MAY 29, 1953
TOKYO—I visited our military hospital this morning and had the good luck to see the chief surgeon for this area, Maj. General William Shambora. There are three different hospitals and, according to their needs, the men who have to be sent out of Korea are sent to one of these three. Surgical cases, neurosurgery in particular, eyes, burns, etc., come to the one I visited this morning which has a highly competent staff. I had so little time that they had arranged to have me speak with certain patients whom they had picked. This was done so that the same patients should not always get a chance to talk to the visitors coming to the hospital.
I have been invited by President Rhee to go to Korea. Much as I would like to see some of our soldiers there and some of the rehabilitation work that is being done by the U.N., I felt that it would complicate too much the plans made by the Committee here for my time in Japan, if I accepted President Rhee's invitation. Quite truthfully, had it been an invitation to have a look at our own men, I would have found it harder to refuse, but I realize that visits to the Army in Korea just at the present time must be pretty difficult to arrange.
I was grieved this morning to read in the paper here that the Soviets had turned down the United Nation's latest offer on prisoners of war before the next meeting but, as long as there is to be a meeting, I hope something may still come of it which will bring us an armistice.
From noon until three o'clock on Monday I had a most interesting meeting in the Ministry of Labor during which some of the women and men who head such bureaus as Women in Industry, Improvement of Rural Life, Child Welfare, Conditions of Labor for Minors, etc., reported on their work. Much of what is set up here bears the stamp of American organization but, since it has been more or less imposed, getting it actually to work and fit into Japanese conditions must be quite a complicated problem.
There was a long discussion of the subject of children of mixed blood and on prostitutes. These age-old problems come to light whenever there are armies of occupation and they are never easy of solution.
On the way out of the Ministry a group of Communist women, led by an American who is married to a Japanese and who looks high strung almost to the point of fanaticism, were waiting for me, crying "Go home to America. We women who went through the War do not want any more war." The obvious answer was, of course, that neither did I want war. But it is groups such as this which are keeping the fear of war constantly before the people of the free world.