January 7, 1942 – News from Radio Tokyo In English – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
January 7, 1942 – As the machines of war shifted into high gear, the propaganda machines shifted right along with it. Unless you were one of the few civilians who had a Shortwave radio, and were patient enough to spend hours dialing and listening, it’s a very good chance almost all these broadcasts went unnoticed at the time. Save for listening posts via the radio networks, very few of these broadcasts were recorded, let alone heard. But there was an English language service of Radio Tokyo, and there were regular newscasts, along with letters from prisoners as well as names and addresses for next-of-kin. The sound is dim and distant and fades in and out, but the Propaganda machine was alive and well and buzzing along. The weeks and months following Pearl Harbor were filled with reports from Radio Tokyo describing sweeping victories throughout the Pacific, stories of how life was getting back to normal in the “liberated” areas of the Philippines, how allied forces were beating hasty retreats and how those who were captured and made prisoners of war were relieved and expressed gratitude that the war for them was finally over.
The infamous voice of Tokyo Rose was well known throughout the Pacific theatre, but it was the almost ceaseless reports from English language announcers that told of Japanese victories and read casualty numbers, prisoners taken and losses of equipment that were carefully listened to and weighed for accuracy or exaggeration by the allies.
In this half hour capsule of news, reports of advances in Borneo and The Philippines are given along with editorial comments on the state of the war as it stood on January 7, 1942 as reported by Radio Tokyo’s English Service.
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