Many thanks to Chris Su who sent me the image below. It comes from the Shashin Shuho (写真周报) (Photo News Weekly), vol.2, no. 22, 13 May 1942. The Photo News Weekly, was a Japanese pictorial magazine published during the Japanese occupation. Apart from a photograph showing Japanese soldiers celebrating around the 6″ gun at Smith Point, these are the only known photographs from Christmas Island during that occupation.
There is one Japanese officer name that I am aware of from this time on Christmas Island; Lieutenant Nakao. His name appeared in a witness statement in the file of collaborator James Kang Tian Kwang. It is probably an understatement to say that Kwang was not a very pleasant man to his fellow Islanders during the occupation.
The following is a translation (in bold) from the Japanese by Miss Lee Hui Yin. It is taken with the kind permission of John Hunt from his book “Suffering through strength“. Reading clockwise, starting from the upper right corner of the image above.
Soldiers marching from Flying Fish Cove most likely on the day they landed, 31st March 1942.
Although it was not a Christmas gift, the small island called Christmas Island was a small island occupied by the British. The accumulative bombardment by navy warships caused white flags to be hoisted in surrender all over the island in the last ten days of March. Situated south of Java, it is the size of a dot and sesame seed. The island rich in ground resources is about a quarter of the size of Syonanto [Singapore]. The whole island is made of limestone. Although Christmas Island is small in size, it is immersed in the attention of the world because there is an unlimited supply of phosphate rocks which are indispensable as a basic ingredient for manufacturing phosphate fertiliser. Immediately upon landing, our naval forces recognised the value of the island, and with the co-operation of the local people, started mining operations for phosphate rocks with the aim of providing quality fertiliser for the barren inland.
In the phosphate quarry, Japanese Soldiers celebrate the taking of Christmas Island
Discovery of phosphate regions all over the island. With this fertiliser, the inland may be opened so the infantry soldiers shouted ‘banzai’ [cheered].
The Islanders loading bagged phosphate
There is a phosphate mountain!
The Christmas Island workforce are being addressed by Japanese Officers. Probably on the first day.
[Name not known] team leader telling the Chinese, Indian, Indonesian islanders about the Great East Asian War.
At the ‘Islander’ pier.
Approximately 1500 tons of phosphate rocks derived from Christmas Island transported with the help of the islanders.