Tag: World War II

A Little-Known, Bizarre Australia-Japan Christmas Story

A memorial to Japanese military members on Christmas Island.

A memorial to Japanese military members on Christmas Island.

Dec. 25, the original date of this post, is Christmas Day, but Christmas also gives its name to an island with a little-known — and bizarre — role in Australia-Japan relations.
An Australian territory, Christmas Island was with Nauru and parts of New Guinea parts of Australian-governed lands the Japanese occupied during World War II.
A Japanese nameplate dating to the World War II occupation found on Christmas Island.

A Japanese nameplate dating to the World War II occupation found on Christmas Island.

There’s an interesting tale behind Japan’s wartime occupation of Christmas Island, though.
It was long thought the island would be targeted because of its rich phosphate deposits.
Indeed, the Imperial Japanese Navy headed to the island in March 1942. The Allied troops defending Christmas Island realized they were outnumbered by an overpowering force, dismantled the island’s defenses and raised a white flag of surrender. The Japanese, however, sailed away. Once again, the Allies raised the Union Jack.
Days later, though, members of the British Indian force mutinied, overpowered and killed their British officers and interred the remaining Europeans on Christmas Island. The Indian mutineers then invited the Imperial Japanese forces to take over the island, which they did under the command of Rear-Admiral Shoji Nishimura.
Imperial Japanese Navy Rear-Admiral Shoji Nishimura

Imperial Japanese Navy Rear-Admiral Shoji Nishimura

Sabotage by workers ensured Japan gained little phosphate and it soon withdrew all but a token force from Christmas Island, which was handed to Australia to govern following Japan’s defeat in World War II. Australia continues governing Christmas Island through to today.
More About Christmas Island

Christmas Island 2/7
Christmas Island 3/7
Christmas Island 4/7
Christmas Island 5/7
Christmas Island 6/7
Christmas Island 7/7
The Mystery of Christmas Island, March 1942


One of the Imperial Japanese Navy midget subs involved in the 1942 attack on Sydney Harbor


Sydney sub wreck opened to divers(英語)

Lest We Forget Japan’s Role in Creating the ANZAC legend

HMIJS Ibuki (left) and HMAS Melbourne escorting ANZAC troops to Gallipoli

ANZAC Day, April 25, has become an almost holy day on the Australian calendar in the early 21st century as the country celebrates the efforts and sacrifices of its military personnel since it first went to war as a nation at Gallipoli in 1915, but few remember Japan was an ally that played a vital role in creating the ANZAC legend.

 21世紀初期現在、ANZAC Day(4月25日)がオーストラリアでは、1915年に国として初めて戦争を体験したガリポリをはじめ復員兵などの努力や犠牲を称える聖なる日のような存在となっているが、そのANZAC伝説づくりに味方としての日本の大きな貢献がほとんど知られていないのだ。