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FTR #581 Update on Japanese Fascism

Record­ed Jan­u­ary 15, 2007

Lis­ten: MP3

This is one, 30-minute broad­cast [1].

REALAUDIO [2]

NB: This stream con­tains both FTR #s 580 and 581 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broad­cast.

Intro­duc­tion: High­light­ing recent trends toward reviv­ing the ultra-nation­al­ism and his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism of Japan’s fas­cist past, this pro­gram sets forth the polit­i­cal agen­da being pushed by Shin­zo Abe, the new­ly elect­ed Prime Min­is­ter. The grand­son of Japan­ese War Crim­i­nal Nobo­suke Kishi, Abe has suc­ceed­ed his grand­fa­ther as head of the LDP—itself a vehi­cle for the per­pet­u­a­tion of Japan’s World War II polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic pow­er struc­ture. With the Japan­ese peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing height­ened stress and alien­ation because of eco­nom­ic pres­sures, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of that social unrest express­ing itself as mil­i­taris­tic nation­al­ism and fas­cism is one pos­si­ble result of the right-wing agen­da being imple­ment­ed by Abe. In addi­tion to autho­riz­ing a mil­i­tary buildup and mov­ing to ease restric­tions on the Japan­ese mil­i­tary, Abe has imple­ment­ed a school cur­ricu­lum that insti­tu­tion­al­izes right-wing (“patri­ot­ic”) pro­pa­gan­da as a manda­to­ry ele­ment of Japan­ese pub­lic edu­ca­tion. It may well be that the recent North Kore­an atom­ic test will aid Abe’s agen­da and push for rear­ma­ment.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The view of the Japan­ese right-wing that Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt was respon­si­ble for World War II; Nobo­suke Kishi’s activ­i­ties in wartime Japan, includ­ing his sign­ing of Japan’s dec­la­ra­tion of war against the Unit­ed States; the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church of Sun Myung Moon’s finan­cial aid to North Korea; review of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church’s role as an exten­sion of the Japan­ese patri­ot­ic soci­eties that brought fas­cism to Japan in the 1930’s; the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Moon’s aid to North Korea may have been intend­ed to aid that country’s nuclear buildup, thus pro­vid­ing an excuse for Japan­ese rear­ma­ment. For more about the sub­ject of Japan­ese fas­cism, see: FTR#’s 290 [3], 291 [4], 296 [5], 426 [6], 427 [4], 428 [7], 446 [8], 451 [9], 509 [10], 551 [11].

1. Begin­ning with an op-ed col­umn about the re-emer­gence of the Japan­ese far right, the pro­gram sets forth the severe social strain affect­ing the Japan­ese peo­ple. Should those pres­sures con­tin­ue to mount with­out Japan­ese soci­ety devel­op­ing an out­let for them, the temp­ta­tion to resort to the mech­a­nisms of that country’s fas­cist past might prove too strong to over­come. “Beneath the sheen of high-tech tran­quil­i­ty that char­ac­ter­izes mod­ern, con­formist Japan stirs an angry, alien­at­ed and deeply pes­simistic pop­u­lace tee­ter­ing on the edge of a ner­vous break­down. So the ascen­dance of a hawk­ish new leader, Shin­zo Abe, as the hand-picked suc­ces­sor to Prime Min­is­ter Junichi­ro Koizu­mi on Tues­day rais­es fears that the nation’s long-repressed well of vir­u­lent nation­al­ism, buried just beneath the sur­face, could again rise up, embold­ened by a Bush admin­is­tra­tion seek­ing a sur­ro­gate part­ner to con­tain China’s ambi­tions in Asia.”
(“Will the ris­ing Sun Rise Again?” by Michael Zie­len­ziger; The Los Ange­les Times; 9/25/2006; p. B11.) [12]

2. “Japan is rapid­ly aging because its young women refuse to mar­ry and bear chil­dren. They say rais­ing kids in mod­ern Japan is far too expen­sive and offers too lit­tle reward. Besides, com­pared to their moth­ers, the aspi­ra­tions of edu­cat­ed women extend beyond child-rear­ing, even though most Japan­ese men still insist that their wives stay home. The nation’s mid­dle-class army of sara­ri­man (white-col­lar) work­ers, uni­formed in their blue suits and white shirts, is com­mit­ting sui­cide in record numbers—three times as many as die in car accidents—because the sys­tem of life­time employ­ment in which they start­ed their careers is crum­bling. More trou­bling still are the more than 1 mil­lion Japan­ese twen­tysome­things who can­not find work and are not involved in any edu­ca­tion­al or train­ing pro­grams. A high num­ber of these adults, pri­mar­i­ly men, are social iso­lates, or hikiko­mori. They hide in their rooms for months or years at a time rather than try to fit into a soci­ety that demands mass con­for­mi­ty and uses qui­et­ly pow­er­ful repres­sion to forge it.” (Idem.)

3. Adding to the sever­i­ty of the mount­ing pres­sures on the Japan­ese peo­ple is the fact that the ini­tial­ly glow­ing reports about the upturn of the Japan­ese econ­o­my are pre­ma­ture. Note the pre­dom­i­nance of the Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in Japan­ese pol­i­tics. As we have seen in—among oth­er broadcasts—FTR#’s 428 [7], 446 [8], 451 [9], the LDP became a repos­i­to­ry for unre­con­struct­ed Japan­ese fas­cists and war crim­i­nals, who per­pet­u­at­ed the pre­dom­i­nance of the eco­nom­ic ele­ments that launched (and ben­e­fit­ed from) Japan’s war of aggres­sion. The LDP made good use of the bil­lions of dol­lars in war booty stolen by Japan dur­ing World War II. “This Japan has yet to design the social archi­tec­ture nec­es­sary to embrace the indi­vid­u­al­ism and self-expres­sion we in the West asso­ciate with the post-indus­tri­al era. Nei­ther schiz­o­phrenic nor suf­fer­ing from any oth­er men­tal ill­ness, the only refuge these hikiko­mori find from a soci­ety they can­not trust is the bed­rooms in their par­ents’ apart­ments. They are the nails that stick up and refuse to be ham­mered down. Into this unhap­py stew of unac­knowl­edged social unrest enters Abe, 52, who replaces the mav­er­ick Koizu­mi after his more than 5 ½ years at the helm of Japan’s rul­ing Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, which has essen­tial­ly run the nation since 1955. Recent head­lines pro­claim­ing Japan’s robust return to eco­nom­ic vibran­cy are pre­ma­ture; the econ­o­my grew only 0.2% in the last quar­ter (com­pared with near­ly 3% in the U.S.); the nation­al fis­cal debt is 170% of gross domes­tic prod­uct, and the nation is rapid­ly depop­u­lat­ing. Last year, there were 15,000 more deaths than births in Japan, a nation that does not wel­come immi­grants. Demog­ra­phers pre­dict that by 2020, one in nine Japan­ese will be over the age of 80.” (Idem.)

4. Abe’s ascen­sion to the pin­na­cle of Japan­ese polit­i­cal pow­er per­pet­u­ates a con­tin­u­um of cor­rup­tion stretch­ing from World War II to the present. Abe is the grand­son of Nobo­suke Kishi, a Japan­ese war crim­i­nal who played a deci­sive role in the per­pet­u­a­tion of the eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal sta­tus quo from the Sec­ond World War. “Hob­bled by the moun­tains of debt they accu­mu­lat­ed after the col­lapse of the infa­mous ‘bub­ble econ­o­my’ in 1989, Japan­ese cor­po­ra­tions restored prof­its by lay­ing off thou­sands of old­er work­ers and by not hir­ing younger ones. Lit­tle won­der that youth unem­ploy­ment is at record highs, that more than 20% of work­ing peo­ple in their 20s now earn less than 1.5 mil­lion yen a year (just under $13,000) or that near­ly 32% of young work­ers are ‘non-permanent’—without job guar­an­tees, annu­al rais­es or oth­er ben­e­fits. Fif­teen years ago, the com­pa­ra­ble fig­ure was 10%. Abe, a well-known hawk, wants to rewrite the country’s post­war con­sti­tu­tion in order to empow­er Japan’s mil­i­tary. He promis­es to vis­it Yasuku­ni Shrine, which ven­er­ates World War II crim­i­nals, a move that riles lead­ers in Bei­jing and Seoul because it remains the spir­i­tu­al pil­lar of the nation’s wartime past. Abe is the grand­son of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Nobo­suke Kishi, who rat­i­fied the U.S.-Japan Secu­ri­ty Treaty that even today keeps Amer­i­can Marines on Oki­nawa. [Empha­sis added.] He wants to deep­en the already-strong defense bonds that link Tokyo and Wash­ing­ton. He envi­sions Japan as a ‘coun­try that can be proud of its his­to­ry and cul­ture,’ a nod to the vir­u­lent strains of nation­al­ism still fright­en­ing­ly potent with­in Japan­ese soci­ety.” (Idem.)

5. Sup­ple­ment­ing and encour­ag­ing the Japan­ese far right’s move toward height­ened mil­i­tarism is the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, which encour­ages Japan’s ris­ing mil­i­tary pro­file around the world. As not­ed in the excerpt that fol­lows, Abe’s push for a more right-wing and nation­al­ist Japan is sup­ple­ment­ed by extreme right politi­cians, who have elud­ed the lime­light for the most part. “The Bush admin­is­tra­tion nat­u­ral­ly sees Japan and Abe as Washington’s clos­est ally in the Pacif­ic, even though Tokyo’s rela­tions with its most impor­tant neigh­bors, Chi­na and South Korea, have nev­er been more on edge. A. U.S. that once wor­ried about con­tain­ing Japan­ese mil­i­tarism now insists that Japan’s Self-Defense Forces par­tic­i­pate in the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Iraq, ‘putting boots on the ground,’ as U.S. offi­cials put it, even though these acts vio­late the con­sti­tu­tion our occu­pa­tion forces dic­tat­ed to the Japan­ese. The White House and Pen­ta­gon would wel­come a Japan that beefs up its defens­es against a poten­tial threat from North Korea and the surg­ing pow­er of Chi­na. Yet this nar­row focus on pro­ject­ing mil­i­tary obscures some poten­tial­ly more dis­turb­ing truths. Only a few steps out­side the spot­light being trained on Abe are pow­er­ful polit­i­cal lead­ers such as Shin­taro Ishi­hara, the gov­er­nor of met­ro­pol­i­tan Tokyo. He wrote the book The Japan that Can Say ‘No’, which con­tro­ver­sial­ly advo­cat­ed that Japan strong­ly reassert its own nation­al and mil­i­tar­i­ly inde­pen­dence. For­mer Japan­ese Prime Min­is­ter Yasuhi­ro Naka­sone has recent­ly advo­cat­ed that his nation needs to study the option of ‘going nuclear,’ and no one doubts that Tokyo has lots of plu­to­ni­um from its nuclear pow­er plants and the tech­nol­o­gy to build bombs.” (Idem.)

6. “At times of eco­nom­ic and social strain, when mil­lions of young men won­der how they will find work and what their nation will became, vir­u­lent forms of nation­al­ism have a way of bind­ing up deep­er wounds—witness the protests against Japan in Chi­na. Many Japan­ese rec­og­nize that their nation, so suf­fo­cat­ing­ly embraced by Wash­ing­ton since the end of World War II, has yet to deter­mine its iden­ti­ty and nation­al inter­ests. Is it so far-fetched to imag­ine a day when a re-armed, angry and nuclear-potent Japan cuts its ties with Wash­ing­ton in order to reassert a more inde­pen­dent for­eign pol­i­cy? Would that make Pacif­ic Asia a more tran­quil or a more dan­ger­ous place?” (Idem.)

7. “Japan needs to decou­ple its future from the Unit­ed States, resolve the chal­lenges of its his­to­ry and move vig­or­ous­ly to cre­ate a new and more inte­grat­ed rela­tion­ship with its long-term eco­nom­ic part­ners in Asia, espe­cial­ly Chi­na. The lead­ers of Japan’s multi­na­tion­al busi­ness­es already well under­stand this, and they may yet help trans­form the prac­ti­cal vision of their new prime min­is­ter. If they do not suc­ceed, how­ev­er, Abe’s ascen­sion may ulti­mate­ly trig­ger the kind of arms race and brinks­man­ship that would desta­bi­lize all of Asia. In that sense, he could be the wrong man at the wrong time.” (Idem.)

8. Next, the pro­gram sets forth the polit­i­cal resume of Nobo­suke Kishi, Abe’s grand­fa­ther and an author of the polit­i­cal lega­cy to which his grand­son is heir. Note that war crim­i­nal Kishi’s cell mate at Sug­amo prison was Yoshio Kodama. As dis­cussed in FTR#446 [8], Kodama was the god­fa­ther of the Japan­ese under­world, a major Japan­ese war crim­i­nal in his own right, and the CIA’s man in Japan. As dis­cussed in FTR#’s 84 [13], 291 [4], 446 [8], 551 [11], Kodama was a major, ear­ly fig­ure in the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church.

. . . . In 1956, for exam­ple, the Eisen­how­er Admin­is­tra­tion labored long and hard to install Kishi as head of the new­ly-merged Lib­er­al-Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and as Japan’s new prime min­is­ter. This was the same Kishi who had been a mem­ber of the hard-core rul­ing clique in Manchuria with Gen­er­al Tojo Hide­ki and Hoshi­no Nao­ki, head of the nar­cotics monop­oly. Kishi had also signed Japan’s Dec­la­ra­tion of War against Amer­i­ca in Decem­ber 1941. Dur­ing World War II, he was vice min­is­ter of muni­tions and min­is­ter of com­merce and indus­try, active­ly involved in slave labor. Along the way, he made a per­son­al for­tune in side-deals with the zaibat­su. Fol­low­ing Japan’s sur­ren­der, he was one of the most promi­nent indict­ed war crim­i­nals at Sug­amo, where he was a cell­mate of Kodama. In 1948, when his release from prison was pur­chased by Kodama, Kishi began orga­niz­ing the finan­cial base of the LDP, using Kodama’s black gold and injec­tions of M‑Fund cash. For ten years, Kishi was groomed as America’s Boy by Har­ry Kern, Eugene Dooman, Comp­ton Pack­en­ham and oth­er mem­bers of Averell Harriman’s group at the Amer­i­ca Coun­cil for Japan (ACJ). They worked tire­less­ly to improve Kishi’s mousy image, tutored him in Eng­lish, and taught him to like Scotch. To them, Kishi was America’s ‘only bet left in Japan.’ All this was done covert­ly, for if the Japan­ese pub­lic learned that Wash­ing­ton was using the M‑Fund to replace one prime min­is­ter with anoth­er, the democ­ra­cy fic­tion would col­lapse. . . .
(Gold War­riors; Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­graves; Copy­right 2003 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so Books [HC]; ISBN 1–85984-542–8; pp. 121–122.) [14]

9. As part of his polit­i­cal agen­da, Abe has launched a patri­ot­ic school cur­ricu­lum to be taught to Japan­ese chil­dren. Para­graph 10 high­lights the type of fas­cist pro­pa­gan­da that is mar­ket­ed by the Japan­ese far right. Will Japan­ese chil­dren be learn­ing this type of thing in school?! “Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe’s gov­ern­ment on Fri­day suc­cess­ful­ly pushed through land­mark laws requir­ing Japan­ese schools to encour­age patri­o­tism in the class­room and ele­vat­ing the Defense Agency to the sta­tus of a full min­istry for the first time since World War II. Both mea­sures are con­sid­ered cor­ner­stones of Abe’s con­ser­v­a­tive agen­da to bol­ster Japan’s mil­i­tary sta­tus and rebuild nation­al pride in a coun­try that had long asso­ci­at­ed patri­o­tism with its impe­ri­al­ist past. The leg­is­la­tion cleared the upper house of par­lia­ment on Fri­day after win­ning approval in the low­er house last month and will come into effect ear­ly next year. Abe, Japan’s first prime min­is­ter born after World War II, had made edu­ca­tion reform a key issue dur­ing his cam­paign to suc­ceed Junichi­ro Koizu­mi in Sep­tem­ber. His bid to restore patri­o­tism in schools has drawn harsh crit­i­cism from Japan­ese paci­fists, who have argued that such a law echoes the state-spon­sored indoc­tri­na­tion of chil­dren prac­ticed by Japan’s past mil­i­tary lead­ers. But Abe and oth­er pro­po­nents have coun­tered that a renewed embrace of patri­o­tism is an essen­tial step for­ward for Japan as it grad­u­al­ly emerges from a decades-long sense of guilt over World War II. In recent years, for instance, local munic­i­pal­i­ties have begun enforc­ing laws requir­ing the nation­al anthem to be sung and the Japan­ese flag flown at cer­tain school cer­e­monies, despite objec­tions from teach­ers unions, which remain one of the last bas­tions of paci­fism in Japan. The edu­ca­tion reform law is like­ly to dra­mat­i­cal­ly increase the num­ber of schools using revi­sion­ist text­books that have been her­ald­ed by con­ser­v­a­tives here but decried by Japan’s wartime vic­tims — par­tic­u­lar­ly Chi­na and South Korea — as white­wash­ing its past aggres­sion. Such books, for instance, omit ref­er­ence to ‘com­fort women,’ a euphemism for the thou­sands of Asian women forced into sex­u­al bondage by the Japan­ese mil­i­tary dur­ing the 1930s and 1940s.”
(“Japan Pass­es Land­mark Patri­o­tism Laws” by Antho­ny Faio­la; The Wash­ing­ton Post; Fri­day, Decem­ber 15, 2006.) [15]

10. Indica­tive of the extrem­ism of the Japan­ese right-wing his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ists is the fact that a muse­um adja­cent to the con­tro­ver­sial Yasuku­ni shrine fea­tures an exhib­it that blames World War II on Pres­i­dent Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt and the Unit­ed States! Imple­ment­ing sim­i­lar revi­sion­ism is the offi­cial house his­to­ri­an for the Ber­tels­mann firm, which dom­i­nates Eng­lish-lan­guage pub­lish­ing. The offi­cial pub­lish­ing house for the SS in World War II, Ber­tels­mann was run for many years by Hein­rich Mohn, him­self a mem­ber of the SS. Bertelsmann’s house his­to­ri­an Dirk Baven­damm has advanced the view that Roo­sevelt, the Unit­ed States and—you guessed it—the Jews were respon­si­ble for World War II. One can only won­der if Japan­ese school chil­dren will be taught sim­i­lar pro­pa­gan­da. (For more about Baven­damm and Ber­tels­mann, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#298 [16]. Per­haps Ber­tels­mann will see to it that Amer­i­can chil­dren are taught sim­i­lar revi­sion­ism!) “Yasuku­ni shrine offi­cials have agreed to delete a con­tro­ver­sial exhib­it and dis­cuss fur­ther changes to the shrine’s mil­i­tary muse­um, crit­i­cized by many for gloss­ing over Japan’s wartime his­to­ry. Offi­cials from the shrine will meet a lead­ing con­ser­v­a­tive his­to­ri­an today to dis­cuss the alter­na­tions. These are like­ly to focus on exhibits that accuse the US of delib­er­ate­ly forc­ing Japan into the Sec­ond World War, but are unlike­ly to address more con­tentious dis­plays relat­ing to the Japan­ese inva­sion of Chi­na and South­east Asia. How­ev­er, agree­ment to make changes would show that Yasuku­ni, which has become a flash­point in Japan’s rela­tions with Asia, is sen­si­tive to out­side pres­sure even though it is a pri­vate reli­gious orga­ni­za­tion. The muse­um, which was ren­o­vat­ed in 2002 to reflect what many con­sid­er a revi­sion­ist view of Japan­ese his­to­ry, is adja­cent to the shrine, which hon­ors Japan’s war dead, includ­ing a hand­ful of con­vict­ed war crim­i­nals. Hisahiko Okaza­ki, a right-wing polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor, said muse­um staff and an advi­so­ry his­to­ri­an from Japan’s self-defense force had agreed to meet him to dis­cuss poten­tial changes. The meet­ing fol­lows a col­umn in yesterday’s Sankei news­pa­per, in which Mr. Okaza­ki called for the removal of an exhib­it accus­ing Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, the for­mer US pres­i­dent, of engi­neer­ing a war with Japan to strength­en the US econ­o­my. The exhib­it says the plan to force Japan into war fol­lowed the fail­ure of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Mr. Okaza­ki said the shrine had agreed yes­ter­day to delete that ref­er­ence . . . . [Empha­sis added.]”
(“Japan to Remove Exhib­it from War Muse­um” by David Pilling; Finan­cial Times; 8/25/2006; p. 2.) [17]

11. The recent atom­ic arms test by North Korea may well rein­force what Abe intends to do. In light of the infor­ma­tion in para­graph 12, it is inter­est­ing to spec­u­late about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that assis­tance to North Korea by the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church may have fur­thered that country’s nuclear weapons pro­gram, thus pro­vid­ing sup­port to the right-wing agen­da that Abe is try­ing to launch. “The last time North Korea test­ed a pow­er­ful new weapon, in 1998 when it fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile over the largest Japan­ese island, Japan react­ed by upgrad­ing its mil­i­tary and swing­ing polit­i­cal­ly to the right. North Korea’s claim that it test­ed a nuclear weapon on Mon­day appears like­ly to push Japan even fur­ther down the same nation­al­ist path. Many polit­i­cal ana­lysts say the test, which has yet to be con­firmed, could weak­en pub­lic sup­port for the paci­fism Japan adopt­ed after World War II and prompt it to seek a grow­ing region­al secu­ri­ty role. . . . The most like­ly result of North Korea’s actions, ana­lysts say, would be to ral­ly pub­lic opin­ion around Japan’s new prime min­is­ter, Shin­zo Abe, and his calls for tak­ing Japan in a more assertive direc­tion. The cri­sis may also increase Mr. Abe’s chances of revis­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion to allow Japan to pos­sess full-fledged armed forces. . . .”
(“Japan Now Seems Like­ly to Ral­ly Behind New Prime Minister’s Call for a Stronger Mil­i­tary” by Mar­tin Fack­ler; The New York Times; 8/10/2006; p. A8.) [18]

12. In FTR#291 [4], we exam­ined the prob­a­bil­i­ty that the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon is actu­al­ly an exten­sion of the patri­ot­ic soci­eties that brought fas­cism to Japan, and that have func­tioned as a covert enforce­ment arm for the zaibat­su. In light of that analy­sis, it is inter­est­ing to note that North Korea’s atom­ic arms devel­op­ment pro­gram appears to have been rein­forced by con­tri­bu­tions to that coun­try by the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. Might those con­tri­bu­tions have been made (in part at least) to bring about con­di­tions that jus­ti­fy a more mil­i­taris­tic and nation­al­is­tic stance by Japan? (For more about the patri­ot­ic soci­eties, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#’s 296, 428.) “The Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s busi­ness empire, which includes the right-wing Wash­ing­ton Times, paid mil­lions of dol­lars to North Kore­a’s com­mu­nist lead­ers in the ear­ly 1990s when the hard-line gov­ern­ment need­ed for­eign cur­ren­cy to finance its weapons pro­grams, accord­ing to U.S. Defense Intel­li­gence Agency doc­u­ments. The pay­ments includ­ed a $3 mil­lion ‘birth­day present’ to cur­rent com­mu­nist leader Kim Jong Il and off­shore pay­ments amount­ing to ‘sev­er­al tens of mil­lion dol­lars’ to the pre­vi­ous com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor, Kim Il Sung, the doc­u­ments said. Moon appar­ent­ly was seek­ing a busi­ness foothold in North Korea, but the trans­ac­tions also raised poten­tial legal ques­tions for Moon, who appears to have defied U.S. embar­gos on trade and finan­cial rela­tions with the Pyongyang gov­ern­ment. [Empha­sis added.] Those legal ques­tions were nev­er pur­sued, how­ev­er, appar­ent­ly because of Moon’s pow­er­ful polit­i­cal con­nec­tions with­in the Repub­li­can pow­er struc­ture of Wash­ing­ton, includ­ing finan­cial and polit­i­cal ties to the Bush fam­i­ly. Besides mak­ing alleged pay­ments to North Korea’s com­mu­nist lead­ers, the 86-year-old founder of the South Kore­an-based Uni­fi­ca­tion Church has fun­neled large sums of mon­ey, pos­si­bly mil­lions of dol­lars, to for­mer Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush. . . .”
(“Moon, North Korea and the Bush­es” by Robert Par­ry; Con­sor­tium News; 10/11/2006.) [19]