August 29, 1941 – The Simmering Pacific – The View From Shanghai
August 29, 1941 – News on China and its war with Japan. From Shanghai came reports that the war of nerves had reached such a high in that city that, when someone blew out a tire on a busy street, three people flattened themselves on the ground, fearing it was an attack. Such was the atmosphere from a city where the war had become localized by way of daily terrorism, kidnappings, assassinations and strikes. Although British and American interests were a source of worry from Shanghai residents over a year earlier, one crisis has followed another so rapidly, that local Foreigners found it hard to look beyond each day. Business and Finance had been deal a major blow by the freezing of all Far-Eastern credits in the United States, and the reciprocal tightening of financial restrictions by Japan. American workers and business-people living in Shanghai had expressed the feeling that it was now time to move back home. And Shanghai’s value to Japan as a Free City and a market for Foreign trade, has been considerably lessened. Shanghai had never been self-sufficient. The remarkable expanse and wealth in the city had been due to Shanghai’s tremendous Foreign Trade. But now that so few ships dock in Shanghai, the warehouses are beginning to come empty, trade has dropped off, cost-of-living has risen beyond belief, and food may soon become scarce. This is by no means the last time Shanghai has had her back to the wall – but it’s certainly one of the worst.
In other news – It has now become necessary for all Foreigners to obtain permission before leaving Japan.
All the pessimism – but as was reported, many felt it was still possible to negotiate a settlement, and that an answer to the problems can be found without bloodshed.
It remained to be seen.
And that’s a tiny bit of news regarding the Pacific, for this special News coverage for August 29, 1941 as reported by NBC-Blue Network’s Special program.