The invasion of Christmas Island as told by the Japanese

Whilst there are various newspaper articles about the fall of Christmas Island to the Japanese, this article comes with a twist. It is told by the Japanese themselves.


Tokyo, May 6 1942

How our forces occupied Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, a strategic point in the Allies’ communication line between Australia and India, in blitzkrieg fashion – within an hour after the attack was made at dawn of March 31 – was described by a war correspondent of the Naval Press section.

The correspondent wrote: “As our transport fleet was convoyed by naval units up Flying Fish Cove guarding the entrance to Christmas Island, at 7 a.m. (Tokyo time) on March 31, the entire Island was dimly visible through the morning mist.

“At 7.50 a.m. tension gripped our troops on the transport, as one of our destroyers signalled ‘Caution needed. Three enemy submarines in the neighbourhood.’ Simultaneously, our destroyers sped in all directions discharging depth charges, while the transports reached Flying Fish Cove, on scheduled time without any enemy attack.

‘As our air units at 8 a.m. commenced bombing military establishments on the Island, the flagship of the fleet ran up the signal ordering the landing units to prepare for instant operations.

‘However, ominous silence reigned. The sight of the white flag thrilled our troops who saw through their binoculars that the flag was flying from the top of the piers and buildings.

“The landing operations were completed without hindrance as the Indonesian natives on the shore directed our troops to the best landing points, The landing party then signalled to the flagship for the completion of the landing operations. It was exactly 10.05 a.m.

“Immediately the party was divided into two units which occupied all important points of the Island, rapidly taking over the enemy barracks and phosphate plant (phosphate industry is the only important industry on the island).

“A few minutes later, the parties’ headquarters were established in a residential quarter at a rocky point. At the main fortress I saw 27 Indian troops led by a Lieutenant.

“When our troops completed their operations, the Chinese, Indians and other inhabitants who fled into the interior returned en masse upon seeing no fighting.”

National Library Board, Singapore Syonan Shimbun, 7 May 1942, Page 3
After the fall of Singapore in 1942 the Japanese ran their own English propoganda paper from the newspaper offices of The Straits Times. It was known as the Shonan Times and then Syonan Shimbun.