JAPANESE LIGHT TANKS moving toward Manila on the day the city was entered.

 

Finally, at 1745 on Friday, 2 January 1942, the Japanese entered Manila. Maj. Gen. Koichi Abe, 48th Division infantry group commander, led one battalion of the 1st Formosa and two of the 47th Infantry into the northern sector of the capital. Simultaneously, from the south, the 16th Reconnaissance Regiment and a battalion of the 20th Infantry also entered. Accompanied by released Japanese civilians, who acted as interpreters, the occupying troops posted guards at strategic points and set about securing the city. "The joyful voices of the Japanese residents," reported General Morioka, "were overwhelming."

The voices of the other residents were not so joyful. Throughout the city at important intersections Japanese officers and interpreters set up card tables and checked pedestrians. All "enemy aliens," British and Americans, were ordered to remain at home until they could be registered and investigated. The only Caucasians who walked the streets unmolested were Germans, Italians, and Spaniards.

All that night Japanese trucks poured into the city, their occupants taking over private hotels and some public buildings as billets. Enemy troops moved into the University of the Philippines and other school buildings. The next morning the only cars on the street were those driven by Japanese officers and civilians. From their radiators flew the flag of the Rising Sun. Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Thai flags could also be seen. The vault of the national treasury at the Intendencia Building was sealed and a large placard announced the building and its contents to be the property of the Japanese Government. The banks remained closed and the doors of Manila restaurants were also shut. Newspaper publication was briefly suspended and then began again under Japanese control. The few stores that were open did a land-office business with Japanese officers who bought up brooches and watches with colorful occupation pesos.

Governmental departments of the Philippine Commonwealth were placed under "protective custody." The courts were temporarily suspended, utilities were taken over by the Japanese, and a bewildering list of licenses and permits was issued to control the economic life of the Islands. Japanese sick and wounded were moved into the Chinese General Hospital and three wards of the Philippine General Hospital. All British and Americans were ordered to report for internment, and nearly 3,000 were herded together on the campus of Santo Tomas University. "Thereafter," reported the Japanese, "peace and order were gradually restored to Manila."

The restoration of "peace and order" required the Japanese to place many restrictions on the civilian population. On 5 January a "warning" appeared in heavy black type across the top of the Manila Tribune. "Any one who inflicts, or attempts to inflict, an injury upon Japanese soldiers or individuals," it read, "shall be shot to death"; but "if the assailant, or attempted assailant, cannot be found, we will hold ten influential persons as hostages who live in and about the streets or municipalities where the event happened." The warning concluded with the admonition that "the Filipinos should understand our real intentions and should work together with us to maintain public peace and order in the Philippines."

 

 

 

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