According to the Japanese, they won a "strategic" victory in the lower
Solomon Islands and in the Gona and Buna areas of New Guinea. The enemy's
version of the fighting was given in a report made to the Japanese Diet
(parliament) by Major General Sato, Army spokesman representing both the
Army and Navy. The report was picked up by the Federal Communications
Commission from a Japanese broadcast.
Explaining the Japanese strategy in the South Pacific, General Sato said that
their "advance guards," on Guadalcanal and in New Guinea, held the American
and Australian troops until the Japanese main forces could consolidate positions
closer to their supply bases "for a concrete operation in the future."
". . . At the beginning of September," General Sato said, "We
crossed the Stanley Mountain range and neared the vicinity of Port Moresby. However,
owing to general circumstances, our unit withdrew to the vicinity of Buna, and
began the task of diverting the enemy to this area."
General Sato claimed that the Japanese "withdrew" from Buna and Guadalcanal only
after accomplishing their objectives—holding United Nations forces until
the main Japanese forces were well established in the rear. "The withdrawal of
our forces in both areas was carried out in an orderly manner and, moreover, in
a calm manner, while always attacking the enemy and keeping him under control."
General Sato admitted that the Guadalcanal operation was "nerve-wracking" because
the Japanese units "had to operate several thousand nautical miles away from the
base line which connects Malaya and the Philippine Islands. Therefore, it was
inevitable to have differences in effectiveness and speed of operations between
our forces and the enemy forces . . . Because of this fact, it would have been
ignoble strategy for our forces to have sought a decisive battle in a location
". . . Due to such harmonious unity between our Army and
Navy," General Sato continued, "the most difficult strategy—a withdrawal
under the very noses of the enemy—was done calmly and in an orderly
manner, with almost no losses. This is something unprecedented in the world."