Japanese-Written Press Coverage on the Fall of Bataan

Japanese-Written Press Coverage on the Fall of Bataan World War II Law and Politics American History Censorship Civil Rights Famous Historical Events Government


When American soldiers on the Filipino island of Bataan were not relieved by other U.S. or Allied forces, in April of 1942, they were forced to surrender.

The men had been urged to hold on, but messages of encouragement meant little when reality set in:

  • How could hungry men fight?
  • How could they continue to resist without help?

With no realistic options, other than surrender, the abandoned men gave up.

The news was covered by the local Filipino press which was controlled by the same Japanese invaders to whom the men had surrendered. Coverage of the event was predictably one-sided.

The National Museum of the Air Force has a copy of The Tribune’s  April 24, 1942 issue. The lead photo tells the Filipino people how helpful the invading forces are to the local population.

Among other things, the caption says:

...The Japanese also gave medicine for the sick and helped war refugees in all other ways possible, showing great concern for their welfare.

The photo, as noted, was taken by the Japanese Propaganda Corps.

Curators at the Air Force Museum provide additional details about this news coverage:

The invading Japanese controlled the Philippine media, which portrayed imperial forces as helpful liberators. In reality, the Japanese were committing brutal war crimes like the Bataan Death March.

This front page claims that Japanese occupation will bring peace and tranquility to the Philippines.

Click on the image to enlarge the view.

Media Credits

April 24, 1942 issue of "The Tribune," published in Manila, The Philippines. Online via the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.


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"Japanese-Written Press Coverage on the Fall of Bataan" AwesomeStories.com. May 22, 2015. May 30, 2020.
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