A grey-haired, thoughtful-looking little man stepped off a liner at Kobe on Saturday [May 14], and Japan forgot the crisis which holds the Far East in its grip.
The man was Mr “Charlie” Chaplin, the film comedian, who is visiting Japan in the course of a world tour. He was greeted with scenes of wild enthusiasm when he stepped ashore, and three hundred extra police had to be called out to handle the crowds which awaited him at the railway station in Tokio.
The newspapers greet him with huge headlines, giving him a welcome like a victorious General returning to his homeland, while graphic descriptions of his landing are illustrated by prominently displayed pictures telephotoed from Kobe.
Listeners-in who had been hoping to hear a broadcast by “Charlie” were disappointed, for Mr Chaplin refused to break his rule of ever speaking into the microphone.
Many social functions have been planned in Mr Chaplin’s honour, but so far he has accepted only an invitation from Mr Tokonami, the Minister of Railways.
Mr Chaplin’s arrival here was delayed by a fortnight by an attack of dengue fever which he contracted in Java, and which necessitated his being rushed to hospital on arrival in Singapore.