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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Pardoned 'Tokyo Rose' dies at 90
Iva Toguri D'Aquino being escorted from court in 1949
Tokyo Rose was known as the "seductress of the short wave"
A US woman convicted of broadcasting Japanese propaganda to undermine US troop morale during World War II has died in Chicago at the age of 90.

Iva Toguri D'Aquino became known as Tokyo Rose, a radio announcer who told US troops that battles were being lost and their wives were cheating on them.

An American citizen, she was stranded in Japan when war broke out in 1941.

She was convicted on suspect evidence of treason in 1949, in the early stages of the Cold War, but pardoned in 1977.

Iva Toguri was born in Los Angeles in 1916, the daughter of Japanese immigrant parents.

She attended college in the US but was left stranded in Japan, where she was visiting an ill relative, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour led to war in the Pacific.

Unable to speak Japanese, and with anti-American sentiments running high in the country at the time, she answered an advert for a job as an English-language typist with Radio Tokyo.

She eventually moved onto work on a propaganda programme called Zero Hour.

Accused

What happened next remains slightly unclear.

She returned to the US after the war, by then married to Felipe D'Aquino, a Portuguese employee at the radio station.

Iva Toguri D'Aquino being interviewed by US correspondents in Japan 1945
The story of Tokyo Rose intrigued and angered US reporters
But in the febrile atmosphere of the post-war years, she quickly fell under suspicion and was eventually accused of being one of a group of announcers dubbed Tokyo Rose by US troops.

The women frequently broadcast demoralising messaged to troops, luring them with familiar music before reporting grim but fictional tales of defeat in battle and the infidelity of their wives left back at home.

Toguri D'Aquino refused to renounce her US citizenship, and as a result was tried for treason.

She was convicted on questionable evidence in 1949 and served six years in prison, one of only a handful of Americans ever found guilty of the offence.

Released after serving six years in prison, Toguri D'Aquino set up home and tried to clear her name.

In 1977, in the face of mounting evidence that her 1949 trial was deeply flawed, President Gerald Ford granted her a pardon.

She died on Tuesday in Chicago, where she had lived and worked since her release.




SEE ALSO
Country profile: Japan
26 Sep 06 |  Country profiles

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