I was going through my miscellaneous Japanese collection and ran across this beautiful Japanese China Incident Cemmomorative medal. Peterson says: "This extremely rare medal was founded by Imperia; Edict No. 658 of September 26, 1942, for award to those that made outstanding contributions to the war effort in China, but who were not eligible for the China Incident War Medal. As this medal is practically unknown in Japan, and almost anyone could be eligible for the war medals, it seems probably that this was intended as a reward for Chineses collaborators." The questions that I have, are two-fold. Has anyone ever seen a case for this medal, and why would it be practically unknown in Japan?
My understanding is that it was only awarded to collaborators in China, not to Japanese personnel, so it would rarely appear in Japan. The recipients in China probably did not live long, prosperous lives after 1945 and I'd guess they ditched the medals as soon as the Japanese left.
I believe that it was awarded to certain Japanese citizens as well that were in the China theater performing duties in support of the occupation. Additionally, it would have been awarded to any other individuals of any country that met those duties. Perhaps as the war wound down, those individuals were no longer proud of the service/duty that they performed. I am thinking of the hundreds of Germans and Italians that must have been engaged in China theater operations during WWII. Have you ever seen a fake/repro of this medal?