Australia's 73-year-old Lieut. Gen. Gordon Bennett on a personal mission to build up Australian-Japanese friendship?
LS. EXTERIOR OF HOTEL.
2 1/2 ft
SIGNBOARD AZABU-PRINCE HOTEL.
MS. GEN. BENNETT SHAKING HANDS WITH FORMER GENERALS MATSUI AND MUTAGUCHI.
MRS. BENNETT SHAKING HANDS WITH MRS. TSUJI AND MISS TSUJI.
GENERAL BENNETT SHAKES HANDS WITH SUGITA, NOW CHIEF OF STAFF, SELF DEFENCE FORCES.
PAN SHOT OF GROUP TOASTING.
MRS. BENNETT WITH JAPANESE WOMAN.
25 1/2 ft
CU. BENNETT SPEAKING.
CU. TWO FORMER GENERALS.
30 1/2 ft
CU. BOOK "SINGAPORE"
34 1/2 ft
GEN. BENNETT PINS VETERANS ASSOCIATION BADGE.
37 1/2 ft
MRS. BENNETT EXAMINING AUTOGRAPHED FAN.
40 1/2 ft
GEN. BENNETT EXAMINING FAN.
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Background: Australia's 73-year-old Lieut. Gen. Gordon Bennett on a personal mission to build up Australian-Japanese friendship - recently met with former enemy officers at a dinner in Tokyo. There were former Lt. Generals Renya Mutaguchi, Kyutaro Matsui, Takanobu Manaki and Takeo Iwakuro; former Colonels Saharu Ikeda, Munehiko Mudaida, Takao Nomura, Shohei Kato, Ichiji Sugita, now Chiefs of Staff Japanese "Self-Defence" Ground Forces, and Masanobu Tsuji.
General Bennett expressed the hope that his meeting with his Japanese counterparts would be beneficial to both Australia and Japan. After the dinner, the participants autographed a paper fan. General Bennett was presented with a badge of Japanese veterans Associations.
He was the youngest General in the first Australian Imperial Force when he was promoted Brigadier-General at the age of 29. When he was posted from General Officer Commanding Training Depots to the command of the Eighth Division in World War Two, he was still the youngest general in the second Australian Imperial force. In the Malayan campaign in World War 11, General Bennett, then a Major General, commanded the two brigades of the Eighth Australian Division which were sent to Malaya. In the crucial battles fought in Southern Malaya, in addition to his Australian troops, he commanded a composite group of British, Indian and Malayan troops known as "Westforce". When the Commonwealth troops retreated from the Malayan mainland to Singapore Island, it was General Bennett's Australian troops who took the first shock of Japanese landings.
During his first visit to Japan, General Bennett laid a wreath at the British Commonwealth war cemetery in Yokohama. The beautifully designed shrine holds the ashes of some 333 Commonwealth servicemen whose remains were cremated at the Yokohama cemetery. He also inspected the graves of Australian soldiers.