Place Names

Meiji Building, Tokyo Japan

 

Meiji Seimei Kan (明治生命館) is a building in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan. It was designed by Shinichiro Okada and completed in March 1934. During the Shōwa period, its metal fittings were requisitioned by the government of Japan. It survived the bombing of Tokyo during World War II, but was taken over by the General Headquarters / Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ/SCAP) after the war. It was returned to the government of Japan in 1956. In 1997, this building was designated a National Important Cultural Property. It was the first building erected in the Showa period to receive this honour.


New foreign ambassadors are taken by horse and carriage from Tokyo Station to Tokyo Imperial Palace to present their letters of credence to the Emperor of Japan. When Tokyo Station was being renovated, the starting point of this journey was changed to Meiji Seimei Kan.


The building is a concrete encased steel beam structure with a height of 31 m and an area of 3,856 m2. It sits on a property of 11,347 m2. It has 8 floors above ground and 2 below. The first and second floor, which contain conference rooms, dining rooms, offices, and waiting rooms, are open to the public for touring. There are detailed digital displays in English and Japanese in many of the rooms.

 

June 25, 1950

When the Communist invaders struck in June 1950, Colonel Charles B. Overacker's 1808th AACS Wing, which had its headquarters in Tokyo's Meiji building, was responsible for airways and air-communications services in the Far East and Pacific. Under the 1808th Wing were the 1809th AACS Group at Nagoya, the 1810th Group at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, and the 1811th Group at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.

Each of these groups was divided into squadrons, which were subdivided into detachments at various airfields. In June 1950 the undermanned 1809th AACS Group was operating ten control towers, three direction-finder stations, and two MATCon centers at Tokyo and Fukuoka in Japan.

June 25, 1950


Like the other members of the Military Air Transport Service family, the Airways and Air Communications Service (AACS) was a global command which provided airways-communications facilities, navigational aids, and flight services for the Air Force. As a secondary mission, the AACS provided communications for the Air Weather Service.

For the performance of their mission, AACS organizations operated control towers, direction finders, radio ranges, ground-controlled approach (GCA) and instrument-landing systems, radio and radar beacons, air-to-ground and point-to-point radio, message centers, crypto centers, and military air-traffic control (MATCon) centers. Like the air-route traffic-control center, which was its civilian counterpart in the United States, the MATCon established routes and altitudes for all aircraft flying over a given control area, kept record of the flights of such aircraft, and generally ensured against air collisions in the control area.

When the Communist invaders struck in June 1950, Colonel Charles B. Overacker's 1808th AACS Wing, which had its headquarters in Tokyo's Meiji building, was responsible for airways and air-communications services in the Far East and Pacific. Under the 1808th Wing were the 1809th AACS Group at Nagoya, the 1810th Group at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, and the 1811th Group at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.

Each of these groups was divided into squadrons, which were subdivided into detachments at various airfields. In June 1950 the undermanned 1809th AACS Group was operating ten control towers, three direction-finder stations, and two MATCon centers at Tokyo and Fukuoka in Japan.

The only navigational aid in Korea was a low-power homing beacon at Kimp'o Airfield. The system was capable of handling slow-flying conventional aircraft in the moderate number of flights usual during the occupation, but FEAF was beginning to be concerned about the system's inadequacy for controlling jet air traffic. At the beginning of hostilities air traffic suddenly tripled at Tokyo and quintupled in the Fukuoka area, and new AACS facilities were immediately required for the additional airfields occupied in Japan and in Korea.

Because of economy considerations, USAF had not permitted the 1808th Wing to establish a mobile AACS squadron in 1948, an organization which would have provided a most efficient means for handling the suddenly increased demands of the Korean air war. #132   

June 25, 1950 0945

Korean_War

First report of the North Korean aggression reached the Meiji building at 0945 hours. From Sŏul Chief Warrant Officer [Capt] Donald Nichols, commander of District 8, Office of Special Investigation (OSI), telephoned the news to the FEAF operations duty officer.#13 Although the report was promptly flashed to all FEAF units,  

June 25, 1950 1130

As the Sunday which was 25 June 1950 began there was little to mark it different from any other first day of the week. Over most of Japan the weather was fine, except that it was becoming hot and there were scattered showers. The summer monsoon was beginning. Weather predictions called for continued good weather on Monday and most of Tuesday, but thereafter a southwardly drifting polar front promised to bring low clouds and rain down through nearby Korea and across the narrow sea to Japan. The weather prediction did not seem particularly important to the duty officers in the Meiji building as they managed the routine of the morning at FEAF headquarters. Business was generally quiet in Tokyo. General Stratemeyer was not in Japan.

After conferences in Washington, on the morning [7AM] of 25 June he was some-where in flight between San Francisco and Hawaii. Before returning to Tokyo, he meant to pay a command visit to the Twentieth Air Force on Okinawa.   

With Stratemeyer absent, General Partridge was acting commander of FEAF He had been spending a part of his time in Tokyo, but on the morning of 25 June he was with his family in Nagoya. 1o  

Although the report was promptly flashed to all FEAF units, General Partridge was not in his quarters in Nagoya and did not get the news from Korea until 1130 hours. General Partridge at once acknowledged the gravity of the situation, but he knew that the Far East Command had only one minor mission concerning Korea. At the outbreak of a war or general domestic disorder, and then only at the request of the American ambassador, the Far East Command was required to provide for the safety of American nationals in Korea.