him to grasp the shadowy workings behind it.
In short, it continued to remain in the dark that the Manchurian Telephone and Telegraph Company was subordinate to the Information Bureau, and that the Kwantung army had authority over the Information Bureau 34)
¡ The radio at the other Chinese war fronts
Even before the breakout of World War II, both the Allied and the Axis powers were sending propaganda messages out to the world using strong radio waves.
The Japanese occupation following the Lukouchiao incident and the subsequent rise in anti-Japanese fighting led to worldwide attention being turned on China.
The Chinese continent, including Manchuria, was soon flooded with radio broadcasts from radio stations ranging from the BBC, the VOA, Radio Moscow, Radio Berlin and Radio Tokyo.
The inlands of China were no exception, with broadcasts aimed at domestic and overseas audiences actively made by the Japanese army, its puppet government, the Kuomintang, the Chinese Communist Party, and the British and American armies.
The following is from a pamphlet printed in 1940 titled the gThe China incident and broadcastingh35) published by the information department of the Japanese army dispatched to China, defining the functions of the Japanese armyfs radio propaganda on the war fronts in China.
1. Propaganda for the Chinese
A. Propaganda for the enemies
Propaganda for Chiang Kaishekfs army
Propaganda for people ruled by Chiang
Propaganda for guerillas in areas occupied by the
Japanese imperial army
B. Propaganda for the Chinese public under control of
the new order
2. Propaganda for the third countries
Propaganda for foreigners in China
Propaganda for Chinese overseas and for
third country residents
3. Propaganda for the Japanese
Propaganda for Japanese imperial army officers
Propaganda for Japanese in China
Propaganda for Japanese in Japan
Propaganda for Japanese overseas
The data shows that the Japanese army was making detailed plans for broadcasting to the other forces within China in the years before World War II.
Numerous radio stations had cropped up in the special dEregions such as Shanghai, and as Japanfs invasion progressed, the Japanese army increasingly clamped down on the stations which were anti-Japanese, pro-Allies.
Yet even when World War II broke out, Japan allowed the broadcasting to continue not only of Italian and German radio stations, but of those by the neutral countries such as the Soviet Union.
Nonetheless, Japan was keeping a sharp lookout on the contents of such broadcasts. In the February 1944 edition of the gShanghai Special Police Force Monthly,h 36) it is written that the English language news of the Soviet Unionfs XRVN radio station was halted. It can be guessed that the programs were anti-Japanese.
The sheer variety and numbers of radio broadcasts reflect the appeal the radio had for both the Japanese army and its enemies as a safe and inexpensive means of communication.
According to the aforementioned pamphlet37), the Japanese army at that time had the following radio stations:
1. Main Shanghai radio station
XOJB medium wave
In the Chinese and English languages for the Chinese and foreigners in the occupied areas and Japanese in Japan
XOJB short wave
In the Chinese language for the enemy armies and people in enemy areas, enemy armies and Chinese people in Japan
XQHA medium wave
In the Japanese language for the Japanese imperial army
2.Nanjing radio station
XOJP medium wave
In the Chinese and Japanese languages for the Chinese public in and outside of the occupied areas, the Japanese belonging to the Japanese imperial army, the Japanese in Japan
3. Hankou radio station
XOJD (No. 1 channel) medium wave
In Chinese, Japanese, and the English languages for the foreigners in and outside of the occupied inlands, Japanese in the outer areas, the Japanese imperial army, and Japan
(No. 2 channel)
In the Chinese language for the enemy armies and people in the enemy areas
4. Hangchon radio station
XOJF medium wave
In the Chinese language for the people in the nearby areas
5. Special radio station
Used for sending special electrical currents
The special radio station given at the end of the list invites curiosity. The radio station transmitted from Shanghai, emitting 100 watt electricity. There is no mention of the calls signs it used nor of the frequency.
This radio station was probably used to send instructions in code to the front lines as part of the secret operations of the Shanghai military headquarters.
In occupying Hsu Chou, the Japanese army is said to have gained advantage over the Kuomintang by making its Chinese prisoners repeatedly broadcast that the Chinese army had been defeated. 38)
There were other military uses for the radio. The radio beacon proved useful for the air force in dropping bombs. At a time where military planes were not equipped with radars, the radio waves made it possible for the bombing planes to find their way to the targeted locations and back again.
In addition, the aforementioned pamphlet notes that, gThe radio towers and public listening places are being increasingly used for pacification operations aimed at stability. Music and lectures, tailored for the various regions and cultures, had a large role in raising public morale and achieving the aim of pacification.h39)
The specifics about the Japanese armyfs pacification operations against the enemy armies and enemy people via the radio in Huazhong and Huabei, and in the other occupied areas are not known.
But it can be guessed that the same kind of activities as in Manchuria were adopted. On seeing the Kwantung armyfs effective radio strategy in Manchuria, the Japanese military must have decided to carry on whatever had proved potent.
It is to be noted that while the Kwantung army and the Information Bureau studied the theory of propaganda, they did not pay attention to the conceptual theory of Nazism.
From the mid 1930s until the end of the war, the Manchurian State Councilfs information bureau published a magazine titled the gSenbu Geppoh (Pacification Monthly) for internal use. The magazine carried articles on American and British theories and studies related to propaganda that had been rejected in mainland Japan.
Senbu Geppo also carried, in a series, the translation of the work by Laswell, the scholar mentioned at the beginning of this thesis. In 1940, Lasswellfs work was published in Tokyo under the title gPacification skills and the European war.h
The theorists and the practitioners of these Manchurian institutions had obviously become experts through their actual participation in international propaganda warfare. To serve their purposes, they had developed a sharp eye to discern the tools that were useful from those that were not.
1) Christopher H. Sterling (ed), Encyclopedia of Radio, p.p. 1111~1112, Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004
2) Tadaji Yamane g1.Summary of the nationfs broadcasting operationsh Senbu Geppo (Pacification Monthly) August 1941
3) Taketoshi Yamamoto gBlack Propaganda ? The Radio Stratagemh Published by Iwanami Shoten 2002
2nd chapter gAmericafs black radio and Japanh
4) The transport department at the general affairs ministry was initially in charge of radio censorship, but around the time the Pacific War started, the rights were transferred to the ministryfs information bureau.
5) Words to describe the different Asian races in Manchuria such as China and Chinese were banned, with Manchurian being used comprehensively to describe the language and the people.
6) Same as for 2)
7) Chuji Yamane gSummary of our nationfs broadcasting 2h Senbu Geppo September 1941
8) Same as for 7)
9) FBIS, Program Schedules of Foreign Broadcasters, 1943, 9.16, NARA, RG 262 Entry 51 Box2.
10) Zenzaburo Minoya gThe current situation of Manchuriafs radio operationsh Senbu Geppo May 1941
11) gCurrent radio trendsh Senbu Geppo March 1939
12) Shunji Kishimoto gOn the policy of instructions regarding broadcastingh Senbu Geppo March 1941
13) Same as for 7)
14) Same as for 11)
15) Tong Hua province public office gOutline for pacification plansh Senbu Geppo April 1940
16) Manchurian Directory 1949 edition, page 54
17) Mitsuo Nakajima gThe problems related to increasing radios in the farming villagesh Senbu Geppo December 1939
This thesis introduces the article titled gRadios in the farming villages is imperativeh published in the July 1939 edition of gHoso Manshuh (Broadcast Manchuria)
18) Mutanchiang public office gOutline of discussions made by county pacification staffh Senbu Geppo April 1949 edition
19) Antungfs information office gMeeting on Rumorsh Senbu Geppo August 1942
20) gManshu to kaitakuh(Manchuria and Settlement) published by the headquarters of the labor service corps.
21) gGaichihososhiryo-Manshuhen IIIh (Records on broadcasting overseas -- Manchuria III) published by the Sogohosobunka kenkyujo (institute for comprehensive research on broadcasting and culture) NHK Japan Broadcasting Company 1980, page 199
22) gChinafs anti-Japanese organizationsh Senbu Geppo August 1937 edition.
23) Same as for 21) page 263
24) FBIS, NARA, RG262 Entry 34 Box 5 Number 70, 1945.4.
25) Masayoshi Takemoto gHow Manchurian broadcasting endedh Akai Yuhi (Red Sunset) 1965, page 314
26) Shinzo Ran gThe history and sociology of Manchurian immigrantsh published by Korosha 1944, pages 69-70
27) Same as for 2)
28) Tong Hua province public office gReport on the reconstruction operationsh Senbu Geppo April 1939
29) Information division of the Tong Hua province gLiaison meeting of country information chiefsh Senbu Geppo June 1939
30) Masao Nozawa gStability operations and administration of the countiesh published by Kokusai Zenrin Kyokai 1975 page 212
31) Same as for 29)
32) gDeputy county chief Kajun Miyamoto falls martyr during pacification dutiesh Senbu Geppo May 1938 edition
33) gCommittee for stability operations in Dongbian Dao and pacification operationsh Senbu Geppo July 1937@
34) Tomio Muto, who as head of the Information Bureau implemented media reform, reminisces in his book gWatashito Manshukokuh (Myself and Manchuria) published by Bungei Shunju 1988 that for the appointment of Masahiko Amakasu, he asked for the final approval by the Kwangtung officers. Even for personnel changes at the newspapers, which were under the control of the Information Bureau, gWhether people recommend themselves or are recommended by others, the records of the candidates went
to the information bureau chief. The chief then consulted with the Home Minister and the fourth division of the Kwantung army.h Page 340
35) gThe China war and broadcastingh published by the information department of the military dispatch to China. June 1940, pages 26-27.
36) Papers from Shanghaifs Dang An Guan archives.
37) Same as for 35) page 29
38) Ryuji Nakayama gTatakau Denpah (Electric waves at war) published by Kagaku Shinkosha, 1943, page 54
39) Same as for 35) page 42