The Pacific War: part 1
English, Greek
(provided by Nikolaos Zinas)

The Pacific War -
The USA Mistook the True Enemy

How Did the War begin?
The Truth About the US-Japan War.
The True Enemy of the Americans was Not Japan.

Arimasa Kubo (Japanese non-fiction writer)



The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
It was not a start, but a result.
It was like a man, whose neck was fastened by a tormenter, with
all his last strength before dying, tried to hit the tormenterfs face.

The USA and Japan fought against each other in the Pacific War during 1941-1945. Many American people were taught that Japan had done evil things in China, so the USA was justified in going to war against Japan. But the truth was different.
The true enemy of the USA and of the world in those days was not Japanbut communism, which Japan was fighting against. But, failing to recognize who the true enemy was, and whom to fight against, the USAallied
with the Soviet Union and fought against Japan.

World War II Was Not "Democracy vs. Fascism"
Many American people were taught that World War II was a war of "democracy vs. fascism." But this was nothing but false, because Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union, whom the USA was allied with to win the war, was a fascist and a more savage dictator than Adolph Hitler of Germany. Stalin killed more than 20 million people of his own nation, and he was planning to conquer the world with communism.

Stalin was a more savage dictator
than Hitler. He killed more than 20
million people of his own nation.
The USA was allied with this man.

Japan, whom the USA fought against, was a democratic country which had no dictator, and where the leaders were often changed by general elections. The Japanese constitution fulfilled its function perfectly even during the war, and all important policies were determined by discussions of the national assembly just as in the United States. The Japanese leaders, including Emperor Hirohito, could act only under the constitution and the Diet. They did not have any conspiracy to conquer Asia nor the world, and their war was fought solely for self-defense and protecting Asia.
Thus, World War II was not a war of "democracy vs. fascism." This idea was only war propaganda made for the American public in those days. The USAmade mistakes in analyzing the complex situation of Asia, mistook whom to fight against, and whom to act with. In fact, six years after the Pacific War ended, in 1951, the American General Douglas MacArthur, being asked in the U.S. Senate about the Japanese war, looked back upon it and testified:
@@"Their purpose, therefore, in going to war was largely dictated by security."

MacArthur testified that the Japanese
war was for self-defense.

MacArthur, who had spent so much energy leading the fight against Japan, later realized the Japanese war had been for "security," in other words, for self-defense. And he added that the biggest mistake which the United States had made in the 20th century was that they allowed the spread of communism.

The Russo-Japanese War and the USA
How did the war between the USA and Japan begin? Why did the two have to fight? The conflict did not begin suddenly when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, but rather, tensions had been building decades before Pearl Harbor. Because soon after the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), which Japan won against Russia, the American people started to feel hostility toward Japan.
Until the Russo-Japanese War, the American people were generally friendly to the Japanese, and the Japanese were thinking of the USA as their mentor for modernization. Even during the Russo-Japanese War, the American government's attitude was not bad. But when Japan defeated Russia, the Americans saw that this yellow-skinned nation had won the war against a white-skinned great nation, the American public's attitude became suspicious of the Japanese.
The Russo-Japanese War occurred by the aggressive act of Russia into Manchuria, which was located east of China and north of Korea. Japan fought the war against Russia for the security of Manchuria, Korea and Japan.
As a matter of fact, prior to that, in 1894-1895 there had been a war between Japan and China. The Qing dynasty of China tried to subordinate Korea to it, and Japan fought against China to make Korea an independent country. This war ended with Japan's victory. Japan made Korea an independent country, and also received from China the Liao-dong peninsula of Manchuria by treaty with China.
But Russia wanted this Liao-dong peninsula because it had ice-free harbors. Then, Russia, in association with Germany and France, exerted strong pressure and forced Japan to give the peninsula back to China using a powerful argument. Japan did not have the power to reject, so the Japanese regretfully gave the peninsula back to China.
After that, Russia said to China, "We returned the peninsula back to you, give us a reward." As a result, Russia received many rights and interests in China. In addition, Russia entered the Liao-dong peninsula and made it their own without any cost! Russia did such a sly thing. But this was not the first time Russia had engaged in such tactics, since this country had been doing the same kind of things in many places, widening their territories with deception and invasion.
This expanding country, Russia, was a great threat to Japan in those days. The giant country was trying to swallow Manchuria, China, Korea and then, Japan. That was why Japan had to fight the war against Russia. This war was to protect East Asia and Japan from Russian invasion.
Most of the people in the world never imagined that this small country called Japan could defeat that giant country. But Japan miraculously won the war, although the victory was won by a slim margin. Japan owed the victory much to the help of a great Jewish banker in the USA, Jacob Shiff, who undertook much of the war cost for Japan. In those days there were many persecutions of Jews in Russia, so he wanted Russia to be punished. In addition, the American president, Theodore Roosevelt, mediated between Russia and Japan to end the war and establish peace, so the feeling of the Japanese to the USA in those days was nothing but gratitude and respect.

Change of the American People's Attitude
But after the Russo-Japanese war, strange rumors spread in the USA, and many absurd articles appeared in newspapers such as, "Japan will easily take the Philippines, Hawaii and then, all of the Pacific Ocean." It is said that these rumors were set up by a Russian politician, Sergei Vitte. This was one of a series of attempts by the Russians, who lost the war against Japan, to take revenge on Japan, and make Japan out to be an evil of the world, so that the Americans and Europeans may become suspicious of Japan.

So, when the President Theodore Roosevelt commanded the American fleet during a world cruise to visit Japan, many people in the USA and Europe including some military leaders thought that the Japanese would surely attack the American fleet. But contrary to expectations, the Japanese greatly welcomed them, so the American president extolled the country as worthy of special mention during the cruise.

However, such trust shown by the president was not in the majority. The American government soon began to look upon Japan as an enemy, and made a plan to control and suppress Japan. That was called the "Orange Plan," for they used different colors to distinguish countries, and Japan was colored orange. This was made soon after the Russo-Japanese War, and revised year by year, until finally it contained the plan to bomb the mainland of Japan to sweep away all the culture and the people, which is what really happened in the Pacific War.

It was only about a half year before the war that the Japanese began to think of the USA as their enemy. Until then, the Japanese had trusted the Americans and continued to try to be friendly to them, and never thought that Japan would have to fight a war against them. But the USA began to look upon Japan as their enemy 35 years before the war, as mentioned above, and was preparing to suppress Japan year by year.

Racial Discrimination in the USA

We cannot say this plan to suppress Japan had nothing to do with the fact that racism was strong in the USA in those days. Different from today, colored people were the object of strong prejudice and discrimination. The slavery of black people had been already abolished; however, restaurants, toilets, buses, etc., were segregated between white and colored people. The expulsion of the Chinese immigrants already began in the 1800's, and it later turned especially to the Japanese. Some Americans persecuted the Japanese by jealousy and prejudice, seeing that the Japanese immigrants had succeeded with diligence.

Especially in California, where there were many Japanese immigrants, writings were seen at stations, rest rooms and street corners such as "Japs, go away" or "Kill Japs." Barbers refused the Japanese to come in, saying, "I don't do haircuts for animals." In addition, real estate agents refused them saying, "If the Japanese live there, the land value would decrease."

And right after the Russo-Japanese War, in 1906, when a big earthquake occurred in San Francisco, there was an expulsion movement of the Japanese, and the Japanese immigrants were attacked and plundered. But Japan, which was subject to frequent earthquakes, presented half a million yen at the time, which would be worth about today's 10 million dollars, to California as an expression of sympathy to recover from the damage of the earthquake. However, not only there was no word of gratitude from California, but also the Japanese pupils could not enter the schoolhouse which was rebuilt with that money, and they were segregated to be educated in a separate hut, although the teachers testified that the Japanese pupils were good students.

Offer for Joint Management of the Manchuria Railroad with the USA

Just after the Russo-Japanese War, an American railroad executive and a great business man, Edward Harriman, visited Japan to talk with Japanese leaders. At the time, as a result of the victory on the Russo-Japanese War, it was already determined that Japan would inherit the rights of Manchuria Railroad. Harriman met the Japanese leaders and suggested, "I will provide for the cost of the Manchuria Railroad. So, let us do a joint management of the railroad together."

Edward Harriman

In those days, railroads had a great meaning to widen territories of a country. If this joint management of the Manchuria Railroad between the USA and Japan was realized, the USA would have got a great opportunity to advance into Manchuria and China without any hard work.
Some Japanese leaders who met Harriman felt that it was a good idea. Because Japan did not have enough money for managing the railroad since it was just after spending an enormous amount of money for the war. Besides, the presence of the USA in Manchuria might be good also for Japan to defend against the invasion of Russia. The Japanese leaders promised temporarily that they would soon sign the contract.
But the Foreign Minister Jutaro Komura was not in Japan at the time, since he was in the USA. When he came back to Japan, he objected strongly to that idea, saying, "We spent an enormous amount of money and lost hundreds of thousands soldiers in the war. We can't hand the rights over to a foreign country. It is also against the purpose of the peace treaty."
Indeed the rights were obtained at great cost to the Japanese, and the USA would inherit the rights without any hard work. In the end, Japan declined the offer, and decided to manage the railroad by itself. But this disappointed many American people very much, and they began to accuse Japan saying, "The Japanese are trying to monopolize Manchuria."

Racial Equality Bill Buried Away

Surely it was a fork in the road of history. Some Japanese historians say that if Japan had accepted the offer and began a joint management with the USA, there would not have been a war between the USA and Japan, because both would have had the same interests. Undoubtedly, if there had been the joint management, history would have gone a different way.
However, this is only an assumption of "What if" and it is not more than an imagination. Today's USA and today's Japan could have done such a joint management, but in those days, the USA had many problems of racism. So, other historians express doubts about if there would truly not have been a war.
In 1886, an English ship named the Normanton sank by an accident at sea, Japanese passengers were not saved and were left to drown, when the captain of the ship said to them, "How much will you pay to be saved? Say it. Time is money."

"How much will you pay to be saved?
Say it. Time is money."

The USA, too, had the same kind of racist problems. In fact, after World War I, when Japan proposed the Racial Equality Bill at the League of Nations Commission during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the American president and the chairman of the Conference, Woodrow Wilson, rejected and buried it away, because racial discrimination was strong in the USA and the UK in those days.
In fact, Japan was the first in history to propose the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the stage of international politics. When Japan proposed it during discussions on the League of Nations charter, Italy, France and many countries agreed. The American Black Association was also very pleased at the proposal, saying, "All the black people express the maximum respect to Japan." But the UK, which had many colonies in the world, was strongly against it. Australia also strongly disagreed, due to their "White Australia" policy. The conference got into an imbroglio.

Japanese ambassador Nobuaki Makino.
He proposed a bill on racial equality
at the League of Nations Commission in 1919.

The voting result was 11 in favor of the bill and 5 against. It seemed that the bill passed. But suddenly the chairman, American President Wilson, said, "It was not unanimous, therefore, the proposal has not passed." Then, the Japanese ambassador Nobuaki Makino stood, pressing the chairman to say, "We have always decided every proposal by majority. Why do you suddenly say this must be unanimous?" But the chairman did not listen to the ambassador and the Japanese proposal was thus buried away. The USA could not permit racial equality.

Woodrow Wilson is known as the president who insisted on "racial self-determination," which had a great influence on the independence of the nations of Europe, and for this he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. But the "race" he meant was only European races, not Asian or African ones. The colored people were not accepted as a human race. Thus, those days were the age of racial discrimination.

So, if the USA and Japan could have worked together on the Manchuria Railroad, it would have been wonderful; however, it seems that it was difficult for Japan to continue to work with such a country not admitting racial equality. It seems that it was a historical inevitability that these two countries, the United States which is symbolized with stars on the national flag and Japan which is symbolized with the sun, would someday fight against each other.

USA Did Not Realize the Danger of Communism

In 1917, Russia became a communist country and changed its name to the Soviet Union. But its expanding and invasive nature did not change, but rather increased. In fact, the leaders of the Soviet Union considered how to export their communism and make all the world communist countries. The method in their mind was to export wars, and when the countries became weak by the wars, it would be a good opportunity to communize them. That is, the thought was, "if they fight against each other, we would be the one to profit from it."

And they built the "Communist International" to realize the purpose. The head office was located in Moscow, and they began exporting the seeds of war to many countries. In such a time, Japan was the only country in Asia which strongly realized the danger of communism and fought against communists early on. However, the USA did not realize the danger at all, although some men of good judgment did. For most of the American people it was just an incident of the same white people, and something happening far away, not related immediately to their own lives.

The Japanese understood communism to be the biggest menace to the world, and Japan's consistent policy was to protect Asia from it. For instance, in August, 1917, the USA and Japan, along with the UK, France, China and Italy, sent troops to Siberia to fight against the Bolsheviks, the communists of that area. Japan sent soldiers there because Japan received a request of the countries to do so, and because Japan knew the danger of the communism.
But at the time the USA kept a suspicious eye on the purpose of Japan, which had sent their troops, and besides, the Americans even showed a friendly attitude to the Bolsheviks. Because the Bolsheviks were the people who overthrew an autocracy, and in that sense they looked to the Americans as similar to democratic people. To the eyes of the Americans the Bolsheviks were not as bad as the Japanese who had advanced into Siberia. Thus, in those days the Americans did not realize the danger of communism.

From around that time, Japan had experienced many times the communist lies, deceits and invasions especially in Manchuria and China. For instance, in 1920 there was a mass slaughter of more than 700 Japanese inhabitants who lived in Nikolayevsk, a city near Sakhalin. They were attacked by communists and brutally massacred. And in 1939, the Soviet troops invaded Manchuria, and there was a great battle between the Soviet troops and the Japanese ones. After both armies were greatly damaged, it ended with a cease-fire agreement, but this made Japan realize again the danger of communism.

In the same year in Europe, the Soviet Union absorbed Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and portions of Poland into their territories. The Soviet Union swallowed up these countries with deceits, threats and their military forces. In those days, some American people accused the Soviet Union of being a crafty plunderer, but most of the American public were not interested in the issue, and the American government later considered the Soviet Union as a partner to fight the Pacific War.

Communist Spies Sent to Japan and China

In Asia, Japan was the only country which turned strongly against the communists, while the USA was very slow to realize the danger of communism. And for the Soviet Union, Japan was the biggest impediment to communize Asia. That was why the Soviet Union tried to use the American armed forces to destroy Japan. For that purpose, the Soviet Union sent many secret agents of the Communist International to China, the USA and Japan.
Some of their agents were sent to Japan, but the Japanese police strictly discovered and arrested them. It is famous in Japan that a German communist, Richard Sorge, entered Japan and succeeded in sending some secret documents on important Japanese policies to the Soviet Union. The information he sent later contributed to the victory of the Soviet Union against Germany and Japan. Due to the information provided by Sorge, the Soviet Union was able to delay invading Japan until the USA defeated Japan in 1945. Sorge himself was arrested as a spy suspect just before the Pacific War and later executed.
The Communist International also sent many agents to China to help Chinese communists and make China a communist country. The Soviet agents worked with the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong in every way, and also around Chiang Kai-shek were many communist agents. Chiang himself was not a communist but was shrewdly managed by the communists.
For the communists, the biggest desire was to drag the USA into the war against Japan, for Japan was the biggest impediment to communizing China, and the only country with the power to destroy Japan was the USA. If they fought against each other, there would be a big opportunity of communizing China. In fact, on July 19, 1935, American ambassador to the Soviet Union, W. Bullitt, informed his country that it was the biggest desire for the Soviet Union to drag the USA into a war against Japan. In order to realize this, the communists used every method to make the USA look upon Japan as the enemy.

The "Tanaka Memorial" Forgery
One of the methods which the communists took in China for this purpose was producing a false document called the "Tanaka Memorial." This was an alleged Japanese strategic planning document from 1927, in which Prime Minister Giichi Tanaka laid out for Emperor Hirohito a strategy to take over the world.
But it was written in Chinese only, and there was no Japanese original. There were also many mistakes and contradictions on dates and other details, so it was clear that the document was a forgery. However, the translation of this document was widely read in the USA among the senators and congressmen, who believed that this item showed the malicious intention of the Japanese to take over Asia and the world. They did not know that this document was written by Chinese communists.
Besides, American newspapers devoted a great space everyday to making Japan out to be the evil of the world, especially the newspapers owned by William Randolf Hearst, a leading newspaper publisher, who was said to be even to ginitiate a war in order to increase sales of his newspapers.h He wrote up every demagogic article and baseless rumor that Japanese were bad and invasive people ready to conquer even the USA. Thus, many of the American newspapers became filled with such articles, and provoked the American public.

Ralph Townsend (1900-1975), American vice-consul
in Shanghai before the Pacific War. He appealed
that the USA should have trusted Japan to solve
the problems of China.

People who knew the real state of affairs of Japan and China, such as Ralph Townsend who had been an American vice-consul in Shanghai before the Pacific War for years, and others, often pleaded that the enemy of the USA was not Japan, but the communist internationalists who took control of the American mass media. Townsend appealed that Japan was indeed a good partner to the USA, and the USA should not have intervened in problems of China, but rather the USA should have trusted Japan to solve the problems of China. However, his voice never reached the American public. After Townsend came back to the United States, he continued to appeal to the USA to trust Japan, not to torture Japan. Townsend was a brave man and told the truth, but the American government imprisoned him for a year just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, saying that he had deluded the American public and done anti-American activities.
Looking upon the past, in order to make an excuse to persecute Jews, a forgery was produced in Russia in the name of the "Protocol of the Elders of Zion," which was an alleged plan of the Jews to take over the world, and it was used in many countries to show the malicious intention of the Jews. People who believed it thought that the Jews deserved to be killed. Likewise, the same kind of forgery, named the Tanaka Memorial, was produced to make the Japanese out to be the evil of the world. People such as Ralph Townsend said many times that the Tanaka Memorial was a forgery, but their voice could not stop the spread of this lie, and many of the general public in the Western world believed it.
Roosevelt Was Surrounded by 300 Communist Spies
The agents who were sent from the Communist International were not only in China, but also in the USA, especially around Franklin Roosevelt, who was the president when the Pacific War began. Surprisingly it is known today that Roosevelt was surrounded by more than 300 communist spies, who were in the Democratic Party he belonged to, the White House, Department of State, Department of the Army, and other government authorities. But in the Republican Party there were almost none.

Franklin Roosevelt. He was surrounded
by more than 300 communist spies.

This fact appeared in 1995-1996 when American professors searched the Russian National Archives the files related to the Communist International, and they found among the documents and the files called "VENONA" the lists of collaborators to the Soviet Union. The lists showed that the American Democratic Party had been filled with communist spies, and President Roosevelt had been making his policies with them.

About this, the husband of a daughter of President Roosevelt, Curtis Dall, exposed the details from inside, writing in his books that President Roosevelt had been a robot of the communist internationalists, and it was all for the Soviet Union that he had driven Japan into the war. Because of these many communist agents inside the US government, American people after the war had to do a great campaign called the Red Scare to purge all the communists from the government.

Hull Note Written by a Soviet Spy
One great example of the achievements of the communist spies inside the American government was the "Hull Note," which was the hard ultimatum delivered from President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull to Japan on November 26, 1941. It was the very one which made Japan finally decide to attack Pearl Harbor. The draft of the Hull Note was not really written by Hull himself, but was written by a high official Harry White, who after the war turned out to be a communist spy for the Soviet Union.

Harry White (left) who wrote the
Hull Note. He was a Soviet spy.

Before the Hull Note, there had been many diplomatic negotiations for peace between the USA and Japan for months, and Japan was preparing maximum concessions to it, but the content of the Hull Note was to disregard all the past negotiations and it was a sudden rejection of all the Japanese diplomatic efforts. The content was just equal to saying to Japan "You, die!" It was so strict that Japan could never accept it. To accept it would mean the national suicide for Japan. What would the Americans feel if they were told, "The USA must go back to the time it consisted of only 13 states"? The Hull Note delivered to Japan resembled such a proposition.

Concerning this Hull Note, it is famous that Judge Radhabinod Pal from India mentioned after the war at the Tokyo Trial (International Military Tribunal for the Far East):
@"Even contemporary historians could think that 'as for the present war, the Principality of Monaco, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, would have taken up arms against the United States on receipt of such a note.'"

As a matter of fact, the original draft of the Hull Note, which Hull himself had in mind first, was not such a strict one, but rather a softer one, and if it had been delivered, Japan could have accepted it and made all Japanese troops return. The fleet which was going to Pearl Harbor would have returned. However, when the new draft that Harry White wrote came up, the president liked it and said, "Proceed with this," and the very strict Hull Note was delivered to Japan.
Reading it, the Japanese leaders came to realize that their diplomatic efforts over the past few months had all ended in vain, and they concluded that the only way left was to fight against the USA. They chose to die fighting rather than to die sitting.
Because the Hull Note was a diplomatic document with great influence, it should have been discussed in the American Congress beforehand, but no senators or congressmen, nor the American public knew about its existence. The Hull Note was delivered secretly to Japan and it was hidden from the American public. Only Roosevelt, Hull and some others, including Harry White who wrote the draft, knew. The senators and congressmen, who later learned of the existence of the Hull Note, became very angry but it was too late because the war had already begun.
After the war, it turned out that Harry White was a Soviet spy. Other arrested agents testified that he was a spy, and soon he died a suspicious death after leaving Washington. White was a well trusted man and got a high evaluation in the Roosevelt Government, but he was shrewdly managing the policies of the USA for the Soviet Union. The code name of White as a communist agent was "Jurist," and his activity was called in Moscow the "Snow Operation," due to his name. They were all working to drag the USA into the war against Japan, to destroy Japan which was the enemy of the communists in Asia, and they succeeded.

Biased Views of President Roosevelt about the Asians

And some causes of the Pacific War were much related to the biased views of President Roosevelt about the Soviet Union, China and Japan. Since President Roosevelt was surrounded by more than 300 communist spies, as mentioned above, the president was much influenced by them and had an indulgent view on the Soviet Union. For instance, he said that if giving the Soviet Union what they want, they would not invade or interfere with the American policies. He was scarcely cautious about communism, and had indulgent illusions of that communist country.

As for the Chinese, President Roosevelt often said, "I always feel familiar with them," because his grandfather earned much money in the opium trade in China and the family became very rich. And even after Chiang Kai-shek killed millions of Chinese fellow countrymen to protect his own interests, President Roosevelt trusted Chiang and applauded him as a great leader of China.
In contrast, the president believed that Japan was an evil empire. This was because when he was young, he read a demagogic story similar to the Tanaka Memorial, and strongly believed that the Japanese were bad people with a malicious intention to conquer the world. In fact, he once had a professor of the Smithsonian Museum to study about "why the Japanese are so malicious," and was satisfied to hear his answer: "It is because their skull development is 2000 years behind ours." And in his public speaking the president once compared the Japanese to a virus, and talked about the "extermination of the Japanese."
Thus, we can't deny that the Pacific War was much caused by the biased views of President Roosevelt. Unfortunately he did not realize that the true enemy of the USA was not Japan, but the Soviet Union, and that the USA and Japan should have cooperated with each other to save China.
Conflict in China between the USA and Japan
The direct cause of the Pacific War was a conflict in China between the USA and Japan. The communists used the conflict to let the USA and Japan fight against each other.

The USA had been widening its territories by going to the west. Firstly, this country obtained their territories of the West as far as California, and then, the "frontier spirit" went farther and crossed the ocean. The USA annexed Hawaii by a military threat to the defenseless and peaceful Hawaiian Kingdom, and later, got the Philippines by a war against Spain.

The Americans justified these territorial acquisitions with their belief in "Manifest Destiny," which was the thought that it was obvious ("manifest") and certain ("destiny") for the white people to rule the colored and to civilize them, and that the USA was destined to expand from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. It was an ideology to expand to the west more and more.

In the war against the Mexicans, "Remember the Alamo!" was their slogan. And in the war against Spain, it was "Remember the Maine!," which was an American battleship that exploded and sank. The inquiries on the cause of the explosion had many contradictions but the American mass media insisted that the explosion was caused by malicious intention of the Spanish. Thus, the war against Spain began. When the Americans began a war, a convenient incident always happened, and the war always began with the "Remember" slogan.

The next target of the Manifest Destiny was China, because the other Asian countries had already become colonies of European countries. For instance, India, Burma and Malaysia were colonized by the UK. The east part of Indochina
(what is today's Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) was a French colony. Indonesia was a Dutch colony. While, in China there were many European and Japanese concessions, and China was becoming a half colony, and was embroiled in a competitive process of being divided and ruled by these countries. The USA tried to enter into such China under such conditions.
For this purpose, the USA requested the countries an open-door policy, that is, the USA asked, "Please let me in also." But the countries obtained the rights and interests in China with much expense, so, the USA's request to enter into China without any labor sounded a glib talking to them. It was not easy for the USA to enter into China.
And especially since the great stock market panic of 1929, the USA came into a tight bloc economy, which was a closed-door system of foreign trade. The UK also made a bloc economy. They abandoned a free economy and shut the door to the other countries outside the bloc. That is, the USA never opened the door to the others, but continued a persistent request to open the door of China. It was such a perfect double standard policy, and became a cause of the conflict there. Especially the USA thought of Japan to be the most bothersome obstacle for the USA to enter into China.

The USA could have lived even in a closed economy, but Japan, which did not have any natural resources, could not live without foreign trade. Being shut out from the USA and UK economic blocs, Japan suffered greatly. It was not only Japan, but also Germany, Italy and many other countries that did not have natural resources, could not sustain self-sufficient lives and suffered.

Japan was compelled to make their own economic bloc in East Asia, but the USA, which had abundant resources for their own, did not allow Japan to do it, and tried to add more and more to what they had. Germany and Italy also were compelled to make their own economic blocs.

Many Americans were taught that World War II had been of "democracy vs. fascism"; however, this was wrong because it was actually of "the haves vs. the have-nots." The war occurred because "the countries which did have" tormented "the countries which did not have." Nine years before World War II, a Japanese scholar and pacifist Kamekichi Takahashi realized this and wrote a thesis about how World War II would occur. After the war, the American occupation forces removed him from public office because his thesis had hit the nail on the head.

Manchukuo, a New State in Manchuria

Manchuria and China were very important for Japan to establish a self-sufficient economic bloc for Asia.

Let me explain about Manchuria first. Manchuria was not China because it is outside the Great Wall, and had never been a part of China in all its history. And through the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan obtained the rights of the Manchuria Railroad, so, it was Japan's right and duty to modernize the land.
Manchuria was not a sovereign state which had a government, laws and administrative offices. To modernize the region, Japan firstly cooperated with Zhang Xueliang, warlord and substantial ruler of Manchuria. But Zhang was a former bandit and exacted taxes very heavily from the inhabitants. Besides this, he broke the contract which had been concluded with Japan, and he obstructed the Manchuria Railroad. So, the Japanese army expelled him and his influence, an action which the inhabitants applauded and rejoiced in because they were released from the severe taxation.

Considering that Japan was thus occupying Manchuria, the Western world did not understand the situation and accused Japan. But if the USA was placed in the same situation as Japan, I believe the USA would have done the same. Due to the criticism of the Western world about the Japanese occupation, Japan had to withdraw from the League of Nations, but Sir Reginald Johnston, tutor of the last emperor Puyi of the Qing Dynasty, who knew well about the complex state of affairs of Manchuria, criticized the Western world which did not understand Manchuria and the act of Japan.

In Manchuria, Japan built a new state called Manchukuo (meaning State of Manchuria), but since the purpose of Japan was not to own the land, Japan asked the last emperor Puyi to become the emperor of Manchukuo, for he was a Manchurian and it was his homeland. Japan began cooperating with Puyi to modernize Manchukuo, making the government, laws, administrative offices, industries, schools, hospitals, etc.. It developed amazingly, and more than one million immigrants from various outside nations flowed into Manchukuo every year, desiring to work there. It was such a land of fascination, or a utopia, compared with the surrounding lands of Asia which was full of civil wars, famine and poverty.

Capital of Manchukuo, land of racial
equality. More than one million immigrants
flowed into the country every year.

The Manchurians, Chinese, Mongolians, Koreans and Japanese cooperated with each other to make it a modernized country. And many Russians, who disliked communism and escaped from the Soviet Union, also worked there. The waitresses working in deluxe dining cars of the Manchuria Railroad were Russian ladies. Europeans and Americans could work there. Jews also could live there safely. An American vice-consul in Shanghai, Ralph Townsend, once traveled in Manchukuo and wrote that there he met American business men, who all said, "I really appreciate Japan, since Japan expelled all the bandits from Manchuria and made this land safe for us and safe for business."
Thus, Manchukuo was a county of racial equality and of great development. If the country still existed today, it would have become a powerful country and become like the United States of America in Asia. In Manchukuo, Japan never shut the economic door to the USA. Townsend reported that he saw many kinds of American merchandise were sold in stores of Manchukuo, including American tobacco, etc.. He also wrote that Manchukuo and Japan were among the biggest importing countries of American merchandise, and he wrote it was a vicious lie that the American mass media reported that Japan had shut the USA out. Japan could have cooperated with the USA to develop Manchukuo if the USA wanted to and if there had been no anti-Japanese movement in the USA. And it would have benefited all the USA, Japan, Manchukuo and Asia. But history did not go that way.

China, Land of Civil Wars

Next, in what state was China? Many people think that the Japanese military forces went into "peaceful China" and began a war there. But it was not so. China in those days was a land of civil wars, famines and starvation. China did not have any established government, but was fragmented by many warlords. Each warlord professed himself a true government and fought against the other.
The victims were farmers who made up most of the Chinese population. The number of war victims often reached several millions, and sometimes more than 10 millions. Farming and environment were destroyed because of the civil wars, and it caused famines and added a similar number of other victims. It is famous that even human meat was sold in Chinese markets in those days. Thus, China was a land of confusion, disorder, civil wars and death.

The Japanese, living next to China, could not sit idly by and watch this miserable state of affairs. If we compare it to a row house, China was like a family living next to us and having many children. But the husband and wife quarrel each other every day, throwing things and sometimes the things break our windows and come into our rooms. Besides this, they do not work and have no income, so some children starved to death. In this state of affairs, we can't sit idly by and watch it, but want to do something for the family.

And moreover, there was another reason that the Japanese could not sit idly by. It was the invasive nature of the Soviet Union (Russia). If the Soviet Union rules the land, the next target will surely be Japan. Japan will become isolated islands and become like a man with his neck fastened by a rope, losing the power to reject it.

The exploiting nature of European countries was also a Japanese concern. The UK once sold opium to the Chinese and when they tried to reject it, the UK fought the Opium Wars against China and forced them to buy. The Japanese saw that the Chinese people all behaved as servants to the Europeans. The European countries exploited Asian countries only for their own selfish purpose, siphoning off Asian resources, and did not do anything good for the Asians.

So, what the Japanese desired was that China would be taken back into the hands of the Chinese people, and become a strong independent country which could reject the rules of the Soviet Union and of the European countries, and then, cooperating with Japan and other Asian countries, make a prosperous great Asia (East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere) together.
For this purpose, Japan accepted many Chinese students to study in Japan. The peak was in 1906 and the number of the students reached 20-30 thousands. After they came back to China, they all became leaders of new China. The Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen, who is often referred to as the Father of Modern China, also studied in Japan. He once succeeded to make a republican government in China, but it had a weak basis, and soon the government was taken over by others and failed.

Sun Yat-sen. He learned in Japan and
once succeeded to make a republican
government in China, but soon failed.

Anti-Japanese Propaganda by the Americans in China

China became a land of confusion again. Since around that time, anti-Japanese propaganda had been spread by the Americans who were in China. In fact, the Japanese government wrote in the national defense white paper in 1923, "The USA built many institutions in China with a malicious anti-Japanese propaganda, and is threatening the Japanese presence in China."
At the background of this, there was a biased view and romantic illusion of the Americans about China. The illusion was strengthened by the Nobel Prize-winning literature "The Good Earth" written by Pearl Buck, which depicted indomitable Chinese people. And James Hilton wrote his fantasy "Lost Horizon" which popularized the mythical Shangri-La, alleged utopia in the interior of China, and the fantasy was also made into a movie and recorded a breaking hit. In addition, Henry Luce, founder of "Time" and "Life" magazines, devoted himself to the spread of views which were pro-China and anti-Japan.
They drew an image of a "beautiful China"; however, they never wrote about a dark side of China, such things as the case one of Sun Yat-sen's secretaries, who became a Christian evangelist and was trusted by American missionaries, but later, when he was deluded by nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek, changed to the contrary and alas, on Christmas in 1926 in the city of Hankou he betrayed his former brethren and began an extermination movement against Christianity. The deluded crowds attacked the city and almost all foreigners had to escape to Shanghai.
And in the city of Fuzhou a pious female missionary, who did not have any children, seeing with compassion a Chinese orphaned boy who was formerly treated as a slave, took charge of him with love. She raised him expecting that he would be a servant of God. But later, when the anti-foreign movement began, the boy disappeared somewhere. Later, during some unrest in the city, she finally decided to escape, when hoodlums appeared at the gate of her house. Alas, one of them was that boy, and he was the one who took the lead in plundering.
Ralph Townsend reported these and many other things, and he wrote in his book that the Chinese did not know any obligation to kindness. He even often heard that Chinese orphaned children, who had been brought up by missionaries with love, said here and there, "My mother's property will soon be mine." This kind of things was not unusual in China, but China was filled with such things. The Japanese also often experienced the same kind of things in China.
But the American newspapers and novels never wrote of such a dark aspect of the Chinese. The missionaries also did not talk about these aspects, fearing to lose financial support for their work. On this wrong view about the Chinese, the Americans continued their biased pro-Chinese attitudes, and spread anti-Japanese propaganda, believing that Japan was an evil empire to rule China, as written in the Tanaka Memorial forgery. And the Americans tried to make the Chinese more and more anti-Japanese to drive the Japanese out and to monopolize China. How much the Japanese had to be patient with such a hardship in China!
Chiang Kai-shek's Change of Mind
After the republican government of Sun Yat-sen failed, China became a land of civil war again, and by far the biggest was the conflict between the communists led by Mao Zedong and the nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek. At first, the troops of Mao Zedong were defeated by Chiang Kai-shek, and were on the verge of annihilation. But an incident happened as follows, and it changed history.

Chiang Kai-shek was caught by communists during a careless moment in Xi'an in 1936, and was taken to Mao Zedong, who really wanted to kill him. But before killing Chiang, Mao asked Moscow what to do. The answer was, "Do not kill him. Force him to fight against Japan." Mao followed this order and said to Chiang, "I will save your life if you fight against the Japanese military forces!" Chiang accepted it and then on, he was always being watched by the communists who had infiltrated his troops.

Mao Zedong (left) and Chiang Kai-shek (right).
This photo was taken in 1945. Chiang's change
of mind drove Japan to the war.

By Chiang's change of mind, Japan was dragged into the Chinese civil war, for Chiang's soldiers began attacking the Japanese people to provoke them to war. There were many cases where Chinese soldiers attacked Japanese places of residence and brutally murdered more than 200 Japanese and some Korean inhabitants in a gruesome "Chinese manner," like piercing a woman with a stick from crotch to head, or gouging out a man's eyes. As soon as the news ran all over Japan, deep sorrow and rage filled the whole Japanese Archipelago. There occurred many cases like this, but American newspapers did not report even one case or even one paragraph.
The Japanese kept patient about them. But on one night in 1937 at the Marco Polo Bridge (Lugouqiao) near Beijing, where a Japanese garrison was stationed according to the treaty between China and Japan, Chinese soldiers fired their guns and there was a small battle between the Chinese and the Japanese.

Japanese soldiers on Marco Polo Bridge in
China. The shots of the communists were the
beginning of the Sino-Japanese War.

As a matter of fact, the first bullets were shot by communists, because the communist leader Liu Shaoqi later proudly told that it was his maneuvering. The Japanese tried to treat it as a local issue, but on the day after the incident, the Communist Party of Mao Zedong said that the Nationalist Party of Chiang Kai-shek should have begun the war against Japan. And the Communist International ordered Mao Zedong to lead it to a full-scale war, and kill those trying to solve it locally.
And soon after that, Chinese soldiers in civilian clothing began to attack the Japanese in Shanghai. And Chinese bombers bombed the Japanese Consulate General, the city streets, ships, battleships, and even other countries' institutions to make a pretense that the Japanese did it. The Japanese did not want to fight. However, the Chinese wanted to fight, and a full-scale war began between the two at last.

To the next page
(The Pacific War and the Basis of Racial Equality)

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