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Whither Japan? Divine Wind, Take 2?

[1]

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: In numer­ous broad­casts, we have cov­ered the sad real­i­ty that in post World War II Japan [3], as in post World War II Ger­many [4], the pub­lic per­cep­tion that the forces of fas­cism were erad­i­cat­ed is a delib­er­ate­ly cul­ti­vat­ed polit­i­cal myth [5].

Inter­est­ed researchers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to read Gold War­riors [6] by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave. Cov­er­ing the Japan­ese equiv­a­lent of the Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal net­work, the vol­ume is a hero­ic, mas­ter­ful analy­sis and pen­e­tra­tion of the Asian wing of the car­tel sys­tem that spawned fas­cism, as well as the real­i­ties of the post-World War II Japan­ese polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic land­scape. (FTR #‘s 290 [7], 426 [8]427 [9]428 [10]446 [11]451 [12]501 [13]509 [14], 689 [15] deal with the sub­ject of the Gold­en Lily pro­gram suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ed by the Japan­ese to loot Asia, as well as the restora­tion of Japan­ese fas­cists to posi­tions of promi­nence in post­war Japan.)

In addi­tion to his laud­able stim­u­lus pro­gram for Japan’s mori­bund econ­o­my, Japan­ese prime min­is­ter Abe has–much less laudably–embarked on a pro­gram of mil­i­tarism, per­haps to use the Ronald Rea­gan for­mu­la of “mil­i­tary Key­ne­sian­ism” to suple­ment the stim­u­lus.

[16]Abe’s Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is the pri­ma­ry vehi­cle for the per­pet­u­a­tion of post­war Japan­ese fas­cism and is show­ing signs of return­ing to that unfor­tu­nate past.

In a recent cam­paign appear­ance, Abe advis­er Masahisa Sato read from the jour­nal of a Japan­ese Kamikaze pilot, who died crash­ing his plane into an Amer­i­can ship dur­ing World War II.

With Japan equipped with the poten­tial to devel­op nuclear weapons [17] and with chief Japan­ese strate­gic rival Chi­na a nuclear pow­er, this kind of revan­chist, atavis­tic saber-rat­tling bodes poor­ly for the future of Asia and the world.

An all-out war between Japan and Chi­na would dev­as­tate both Chi­na and Asia. It would result in the  anni­hi­la­tion of Japan and the exter­mi­na­tion of its peo­ple.

Updat­ing this post, we learn that a Kore­an court [18] has ruled that Mit­subishi must reim­burse some Kore­an nation­als for forced labor dur­ing World War II.  (See text excerpts below.) Note what the response was [10] when U.S. POW’s attempt­ed to obtain com­pen­sa­tion for their forced labor.

“As Ten­sions Rise, Paci­fist Japan March­es Into a Mil­i­tary Revival” by Yuka Hayashi; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 7/18/2013. [19]

EXCERPT: Masahisa Sato stood in a ball­room under a giant Japan­ese flag, read­ing to the after-work crowd from a let­ter a World War II kamikaze pilot sent his young daugh­ter.

“Don’t see your­self as a father­less child. I will always be look­ing out for your safe­ty,” Mr. Sato quot­ed the pilot as writ­ing before he flew his plane into a U.S. ship off the Philip­pines in 1944, with his daugh­ter’s favorite doll in the cock­pit.
As the audi­ence fell silent, Mr. Sato declared, his voice hoarse: “We have peo­ple we want to pro­tect. We must have the resolve to hand this nation to the next gen­er­a­tion.”

Mr. Sato is no fringe mil­i­taris­tic crank. He is a top defense advis­er to Prime Min­is­ter Shin­zo Abe and a mem­ber of Japan’s par­lia­ment run­ning for re-elec­tion on Sun­day. The vote will help deter­mine the extent of Mr. Abe’s grip on power—and his abil­i­ty to push through an agen­da to trans­form Japan’s mil­i­tary to an extent unseen since the bit­ter defeat near­ly 70 years ago.

“We see the votes Mr. Sato receives as the proxy for our par­ty’s hard-fought nation­al-secu­ri­ty strat­e­gy,” Shigeru Ishi­ba, a rul­ing-par­ty offi­cial, told vot­ers at the ral­ly. “We must revive a strong Japan. We have just a few years to make that hap­pen.”

The elec­tion is con­sid­ered like­ly to rat­i­fy a sur­pris­ing­ly swift Japan­ese embrace of a more mus­cu­lar mil­i­tary, as region­al ten­sions, shift­ing atti­tudes and gen­er­a­tional change erode post­war paci­fism. . . .

. . . . His Lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is expect­ed to score a com­fort­able elec­tion win, giv­ing him a strong man­date. Mr. Abe, who him­self isn’t run­ning, remains very pop­u­lar, with an approval rat­ing above 60%. . . .

. . . . On Wednes­day, just four days before the vote, Mr. Abe took his cam­paign to the front lines of Japan’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al dis­pute with Chi­na, mak­ing a high­ly unusu­al trip to two out­er islands of Oki­nawa. He ral­lied troops at an air force radar site and board­ed a coast guard cut­ter assigned to patrol the con­tentious waters. “I intend to lead the way in efforts to pro­tect our ter­ri­to­r­i­al land, water and sky till the very end,” Mr. Abe said in a speech to coast guard offi­cials. . . .

. . . . “Defense of Japan White Paper” released July 9 spot­light­ed con­tin­u­ing debates among law­mak­ers and bureau­crats about the need for amphibi­ous forces and the capa­bil­i­ty to launch pre-emp­tive strikes against ene­my bases when attacks on Japan are thought immi­nent. The gov­ern­ment has already tak­en steps to expand bal­lis­tic-mis­sile defense sys­tems and pro­mote weapons exports. . . .

. . . . His hawk­ish rhetoric wor­ries neigh­bors once vic­tim­ized by Japan’s aggres­sion. The ten­sions involve lin­ger­ing dis­agree­ments over the inter­pre­ta­tion of Japan’s wartime role. Since Mr. Abe took pow­er, Chi­na and South Korea, in par­tic­u­lar, have bit­ter­ly com­plained about vis­its made by Mr. Abe’s top aides to a con­tro­ver­sial Tokyo war shrine and about remarks Mr. Abe made seem­ing to ques­tion whether Japan invad­ed any­body. . . .

“South Kore­an Court Tells Japan­ese Com­pa­ny to Pay for Forced Labor” by Choe San-Hung; The New York Times; 7/30/2013. [18]

EXCERPT: In a ver­dict expect­ed to inten­si­fy ten­sions with Japan, a South Kore­an court on Tues­day ordered Mit­subishi Heavy Indus­tries to com­pen­sate five South Kore­ans who were forced to work in the company’s fac­to­ries dur­ing the peri­od of Japan­ese colo­nial rule of Korea, which end­ed with World War II.

The high court in Busan, a port city in south­east­ern South Korea, ordered the com­pa­ny to pay $71,800 to each of the five Kore­ans.

It was the sec­ond such rul­ing against a Japan­ese com­pa­ny this month. On July 10, the Seoul High Court ordered the Nip­pon Steel and Sum­it­o­mo Met­al Cor­po­ra­tion to pay $89,800 to each of four South Kore­an plain­tiffs to com­pen­sate them for forced labor. Nip­pon Steel and Mit­subishi each said they planned to appeal.

The Busan court said in its rul­ing that Mit­subishi forced the South Kore­an plain­tiffs to “toil in poor con­di­tions in Hiroshi­ma and yet failed to pay wages,” and “did not pro­vide prop­er shel­ters or food after the drop­ping of an atom­ic bomb” there in 1945. All five plain­tiffs are now deceased; their fam­i­lies rep­re­sent­ed them in court.

The two rul­ings were the first in favor of South Kore­ans in a 16-year legal bat­tle waged in Japan and South Korea, and they could prompt sim­i­lar law­suits from oth­er vic­tims or their fam­i­lies. At least 1.2 mil­lion Kore­ans were forced to work for Japan’s war efforts in Japan, Chi­na and else­where, his­to­ri­ans here said. Some 300 Japan­ese com­pa­nies still in oper­a­tion are believed to have used forced labor dur­ing the colo­nial peri­od from 1910 to 1945, accord­ing to offi­cials in the South Kore­an cap­i­tal, Seoul. . . .