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Category: History

Repatriation of Japanese from the Southern Sakhalin in post-war years

UDK 94 (571.6)

I.P. Kim


The history of resettlement of Japanese from the territory of the Sakhalin region in 1946 — 1949 is considered

The article considers the resettlement of the Japanese from the Sakhalin Region in 1946 — 1949.

By results of World War II the Soviet Union significantly expanded the borders, a part of the attached territories nowadays there are in structure of the Russian Federation, including wars formed later Konigsberg (Kaliningrad) and Southern Sakhalin (been a part Sakhalin) areas. Despite huge remoteness from each other, they passed in many respects similar ways of post-war development. The population policy of the state directed to integration of the attached territories into structure of the Soviet Union became one of striking similar traits. For very short period in new areas there was a full replacement of the population — to the place of the repatriated Japanese and Germans the Soviet citizens were occupied.

The question of repatriation of Japanese became the object of study [3 — 6] more than once, however still materials of the central archives without which the picture of repatriation will be not full were practically not involved.

At the time of signing by Japan of the pact on unconditional surrender outside the country there were 6 million 450 thousand Japanese citizens from whom about 5.5 million by August, 1947 were already repatriated. In the Soviet Union by the end of war, according to the Japanese press, there were about 850 thousand people, from them 263 thousand on the Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands [11, 364, l. 68].

In January, 1946 there were two directives of the commander-in-chief of occupational forces of the USA in Japan D. MacArthur; one contained the instruction on repatriation of citizens of Japan from the Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, agrees another, the South Kuril Islands, including group of the islands of Habomai, were excluded from under jurisdiction of Japan. It formed the basis for repatriation of the Japanese citizens from the Southern Sakhalin and Kuriles [5, page 104].

According to People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs and NKGB USSR of January 26, 1946, on the Southern Sakhalin prior to military operations 391 thousand people, from to - lived

Bulletin of the Russian state university of I. Kant. 2009. Issue 12. Page 26 — 30.

tory 286 thousand — in the cities and 105 thousand — in rural areas. From the beginning of military operations about 40 thousand people were evacuated to Hokkaido — generally women and children [8, 134, l. 159]. Everything, according to the Sakhalin regional committee, from the island before the end of war more than 102 thousand people left. Hundreds of villages were left as at occupation of the Southern Sakhalin a part of the Japanese population ran from permanent addresses. In the cities in the south of the island about 70 thousand refugees who within two months were returned to places of permanent residence crowded, but tens of thousands of people still remained in forests [11, 329, l. 42]. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR of October 22, 1946, on the Southern Sakhalin 339,986 people — 65,400 Russians and 274,586 Japanese, Koreans, Chinese and "persons of other local nationalities" [8, were registered by 139. l. 245].

After achievement in December, 1946 of the arrangement between the USSR and the USA on carrying out repatriation from islands [1, page 22] the evacuation of Japanese from the territory of the Soviet Union which began in October, 1946 extended to Sakhalin. By August 1, 1947 124,308 people [11 were sent to 364 to Japan. l. 68]. In total the plan for 1947 provided resettlement from April to November of 240 thousand Japanese — on 30 thousand people a month. Just before sending to Hokkaido the repatriates were brought to transit camp No. 379 in Kholmsk, and already from there took out them to Japan groups on 3 thousand people [9, 509, l. 22, 31]. Lists of immigrants were formed at the enterprises and in institutions, were checked in local councils, in bodies of militia and state security then were approved by the repatriation commissions [3, page 216]. According to applications of the Soviet organizations the Japanese vessels and crews were provided for transportation of repatriates by the American side. From the moment of loading aboard all expenses and cares of immigrants were assigned to the Japanese government.

At departure to civilians about 100 kg of personal belongings on the person and to 1000 yens, and the prisoner of war were allowed to take out personal belongings in volume of hand luggage and up to 200 yens to soldiers and 500 officers. Besides, it was possible to take away with itself the private financial papers which are subject to payment in Japan, but it was forbidden to take out the Soviet bank notes [9, 509, l. 52 — 53].

The chief of regional civil management D.N. Kryukov was appointed the chairman of the commission on repatriation. According to the established sequence of eviction, at first heads and owners of the enterprises, officials, a part of the intellectuals and the employees having the members of families who are taken out at the beginning of war in Japan were transported. Then workers went; peasants and a part of rural employees were subject to movement after harvesting of 1947. In the last turn doctors, teachers, engineers and other experts and also priests were repatriated. If necessary the commission granted permission for extraordinary departure to representatives of any of categories. From a part of the Japanese population statements with a request of wasps - arrived

to tavit them on Sakhalin not only for personal reasons, but also because of return to Japan of millions of repatriates that provoked mass unemployment and problems with food [2, page 26 — 27]. The left Japanese generally settled on Hokkaido [11, 364, l. 70].

The first wave of resettlement from the Sakhalin region passed in difficult conditions. Work of the camp for repatriates in Kholmsk caused complaints from the administration. By results of the inspection which is carried out in May, 1947 many shortcomings of work of both the camp, and department of repatriation of the Far Eastern Military District were revealed. Despite the shortage of shots and a bad sanitary situation, in the camp there had to be a constant three-thousandth reserve of immigrants in case of unforeseen failures in their arrival. In this regard in it it was necessary to place 6000 people at the actual capacity in 5000 [9, 509, l. 101 — 103].

Mass sending Japanese home generated an acute shortage of labor. Heads of the Sakhalin region petitioned before the central authorities for reduction of rates of repatriation and for urgent delivery of the Soviet citizens on islands more than once. They noted that the established plans for sending were not implemented at the local level — secretaries of district committees forbade to execute orders on repatriation. It led to untimely delivery of repatriates to the camp therefore they had to be imprisoned on the ships practically at once on arrival, and to sending not completely loaded vessels [11, 361, l. 6, 7]. But in general, despite difficulties, the plan for repatriation was implemented [9, 510, l. 37, 54, 55, 59, 72, 75, 77, 96]. Along with Japanese, especially with experts of the industry, contracts for work for 2 — 3 were signed then they at will could go to Japan or remain on Sakhalin [10, 1, l. 37].

According to the decision of authorized Council of ministers of the USSR for repatriation, the navigation period which came to the end in November, 1947 opened in April, 1948 [11, 361, l. 17]. On the fifth of April, 1948 there was a Resolution of Council of ministers of the USSR No. 1098-392 according to which during navigation from the Sakhalin region it was necessary to take out 106 thousand Japanese [7, 317, l. 38]. According to the confidential decision of the Sakhalin regional executive committee in 1948 the repatriations first of all were subject peasants whose farms were in the territory of collective farms. If heads of families of these farms were on logging, then from there took away them, and families went to Kholmsk in the order of Rybtrest where before arrival of the vessel they had to work at a fishing season. Each economy was obliged to give constructions, the cattle, agricultural stock and seeds under the act to district executive committee for transfer to collective farm, but was forbidden to hand out copies of acts to Japanese.

If in economy of family there were not enough seeds for sowing of the being available area, there was a damage of property and the cattle, then such families lost land use, were not repatriated, and their lists were presented for the direction to the Poronaysk logging enterprise. The delay of repatriation of the Japanese working in fishing industry was allowed; rabo-

chy the forest industry were subject to eviction after the end of timber-rafting. The end of waiting list for repatriation included the peasants who had the plan of sowing. They were sent in process of arrival of the Soviet collective farmers immigrants [10, 1, l. 31, 37].

At the end of May, 1948 according to the solution of a special department of regional executive committee "for prevention of diversions from hostile Japanese" the new order of repatriation was established. The structures of the repatriation commissions "became stronger the responsible and checked workers" both police officers and MGB. About the forthcoming departure to families it was reported in only 24 hours prior to departure to the transit camp. Heads of the organizations in a confidential order had to prepare in advance settling with workers, and at the time of the announcement of repatriation to pay salary and to fire [10, 1, l. 60a]. The aspiration to take control of property and the real estate of Japanese was other party of the message about repatriation at the last minute, without allowing those to dispose of it before departure [6, page 65].

In June, 1948 from Resettlement management at Council of ministers of RSFSR information arrived that resettlement in agricultural collective farms of area will be made only in the first half of 1949. In this regard for preservation of the earth, constructions and property of the Japanese peasants the regional executive committee made the decision on suspension of their repatriation. To peasants it was announced need to prepare for winter and spring sowing of 1949 [10, 1, l. 81], but the population which is not occupied in agriculture continued to be repatriated.

On the tenth of June, 1949 there was a Resolution of Council of ministers of the USSR No. 2326 — 905 about repatriation of 4446 Japanese, completed the main stage of resettlement. In June — July, 1949 from the Sakhalin region all Japanese, except submitted written statements about the unwillingness to leave [7, 406, l were sent. 288 — 289].

Thus, in 1946 — 1949 from the territory of the Sakhalin region 272,335 people of the Japanese civilian population and 8303 prisoners of war were repatriated. In 1957 — 1959 and 1964 — 1966 2682 former Japanese citizens who for various reasons did not leave with the first wave home were sent [4, page 258, 259]. So all for 2.5 years of mass repatriation of Japanese the national structure of the Sakhalin region formed in 1947 was completely changed.

List of sources and literature

1. Bock Zee of Kou. Sakhalin Koreans: problems and prospects. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 1989.
2. D.N. Kryukov. Civil management on the Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in 1945 — 1948//the Local history bulletin. 1993. No. 3. Page 3 — 40.
3. A.T. Kuzin. Far East Koreans: life and tragedy of destiny. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 1994.
4. V.L. Podpechnikov. About repatriation of the Japanese population from the territory of the Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands / / the Bulletin of the Sakhalin museum. 2003. No. 10. Page 257-260.
5. V.L. Podpechnikov. Repatriation / / Local history bulletin. 1993. No. 1. Page 102-118.
6. V.V. Shcheglov. The population of the Sakhalin region in the XX century. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 2002.
7. State Archive of the Russian Federation (SARF). T. 5446 sch. Op. 106.
8. GARF. T. 9401. Op. 2.
9. GARF. T. 9526. Op. 1.
10. State archive of the Sakhalin region. T. 459. Op. 3.
11. Sakhalin center of documentation of the contemporary history. F. P-4. Op. 1.

About the author

I.P. Kim — the article Ven., Sakhalin state university,


I. Kim, Assistant Professor, Sakhalin State University,

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