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."