Publication Details

Ward, R. G. 2011, 'Delaying repatriation: Japanese technicians in early post war China', Japan Forum, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 471-483.


Research on the Japanese living in Manchukuo in August 1945 has generally fostered the assumption that all Japanese there wanted to return to Japan as soon as possible. Yet, some made the conscious and voluntary decision to stay, at least for the short to medium term. Among those who chose to delay repatriation were a number of technicians employed by Mantetsu’s (South Manchurian Railroad Company) Ch¯uo Shikenjo. This paper looks at the political and personal realities faced by these technicians when making their decisions as whether to stay or leave in terms of the concepts of voluntary and involuntary repatriation. It shows that the circumstances faced, and consequently the decisions made by the technicians, differed over time. It argues that there were three main reasons behind any decision to stay: pragmatism, a sense of responsibility for Japan’s activities during the war and a sense of loyalty.



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