FEBRUARY 25, 1950
NEW YORK, Friday—Yesterday the 10 Japanese women who have come to this country under the auspices of the Occupation Forces lunched with me at the Park-Sheraton Hotel. After lunch they all asked to see my apartment and I took them up and showed them my office, our bedrooms and sitting room.
In my sitting room they discovered immediately a Japanese tapestry which my father had brought from Japan when he went around the world at the age of 21. I have always cherished this tapestry because I love the colors. Wherever I have lived it has hung on some wall. On this occasion the women all asked to be photographed with me, using the tapestry as the background and this was done.
A very good, young interpreter, who learned her English in Japan in recent years, is accompanying them. While they are here the General Federation of Women's Clubs has asked Mrs. Constance Sporborg to arrange their schedule and make their plans. She sees that they keep their various appointments on time.
They had spent the morning at the Hudson Guild to see a neighborhood house.
I asked each one in turn to tell me about her special interests on this trip and to ask any questions of me she desired to have answered.
The very first one to speak was evidently considered the most important person in the group. She is a member of the Japanese Diet and she told me that her main interest was to find out about our Social Security program.
One of them is a home economist in charge of developing the home demonstration section in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. She is the author of a book on Home Economics and the wife of a noted sculptor.
Two of them are interested in broadcasting and while they have charge primarily of a program produced for women, they also want to see the technical side of the work done in this country.
There is a lawyer among them, who is a member of the Conciliation Committee of the Family Court. There also is a young woman who belongs to the Women's Section of the National Railway Workers. She told me their main problems are unemployment and poor labor conditions. It was quite evident that both of these situations were tied up with the economy of the whole country and could not be remedied until the country itself recovered to a great extent.
There were other women in different positions of government and one woman representing Japan's Consumer Union League which is a type of cooperative development. The latter has played an important part since their commodity prices have been so high.
They are going to spend some time in Washington and travel to the other cities and areas of the United States. Then they will be back here, probably in April, before they return to Japan. At that time they expect to come to Hyde Park and I shall look forward to hearing a further report on their travels. It seems to me these visits are a good way to develop understanding between the United States and Japan, and I was interested in the closing words of one of the women:
"We women hope that there will never be another war." I believe that is the hope of women the world over.