The Pacific War: part 2
English, Greek
(provided by Nikolaos Zinas)

The Pacific War
and the Basis of Racial Equality

The War Made the Basis of Racial Equality
The Truth About the Sino-Japanese War
and the Following US-Japan War.

Arimasa Kubo (Japanese non-fiction writer)

 


Japanese soldiers playing with Chinese children (1937).
The Japanese troops had a good
relationship with Chinese civilians.

Continued from the former page
(The Pacific War: part 1 ? The USA Mistook the True Enemy)


War Began between China and Japan
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After the battle occurred between the Chinese and the Japanese in Shanghai in 1937, there was in Japan a violent argument between those who thought Japan should have entered China to punish the Chinese, and those who thought Japan should not have done so. The argument lasted a long time but at last, the former argument prevailed. In this way, Japan ran out of patience and was compelled to enter China to fight against the Chinese troops. The war thus began. But Japan fell right into the communist trap, so the communists laughed and said:
@"While Japan is fighting against the Nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek, we communists will be able to rebuild our troops. Japan will weaken the Nationalists. And then, the USA, which is angry about the Japanese existence in China, will destroy Japan. That will be the opportunity for us to communize China."
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In fact, it is famous that after the Pacific War, when China had become a communist country, Mao-Zedong once told a group of visiting Japanese politicians, "We could communize China because Japan had invaded it. We owe the victory to you," and he ironically appreciated Japan.

I could say that it was a mistake for the Japanese troops to enter China crossing the Great Wall and fighting a war against the Chinese troops. Japan should not have entered the country despite enduring one provocation after another, if possible. And if the Japanese military forces had not entered China, there would have been no way to make the USA angry. But even if it made the USA angry, it might be said that there was a legitimate obligation for Japan to stop the Chinese civil war and establish peace there.

Now that Japan had entered, the Japanese began to try to end the Chinese civil war, and help to build a modernized government of the Chinese, by the Chinese and for the Chinese. It was not an invasion, but a moral intervention to save China. In fact, Japan never desired to incorporate any land of China into Japan's territory, nor to own China, but Japan declared its intention to preserve the territorial and cultural integrity of China for the Chinese people. Japan could not leave its neighbor China in disorder and darkness. Japan started to wipe out the cause of the disorder, and to build there a new government which was not a communist one. And Japan hoped to cooperate with the new Chinese government to build a prosperous Asia together.


Japanese soldiers celebrating the New Year of 1938,
which was already during the war,
with Chinese adults and children.


Japanese soldiers cherishing
a Chinese child (1938)

Those whom the Japanese troops fought against were mainly the soldiers of Chiang Kai-shek. The troops of Mao Zedong hid themselves in an interior mountainous area and were rebuilding their war potential. The Japanese always won the battles, and the Chinese were defeated. Thus the Japanese troops pressed the Chiang troops.
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When the Japanese soldiers were fighting against the Chinese, the Japanese were often surprised and shed tears to see the abnormal state of the Chinese troops, because the Chinese troops had a peculiar practice which the American troops or the Japanese troops never had. That was, at the back of the Chinese troops there were "fight-demand" Chinese soldiers who shot and killed any of their fellow Chinese soldiers who would try to escape from the battlefield. Thus, the Chinese were killing the Chinese, and this was a traditional style of Chinese fighting. Concerning the number of the victims, a historian from Taiwan, Huang Wenxiong, writes it seems that the Chinese soldiers who were killed by the fight-demand units were more than those who were killed by the Japanese troops.
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On the other hand, the Japanese troops had a feature which the Chinese never had. After every battle, the Japanese built monuments to honor the dead, one for the Japanese souls, and one for the Chinese souls. They had a memorial service both for their fellow countrymen and their enemies. This was because while the Japanese had to fight against the Chinese soldiers of Chiang and Mao, they did not hate the Chinese. They prayed for the consolation on the souls of the dead Chinese soldiers.


Japanese soldiers having a memorial service for the dead Chinese soldiers in front of the monument on which was written
"The Tomb of the Unknown Chinese Soldiers." (1938)


The So-called "Nanking Massacre," False Propaganda

Chiang Kai-shek was living in the city of Nanking. "When Nanking is occupied, the war will be over" was the thought every Japanese soldier had. But in December, 1937, before the Japanese troops attacked the city Nanking, Chiang escaped from Nanking to an interior mountainous area, entrusting the defense of Nanking to his subordinate general. However, when the Japanese attack became violent, shamefully this general also escaped. And the Chinese soldiers had to fight without their leader.
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After violent battles, the Japanese occupied Nanking at last. Concerning this Nanking occupation, in Europe and the USA this was called the "Nanking Massacre," in which it is said that the Japanese troops slaughtered about 300,000 citizens. But it is wrong and was a false propaganda made by Chinese Nationalists and later spread by Communists.
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We know this because on the day when the Japanese troops entered Nanking on Dec. 13, 1937, more than 100 press reporters and photographers entered there together with them. The press men were not only from Japan, but also many other European and American press organizations, including Reuters and AP. But nobody reported the massacre. If you think I am lying, you can read the newspapers of those days in the library.

The population of Nanking just before the Japanese occupation was about 200,000. How can the Japanese kill 300,000 citizens in a city that consisted of 200,000 people? And one month after the occupation many Nanking citizens, who had escaped the city, came back to Nanking, learning that peace had returned, and the population increased to about 250,000, for there is a record that the Japanese troops distributed food to that number of citizens. Would the citizens have come back to a city in which there had been a massacre? Never!

In those days, a major Japanese newspaper Asahi Shinbun reported about Nanking with many photos. We can see them in libraries. For instance, five days after the occupation, the newspaper placed the photos and reported about the peaceful scenes of Nanking. In one photo, some Japanese soldiers are buying something from a Chinese without carrying their guns.


From the Japanese newspaper reporting the scenes
of Nanking five days after the Japanese occupation:
(Right) Japanese soldiers buying from a Chinese;
(center top) Chinese farmers who returned
to Nanking cultivating their fields;
(center bottom) Chinese citizens returning to Nanking;
(left) Street barbershop

In another photo, Chinese farmers who returned to Nanking are cultivating their fields. In the other photos, many Chinese citizens are returning to Nanking carrying bags in a crowd, some citizens have a street barbershop and the Chinese adults and children around it are all smiling, wearing armbands of the flag of Japan. The articles of other dates are all similar and reporting that peaceful Chinese lives returned to Nanking.

I read lots of testimonies of the Japanese soldiers who had participated in the Nanking operation. But nobody testified that there was a mass slaughter. Some testimonies referred to executions of the Chinese soldiers who had killed Chinese citizens, took their civilian clothes and entered the Nanking Safety Zone pretending to be citizens. They did this because if the soldiers had tried to escape from the battlefield, they would have been killed by the Chinese "fight-demand" unit, so, they tried to pose as citizens. But such soldiers were dangerous, and the international law says they are not to be treated as prisoners and could be executed. Some did get executed, but this was not a massacre of civilians.

While the Japanese troops were attacking Nanking, the citizens inside Nanking had all gathered in the Safety Zone. The Japanese troops knew about the district and did not attack it, so, the citizens inside were all safe. The citizens were not only Chinese, but also some foreigners. After the occupation of Nanking, the leader of the Safety Zone, who was a European, handed a letter of thanks to the Japanese army commander, saying, "Thanks to you, we could stay here without one fire and without one plunder, and the inhabitants were all safe."

Recently, a Chinese American Iris Chang wrote her book entitled "The Rape of Nanking," which told about the brutal massacre by the Japanese in Nanking, which became a bestseller in the USA and spread the lie to the Americans. But later, her book was much criticized by many other books, which pointed out that what she had written and the photos in her book were not related to the so-called Nanking Massacre. She killed herself at the end of 2004 by pistol. The London Economist magazine wrote that she had committed suicide perhaps because her book was much criticized and she was deeply depressed about it.


The Japanese newspaper reporting the scenes of Nanking eight days after the Japanese occupation, in an article entitled "Kindness to Yesterday's Enemy":
(Right top) Chinese soldiers under medical treatment;
(left top) Chinese soldiers receiving food from a Japanese;
(center) Japanese soldiers buying at a Chinese shop;
(right bottom) Chief Yamada talking with a Chinese leader---
(left bottom) Chinese citizens relaxing in Nanking city

The commander of the Japanese troops in the Nanking operation was Iwane Matsui. According to his attendant Mr. Okada, during the battle, a baby's cry was heard from a site of fire. Commander Matsui ordered Okada to go find the baby. Matsui took the baby up in his arms, gave a bath and milk to nourish the baby. When entering Nanking, Okada was holding the baby on his back.

In Japanese history, there is no culture of slaughtering citizens during war. But it is rather a tradition in Chinese culture, for in Chinese chronicles are many reports about slaughtering citizens who live inside castle walls. But the Japanese citizens live outside castle walls, and only the Samurai soldiers fought against each other. Slaughtering citizens was not Japanese culture, but Chinese.
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You can see more corroborating photos that the "Nanking Massacre" was a fabrication here)

Chiang Kai-shek Killed Millions of Chinese People

After the occupation of Nanking, the Japanese troops pursued Chiang Kai-shek. But in 1938, for the purpose of blocking the Japanese advancing path, Chiang ordered his troops to blow up an embankment of the Yellow River to collapse it, knowing many Chinese farmers around the river would be killed by that.
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At the time there was also a heavy rain, and it became a very tragic incident that the water covered 11 cities and about 4,000 villages, killing about 1 million Chinese people. Besides, another 6 million people also died because the course of the Yellow River was changed by this artificial disaster, and around the river occurred a terrible famine. Moreover, Chiang troops began to plunder in the stricken area, being troubled with a lack of food.
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By this disaster, no Japanese soldiers died, but only the Chinese people were killed. Being surprised to see this tragic incident, the Japanese troops began to help those still alive, gave them medical treatment, took preventive measures against communicable diseases, and rebuilt the embankment. Thus, while Chiang's troops were killing the Chinese people, the Japanese troops were saving the Chinese.
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Chiang also started to spread propaganda that this disaster was caused by the Japanese, but later, the foreign press found out it was Chiang's lie. Besides, Chiang stated he was pleased to have blocked the Japanese advance for half a year. In his mind he had no concern for Chinese compatriots. Alas, what was his war for? Chiang Kai-shek whom the USA supported was such a man.
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The common practice of Chiang's troops, as well as of Mao Zedong's troops, were plundering everywhere they went, and destroying roads, factories, watering facilities, etc., not to leave any of them for the Japanese. So, the Chinese economy was greatly damaged by them, and farming and industries were destroyed here and there. The most miserable were farmers who comprised most of the Chinese population.
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In contrast, the Japanese troops, who came there, struggled to save the farmers from the very beginning and rebuilt the Chinese economy. The big battles between the Chinese troops and the Japanese ones ended after about one year and a half, and the Japanese occupied about 40 % of the Chinese population and 54 % of the arable land. The Japanese immediately began to rebuild the farming, roads, factories, watering facilities, etc. That surprised the Chinese farmers because it was the first time they had ever seen such saving military forces. The true People's Liberation Army was the Japanese army, not the Chinese one.
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That is why there still are aged Chinese people who speak well of the Japanese of those days, even under today's anti-Japanese policies of the Chinese government.
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Already in 1938, the Japanese government spoke about the recovery plan of Chinese agriculture, and carried it out. And as a result, farming in the areas which the Japanese occupied made a rapid recovery and progress, as well as light and heavy industries. Japan spent a large amount of money of about 4.7 billion yen in total during 1938-1945 at a time when the Japanese national yearly budget was 2 billion yen. This was not spent for the war, but to save the Chinese.
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The Pope Supported the Action of Japan
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In October 1937, which was the year of the start of the Sino-Japanese War, Pope Pius XI, who was known to be a pacifist, said that the action of the Japanese troops was understandable, and the Pope appealed to all the Catholic believers to cooperate with the Japanese troops, saying:
@"The action of the Japanese troops was not to invade, but to protect China. They are fighting to get rid of communism there. As long as communism is in the world, all Catholic believers should cooperate with Japan without hesitation."


Pope Pius XI. He supported the
action of Japan in China.

The Pope's speech was reported in Japanese newspapers in those days, and welcomed as the words of a man of great judgment who knew well about the complex situation of China. How pleased the Japanese were! But the Pope died in 1939 and his influence was limited. It seems that the Pope's voice was not heard by the American people.
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After Japan occupied about half of the land of China, Japan made a new government in Nanking, and entrusted the rule of the land to Wang Jingwei, who once was the No. 2 of the Nationalist Party and used to work with Chiang Kai-shek. He parted from Chiang, and decided to work with Japan, thinking that it was the best way for the future of China. The cooperation of Japan with Wang was to help to make China a modernized country of the Chinese, for the Chinese and by the Chinese. Wang enacted good policies and the Chinese people's lives improved. When his government could become one that could stand by itself, Japan would have fully entrusted the rule to it.
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Meanwhile, in the areas under Chiang Kai-shek's rule, the lives of the Chinese inhabitants were miserable. Chiang did not think about the lives of the people, he was not interested in it, but only plundered them. It is well-known that the aid supplies of the USA reached the soldiers of Chiang, but never reached the inhabitants. There was a large difference like heaven and earth between life under Chiang's troops and life under the Japanese troops.

I believe it was against the national interests of the USA that the USA was hostile to this Japan. What evil thing did Japan do to the USA? Japan was only trying to save China.
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History of Those Who Deceive and Those Who are Deceived
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It is said that the Chinese chronicles were the history of those who deceived and of those who were deceived. Chiang tried to deceive the USA to get the support for his troops, and to make Japan out to be evil. Since around that time, the American magazines and newspapers became full of false propaganda fabricated by the Chinese.
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For instance, Life magazine once carried a large photo, taken by a Chinese American photographer, of a baby who was sitting and crying alone in the debris of a station in Shanghai city just after the attack of Japanese bombers (photo below left). That sad sight caused a big reaction of the Americans that the Japanese were cruel invaders against the poor Chinese people. But the photo was a prearranged performance, because there was another photo of the same scene, and in the photo an adult man is setting up the child at the scene (photo below right). Besides, the scene was also taken in a movie, in which the man is running to the scene holding the baby.


The left photo gave rise to an anti-Japanese atmosphere,
but it was staged photograph taken by a Chinese photographer.

And many other staged photos were also used to increase anti-Japanese feeling among the Americans. In one photo, a man in the uniform of Japanese soldier holds a sword in one hand and is about to swing it down to cut off the head of an American tied with a rope, sitting and blindfolded. But the Japanese way to swing down a sword is not with one hand, but with both hands. Swinging down the sword with one hand is the Chinese way. The man's method of swinging it down in the photo is really Chinese. But this was enough to deceive the American public.
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And in a movie, two men who wear Japanese clothing and look like Japanese are playing a game of catch with an alleged Chinese baby as if the baby is a ball, and received the baby with a bayonet piercing it. This kind of insulting action to enemy people was widely seen in the Chinese history but never was in Japan. In Chinese chronicles, we see many descriptions of piercing an enemy child, but the Japanese never have had such an idea. It is a Chinese practice, not a Japanese one.
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But the magazines and newspapers in the USA were filled with such articles and photos like a flood due to the plot of the Chinese. Japan was winning the battles in China against Chiang's and Mao's troops, but in the USA, Japan was indeed losing in the information war.
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Even when the diplomats who knew the situation of China very well strongly appealed that Chiang Kai-shek was only a selfish fascist, their voices never reached the American public. The American mass media promoted the idea that Chiang was the hope of Chinese democracy, and the Japanese were evil ones conspiring to conquer Asia for their own. Most of the American public believed it and thus, public opinion was being manipulated.

Chinese Pseudo-Christians

It was well-known among the American missionaries in China that the Chinese in those days too quickly became "Christians" when they knew it would be to their advantage. For example, when Chinese military leader Fen Yuxiang once recognized it was useful to be called Christian, he made all his soldiers march in rows and had them baptized in water sprayed by fire engines. But then on, he often committed fraud, threatened, and did everything in an un-Christlike manner, so, the missionaries were finally compelled to part from him.

One of the American missionaries Rev. Diamond was a respected missionary leader working for the Chinese without sparing himself. But he left China two years after his work there, being disgusted with Chinese lies. In his latter years, he was asked, "How many became Christians in China?" and he dropped his shoulders and said, "There were many who were nominal, but none genuine."

Chiang Kai-shek was one of these hastily made Christians or pseudo-Christians. The American public trusted him hearing he was a Christian, but at the same time, the nationalists under him in China were murdering the missionaries, plundering them and burning their missionary schools. Meanwhile, Chiang's wife, who was fluent in English, told tearjerker stories, describing the difficulties of China when canvassing at various places in the USA, and gathered an enormous amount of financial aid for Chiang Kai-shek.

But if the USA had understood the real situation of China and had not supported the fascist Chiang Kai-shek, Japan would have opened the Chinese market to the USA, since the USA was for Japan a mentor of modernization, and it would have brought great benefit to both countries.
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And if the USA had not failed to recognize the true enemy, history would have gone a different way. China would not have become a communist country, and there would have been no war between the USA and Japan. There would not have been any chance of many Americans being killed in the war. The Chinese leader working with Japan, Wang Jingwei, said when he heard the war had begun between the USA and Japan:
@"What a terrible mistake! The USA and Japan must not fight against each other. Both should join their forces together and fight in cooperation against the Soviet Union."
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But the USA was facing a different direction, and the USA thought of Japan as evil and an enemy against the USA to get access to the great market of China. For the purpose of destroying the Japanese troops in China, the USA reinforced the support for Chiang Kai-shek.
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From 1937, Japan made a peace proposal at least ten times to Chiang Kai-shek, and suggested they build a modernized country together. But Chiang always refused, because if he did so, he would have been killed by Mao Zedong and the communists who were hiding amongst his troops. Wang Jingwei and his wife, who were true Chinese patriots, once parted from the communists at the risk of their lives, however, Chiang did not have such a mind. And if he accepted the Japanese proposal, he would have lost the enormous aid from the USA.
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The USA was indeed a source of great revenue for Chiang Kai-shek. And if the USA would enter into the war against Japan as he wished, the USA would defeat Japan and he would get all China without any hard work of his. Chiang had such mind and with this reason, he refused all the peace proposals of Japan. It is well-known that Chiang jumped for joy in 1941 when he heard the war had begun between the USA and Japan as the day his dreams had come true. It is natural, therefore, that the peace proposals with such a man were always in vain.

First Shot Must be From Japan

Franklin Roosevelt was elected as the president of the USA telling the American public, "I will never send your sons to the battlefield." But in August, 1941, on the new and strongest English battleship HMS Prince of Wales, which was said to be "unsinkable," there was a conference between Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the UK, and Roosevelt talked about how the USA could join the war against Germany to save the UK and Europe.
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The method was to provoke Japan and make Japan attack the USA. Since Japan is an ally of Germany, the war against Japan will be automatically the one against Germany. Thus, the USA could join the war.
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In those days, most of American public thought the USA should not be involved in the war in Europe nor in China, thinking that the problems were of their own making. How could the president change the public opinion and lead them to the war? The USA is a country of "the duel," as we see in cowboy movies. If the opponent draws his gun first, he would deserve to be killed by a quick shot or a counterattack.
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According to the testimony of the US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, President Roosevelt had a secret meeting on Nov. 25, 1941, with leaders of the government, Stimson, Hull, Knox and Stark, and in that meeting the president mentioned the possibility of making Japan shoot the first bullet. However, since there would be some danger, it was advisable to drive the Japanese to shoot the first bullet for the purpose of obtaining the full support of the American public for the war.
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The president, following that plan, put an embargo on the export of iron, tin, and every other natural resource as well as food to Japan, in cooperation with the UK and Holland. And he froze all Japanese assets in the USA and finally put an embargo on the export of all petroleum to Japan. Japan did not have any petroleum and without importing it, all factories, cars, ships, etc. would stop. The USA thus fastened the neck of Japan and tightened it. Besides, the president reinforced the support for Chiang Kai-shek in China to make Japan suffer more. All were for driving Japan to shoot the first bullet.
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According to the international law, supporting a belligerent nation and putting an embargo of necessities for one's existence are both considered to be an act of war. So, the USA had already participated in the act of war against Japan. Many Americans were taught that the Japanese had begun the Pacific War by a sudden attack on Pearl Harbor, but even before that time, the USA had already been fighting the war. Since the USA supported Chiang Kai-shek and gave him every weapon, it was only natural that Japan would someday attack the USA as a belligerent nation.
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If someone had fastened his hands around your neck, wouldn't you try to hit him in his face, exerting all your last strength before you die? Japan was fastened around its neck before hitting the face of the USA. But Japan was very patient until the last. On the one hand, Japan had to prepare for the war against the USA though, on the other hand, Japan was expecting to the very end that problems would be solved by diplomatic negotiations, which were later valued as sincere by historians another generation.

After months of negotiations, what the USA handed the Japanese ambassador at last was one disregarding all the past negotiations. This was the terrible ultimatum called the Hull Note, which was written by a communist spy in the Roosevelt Government, as mentioned in The Pacific War: Part 1. It was equal to saying, "You, die!" to Japan. To accept it meant national suicide for Japan. So, Japan chose to die fighting rather than to die sitting.
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Hideki Tojo's Tears
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The Prime Minister of Japan when the US-Japan War began was Hideki Tojo. He was loyal to Emperor Hirohito, who desired peace. Tojo was appointed to the post of the prime minister with the emperor's words, "Avoid war with every effort of yours." Tojo followed the order. He had such great power on the Japanese Army that he was expected to oppress the Army. But when Tojo read the Hull Note, he was deeply disappointed and felt dizzy at it. He then knew that the diplomatic negotiations all had failed, and the only way left for Japan was to fight against the USA.


Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo at
the Tokyo Trial (1945). During the war he
let his men save several tens of thousand
Jews in China. He was sentenced to death
at the Trial as a Class A criminal but for the
Jews saved, he was a Class A great man.

According to the testimony of Hideki Tojo's wife, Katsuko, in the morning of the day before the beginning of the war, she and her daughters were awakened by a cry which was heard from the next room. They quietly peeped through an opening of a door. It was Tojo himself crying alone near a window, sitting properly in Japanese fashion and facing the direction of the Imperial Palace. The tears were tears for sorrow, for he felt very sorry he could not realize the peace which the emperor wanted, and he thought of the coming catastrophe. It was not a figure of an invader, but of a man in great agony.
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The war began with the Japanese attack on the US navy base of Pearl Harbor, which was an important foothold for the USA to advance into Asia. The Japanese pilots carefully attacked battleships and military facilities only, and left the city streets nearby unhurt.
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President Roosevelt had known that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor in advance, because the USA already succeeded in intercepting Japanese ciphers and they interpreted the ciphers regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor. And the American navy caught the existence of the Japanese fleet heading for Hawaii days before. But the president did not inform the commanders of the base of Pearl Harbor, and later the commanders, Admiral Kimmel and General Short, were fired after being accused of neglect of duty, and they were expelled from the navy and finally they passed away in disappointment.
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However, in 2000 the US congress resolved to recover the honor of the two, because the defeat at Pearl Harbor was due to the American government who had known the Japanese attack in advance but had not informed it to the commanders. But at the time they had already passed away. They were used and thrown away, and after their death their honor was restored.
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When President Roosevelt had just heard the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he showed breathing a sigh of relief, said one of his staff. It was the day when his wish of years had come true. But once he sat in front of a radio microphone, he hid his feeling and blamed Japan violently, not referring to the attack information known in advance at all, calling it a "sneak attack," and he spoke to the American public, "Remember Pearl Harbor!" Thus, the president succeeded to stir up the American people to go to war.
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For Japan, the war against the USA also meant being at war against their ally, the UK. And three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese combat planes sank the English battleship HMS Prince of Wales, called "unsinkable," where Roosevelt and Churchill once talked about driving Japan to shoot the first bullet.
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The Truth about the Bataan Death March
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After that, the Japanese troops occupied the Philippines. But just before the occupation, Douglas MacArthur saw the war was not going in his favor and he left the Philippines entrusting the defense to his men. It was natural that the troops without the leader could not have won the battle. They soon all surrendered, and only 30 thousand Japanese soldiers had to treat about 100 thousand American prisoners of war. Such a large number of prisoners were unprecedented. How hard it was!
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Concerning this, it is often told among the Americans that the Japanese treated the American prisoners cruelly at the so-called "Bataan Death March." But the Americans have never experienced the capture of 100 thousand prisoners before, for the USA in the Pacific War was not willing to take war prisoners. According to the writings of famous American aviator Charles Lindburgh who observed American troops, killing enemy soldiers was thought to be better than taking prisoners, and they killed as many as they could, so as not to take prisoners. But the Japanese tried to observe the international law which ruled the protection of prisoners.
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The Japanese troops had never experienced such a large number of prisoners. Besides, it was in a foodless jungle, and they had to take the prisoners to a place more than 60 kilometers away. There were no trucks to carry all of them. Most of them had to walk in a very tired condition under the tropical sun without food and water. The Japanese soldiers walked with them. There were Japanese soldiers who gave their own water and food to American soldiers who were weakening. But due to tiredness and malaria, many of both the American and Japanese soldiers died before reaching the destination.
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After the war, the Japanese commander Masaharu Honma was executed by the Americans being blamed for the "Bataan Death March." But how can we blame him and his troops? If the Americans were placed in the situation of the Japanese with similar conditions, the same thing would have happened. The Americans and the Japanese were both victims of the war. The execution was only a lynching, not justice.
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War to Take Back Asia for Asian People

Now that Japan was compelled to enter into the war, the Japanese recognized the purpose of the war was not only to protect Japan, but also to liberate Asian countries from the bondage of the Europeans and Americans. Without liberating them from the rule of the White people, the security of Japan would not stand. The purpose of the Japanese war was not to rule the Asian countries for the Japanese, but to return Asia to the hands of the Asian people. In fact, in 1943 during the war, the Foreign Minister of Japan Mamoru Shigemitsu said:

"The purpose of the Japanese war is to liberate East Asia and revive Asia. We recognize that the basis of world peace is laid where every East Asian country is liberated from colonial rule and stands in an equal position with others. The realization of this is the very purpose of the war, and with it Japan will be fully satisfied."

"With it Japan will be fully satisfied" meant that Japan did not have any other ambition. Japan had to fight alone the war for taking back Asia, including Japan, into the hands of all the Asian people. Japan fought the war in East Asia; however, Japan did not fight against East Asian people, but against the Western people in East Asia. The Japanese war was to liberate Asia. The future of Asia was hanging on it. That was why the Japanese gave the East Asian inhabitants everywhere education and military training soon after Japan occupied those countries. Such training was in effect in Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Burma and all other countries Japan occupied.

And in 1943 Japan convened a historic conference with heads of the East Asian nations. Hideki Tojo from Japan, Wang Jingwei from China, Zhang Jinghui from Manchukuo, Ba Maw from Burma, Whaiwhai Thayakone from Thailand, Jose Laurel from the Philippines and Chandra Bose from India took part in the conference, which was held in a warm and congenial atmosphere in Tokyo.


The heads of the East Asian nations who gathered in
Tokyo during the war for a historic conference.

"It was like a family party, " said Chandra Bose from India. And Ba Maw from Burma also said:
"It produced a very impressive atmosphere, filled with the feeling to recognize broad Asia as one... We gathered as one single historical family which included all nations, not as separate people. Such a thing had never been before."

The leaders also agreed that the biggest cause of the agony of Asia was the colonial rule, exploitation and racism of the white people, and the Asian nations must cooperate with each other to liberate Asia from their rule. So, they made a declaration, "We shall cooperate with each other to liberate East Asia from the bondage of the USA and the UK, to realize self-defense and to build the great East Asia, in order to make a contribution to establish world peace."
This was the very purpose of the Japanese war.
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Citizens Killed by American Military Forces

In the beginning of the war, Japan was winning at many places, but later, the counterattack of the USA began and Japan started to lose. The American armed forces took Iwo-jima, a Japanese island located about 1200 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. They built an air base there, and began to have bomber planes take off from the base to do carpet bombing of Japanese cities. The method was to drop incendiary bombs to make fire walls of 5-6 kilometers square and then, rain innumerable bombs inside the walls. Those who lost refuge were to be killed in the fire. All rivers in the cities were stopped up with burnt bodies and the water turned red.
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Thus, the American bombing was aiming to kill unarmed citizens indiscriminately as many as they could, including babies, children, women and old people. It was against international law, but the American pilots comforted their guilty conscience saying to each other, "Killing Japs is not killing people" or "They are all cooperating with the military forces, so, they are the same as soldiers." By these carpet bombings of various cities in Japan including Tokyo, they killed about 600,000 Japanese citizens in total.
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And the last bombings were the atomic bombs, which killed about 300,000 Japanese citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in total. The American government explained to the American public, "Those bombings were necessary to end the war early." But it was a lie which many of the Americans still believe. Because historians know that prior to the atomic bombings, the Japanese government had asked the Soviet Union to mediate between the USA and Japan to end the war, although the offer was refused. The American government had known that fact by hearing it from the Soviet Union and by intercepting the Japanese communication ciphers. Thus, prior to dropping the atomic bombs, the USA had already known that Japan had a will to surrender. Japan would have soon surrendered only by conventional weapons.


Before dropping the atomic bombs, the USA
had already known Japan would surrender.

In spite of this, the USA dropped the atomic bombs. They had three reasons for doing so. Firstly, they wanted to confirm the effect of the new weapon. The atomic bomb on Hiroshima was made of uranium, and the bomb on Nagasaki plutonium. They wanted to use both types, and did an experiment on human beings. After the war, the American forces built hospitals immediately in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were very convenient for them to research the effect on human bodies.
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Secondly, they already used an enormous amount of money to develop the new weapon. If the new bomb was not used even once, the congress would say, "Why did you waste a large amount of money for making such a needless weapon?" So, to avoid hearing this from the congress, the American president needed the use the bombs before the surrender of Japan, and he had to explain to the American public, "The bombs were necessary to end the war early." And thirdly, they wanted to make a demonstration of the great American power to the Soviet Union, thinking of the postwar days.
The scientific director of the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bombs, J. Robert Oppenheimer, later said, "My hands are bloodstained."


Kamikaze fighters before a sally. They knew
many of their compatriots were being killed,
and that was why they willingly dedicated
their lives to save Japan and Asia.


People Who Told the Truth About Japan

Japan finally surrendered and the Pacific War was over on Aug. 15, 1945. But, it was the beginning of the invasion of the Soviet Union into the Japanese territories. The troops of the Soviet Union, who entered Manchukuo and Sakhalin several days before the Japanese surrender, continued their takeover of these areas after Aug. 15, and they also invaded the Japanese islands north of Hokkaido on Aug. 18 and took over them. They were looters at a fire, reaping a profit out of confusion.

Besides, the Soviet troops took away about 600,000 Japanese people from Manchukuo to Siberia to make them slaves, telling them a lie, "The war is over. Unarm, and get on the train. You are going home." But the destination was Siberia, and most of them died there after decades of servile labors. The USA and European countries did not blame the Soviet Union for this inhumane act.
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After the Pacific War, the USA tried the Japanese leaders in the Tokyo Trial (International Military Tribunal for the Far East). It was set up to judge only the war crimes of the defeated, but did not judge any crimes of the winner. It was not a true trial, but rather a lynching, an act of revenge or a performance to show to the world how bad Japan was. The judges were all from winner countries, including the Soviet Union which was at the very hour doing the above mentioned inhumane act.

The conclusion of the trial was already determined before it began. The purpose of the trial was to find the Japanese leaders guilty and execute them, showing the USA was good and Japan was bad. It was in a sense like the Sanhedrin trial for Christ to put him to death. Japan was not Christ, but the conclusion of the trial for Christ was also determined before it began.


The Tokyo Trial. It was more like
a lynching or an act of revenge.

But I appreciate that defense lawyers in the court told the truth courageously for Japan. Some of them were so honest that they were fired. One of them was Defense Counsel Ben Bruce Blakeney, who spoke out that this trial was wrong, and that the country which had committed an unprecedented massacre by dropping the atomic bombs and had violated the international law, did not have the right to judge the Japanese defendants, although his words were stopped halfway.

And Lawyer William L. Logan said that the Europeans and Americans had imposed on Japan a hard economic blockade, which was already an act of war, adding the threat of a military siege, and Japan was compelled to the crisis to live or to die. And Logan added that for 35 years before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USA had been planning in the Orange Plan to defeat Japan, thinking that if Japan was defeated, the USA would be able to control the rights and interests of China, although it was only one year before the beginning of the war that Japan had begun considering war against the USA. Then, Logan shouted, "Who was the provoker? Who first had the will to wage war? It is clear, isn't it? Such a country can never have the right to judge Japan." He told the truth indeed.

And we cannot forget Judge Radhabinod Pal from India. Among all the judges, he was the only professional in international law, while the other judges were all amateurs. Judge Pal alone found all the Japanese defendants not guilty, and he wrote more than 1000 pages of the reasons why Japan was not guilty. He proved that the Japanese war had been legitimate self-defense, although not even one page of his decision was read in the court. But the Japanese leaders were allowed to read it before they were executed. One of them, Hideki Tojo said, "I thought it would be 100 years from now, but I can see the writing right now in front of me." Seishiro Itagaki said, "I spent three days to reading it and was deeply moved." Iwane Matsui said, "It is very well written and he wrote all that we wanted to say." And Heitaro Kimura said, "Now I can die in peace looking up at the writing which shines in the darkness."


Judge Radhabinod Pal. He found all the
Japanese defendants not guilty.

The decision of Judge Pal was neglected in the Tokyo Trial and among the Americans; however, European newspapers reported it on the front page, and many lawyers and scholars expressed the opinion that Pal was right. Today, among the International Law Commission of the United Nations, it is an established view to think that Pal's decision was right.

Through the Japanese War, Asian Countries Obtained Independence

Japan was defeated by the USA in the war, but the Japanese endeavors to liberate Asian countries achieved results in many places. For instance, in 1945 when Japan surrendered and withdrew from Indonesia, Dutch people came back to make it their colony again. But Indonesia at the time was no longer its former self, because it already had many Indonesian soldiers (PETA) who had been trained by the Japanese and passionate for independence. And about 1000-2000 Japanese soldiers also remained in Indonesia just to fight against the Dutch. The soldiers finally ousted the Dutch from Indonesia and soon Indonesia declared independence.

A similar thing happened in India. Near the end of the Pacific War, Japan conducted the Imphal Operation to liberate India from the bondage of the British. Participating in the operation were not only the Japanese, but also many Indian soldiers, who had left the British rule, had been trained by the Japanese and were led by their leader Chandra Bose. The operation failed, and most of the soldiers were killed by the British troops. But later, among the Indian people there occurred a loud voice of "Do not waste their martyrdom!" and the whole of India became filled with the anti-British movement, in which Gandhi's movement could also be effective. The UK finally had to part with India, and India was liberated from their subordinate situation of "not made alive nor killed," a condition which had lasted for more than 300 years, and achieved independence at last.

Other Asian countries were all similar. The energy of independence which the Japanese gave them became power for the Asians to win their independence. And soon, all Asia became independent countries, liberated from the colonial rule of the Western nations. If we look upon the past, prior to the Pacific War, the only independent countries were Japan and Thailand. Thailand barely kept its independence by shrewdly balancing British and French interests in their country. China was half colony. The other Asian countries were all colonies. But the Japanese war changed all this.

The former Prime Minister of Thailand Kukrit Pramot once wrote in a newspaper of Thailand,
"All Asian countries could win their independence by the actions of Japan. The mother called Japan hurt her body, but her children are growing healthily. Whom do we East Asian nations owe that we can talk with Europeans and Americans today on equal terms? It was because there was the mother called Japan who killed herself and practiced humanity. December 8
(day of the attack on Pearl Harbor in East Asian time. In American time it was Dec. 7) was the day our mother, who gave us this important thought, made the serious decision at the risk of her life. We must never forget that day."

The movements of Asia for independence soon influenced the ones of Africa, and the African Continent also became independent countries in the following decades. The black people in the USA could also obtain their full rights of citizenship after a long time of horrible discrimination. History changed. The age of "the white people to be the master and the colored people to be their servants" ended, and the new age, in which the white and the colored peoples could talk each other on equal terms began.

If there had not been the Japanese war, all this would not have happened, and all Asian and African countries would have still remained under the colonial rule. The celebrated English historian Arnold J. Toynbee once wrote that Japan had forced the colonial rule in Asia into dissolution, and did a good thing for the Asian people.

Japan was the first country which proposed racial equality in the League of Nations, although the proposal was abandoned by the opposition of the USA, UK and others in those days
(See gRacial Equality Bill Buried Awayh of the former page). But after the Pacific War, the Charter of the United Nations clearly included racial equality.

Japan was defeated in the war but in the end they realized their purpose for the war. This calls to mind a famous war theory of Carl von Clausewitz: "Victory or defeat in war is not known by victory or defeat in battle, but known by whether or not the purpose of the war has been realized." And in this sense, the celebrated Austrian social ecologist Peter Drucker once said that the true winner of the Pacific War had been Japan.


Peter Drucker. He said the true winner
of the Pacific War had been Japan.


"Third Atomic Bomb" on the Japanese


However, today's Japan is covered by a dark cloud, which has been in place since the time just after the Pacific War. The Japanese leaders till the end of the war were all executed by the American occupation forces, which killed more than a thousand of them as Class A, B, or C war criminals. Many of them were good men but guilt was pinned on them and they were killed like victims of lynching. Because of their death, most of the Japanese lost the opportunity to listen to the truth about the past from them.
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And the American occupation forces regulated the Japanese information very strictly for years in the areas of newspaper, books, radio, and other media. The truth about the past was not permitted to be told, and those who spoke out were killed or punished. Permitted only was what the occupation forces said about the past.

In addition, the American occupation forces carried out the "War Guilt Information Program," which was a shrewd plan to implant to the Japanese souls the thought that the Japanese war had been a bad war of invasion. For this purpose, the occupation forces used the Japanese national radio NHK, and broadcasted a program called "Shinso-bako," meaning "the box of truth," every day at prime time at night for more than one year while the Tokyo Trial was being held. The performers were Japanese but the script was all written by the occupation forces. It was to implant to the Japanese the historical view of the Americans, which was, in a word, "the USA was good and Japan was bad."

The content of the radio program was, "The Japanese public was good but the leaders were bad, and the leaders made a bad war. They invaded China and other Asian countries, but the USA punished them and liberated the Japanese public from militarism." And this view was also taught in all the schools. This was very effective, and the war guilt was successfully formed in the postwar generations just as the occupation forces desired. But it was an act of taking away the truth of history and the identity of the Japanese. It made the Japanese souls spineless and it was a subversive activity on the Japanese spirit. We could say it was, as it were, the third atomic bomb on the Japanese.

Communists and communist sympathizers in Japan used this situation for their own purpose, because one of their strategies to communize Japan was to let the Japanese think that Japan was a very bad country. It would make their communist revolution easier. So, they used every historical lie and fabrication to increase this war guilt of the Japanese. The communist government of China helped them, too. And the Korean government, which the USA planted after the war, also pursued anti-Japanese policies and tried to increase the war guilt. Such speech and writings covered all of the education in Japan.
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I myself was raised up in that education, and I used to hate the modern Japanese history and hated to be Japanese. Most of the Japanese were deceived like me. It took many years till I finally got to know the objective truth of history and parted from such a war guilt view. Around 50 years after the war, good books on the Japanese war began to be published in Japan, and I could finally part from the guilt view. But many of the Japanese are still in that view, and that is the dark cloud which covers Japan still today.
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When two nations fought a war against each other, we cannot say that one nation was perfectly good, and the other was perfectly bad. Each nation had its own reason to fight, but both nations were responsible for the war. The war guilt should be on both nations.

What Was the Pacific War?
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Now, in the end, let us look back upon the Pacific War some more. Japan made big mistakes in the war. Some Japanese historians say that Japan should not have entered China, and should have been very patient even when the attacks of the Chinese became more violent. This opinion might be reasonable. If Japan had not entered China, Japan might not have needed to fight the war against the USA.
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And Japan should not have concluded the military alliance with Germany and Italy. The alliance with such distant countries was almost of no use. The Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka who concluded the alliance said in his latter days, "It was the biggest mistake in my whole life."
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On the other hand, the USA also made big mistakes. Firstly, the USA had almost no caution regarding communism, and was associated with the Soviet Union, till they defeated Japan which was the only anti-communist country in Asia. But the USA had to pay the debt after the war. The USA had to fight the wars against the communists in the Korean War (1950-1953) and Vietnam War (1959-1975), in which many American soldiers were killed, more than in the time of the Pacific War. If the United States did not make a mistake in recognizing the true enemy and did not defeat Japan, neither the Korean War or Vietnam War was needed.  American soldiers would also not have been killed in the wars.


The Korean War, in which the USA lost
more soldiers than in the Pacific War.

After defeating Japan, the United States was troubled with the Cold War against the Soviet Union for a long time. The USA did not gain anything from the Pacific War. They just lost many American soldiers and lost China which they wanted the most. The only beneficiary of the Pacific War was the Soviet Union, which could widen their territories and made China a communist country.
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Secondly, the USA did not understand the complex state of affairs in China, and was strongly attached to the idea of taking the Chinese market. That was why the USA continued to be used by the Chinese nationalists and communists. The USA did not listen to the people who knew the Chinese state of affairs well.
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Thirdly, the USA unfairly rejected Japan. The biggest desire of the Soviet Union was to make a war between the USA and Japan. The Roosevelt Government was full of Soviet spies and was driven to torment Japan and make a war. If there had not been such mistakes, the history would have gone a different way.
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But, we can't say "if" to the history, and it seems there must have been an inevitability to this history. The war must have been what we could not avoid in the stream of history. The pain must have been needed to build a new world in which Asia could talk with Europe and the USA from an equal position.
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After the USA fought the war against Japan, the USA looked around Asia and searched for a good partner which could be trusted, and noticed that it was Japan. I wish the USA had noticed it earlier. The USA is the super power of the world still today. And from now on, I hope and pray that the USA may not make mistakes in understanding the world situation and may lead the future of the world rightly.

(End)

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