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World War II Radio in Japan

Japanese conquests in Asia meant a vastly expanded broadcasting network available to Tokyo. By 1943 Japan controlled about forty broadcasting stations and was able to have programmes going out on shortwave around the clock on more than fifty frequencies. Radio Saigon was designated to carry anti-British broadcasts to India, backed up by similar programs emanating from transmitters in Singapore and Bangkok. Japanese forces captured intact a powerful medium wave station at Penang, Malaya. For local audiences, the Japanese also had at their disposal powerful medium wave stations in places such as Hong Kong, Manila, Rangoon and Batavia. In fact, the Japanese were able to reach so many more listeners than the Allies by using a combination of shortwave and medium wave, while the Allies broadcasting from Australia, the United States, India and Chungking had only shortwave, with all its unreliability of reception.

Tokyo was able to play on Asian resentment at the misdeeds of the expelled colonial powers. Radio Tokyo, in its Chinese broadcasts, devoted a week to the Opium Wars; listeners in India were reminded of the 1919 Amritsar Massacre, and were also told that Indian troops were placed in the front line in Malaya battle to take the brunt of the fighting.

Japanese stations from early 1942 sent out broadcasts in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Pashto. The programs portrayed Japan as champion of Muslims, and that it would help ‘liberate’ the Middle East, and the Muslims of India, as it had already done for 120 million Muslims living in the Philippines, Burma and the Dutch East Indies.

Then, once Japan took control of Radio Saigon, more languages were added, broadcasts from Saigon going out daily in French, English, Mandarin, Cantonese, the Indochina languages and various Indian dialects. Bulletins in the Malay and Dutch languages ceased once Japanese forces had conquered Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. While the station was run by the French staff, the Japanese ran two daily English language broadcasts beamed to India and a tri-weekly session for Australia. One announcer in Saigon was a 36-year-old Englishwoman who had married a Frenchman. She was described in 1943 by London’s Sunday Dispatch as “Lady Haw-Haw,” after Lord Haw-Haw, the British fascist announcer in Germany.

A powerful radio station operated by the Japanese was Radio Hsinking in Manchukuo. Located in the capital of their puppet state in North China, the station had opened in 1934. The 100kw transmitter, operated by the Japanese-owned Manchurian Telephone and Telegraph Company, was used to beam programming to Hawaii, North America, the Philippines, China, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Its daily broadcasts went out in Japanese, English, Mandarin and Russian.

One of the voices was that of an 80-year-old American woman, who had arrived in Japan as a missionary in 1895 (along with her husband who had died in 1942. She was the voice behind the English language broadcast called ‘The Women’s Hour’. The American authorities said the woman was ‘an extreme pacifist’. Her programmes were aimed at American women, and OWI included a passage from one broadcast: “Can you tell me why the women of America should send their sons, their husbands, their brothers, to die miserably in the African desert or in the swamps of the South Pacific islands, or in the shark-infested waters around those islands?”, she said. OWI had also noted another broadcaster using the name ‘Miss Francis Hopkins’ who reassured her listeners about the ‘peace-loving’ nature of the Japanese.

Use the search box to find information about Japanese radio in World War II.

Japanese Wartime Singer and Orchestra Wartime SongCommercial recording of Japanese popular song performed by male vocalist and orchestra from Second World War, Japan, 1941-1945. In Japanese.JapanJanuary 1, 1940 Japanese Flag
Japanese Wartime Orchestra Music Wartime MusicCommercial recording of Japanese popular orchestral music from Second World War, Japan, 1944JapanJanuary 1, 1944 Japanese Flag
How Should The Democracies Deal With The Dictatorships? Linda Littlejohn, Major George Fielding Eliot, Quincy Howe, Marilyn Josselyn Should The Democracies Deal With The Dictatorships? Linda Littlejohn, Major George Fielding Eliot, Quincy Howe, Marilyn JosselynAmerica’s Town Meeting On The Air – How Should the Democracies Deal With the Dictatorships? With Linda Littlejohn, Major George Fielding Eliot, Quincy Howe, and Marilyn Josselyn.United StatesDecember 8, 1938United States 48-Star Flag
Elmer Davis - Japanese Reorganizing Nanking Government Reorganizing Nanking GovernmentElmer H. Davis (January 13, 1890 – May 18, 1958) was an American news reporter, author, the Director of the United States Office of War Information during World War II and a Peabody Award recipient.United StatesApril 1, 1940United States 48-Star Flag
King George VI’s Empire Day Address Day Address of King George VIKing George Sees Hitler Aim To Dominate All the World Empire Day Broadcast Calls on People to Fight for Lives – Recalls Britain’s Efforts and Hopes for PeaceUnited KingdomMay 24, 1940United Kingdom Flag
Japanese Wartime Music Orchestral MusicTeichiku (Production company)JapanJanuary 1, 1940 Japanese Flag
Japanese Wartime Music popular orchestral musicTeichiku (Production company)JapanJanuary 1, 1940 Japanese Flag
Japanese Wartime Female Singer and Orchestra Wartime MusicCommercial recording of Japanese popular song performed by female vocalist and orchestra from Second World War, Japan, 1941-1945. In JapaneseJapanJanuary 1, 1940 Japanese Flag
Japanese Wartime Orchestra Music Wartime MusicCommercial recording of Japanese popular orchestral music from Second World War, Japan, 1944JapanJanuary 1, 1944 Japanese Flag
Stapellauf des Panzerkreuzers Deutschland mit Ansprachen von Heinrich Bruening und Paul von Hindenburg des Panzerkreuzers ‘Deutschland’ mit Ansprachen von Heinrich Bruening und Paul von HindenburgDeutschland was the lead ship of her class of heavy cruisers (often termed pocket battleships) which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War IIGermanyMay 19, 1931Nazi Germany Flag
Toni Sender – Ansprache für die Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands Anlässlich der Reichstagswahl Für Die SPD Anlässlich Der Reichstagswahl am 20. Mai 1928Tony Sender (November 29, 1888 – June 26, 1964) Sidonie Zippora (Tony) Sender grew up in an orthodox Jewish family and joined the SPD in 1910. In 1910, she went to work in the Paris headquarters of a metalware company and was active in the French Socialist Party. She returned to Germany when war broke out in 1914. She was one of the critics of the SPD’s vote to grant war loans and became involved in the opposition within the party.GermanyMay 20, 1928Nazi Germany Flag
Miklós Szedő - Hallō, Hallō, Itt Rádió Budapest Hallō, Hallō, Itt Rádió BudapestMiklós Szedő (June 8, 1896 - August 19, 1978) was a doctor and tenor opera singer.Hungary1930Hungary Flag
Heinrich Bruening’s Radio Speech on the Acceptance of United States President Herbert Hoover’s Proposals Bruening‘s radio speech on the acceptance of US President Hoover’s proposalsUnited States President Herbert Hoover issued a public statement that proposed a one-year moratorium on the payments. He managed to assemble support for the moratorium from 15 nations by July 1931. But the adoption of the moratorium did little to slow economic decline in Europe. GermanyJune 23, 1931Nazi Germany Flag
Franz Engel and Fritz Wiesenthal – Hallo! Hier Radio Wien!! Hier Radio Wien! Franz Engel and Fritz WiesenthalAustrian Jewish comedian Franz Engel (September 16, 1898 – October 16, 1944) was famous and popular in Vienna and Berlin prior to the rise of the Nazis. He fled Germany and then Austria after Aunschluss in 1937. He fled to Paris and then Westerbork transit camp. The Nazis deported him to the Theresienstadt, and then to Auschwitz, where he was murdered. Fritz Wiesenthal (1883 – 1936) was a Jewish Austrian musician, lecturer, and pianist. In the 1920s, Wiesenthal was the emcee of the “Kabarett Leopoldi-Wiesenthal” in Vienna, with the Ferdinand and Hermann Leopoldi, Jewish musicians. When the cabaret failed financially, Wiesenthal moved to Berlin. He was incarcerated in a sanatorium and died in 1936.GermanyMay 13, 1936Nazi Germany Flag
WOR First Air Raid Drill in the United States Air-Raid Drill in USAPreparations for a possible air attack were underway, and the first Air Raid Drill in America was scheduled to take place over the small Long Island town of Farmingdale, a rural community which was host to two aircraft plants. United StatesMay 16, 1938United States 48-Star Flag
Amelia Earhart a A Woman’s Place in Science Woman’s Place in ScienceAmelia Earhart was only thirty-nine years old when she and her plane disappeared during her quest to become the first woman to fly around the world. One of her best known speeches — “A Woman’s Place In Science” — was a radio address given in 1935, less than two years earlier. It was part of a broadcast exploring the emerging roles for women in science.United StatesJanuary 1, 1935United States 48-Star Flag
John J. Weeks – National Defense Test Day Defense DayThe approximately 90-minute, “primetime” broadcast, “The National Defense Test,” originated from the War Department building in Washington, DC, in front of a small “studio” audience on the evening of September 12th. It began with the program’s de facto host, US Secretary of War John W. Weeks, welcoming the “ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience.” In a halting, formal cadence, he then proceeded with an impressive, if cumbersome, roll call of distant stations he was broadcasting “from.” United StatesSeptember 12, 1924United States 48-Star Flag
As Time Goes By Time Goes By“As Time Goes By” is a jazz song written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931. It became famous when it featured in the 1942 Warner Bros. film Casablanca, performed by Dooley Wilson as Sam. United StatesJuly 25, 1931United States 48-Star Flag
Albert Grzesinski (Polizeipräsident) – Die Unterwelt in Berlin (“(Police Chief) – The Underworld in Berlin”) Grzesinski (Polizeipräsident) – Die Unterwelt in BerlinAlbert Carl Grzesinski (July 28, 1879 – January 12, 1948) was a German SPD politician and Minister of the Interior of Prussia from 1926 to 1930.GermanyApril 23, 1931Nazi Germany Flag
Paul von Hindenburg – Erklaerung zur erneuten Praesidentschaftskandidatur zur erneuten PraesidentschaftskandidaturReichpresident Paul von Hindenburg’s (October 2, 1847 – August 2, 1934) seven-year presidential term was due to run out in the spring of 1932, and if he wanted another term, his legendary stature would ensure his reelection. But if he did not run again, Hitler would be the likely winner. With the steadily worsening Depression and the Nazis’ surging popularity, it was unlikely that anyone but Hindenburg could beat Hitler.GermanyMarch 10, 1932Nazi Germany Flag
Joseph Goebbels – Reichstagsrede – Joseph Goebbels – ReichstagsredeBerlin, February 5 – A well organized secret Fascist local defense corps, ready to combat communist and other riots, was discovered in a score of Palatinate towns by the Speyer police today. According to political observers, the discoveries clearly reveal the restlessness and fear of a civil war gripping the population of Germany. GermanyFebruary 5, 1931Nazi Germany Flag
Luigi Bernauer - Hallo Hallo Hier Radio! Hallo Hallo Hier Radio!Most listeners wanted to hear light music, which is why the radio was dependent on light hits. In this context takes the 1927 hit Hello! Hello! Here Radio! (Norag Marsch) is a special one, because this song is one of the few hits about radio itself. GermanyJanuary 1, 1930Nazi Germany Flag
Charles Lindbergh in Washington Lindbergh in WashingtonOn June 11, 1927, Charles Lindbergh received the first Distinguished Flying Cross ever awarded. United StatesJune 11, 1927United States 48-Star Flag
Stalin’s Address to the Soviet People’s Radio Broadcast to the Soviet PeopleAccording to historians, Stalin’s speech to the citizens of the USSR on the radio on July 3, 1941 played an important role in the mobilization of the population in the initial period of the war. Soviet UnionJuly 3, 1941Soviet Union Flag

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