Timeline of Siberian Detainment


8. 8 The Soviet Union declared war against Japan and attacked Manchuria.
8.14 Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration.
8.15 Japan surrendered unconditionally. The Emperor announced the end of World War ll on the radio.
8.19 At the Soviet military quarter, Jalicovo village in the ocean district, cease-fire negotiations took place. After the cease-fire, Japanese military units were disarmed and assembled one by one as prisoners who would be detained.
8.23 Stalin ordered 500,000 Japanese prisoners to be transported to Siberia.
8.27 Starting with the battle unit in Kurokawa, Japanese men began to be taken to Soviet territory.
9. 2 Japan signed the document of surrender.
9.15 The political department of the Soviet red army began to publish “The Japan Paper” as a newspaper to give to the Japanese prisoners, published in Khabarovak. It existed until its final publication, volume 622, on 30 December, 1949.
9.27 The Information Department of GHQ reported that a representative of the Soviet Union in Japan was given the right to decide detainee returns. 10,000 to 15,000 would be returned every month.
10. 1 The last verdict was given at Nuremberg International Military Tribunals.
12.29 Official Treaty between the US and Soviet Union regarding the repatriation of Japanese prisoners into the Soviet Union. 50,000 were reported to be returned to Japan every month. Between Dec. 8, 1946, and Jan. 6, 1947, four vessels returned from the Soviet Union to the port of Maizuru in Japan.


5.25 Extreme cold weather, the malicious food situation and hard labor caused 80% of the 60,000 prisoner deaths in Siberia since the beginning of the detainment.


4. 7  Repatriation began again. The first vessel, “Meiyumaru,” arrived.
4.25 The 22nd national election took place in Japan
5. 3 In Japan, the Japanese Constitution was enforced. From June to July, the attackers campaign by youth activists began in Siberia in order to improve labor efficiency. Study of communism and cultural activities began to increase at this time.
12.1 “Taianmaru,” came back to port of Hakodate from Nakhodka.
12.5  “Yamazumimaru,” the last repatriation vessel from Nakhodka, came into the port of Maizuru. 176,587 men came back from Siberia to Maizuru on 83 vessels between April 7th and Dec. 5th. 19,148 came back to Hakodate by 10 vessels between Sep.15 and Dec. 1.


2.15 980,000 pleas for repatriation from Siberia were turned into the Russian government representative in Japan. From February to March, anti-fascist committees were thoroughly established in Siberian internment camps, enabling the independence of each camp.
4. 1 The Soviets began the blockade of Berlin.
5. 5 The repatriation boat, “Chitosemaru” came in to port of Haokodate. Fourteen vessels came in by the end of the month.
5. 6 “Meiyumaru” came back to the port of Maizuru.
5.11 GHQ made a demand to the Soviets to return 160,000 detainees back to Japan every month.
5.15 The Palestine War began.
8.13 The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was established.
9. 9 The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) was established.
11.12 25 defendants were found guilty at the International Military Tribunal of the Far East.
12.23 Tojo, the former prime minister of Japan, and seven others were killed by hanging.
12. 4 “Hidehikomaru” and “Choranmaru” came back from Nakhodka to the port of Maizuru as the last repatriation vessels of that year. By this date this year, 169,619 detainees had been sent back to Maizuru on 87 vessels.


3.17 GHQ queried the Soviet representative regarding the Soviet plan to begin the repatriation of the Japanese again. They asked that 100,000 detained Japanese be sent back to Japan every month to complete the entire process as soon as possible.
4. 4 The inauguration of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
5. 20 The Tass News Agency of the Soviet Union announced that, in total of 95,000, all prisoners of war from Japan who were soldiers would be sent back to Japan by November, except for those who were war criminals.
6.27 The repatriation vessel, “Takasagomaru” came back to Maizuru.
10. 1 The establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
10.29 Articles regarding the “democratic movement” in Japan Newspaper in the camps ended.
12. 2 The repatriation vessel, “Shinyomaru” pulled into Maizuru port. 44 more vessels arrived to Maizuru this year.


4.17 “Meiyumaru” came back from Nakhodka to Maizuru. There were 1,600 aboard including 39 officers.
4.22  “Shinanomaru” came back from Nakhodka to Maizuru. There were 1,244 detainees. The Soviet government clarified through Tass News Agency “the completion of the repatriation the prisoners.” However, 2,548 war criminals (971 out of them were sent to China) and 9 sick people who were kept were not included. Therefore, the total number of prisoners who were repatriated from the Soviet Union to Japan was 510,409. 70,800 Japanese prisoners who were released at the fighting zone were not counted.
6.25 The outbreak of the Korean War.


10.16 The Incident at Khabaovsk happened. (It was an incident in which the Japanese prisoners had a strike as a response to maltreatment by the Soviet government.)


12.26 The last repatriation vessel, the 11th “Koanmaru,” arrived at the port of Maizuru. (1025 men and the remains of 24.) It was the last vessel back to Japan except for the district of Karafuto.

Taku, Aramasa. Photography, “The Silent Land, Siberia”
Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1995, pp.159