17 May 2016
During the Second World War, the British government offered emergency Japanese languages courses to talented students in aid of the war effort. Many ended up reading the despatches of Japanese diplomats in Europe, including those of the remarkable Oshima Hiroshi, long-serving ambassador in Berlin. His despatches were invaluable in the struggle with Nazi Germany but they also had a lot to say about the Soviet Union. Oshima died in 1975, not knowing that his mail had been read throughout the war.
Why did all this have to be kept secret so long? What happened to the young men and women who learnt Japanese during the war? And why were their teachers so positive about Japan?More info