Far East, No. 9, Vol. 1, August 1945

Com’ panion J o urn alto "The PRISONER of WAR THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE PRISONERS OF WA.R DEPARTMENT OF THE RED CROSS ST.AND JOHN WAR ORGANISATION. ST. JAMES’S PALACE. LONDON. S.W .I.»i Vol. i .No. 9 Free to Next of Kin August, 1945 The Editor IVrites XT the moment of going to L \.press the Japanese Gov­ernment has expressed its readiness to accept the terms of the Potsdam Ultimatum, but has not yet notified its acceptance of the terms of surrender. One of the con­ditions imposed by the Allied Nations demanded the trans­port of prisoners of war and civilian internees to places of safety from which they can quickly be placed aboard Allied transports. Our readers may rest assured that the Governments and Red Cross Societies of the United Nations have made preparations to provide food and medical supplies and comforts for the prisoners as soon as they are liberated. It will be appreciated that in the new circumstances some of the in­formation appearing in this issue has become out of date. Atom Bomb Anxiety Anxiety has been expressed b y some of our readers who have relatives in Camps designated by the names of towns which have been atom bombed. No information is, of course, yet avail­able as to whether any of our prisoners have been involved. The Japanese have recently estab­lished anew system of camp groups with different headquarters. Thus it has just been learned that the Japan­ese administrative headquarters of the Zentsuji Group were moved to Hiro­shima in May, 1945. It is for this reason that prisoners who were in Zentsuji Group have written letters with Hiroshima as an address. New Batches of Mail The Postmaster-General, in report­ing 011 June 22nd the arrival of the first mail from the Far East since early March, stated that despite continued representations to the Japanese authorities the amount of mail received is very small. This batch contained about 400 letters and 3,100 p.c.s, and a further batch received a month later consisted of about 1,000 letters and 4,600 p.c.s. About two-thirds of the first camelot from P.o.W .sin Malaya. Among new camps from which mail has come are: Ja v a ,Camp V V .N .Fukuoka, Camp 2 5 Tokyo, Camp 10D “Cable Received” I have been asked by readers who have availed themselves of the Cable Message Scheme whether we have any evidence that any of these cables have reached their addresses. The answer is "Ye s.”On June 27th a cable was received from Siam which said :“Cable received sent February from Britain.’ 'Other cables, though i.ot making so definite a statement, gave clear indications that they were reply­ing to messages received. U top last month 1,200 cables had been received from the camps, while 40,000 were despatched from here. They Restored His Faith Sir Kerr Fraset-Tytler sends me from Washington a copy of a most appre­ciative letter he has received from one of the repatriated civilian internees from the Philippines, now in London. H e expresses his gratitude for the way the ex-C .I.s were looked after by mem­bers of the Red Cross on the journey from Los Angeles to Halifax .S.).(N “Their anxiousness to help,” he says,‘‘ and their unfailing pleasantness and good temper did much to restore my faith inhuman nature, which, rather stupidly, I had allowed to be blasted b y events during the past rather difti cult three years.” From a Hong Kong “Evacuee ’In along and most interesting letter, from Victoria (British Columbia) the wife of a civilian internee at Stanley Camp, Hong Kong, tells me joyfully of a cable she has received from him reporting that he and friends whom he named were well. Victoria, .CB .,became the home of quite a number of wives who were evacuated from Hong Kong in 1940, and m y corre­spondent says that they all look forward tremendously to the arrival of FarE a stand read every word. She adds this: “The Ja pis such a hopeless person to deal with and 1 have the greatest admiration for the untiring efforts of the Red Cross to deal with him in the most trying cir­ cum stances." Medical Supplies I have a little news to report about medical supplies. Anew packing unit has been devised containing supplies to service 1,000 men for three months These 1,000-men unit packages will in future be sect to the Far East when­ever opportunity offers. And while on this subject I may add that the Indian Red Cross have suc­ceeded after long and difficult negotia­
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