Yashiro Nakano was born in Fukuoka Prefecture in March 1893 and migrated to New Caledonia in 1914, where he worked as a taxi driver in Noumea. He was arrested on 8 December 1941 and embarked on the Cap des Palmes on 21 December 1941 for transfer to Australia, where he was initially interned in Hay, NSW. Nakano was moved to Loveday in May 1943.
In early 1946, Nakano requested that he be repatriated to New Caledonia rather than Japan. The then Department of External Affairs wrote to the French Legation in Canberra asking whether the New Caledonian Authorities would accept him back. In October 1946, the French legation replied that the Governor of New Caledonia had indicated that it was ‘impossible’ for him to be returned there and requested that Nakano be repatriated to Japan. Meanwhile, Nakano was transferred to Tatura Internment Camp in Victoria. He departed Australia on the Kanimbla on 1 January 1947.
Text by Rowena Ward
Archives de Nouvelle Calédonie: 34W29
NAA: MP1103/1 CJ8907 Prisoner of War/Internee: Nakano Yashiro; Year of birth 1893; Nationality-Japanese
NAA: A1066 IC45/1/11/5 Internees in Australia – Japanese - repatriation
Ward, R (2016) ‘Repatriating the Japanese from New Caledonia, 1941-1946’, The Journal of Pacific History 51 (4): 392-408.