Rare wartime Japanese newspapers from occupied Sumatra found

(1 September 2016, Jakarta)  Rare editions of a Japanese newspaper published in Sumatra during World War II, so seldom seen that it is known as the “phantom newspaper,” have been discovered here in the Indonesian capital.

Makoto Ezawa, 66, a researcher from Tokyo, discovered the original copies of The Sumatra Shimbun tucked away in the National Library of Indonesia in Jakarta. The newspaper was distributed when the island was under Japanese military administration.

Aiko Kurasawa, a historian who specializes in Indonesia when it was under Japanese occupation, said the discovery of The Sumatra Shimbun issues is highly significant.

“I believe there are hardly any researchers who have actually touched original copies of The Sumatra Shimbun,”said Kurasawa, a professor emeritus at Keio University. “These original copies can play a significant role in research on military administration during the war years.”

Visit Asahi Shimbun for the full story by Masanobu Furuya.