Monday, January 28, 2008

Letter to the editor - January 18th

I just read your piece on the Japanese Period on Saipan in my new issue of Island Locator. Brilliant! I had no idea the depth of the information available on this critical period of Japan's history. Of course as a historic author, I am always interested in first person accounts, and I find Tun Blanco's information is priceless. However what interested me further is your report on Scott Russell's presentation.

The detail he provides is fascinating, and gives a much broader depth toward the understanding of the earlier period of acquisition and colonization of the Mariana, Marshall, and Gilbert islands. While I was aware of the sugar plantations during the Japanese occupation, I had no idea of their scope -- nor that Tinian had no indigenous population.

Of greater interest to me, is Russell's comment that there are extensive Japanese records of the period, albeit largely untranslated. Obviously, these records should be evaluated for the better understanding of the history of the Marianas and Saipan.

Best Regards,
Douglas Westfall

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