January 14, 1942 – Radio Tokyo News and Letters from Prisoners of War – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
January 14, 1942 – As a direct contrast to the same days news that I ran earlier today from NBC, Radio Tokyo ran their own version of events, careful to point out massive successes of Japanese forces and the pitiful resistance of the allies. It’s the nature of propaganda to portray the opposite side as a collection of disorganized half-wits, insisting on sacrificing everything for their own sake. And Radio Tokyo does a bang-up job at it.
I am sure if you were fortunate enough to have a Shortwave receiver and were able to get these regular broadcasts, contrasting them with what you were hearing via American radio networks was an endurance test indeed. The one story that remained the same was the report that Japanese Diplomats were being expelled from Mexico City and being sent to internment camps in Virginia; they are virtually the same as reported by the Red Network as it was by Radio Tokyo. Aside from that, the report of casualties and sunk or damaged ships was wildly conflicting, with Japan claiming huge numbers of sunk or damaged ships and reporting that the real casualties from Pearl Harbor in December were more like 13,000 than what was reported. The wildly high numbers being used to try and convince allied listeners that their resistance was futile. And now you know why our propaganda was at times so heavy handed.
It was all being done as a way of illustrating the futility of war, trying to undermine the confidence and morale of the allies who were surely listening in. Going so far as to report names, addresses and alleged letters from allied Prisoners of War with messages being relayed that “we are in good spirits and the food is excellent” and all the prisoners were being held “at a facility somewhere in Kobe”.
All news of the war, all on this January 14th as reported by Radio Tokyo’s English Service via Shortwave.
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