Scarsdale station area

Kuniko Katz's essays, articles and letters to the editors

Japan owes debt to the United States: Gannett Suburban Newspapers/Friday, December 20, 1991

On Dec. 8, the day after the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbour, the Hitchcock Presbyterian Church of Scarsdale held two special joint services with the Union Japanese Church. 1 read in the local newspaper that the church had extended the invitation to everyone, Christian and non Christian, Japanese and Americans alike, so I attended one of the services. 1 felt, as Japanese, 1 had a responsibility to remember the day and to mourn for those who were killed and wounded in the attack on Pearl Harbour.

The service was conducted with great sensitivity. I felt grateful for the efforts of the church to extend its hands to the Japanese community. While feeling thankful to the church, I was thinking during the service about the telephone conversation that I'd had the day before with my sister in Japan. We Talked about Pearl Harbour and America's help to Japan after the war. My sister told me that she would never forget the generosity and kindness shown by the Americans after Japan was defeated. "I remembered the day the American occupation force first came to our town," she recalled, “We were all so afraid that they might harm us because we heard the grown‑ups whispering to each other whether or not they should hide their teenage daughters from them."

“1t didn't take much time for us to find out, though," my sister continued, "How nice and friendly those Americans were. They were very polite to the grown‑ups and kind to the children. They used to give us a lot of chocolate bars and candies. We had never tasted anything so delicious that to this date, 1 still remember the sweet taste of those goodies." My sister said that the Japanese mustn't forget the fact that it was Japan that started the war, and it was the United States that liberated us from our police states and helped us to rebuild the country. Without supplies of powdered skim milk from the United States, my sister said that 1, along with many others in my generation might not even exist today.'

Dr. Robert MacLennan, the pastor of Hitchcock Church, told us in his sermon that we remem­ber the so‑called day of infamy and work toward the day of har­mony. 1 think we can attain this goal by working together. But to this, I believe, the Japanese should never forget what their country's military power did, not only to Pearl Harbour, but also to the other Asian countries, and how the United States helped Japan recover.

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