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Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 87185 times)
Power User
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« Reply #500 on: February 11, 2017, 08:43:38 PM »

Spengler is very smart. Perhaps Trump got a briefing that had him reconsider.
Power User
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« Reply #501 on: February 21, 2017, 12:05:19 PM »

By Rodger Baker

In response to North Korea's latest missile test, and perhaps to the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, China has declared it will cease coal imports from North Korea for the entirety of the year. Beijing's threat to North Korea could significantly impact Pyongyang's finances, already stretched as the North continually seeks ways around international sanctions. But it also shows the limits of Beijing's actions toward North Korea. Even as China takes a more assertive role internationally, in finance, politics and even militarily, it views its global role — and potential responsibilities — far differently than the United States or earlier European empires.

The lens of China's latest actions on North Korea is a useful prism to understand how China throughout history has dealt with its periphery and beyond — and how it is likely to do so in the future.

For on a nearly daily basis, there are reports suggesting the decline of U.S. global power, and the attendant rise of China. This despite the slowing pace of Chinese economic growth, high levels of domestic bad loans and the massive undertaking of a shift from an export-led economic model to one based on domestic consumption, with the attendant structural shift in political and social patterns. China is seen as the next major global power, overshadowing the former Soviet Union and giving the United States a run for its money.

This view of China contrasts with how the country has been viewed for much of the past century: as the passed-by Asian power, the country that was most upended from its former glory by European colonialism and imperial competition, a Middle Kingdom carved into spheres of influence, forced to capitulate to Western concepts of trade and access, and left vulnerable to Japanese aggression at the turn of the last century. China is now seen as awakening, as consolidating political power domestically, building a strong and outwardly focused military, and spreading its economic reach across the globe, most recently with the network of infrastructure and trading routes characterizing the One Belt, One Road initiative.

In short, although China had some setbacks because of the fallout from the 2009 global financial crisis, it was perhaps affected less politically and socially compared with Europe and the United States, and this has presented the opportunity for the 4,000-year-old-plus country to take its turn at global leadership. And as I noted a few weeks ago, we may be seeing a shift in the willingness of the United States to play the role of global hegemon. From military expansion in the South China Sea to economic expansion with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China is on the rise. Again.
A Sole Challenger Emerges

The rising China narrative is not new. A decade ago, the iconic May 17, 2007, Economist cover showed a panda atop the Empire State Building, a la King Kong. Nearly a decade earlier, in December 1998, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was flown in a Philippine military aircraft over a Chinese installation on Mischief Reef, raising an early concern of Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea. While these are but two anecdotes, a decade apart, it would be easy to list hundreds of others. And it isn't difficult to understand why.

With the end of the Cold War, aside from the multinational European Union, there was little potential for any nation alone to rise to power on such a scale as to challenge the United States as a peer power, much less as a single global hegemon. No country, that is, except perhaps China. China's population, its rapid rise into the central position of global supply chains, its economic expansion, its strategic location linking Eurasia to the Pacific, and its unitary government allowing centralized decision-making and long-term strategic planning all pointed to a country that could emerge as a real challenger. And China seemed at times interested in doing so.

But there is a difference between the potential to, the capability to, or even the desire to. China certainly wants to have a greater say in the structure of the global system that is now emerging, a system that from China's perspective should be multilateral, without a single dominant global power. China's drive toward "big power" status is not the same as seeking the central role of a global system. The reality is that the cost to maintain a central global role is just too high. The British, the French, the Spanish and Portuguese, the Americans, even more regional powers like Japan, Germany and the various guises of Russia, all showed that maintaining central power over a vast empire is simply exhausting. A hegemony must respond to challenges, no matter how small, or risk losing its power and influence. China may be a big country, but it is far from ready to take on the role of global balancer.
The Center of a Regional System

Which is why it may be useful to look back into history to see how China has managed power in the past. For some 2,000 years, prior to European imperial advancements in the early 19th century, China sat at the center of a regional imperial system of its own, where China was clearly seen as first among unequals. Imperial China developed a system of maintaining influence while limiting the need for direct action. China, in many respects, retained passive influence rather than direct positive control. Power moved out in rings from the core. There was China proper, protected by an integrated shell of buffer states. For some of these, from Xinjiang to Tibet to Manchuria, China was not always dominant, but when outside powers swept across the buffers to change Chinese empires, they at times found themselves ultimately integrated into the Chinese system.

Beyond that were tributary powers, kingdoms that nominally respected China's role at the center of a Sinacized region. These included areas such as Korea, the Shan state of Burma or even what is now Vietnam — areas where China attempted to expand but reached the limits of its power. Beyond these were so-called barbarian powers, ones that required minimal contact and were generally regarded as inferior (and thus not needing integration). These not only included places like the Ryukyu Islands, parts of the Malay Peninsula and some of the Central Asian ethnic tribes, but also the more distant European civilizations at times.

China could influence the behavior of its neighbors, but it did so as often as possible through passive means, demonstrating power but rarely using it. Instead, so long as the neighbors did not fundamentally counter China's core interests, they were largely left to their own devices. In this manner, China could remain central to a regional system while expending little in time, effort or resources to enforce its will — particularly when imperial expansion proved unachievable. Neighbors including Korea and Vietnam paid tribute and adopted the written language, governing systems and social structures from the Middle Kingdom. This cultural and political influence reduced the need for military action by either side of the arrangement.

In short, most countries, most of the time, largely accepted the arrangement, both for cultural reasons and because the cost of direct challenge was often too high. This did not prevent various challenges — the Mongols and Manchu, for example, or Japan's attempted usurpation of the Chinese imperial throne in the late 16th century. But these invaders more often sought to insert themselves at the center of the Sinitic order, rather than completely overturn it. Even the failed invasion by Japan's Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the last decade of the 1500s, which devastated Korea but failed to reach China proper, was an attempt to move Hideyoshi to China, allowing him to place his young son on the throne in Japan, linking the two empires but leaving China the physical and political center.

China's crisis with Western imperialism through the 1800s occurred at a time of dynastic and imperial weakness, and China was further weakened by Japanese occupation beginning in the 1930s and then by civil war from 1945 to 1949. The early Mao years were about reconstituting Chinese unity, but also showed the stirrings of Chinese foreign interest in a modern era. Although China under Mao played a role in the overall international Communist drive, providing money, manpower and materiel to various insurgencies, this was paired with a longer-term and more passive strategy. China made friends. Not necessarily with leaders, but with individuals who could ultimately prove influential, and perhaps nudge them to victory.

In part in keeping with its historical management strategy, China retained influence through its backing of leaders, from the king of Cambodia to the Nepalese monarchy to the Kim family in North Korea. But China also acted by retaining relations with many alternatives in and out of governments. The idea was that, no matter who came to power, China would have at least some existing relationship to draw on. Where China was drawn into regional conflict — with Vietnam and in Korea — it saw a potential threat to its buffer, and acted out of self-interest.
An Alternate Vision for the World

As we move into the current era, China is seeking to re-establish itself at the center of the region, politically, economically and strategically. The One Belt, One Road initiative is a key component of China's foreign strategy, to link itself into the emerging economic patterns around the region, placing China in the center of an integrated regional trading system. It also reflects a broader ambition — one where China takes hold of the so-called strategic pivot of the European landmass. China's establishment of the AIIB in late 2015 is part of a broader initiative intended to place China at the center of a regional financial system, one that breaks free from what Beijing sees as the economic hegemony of the Bretton Woods system that established the U.S. dollar as the global reserve.

Politically, China is continuing to offer a counter to the United States, positioning itself as a country that does not try to assert a specific political system upon others, but that rather is willing to work with whatever government a country may have. Militarily, China has asserted itself as the central power in the Western Pacific and argues that Japan is an imperial threat because of history, and the United States is a foreign interloper. China can provide regional security for all, so long as all accept China's central role.

At a time when Russia is working to reassert its influence around its periphery, when Europe is struggling to define its own future (greater integration, or disassociation into its constituent parts), and when the United States, at least temporarily, appears ready to step back from the role of global hegemon, the global system is in flux. What China is seeking on a global level is to fill an opening, to reshape the global system into one where spheres of influence among the dominant powers are recognized and respected. This is neither globalism nor hegemony. It is perhaps more akin to the period of European empires, though more regionally arranged. It is a world divided among great powers, each the relatively benign center of its own region.

China's curtailment of coal imports from North Korea is thus a reminder to an increasingly defiant semi-ally that it must behave against the contours of regional power. It should not be seen as the ultimatum of a would-be global hegemon.
Power User
Posts: 39168

« Reply #502 on: February 23, 2017, 08:10:03 PM »
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:22:38 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Power User
Posts: 39168

« Reply #503 on: February 23, 2017, 08:38:54 PM »

second post
Power User
Posts: 14368

« Reply #504 on: February 23, 2017, 10:00:54 PM »

Not a lot of good options at this point. This developed under Obama the feckless, and now Trump has to reset the boundaries, risking a war, or let China continue down this path.
Power User
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« Reply #505 on: February 24, 2017, 10:17:45 AM »

Very glad to see we are sailing an aircraft carrier there right now.
Power User
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« Reply #506 on: February 24, 2017, 12:31:24 PM »

Very glad to see we are sailing an aircraft carrier there right now.

IMHO, pretty worthless unless we are ready to use them to park on China's war islands.
Power User
Posts: 39168

« Reply #507 on: February 24, 2017, 01:23:46 PM »


If I have it right, as a matter of international law this is part of asserting the right of free passage in international waters.  If the right goes unasserted, it can be lost.
Power User
Posts: 14368

« Reply #508 on: February 24, 2017, 04:58:59 PM »


If I have it right, as a matter of international law this is part of asserting the right of free passage in international waters.  If the right goes unasserted, it can be lost.

I get that, I am taking into consideration that China is unlikely to alter their current trajectory of fortifying their islands and picking a time and place to confront someone's ship that will continue ratcheting up their domination of the South China Sea. If Trump can't do a deal, then things will continue to deteriorate. I am very skeptical for the potential for any deal.
Power User
Posts: 39168

« Reply #509 on: February 24, 2017, 09:11:35 PM »

IMHO China's weakness is not its military, but its need to export, its' non-performing loans etc, and its demographics.
Power User
Posts: 14368

« Reply #510 on: February 24, 2017, 09:30:47 PM »

IMHO China's weakness is not its military, but its need to export, its' non-performing loans etc, and its demographics.

China's aggressiveness stems not from it's strength, but it's weakness.
Power User
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« Reply #511 on: February 25, 2017, 10:38:07 AM »

Yes, this is the same Michael Yon of the heroic reportage in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Power User
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« Reply #512 on: February 25, 2017, 12:58:29 PM »

Yes, this is the same Michael Yon of the heroic reportage in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Japan planted the hate seeds the Chinese power structure now cultivates. I'd like to see Yon address "the rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang.

Japan did horrific war crimes all across Asia during WWII. This included the torture and murder of allied soldiers.

In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered—a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 03:18:53 PM by G M » Logged
Power User
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« Reply #513 on: February 25, 2017, 03:24:56 PM »

What Japanese history lessons leave out
By Mariko Oi BBC News, Tokyo

    14 March 2013
Japanese people often fail to understand why neighbouring countries harbour a grudge over events that happened in the 1930s and 40s. The reason, in many cases, is that they barely learned any 20th Century history. I myself only got a full picture when I left Japan and went to school in Australia.

From Homo erectus to the present day - more than a million years of history in just one year of lessons. That is how, at the age of 14, I first learned of Japan's relations with the outside world.

For three hours a week - 105 hours over the year - we edged towards the 20th Century.

It's hardly surprising that some classes, in some schools, never get there, and are told by teachers to finish the book in their spare time.

When I returned recently to my old school, Sacred Heart in Tokyo, teachers told me they often have to start hurrying, near the end of the year, to make sure they have time for World War II.

"When I joined Sacred Heart as a teacher, I was asked by the principal to make sure that I teach all the way up to modern history," says my history teacher from Year Eight.

"We have strong ties with our sister schools in the Asian region so we want our students to understand Japan's historical relationship with our neighbouring countries."

I still remember her telling the class, 17 years ago, about the importance of Japan's war history and making the point that many of today's geopolitical tensions stem from what happened then.
Image caption Mariko's Japanese textbook: Only a footnote on the Nanjing massacre

I also remember wondering why we couldn't go straight to that period if it was so important, instead of wasting time on the Pleistocene epoch.

When we did finally get there, it turned out only 19 of the book's 357 pages dealt with events between 1931 and 1945.
Nanjing massacre, 1937-38

    A six-week period of bloodshed, after the Japanese capture of the city in December 1937
    International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), set up after WWII, estimated more than 200,000 people were killed, including many women and children
    Dispute over scale of atrocity remains a sticking point in Chinese/Japanese relations - some Japanese question whether a massacre took place

Scarred by history: The Rape of Nanking

BBC History: Japan's Quest for Empire

There was one page on what is known as the Mukden incident, when Japanese soldiers blew up a railway in Manchuria in China in 1931.

There was one page on other events leading up to the Sino-Japanese war in 1937 - including one line, in a footnote, about the massacre that took place when Japanese forces invaded Nanjing - the Nanjing Massacre, or Rape of Nanjing.

There was another sentence on the Koreans and the Chinese who were brought to Japan as miners during the war, and one line, again in a footnote, on "comfort women" - a prostitution corps created by the Imperial Army of Japan.

There was also just one sentence on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I wanted to know more, but was not quite eager enough to delve into the subject in my spare time. As a teenager, I was more interested in fashion and boys.

My friends had a chance to choose world history as a subject in Year 11. But by that stage I had left the Japanese schooling system, and was living in Australia.

I remember the excitement when I noticed that instead of ploughing chronologically through a given period, classes would focus on a handful of crucial events in world history.

    All of the photographs that China uses as evidence of the massacre are fabricated
    Nobukatsu Fujioka

So brushing aside my teacher's objection that I would struggle with the high volume of reading and writing in English - a language I could barely converse in - I picked history as one of my subjects for the international baccalaureate.

My first ever essay in English was on the Rape of Nanjing.

There is controversy over what happened. The Chinese say 300,000 were killed and many women were gang-raped by the Japanese soldiers, but as I spent six months researching all sides of the argument, I learned that some in Japan deny the incident altogether.

Nobukatsu Fujioka is one of them and the author of one of the books that I read as part of my research.

"It was a battlefield so people were killed but there was no systematic massacre or rape," he says, when I meet him in Tokyo.

"The Chinese government hired actors and actresses, pretending to be the victims when they invited some Japanese journalists to write about them.

"All of the photographs that China uses as evidence of the massacre are fabricated because the same picture of decapitated heads, for example, has emerged as a photograph from the civil war between Kuomintang and Communist parties."

As a 17-year-old student, I was not trying to make a definitive judgement on what exactly happened, but reading a dozen books on the incident at least allowed me to understand why many people in China still feel bitter about Japan's military past.
Comfort women

    200,000 women in territories occupied by Japan during WWII estimated to have been forced into becoming sex slaves for troops, or "comfort women"
    In 1993 Japan acknowledged use of wartime brothels
    In 2007 Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was forced to apologise after casting doubt on the existence of comfort women

While school pupils in Japan may read just one line on the massacre, children in China are taught in detail not just about the Rape of Nanjing but numerous other Japanese war crimes, though these accounts of the war are sometimes criticised for being overly anti-Japanese.

The same can be said about South Korea, where the education system places great emphasis on our modern history. This has resulted in very different perceptions of the same events in countries an hour's flying time apart.

One of the most contentious topics there is the comfort women.

Fujioka believes they were paid prostitutes. But Japan's neighbours, such as South Korea and Taiwan, say they were forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese army.

Without knowing these debates, it is extremely difficult to grasp why recent territorial disputes with China or South Korea cause such an emotional reaction among our neighbours. The sheer hostility shown towards Japan by ordinary people in street demonstrations seems bewildering and even barbaric to many Japanese television viewers.

Equally, Japanese people often find it hard to grasp why politicians' visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine - which honours war criminals among other Japanese soldiers - cause quite so much anger.
Image caption Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in 2012

I asked the children of some friends and colleagues how much history they had picked up during their school years.

Twenty-year-old university student Nami Yoshida and her older sister Mai - both undergraduates studying science - say they haven't heard about comfort women.

"I've heard of the Nanjing massacre but I don't know what it's about," they both say.

"At school, we learn more about what happened a long time ago, like the samurai era," Nami adds.

Seventeen-year-old Yuki Tsukamoto says the "Mukden incident" and Japan's invasion of the Korean peninsula in the late 16th Century help to explain Japan's unpopularity in the region.

"I think it is understandable that some people are upset, because no-one wants their own country to be invaded," he says.

But he too is unaware of the plight of the comfort women.
Image caption Chinese protesters often mark anniversaries of 20th Century clashes with Japan

Former history teacher and scholar Tamaki Matsuoka holds Japan's education system responsible for a number of the country's foreign relations difficulties.

"Our system has been creating young people who get annoyed by all the complaints that China and South Korea make about war atrocities because they are not taught what they are complaining about," she said.

"It is very dangerous because some of them may resort to the internet to get more information and then they start believing the nationalists' views that Japan did nothing wrong."

I first saw her work, based on interviews with Japanese soldiers who invaded Nanjing, when I visited the museum in the city a few years ago.

"There were many testimonies by the victims but I thought we needed to hear from the soldiers," she says.

"It took me many years but I interviewed 250 of them. Many initially refused to talk, but eventually, they admitted to killing, stealing and raping."
Image caption Matsuoka accuses the government of a deliberate silence about atrocities

When I saw her video interviews of the soldiers, it was not just their admission of war crimes which shocked me, it was their age. Already elderly by the time she interviewed them, many had been barely 20 at the time, and in a strange way, it humanised them.

I was choked with an extremely complex emotion. Sad to see Japan repeatedly described as evil and dubbed "the devil", and nervous because I wondered how people around me would react if they knew I was Japanese. But there was also the big question why - what drove these young soldiers to kill and rape?

When Matsuoka published her book, she received many threats from nationalist groups.

She and Fujioka represent two opposing camps in a debate about what should be taught in Japanese schools.

Fujioka and his Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform say most textbooks are "masochistic" and only teach about Japan in negative light.
History tuition in Japan

    Students first learn about Japanese history in Year Six, over 105 hours of lessons
    In Year Eight of junior high school, they study the history of Japan's relations with the rest of the world - this course now lasts for 130 hours
    Seven history textbooks are approved by the Education Ministry - schools can choose which they use
    Students can also choose to study World History in Year 11

"The Japanese textbook authorisation system has the so-called "neighbouring country clause" which means that textbooks have to show understanding in their treatment of historical events involving neighbouring Asian countries. It is just ridiculous," he says.

He is widely known for pressuring politicians to remove the term "comfort women" from all the junior high school textbooks. His first textbook, which won government approval in 2001, made a brief reference to the death of Chinese soldiers and civilians in Nanjing, but he plans to tone it down further in his next book.

But is ignorance the solution?

The Ministry of Education's guidelines for junior high schools state that all children must be taught about Japan's "historical relations with its Asian neighbours and the catastrophic damage caused by the World War II to humanity at large".

"That means schools have to teach about the Japanese military's increased influence and extension of its power [in the 1930s] and the prolonged war in China," says ministry spokesman Akihiko Horiuchi.
Textbook crisis

In 2005, protests were sparked in China and South Korea by a textbook prepared by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, which had been approved by the government in 2001.

Foreign critics said it whitewashed Japan's war record during the 1930s and early 1940s.

It referred to the Nanjing massacre as an "incident", and glossed over the issue of comfort women.

The book was not used in many schools, but was a big commercial success.

"Students learn about the extent of the damage caused by Japan in many countries during the war as well as sufferings that the Japanese people had to experience especially in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa in order to understand the importance of international co-operation and peace.

"Based on our guideline, each school decides which specific events they focus on depending on the areas and the situation of the school and the students' maturity."

Matsuoka, however, thinks the government deliberately tries not to teach young people the details of Japan's atrocities.

Having experienced history education in two countries, the way history is taught in Japan has at least one advantage - students come away with a comprehensive understanding of when events happened, in what order.

In many ways, my schoolfriends and I were lucky. Because junior high students were all but guaranteed a place in the senior high school, not many had to go through what's often described as the "examination war".

For students who are competing to get into a good senior high school or university, the race is extremely tough and requires memorisation of hundreds of historical dates, on top of all the other subjects that have to be studied.

They have no time to dwell on a few pages of war atrocities, even if they read them in their textbooks.

All this has resulted in Japan's Asian neighbours - especially China and South Korea - accusing the country of glossing over its war atrocities.

Meanwhile, Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticises China's school curriculum for being too "anti-Japanese".

He, like Fujioka, wants to change how history is taught in Japan so that children can be proud of our past, and is considering revising Japan's 1993 apology over the comfort women issue.

If and when that happens, it will undoubtedly cause a huge stir with our Asian neighbours. And yet, many Japanese will have no clue why it is such a big deal.
Power User
Posts: 14368

« Reply #514 on: February 25, 2017, 03:28:40 PM »

Unbroken: Japan Still in Deep Denial Over Cannibalism Against US Soldiers
"The corporal said he saw flesh being cut from prisoners who were still alive."
December 13, 2014
Daniel Greenfield


Unlike Germany, Japan never came to terms in any way with its wartime history. The Japanese are fed on a diet of official history and pop culture history which makes them out to be the victims of American aggression. This history typically starts with American planes suddenly bombing Japan for no reason and then concludes with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

So Unbroken has led to the expected outrage and denial.

    Angelina Jolie’s new movie “Unbroken” has not been released in Japan yet, but it has already struck a nerve in a country still fighting over its wartime past.

    And the buzz on social networks and in online chatter is decidedly negative over the film that depicts a U.S. Olympic runner who endures torture at a Japanese World War II prisoner-of-war camp.

Because Japan did nothing wrong.

    Especially provocative is a passage in the book that refers to cannibalism among the troops. It is not clear how much of that will be in the movie, but that is too much for some.

    “But there was absolutely no cannibalism,” said Mutsuhiro Takeuchi, a nationalist-leaning educator and a priest in the traditional Shinto religion. “That is not our custom.”

Custom or no custom, there was plenty of cannibalism.

    The former President George Bush narrowly escaped being beheaded and eaten by Japanese soldiers when he was shot down over the Pacific in the Second World War, a shocking new history published in America has revealed.

    Lt George Bush, then a 20-year-old pilot, was among nine airmen who escaped from their planes after being shot down during bombing raids on Chichi Jima, a tiny island 700 miles south of Tokyo, in September 1944 - and was the only one to evade capture by the Japanese.

    The horrific fate of the other eight "flyboys" was established in subsequent war crimes trials on the island of Guam, but details were sealed in top secret files in Washington to spare their families distress.

    Mr Bradley has established that they were tortured, beaten and then executed, either by beheading with swords or by multiple stab-wounds from bayonets and sharpened bamboo stakes. Four were then butchered by the island garrison's surgeons and their livers and meat from their thighs eaten by senior Japanese officers.

    The next day a Japanese officer, Major Sueo Matoba, decided to include American flesh in a sake-fuelled feast he laid on for officers including the commander-in-chief on the island, Gen Yoshio Tachibana. Both men were later tried and executed for war crimes.

    A Japanese medical orderly who helped the surgeon prepare the ingredients said: "Dr Teraki cut open the chest and took out the liver. I removed a piece of flesh from the flyer's thigh, weighing about six pounds and measuring four inches wide, about a foot long."

    Another crewman, Floyd Hall, met a similar fate. Adml Kinizo Mori, the senior naval officer on Chichi Jima, told the court that Major Matoba brought "a delicacy" to a party at his quarters - a specially prepared dish of Floyd Hall's liver.

    According to Adml Mori, Matoba told him: "I had it pierced with bamboo sticks and cooked with soy sauce and vegetables." They ate it in "very small pieces", believing it "good medicine for the stomach", the admiral recalled.

    A third victim of cannibalism, Jimmy Dye, had been put to work as a translator when, several weeks later, Capt Shizuo Yoshii - who was later tried and executed - called for his liver to be served at a party for fellow officers. Parts of a fourth airman, Warren Earl Vaughn, were also eaten and the remaining four were executed, one by being clubbed to death.

That wasn't one aberrant incident. This happened a lot.

    One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against the Japanese was Jemadar Abdul Latif of 4/9 Jat Regiment of the Indian Army, a VCO who was rescued by the Australians at Sepik Bay in 1945. He alleged that not just Indian PoWs but even locals in New Guinea were killed and eaten by the Japanese. "At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away ostensibly for carrying out duties, but they never reappeared," the Melbourne correspondent of The Times, London, cabled this version of Jemadar Latif on November 5, 1946.

    Latif's charges were buttressed by Captain R U Pirzai and Subedar Dr Gurcharan Singh. "Of 300 men who went to Wewak with me, only 50 got out. Nineteen were eaten. A Jap doctor —Lieutenant Tumisa, formed a party of three or four men and would send an Indian outside the camp for something. The Japs immediately would kill him and eat the flesh from his body. The liver, muscles from the buttocks, thighs, legs, and arms would be cut off and cooked," Captain Pirzai told Australian daily The Courier-Mail in a report dated August 25, 1945.

    Then there were more similar testimonies by PoWs interned in other camps, such as Havildar Changdi Ram and Lance Naik Hatam Ali, who also gave details of cannibalism practised in their camps. John Baptist Crasta of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, also a PoW at Rabaul, wrote in his memoir (Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War) about Japanese eating Indian soldiers. He was made part of the Allied investigation into Japanese war crimes later.

    All these soldiers gave sworn testimonies to the war crimes investigation commissions set up by the Allies, based on which several Japanese officers and men were tried. The senior-most Japanese officer found guilty of cannibalism and hanged was Lieutenant General Yoshio Tachibana.

    The Japanese, though, were always dismissive of these charges. Then in 1992, a Japanese historian named Toshiyuki Tanaka found incontrovertible evidence of Japanese atrocities, including cannibalism, on Indians and other Allied prisoners. His initial findings were printed by The Japan Times. In 1997, Tanaka came out with his book, Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes In World War II. There, he refuted the Allies' conclusion that the Japanese resorted to cannibalism when their supplies dwindled. Tanaka said this was done under the supervision of senior officers and was perceived as a power projection tool.

It really happened a whole lot. There was a reason that Americans during WW2 viewed their enemies as savages. They weren't racists. They were dealing with the reality of fighting enemies with absolutely no moral code, only an honor-shame code.

    Mr Tanaka, a 43-year-old scholar from Fukui in western Japan, is working at the Political Science Department in Melbourne University. The documents he found concerning cannibalism include captured Japanese army memos as well as sworn statements by Australian soldiers for war crimes investigations. Mr Tanaka says he has amassed at least 100 documented cases of cannibalism of Australian and Indian soldiers as well as Asian forced labourers in New Guinea. He has also found some evidence of cannibalism in the Philippines.

    'In some cases the (Japanese) soldiers were suffering from starvation, but in many other cases they were not starving at all,' said Mr Tanaka. 'Many reports said the Japanese soldiers were fit and strong, and had potatoes, rice and dried fish.' Some Japanese press reports yesterday suggested the cannibalism was carried out simply because of shortage of food.

    The researcher also denied it was a result of a breakdown in morale: 'The reports said morale was good. Often it was done in a group under instruction of a commander. I think it was to get a feeling for victory, and to give the soldiers nerves of steel.' He said it helped the soldiers to bond 'because the whole troop broke the taboo (of cannibalism) together'.

    A Pakistani, who was captured when Japan overran Singapore and taken to New Guinea, testified that in his area Japanese soldiers killed and ate one prisoner a day for 'about 100' days. The corporal said he saw flesh being cut from prisoners who were still alive.

The actual details of it destroy our entire idea of what human civilization looks like.

    If there can be a "worst" in such a litany of atrocities, it is the admission of Masayo Enomoto, a former sergeant major. Enomoto remembers raping a young woman, slicing her up with a meat cleaver, cooking her in a pot and distributing her as food to his troops, who were short of meat.

We can keep going, but I think that's more than enough. Japan has adopted the self-righteous pacifism of the left along with its complete refusal to engage in a moral accounting of its own actions. We constantly hear lectures about the atom bomb. This was the kind of society it was used to fight.

    Takeuchi acknowledged Jolie is free to make whatever movie she wants, stressing that Shinto believes in forgive-and-forget.

I can't speak for Shinto, but it was Americans who forgot and forgave. A Japanese occupation of America would not have involved a lot of forgetting or forgiving. It would have involved the same mass murder, mass rape and ritual cannibalism as the Japanese occupations elsewhere.
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« Reply #515 on: February 25, 2017, 06:49:29 PM »

Alive and safe, the brutal Japanese soldiers who butchered 20,000 Allied seamen in cold blood


Last updated at 17:53 03 November 2007

The perpetrators of some of the worst atrocities of the Second World War remain alive and unpunished in Japan, according to a damning new book.

Painstaking research by British historian Mark Felton reveals that the wartime behaviour of the Japanese Navy was far worse than their counterparts in Hitler's Kriegsmarine.

According to Felton, officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered the deliberately sadistic murders of more than 20,000 Allied seamen and countless civilians in cold-blooded defiance of the Geneva Convention.

"Many of the Japanese sailors who committed such terrible deeds are still alive today," he said.

"No one and nothing has bothered these men in six decades. There is only one documented case of a German U-boat skipper being responsible for cold-blooded murder of survivors. In the Japanese Imperial Navy, it was official orders."

Felton has compiled a chilling list of atrocities. He said: "The Japanese Navy sank Allied merchant and Red Cross vessels, then murdered survivors floating in the sea or in lifeboats.

"Allied air crew were rescued from the ocean and then tortured to death on the decks of ships.

"Naval landing parties rounded up civilians then raped and massacred them. Some were taken out to sea and fed to sharks. Others were killed by sledge-hammer, bayonet, beheading, hanging, drowning, burying alive, burning or crucifixion.

"I also unearthed details of medical experiments by naval doctors, with prisoners being dissected while still alive."

Felton's research reveals for the first time the full extent of the war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Navy, a force that traditionally modelled itself on the Royal Navy. Previously unknown documents suggest that at least 12,500 British sailors and a further 7,500 Australians were butchered.

Felton cites the case of the British merchantman Behar, sunk by the heavy cruiser Tone on March 9, 1944. The Tone's captain Haruo Mayuzumi picked up survivors and, after ten days of captivity below decks, had 85 of them assembled, hands bound, on his ship's stern.

Kicked in their stomachs and testicles by the Japanese, they were then, one by one, beheaded with swords and their bodies dumped overboard.

A solitary senior officer, Commander Junsuke Mii, risked his career by dissenting. But he gave evidence at a subsequent war crimes tribunal only under duress. Meanwhile, most of the officers who conducted the execution remained at liberty after the war.

Felton also tells the horrifying story of James Blears, a 21-year-old radio operator and one of several Britons on the Dutch-registered merchant ship Tjisalak, which was torpedoed by the submarine I-8 on March 26, 1944, while sailing from Melbourne to Ceylon with 103 passengers and crew.

Fished from the sea or ordered out of lifeboats, Blears and his fellow survivors were assembled on the sub's foredeck.

From the conning tower, Commander Shinji Uchino issued the ominous order: "Do not look back because that will be too bad for you," Blears recalled.

One by one, the prisoners were shot, decapitated with swords or simply bludgeoned with a sledge-hammer and thrown on to the churning propellers.

According to Blears: "One guy, they cut off his head halfway and let him flop around on the deck. The others I saw, they just lopped them off with one slice and threw them overboard. The Japanese were laughing and one even filmed the whole thing with a cine camera."

Blears waited for his turn, then pulled his hands out of his bindings and dived overboard amid machine-gun fire.

He swam for hours until he found a lifeboat, in which he was joined by two other officers and later an Indian crewman who had escaped alone after 22 of his fellow countrymen had been tied to a rope behind the I-8 and dragged to their deaths as it dived underwater.

Uchino, who was hailed a Japanese hero, ended the war in a senior land-based role and was never brought to trial.

Felton said: "This kind of behaviour was encouraged under a navy order dated March 20, 1943, which read, 'Do not stop at the sinking of enemy ships and cargoes. At the same time carry out the complete destruction of the crews'."

In the months after that order, the submarine I-37 sank four British merchant ships and one armed vessel and, in every case, the survivors were machine-gunned in the sea.

The submarine's commander was sentenced to eight years in prison at a war crimes trial, but was freed three years later when the Japanese government ruled his actions to have been "legal acts of war".

Felton said: "Most disturbing is the Japanese amnesia about their war record and senior politicians' outrageous statements about the war and their rewriting of history.

"The Japanese murdered 30million civilians while "liberating" what it called the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere from colonial rule. About 23million of these were ethnic Chinese.

"It's a crime that in sheer numbers is far greater than the Nazi Holocaust. In Germany, Holocaust denial is a crime. In Japan, it is government policy. But the evidence against the navy – precious little of which you will find in Japan itself – is damning."

The geographical breadth of the navy's crimes, the heinous nature of the acts themselves and the sadistic behaviour of the officers and men concerned are almost unimaginable.

For example, the execution of 312 Australian and Dutch defenders of the Laha Airfield, Java, was ordered by Rear Admiral Koichiro Hatakeyama on February 24 and 25, 1942.

The facts were squeezed out of two Japanese witnesses by Australian army interrogators as there were no Allied survivors.

One of the Japanese sailors described how the first prisoner to be killed, an Australian, was led forward to the edge of a pit, forced to his knees and beheaded with a samurai sword by a Warrant Officer Sasaki, prompting a great cry of admiration from the watching Japanese.

Sasaki dispatched four more prisoners, and then the ordinary sailors came forward one by one to commit murder.

They laughed and joked with each other even when the executions were terribly botched, the victims pushed into the pit with their heads half attached, jerking feebly and moaning.

Hatakeyama was arraigned by the Australians, but died before his trial could begin. Four senior officers were hanged, but a lack of Allied witnesses made prosecuting others very difficult.

Felton said that the Americans were the most assiduous of the Allied powers in collecting evidence of crimes against their servicemen, including those of Surgeon Commander Chisato Ueno and eight staff who were tried and hanged for dissecting an American prisoner while he was alive in the Philippines in 1945.

However, the British authorities lacked the staff, money and resources of the Americans, and the British Labour government was not fully committed to pursuing Japanese war criminals into the Fifties.

• Slaughter At Sea: The Story Of Japan's Naval War Crimes by Mark Felton is published by Pen & Sword on November 20 at £19.99.

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« Reply #516 on: February 25, 2017, 06:58:54 PM »

Hidden Horrors: Japanese atrocities include evidence of cannibalism

     “For the 10,000-odd soldiers of the Indian Army who endured extreme torture at the hands of their Japanese captors, cannibalism was the culmination. Evidence suggests the practice was not the result of dwindling supplies, but worse, it was conducted under supervision and perceived as a power projection tool.” (War Crimes in WWII: Japanese Practiced Cannibalism on Indian soldiers, International Business Times, 2014)

On Dec. 25, 1942, the US Army’s Allied Translator & Interpreter Section (ATIS), obtained the diary of a Japanese commander whose entry on Oct. 19, 1942, documented starvation of his platoon, and noted that meat had been carved from a dead American prisoner: “This is the first time I have ever tasted human flesh—and it was very tasty.” (Interagency Working Group, National Archives and Records Administration, 2006; pp. 160—163

In 1993, Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes In World War II by Toshiyuki Tanaka, a Japanese historian at Melbourne University, was published in Japanese (English translation, 1996). The book focuses on Japanese atrocities Australian territory and deep in the jungles of Burneo and Papua, New Guinea where thousands of Australian, British, Pakistani and Indian POWs were massacred, and some cannibalized.

Tanaka addressed five categories of Japanese war crimes and explores the broader social, psychological, and institutional culture, examining Japanese conduct within the context of dehumanizing institutionalized wartime brutality. He describes the plight of 2,000 Australian and British POWs who died at Sandakan Camp in Borneo, and the tortuous 160-mile death march which only six survived to tell what happened. He describes human experiments in which POWs were injected with pathogens and poisons; the massacre of civilians, mostly German clergymen, Australian and Chinese civilians. He describes the slaughter of 65 shipwrecked Australian nurses and the gang rape of 32 other captured nurses who were then sent to Sumatra to serve as prostitutes for Japanese soldiers, who are euphemistically called, “comfort women.” And he addressed accounts of cannibalism.

Tanaka indicated that he had collected at least 100 documented cases of Japanese cannibalism involving Australian and Indian soldiers, and refuted the Allies’ contention that the Japanese resorted to cannibalism only when their food supplies were exhausted. “Tanaka said this [cannibalism] was done under the supervision of senior officers and was perceived as a power projection tool.” (Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014)

One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against Japanese soldiers
One of the first to level charges of cannibalism against Japanese soldiers was Jemadar Abdul Latif of the Indian Army who was rescued by the Australians at Sepik Bay in 1945. He alleged that Indian POWs and local New Guineas were killed and eaten by Japanese.

    “At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away… and never reappeared.” (The Times of London, November 5, 1946; Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014)

Latif’s charges were buttressed by sworn testimonies to the War Crimes Investigation Commissions set up by the Allies. Captain R U Pirzai and Subedar Dr Gurcharan Singh told the Australian Courier-Mail in August 25, 1945 that:

    “Of 300 men who went to Wewak with me, only 50 got out. Nineteen were eaten. A Jap doctor —Lieutenant Tumisa, formed a party of three or four men and would send an Indian outside the camp for something. The Japs immediately would kill him and eat the flesh from his body. The liver, muscles from the buttocks, thighs, legs, and arms would be cut off and cooked.”
    (Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014; Jayalakshmi. War Crimes in WWII: Japanese Practiced Cannibalism on Indian soldiers, International Business Times, Aug. 11, 2014)

These witnesses testified that a Japanese doctor, Lieutenant Tumisa, would lead a party of three or four to kill and eat the flesh of hapless Indian soldiers.  Similar testimonies by POWs held at other prisons have also provided detailed reports about Japanese cannibalism, such as Havildar Changdi Ram and Lance Naik Hatam Ali, who also gave details of cannibalism practiced in their camps

    “John Baptist Crasta of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, also a POW at Rabaul, wrote in his memoir (Eaten by the Japanese: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War) about Japanese eating Indian soldiers. He was made part of the Allied investigation into Japanese war crimes later.”

    April 2, 1946, Reuters reported: “The Japanese Lieutenant Hisata Tomiyasu found guilty of the murder of 14 Indian soldiers and of cannibalism at Wewak (New Guinea) in 1944 has been sentenced to death by hanging, it is learned from Rabaul.

    November 5, 1946, The Times, London: “At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away ostensibly for carrying out duties, but they never reappeared.”

    “Based on their testimonies, several Japanese officers were tried. Lieut. Gen. Yoshio Tachibana, the most senior officer found guilty of cannibalism, was hanged.”  (Manimugdha Sharma. Japanese Ate Indian POWs, Used Them as Live Targets in WWII, Times of India, Aug. 11, 2014)

POW death rate under Japanese was seven times higher than under the Germans & Italians  Tanaka suggests that the level of brutalities committed by the Japanese Army help to explain why the death rate for POWs under the Japanese was seven times that of the deaths of POWs under the Germans and Italians. He does not accept that starvation and diseases in tropical countries are the only explanation. Tanaka provides insights into the “emperor ideology” that dominated in Japan during this time and tries to separate this ideology from former periods in Japanese history. He shows that the corruption of the samurai class concept “Bushidou” that had been maintained during the nineteenth century had deteriorated to the point that soldiers had to be imbued with a “fighting spirit.”

    “the concept for basic human rights, in particular for individual lives, was lacking among Japanese soldiers…they did what they thought would be done to them had the positions been reversed… Ideological pressure produced a blind obedience that went much further than the loyalty needed by a warrior from former times. Japanese soldiers also suffered from a radicalization evidenced by Japan’s decision to start a war without having plans on how to end it or to occupy New Guinea, for example, without further knowledge of the territory.”

Furthermore, Tanaka analyzes the psychological pressures that Japanese soldiers were under:

    Rape has been “a device for maintaining group aggressiveness of soldiers…The need to dominate the enemy is imperative in battle with other men… The violation of the bodies of women becomes the means by which such a sense of domination is affirmed and reaffirmed” (p. 107, 108)

Tanaka explains that existing accounts of cannibalism make clear that its practice “was something more than merely random incidents perpetrated by individual or small groups subject to extreme conditions;” he classifies it as a sort of “group-survival cannibalism,” some driven by starvation, although instances of cannibalism occurred before there was a shortage of food.(p. 126) Tanaka highlights the fact that “discipline was maintained to an astonishing degree” (p. 127), thus, some soldiers participated in order to avoid being seen as traitors to group solidarity or even, in some cases, to avoid being eaten themselves by their own companions.

This underscores the inherent danger posed by a collective psychological tendency wherein an individual member in a closed dominant group feels obliged to accede to group pressures. [This was demonstrated in controversial psychological experiments by Stanley Milgrim in his “Obedience to Authority” experiment (1961), and by Philip Zimbardo in his infamous Stanford Prison experiment (1971)].

Hidden Horrors includes a chapter on Biological Warfare Plans. Although the Pacific front was spared biological warfare, plans were made and soldiers were trained for its eventuality. However, POWs at Rabau were subjected to experiments in which they were injected with various poisons or viruses to test their lethality.

Additionally, the extraordinary rate of deaths among Japanese soldiers due to starvation and tropical diseases led doctors to surmise that Japanese soldiers had also been subjected to such experiments. Tanaka suggested that it was as an example of victimizers being victimized; the way in which “those who are guilty are often the victims of war crimes themselves” (p. 134). Tanaka’s findings were later published by The Japan Times In 1997.
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« Reply #517 on: February 25, 2017, 07:03:52 PM »   

Unmasking Horror -- A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity
Published: March 17, 1995

MORIOKA, Japan— He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife, and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to a bed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic.

"The fellow knew that it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle when they led him into the room and tied him down," recalled the 72-year-old farmer, then a medical assistant in a Japanese Army unit in China in World War II. "But when I picked up the scalpel, that's when he began screaming.

"I cut him open from the chest to the stomach, and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped. This was all in a day's work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time."

Finally the old man, who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project -- the full horror of which is only now emerging -- to develop plague bombs for use in World War II. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open to see what the disease does to a man's inside. No anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results.

That research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II: a vast project to develop weapons of biological warfare, including plague, anthrax, cholera and a dozen other pathogens. Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army conducted research by experimenting on humans and by "field testing" plague bombs by dropping them on Chinese cities to see whether they could start plague outbreaks. They could.

A trickle of information about the program has turned into a stream and now a torrent. Half a century after the end of the war, a rush of books, documentaries and exhibitions are unlocking the past and helping arouse interest in Japan in the atrocities committed by some of Japan's most distinguished doctors.

Scholars and former members of the unit say that at least 3,000 people -- by some accounts several times as many -- were killed in the medical experiments; none survived.

No one knows how many died in the "field testing." It is becoming evident that the Japanese officers in charge of the program hoped to use their weapons against the United States. They proposed using balloon bombs to carry disease to America, and they had a plan in the summer of 1945 to use kamikaze pilots to dump plague-infected fleas on San Diego.

The research was kept secret after the end of the war in part because the United States Army granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the doctors in exchange for their data. Japanese and American documents show that the United States helped cover up the human experimentation. Instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, it gave them stipends.

The accounts are wrenching to read even after so much time has passed: a Russian mother and daughter left in a gas chamber, for example, as doctors peered through thick glass and timed their convulsions, watching as the woman sprawled over her child in a futile effort to save her from the gas. The Origins Ban on Weapon Entices Military

Japan's biological weapons program was born in the 1930's, in part because Japanese officials were impressed that germ warfare had been banned by the Geneva Convention of 1925. If it was so awful that it had to be banned under international law, the officers reasoned, it must make a great weapon.

The Japanese Army, which then occupyied a large chunk of China, evicted the residents of eight villages near Harbin, in Manchuria, to make way for the headquarters of Unit 731. One advantage of China, from the Japanese point of view, was the availability of research subjects on whom germs could be tested. The subjects were called marutas, or logs, and most were Communist sympathizers or ordinary criminals. The majority were Chinese, but many were Russians, expatriates living in China.

Takeo Wano, a 71-year-old former medical worker in Unit 731 who now lives here in the northern Japanese city of Morioka, said he once saw a six-foot-high glass jar in which a Western man was pickled in formaldehyde. The man had been cut into two pieces, vertically, and Mr. Wano guesses that he was Russian because there were many Russians then living in the area.

The Unit 731 headquarters contained many other such jars with specimens. They contained feet, heads, internal organs, all neatly labeled. "I saw samples with labels saying 'American,' 'English' and 'Frenchman,' but most were Chinese, Koreans and Mongolians," said a Unit 731 veteran who insisted on anonymity. "Those labeled as American were just body parts, like hands or feet, and some were sent in by other military units."

There is no evidence that Americans were among the victims in the Unit 731 compound, although there have been persistent but unproven accusations that American prisoners of war in Mukden (now Shenyang) were subject to medical experimentation.

Medical researchers also locked up diseased prisoners with healthy ones, to see how readily various ailments would spread. The doctors locked others inside a pressure chamber to see how much the body can withstand before the eyes pop from their sockets.

Victims were often taken to a proving ground called Anda, where they were tied to stakes and bombarded with test weapons to see how effective the new technologies were. Planes sprayed the zone with a plague culture or dropped bombs with plague-infested fleas to see how many people would die.

The Japanese armed forces were using poison gas in their battles against Chinese troops, and so some of the prisoners were used in developing more lethal gases. One former member of Unit 731 who insisted on anonymity said he was taken on a "field trip" to the proving ground to watch a poison gas experiment.

A group of prisoners were tied to stakes, and then a tank-like contraption that spewed out gas was rolled toward them, he said. But at just that moment, the wind changed and the Japanese observers had to run for their lives without seeing what happened to the victims.

The Japanese Army regularly conducted field tests to see whether biological warfare would work outside the laboratory. Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China, and plague outbreaks were later reported.

Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhoid cultures in wells and ponds, but the results were often counterproductive. In 1942 germ warfare specialists distributed dysentery, cholera and typhoid in Zhejiang Province in China, but Japanese soldiers became ill and 1,700 died of the diseases, scholars say.

Sheldon H. Harris, a historian at California State University in Northridge, estimates that more than 200,000 Chinese were killed in germ warfare field experiments. Professor Harris -- author of a book on Unit 731, "Factories of Death" (Routledge, 1994) -- also says plague-infected animals were released as the war was ending and caused outbreaks of the plague that killed at least 30,000 people in the Harbin area from 1946 through 1948.

The leading scholar of Unit 731 in Japan, Keiichi Tsuneishi, is skeptical of such numbers. Professor Tsuneishi, who has led the efforts in Japan to uncover atrocities by Unit 731, says that the attack on Ningbo killed about 100 people and that there is no evidence of huge outbreaks of disease set off by field trials. The Tradeoff Knowledge Gained At Terrible Cost

Many of the human experiments were intended to develop new treatments for medical problems that the Japanese Army faced. Many of the experiments remain secret, but an 18-page report prepared in 1945 -- and kept by a senior Japanese military officer until now -- includes a summary of the unit's research. The report was prepared in English for American intelligence officials, and it shows the extraordinary range of the unit's work.

Scholars say that the research was not contrived by mad scientists, and that it was intelligently designed and carried out. The medical findings saved many Japanese lives.

For example, Unit 731 proved scientifically that the best treatment for frostbite was not rubbing the limb, which had been the traditional method, but rather immersion in water a bit warmer than 100 degrees -- but never more than 122 degrees.

The cost of this scientific breakthrough was borne by those seized for medical experiments. They were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water, until a guard decided that frostbite had set in. Testimony from a Japanese officer said this was determined after the "frozen arms, when struck with a short stick, emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck."

A booklet just published in Japan after a major exhibition about Unit 731 shows how doctors even experimented on a three-day-old baby, measuring the temperature with a needle stuck inside the infant's middle finger.

"Usually a hand of a three-day-old infant is clenched into a fist," the booklet says, "but by sticking the needle in, the middle finger could be kept straight to make the experiment easier." The Scope Other Experiments On Humans

The human experimentation did not take place just in Unit 731, nor was it a rogue unit acting on its own. While it is unclear whether Emperor Hirohito knew of the atrocities, his younger brother, Prince Mikasa, toured the Unit 731 headquarters in China and wrote in his memoirs that he was shown films showing how Chinese prisoners were "made to march on the plains of Manchuria for poison gas experiments on humans."

In addition, the recollections of Dr. Ken Yuasa, 78, who still practices in a clinic in Tokyo, suggest that human experimentation may have been routine even outside Unit 731. Dr. Yuasa was an army medic in China, but he says he was never in Unit 731 and never had contact with it.

Nevertheless, Dr. Yuasa says that when he was still in medical school in Japan, the students heard that ordinary doctors who went to China were allowed to vivisect patients. And sure enough, when Dr. Yuasa arrived in Shanxi Province in north-central China in 1942, he was soon asked to attend a "practice surgery."

Two Chinese men were brought in, stripped naked and given general anesthetic. Then Dr. Yuasa and the others began practicing various kinds of surgery: first an appendectomy, then an amputation of an arm and finally a tracheotomy. After 90 minutes, they were finished, so they killed the patient with an injection.

When Dr. Yuasa was put in charge of a clinic, he said, he periodically asked the police for a Communist to dissect, and they sent one over. The vivisection was all for practice rather than for research, and Dr. Yuasa says they were routine among Japanese doctors working in China in the war.

In addition, Dr. Yuasa -- who is now deeply apologetic about what he did -- said he cultivated typhoid germs in test tubes and passed them on, as he had been instructed to do, to another army unit. Someone from that unit, which also had no connection with Unit 731, later told him that the troops would use the test tubes to infect the wells of villages in Communist-held territory. The Plans Taking the War To U.S. Homeland

In 1944, when Japan was nearing defeat, Tokyo's military planners seized on a remarkable way to hit back at the American heartland: they launched huge balloons that rode the prevailing winds to the continental United States. Although the American Government censored reports at the time, some 200 balloons landed in Western states, and bombs carried by the balloons killed a woman in Montana and six people in Oregon.

Half a century later, there is evidence that it could have been far worse; some Japanese generals proposed loading the balloons with weapons of biological warfare, to create epidemics of plague or anthrax in the United States. Other army units wanted to send cattle-plague virus to wipe out the American livestock industry or grain smut to wipe out the crops.

There was a fierce debate in Tokyo, and a document discovered recently suggests that at a crucial meeting in late July 1944 it was Hideki Tojo -- whom the United States later hanged for war crimes -- who rejected the proposal to use germ warfare against the United States.

At the time of the meeting, Tojo had just been ousted as Prime Minister and chief of the General Staff, but he retained enough authority to veto the proposal. He knew by then that Japan was likely to lose the war, and he feared that biological assaults on the United States would invite retaliation with germ or chemical weapons being developed by America.

Yet the Japanese Army was apparently willing to use biological weapons against the Allies in some circumstances. When the United States prepared to attack the Pacific island of Saipan in the late spring of 1944, a submarine was sent from Japan to carry biological weapons -- it is unclear what kind -- to the defenders.

The submarine was sunk, Professor Tsuneishi says, and the Japanese troops had to rely on conventional weapons alone.

As the end of the war approached in 1945, Unit 731 embarked on its wildest scheme of all. Codenamed Cherry Blossoms at Night, the plan was to use kamikaze pilots to infest California with the plague.

Toshimi Mizobuchi, who was an instructor for new recruits in Unit 731, said the idea was to use 20 of the 500 new troops who arrived in Harbin in July 1945. A submarine was to take a few of them to the seas off Southern California, and then they were to fly in a plane carried on board the submarine and contaminate San Diego with plague-infected fleas. The target date was to be Sept. 22, 1945.

Ishio Obata, 73, who now lives in Ehime prefecture, acknowledged that he had been a chief of the Cherry Blossoms at Night attack force against San Diego, but he declined to discuss details. "It is such a terrible memory that I don't want to recall it," he said.

Tadao Ishimaru, also 73, said he had learned only after returning to Japan that he had been a candidate for the strike force against San Diego. "I don't want to think about Unit 731," he said in a brief telephone interview. "Fifty years have passed since the war. Please let me remain silent."

It is unclear whether Cherry Blossoms at Night ever had a chance of being carried out. Japan did indeed have at least five submarines that carried two or three planes each, their wings folded against the fuselage like a bird.

But a Japanese Navy specialist said the navy would have never allowed its finest equipment to be used for an army plan like Cherry Blossoms at Night, partly because the highest priority in the summer of 1945 was to defend the main Japanese islands, not to launch attacks on the United States mainland.

If the Cherry Blossoms at Night plan was ever serious, it became irrelevant as Japan prepared to surrender in early August 1945. In the last days of the war, beginning on Aug. 9, Unit 731 used dynamite to try to destroy all evidence of its germ warfare program, scholars say. The Aftermath No Punishment, Little Remorse

Partly because the Americans helped cover up the biological warfare program in exchange for its data, Gen. Shiro Ishii, the head of Unit 731, was allowed to live peacefully until his death from throat cancer in 1959. Those around him in Unit 731 saw their careers flourish in the postwar period, rising to positions that included Governor of Tokyo, president of the Japan Medical Association and head of the Japan Olympic Committee.

By conventional standards, few people were more cruel than the farmer who as a Unit 731 medic carved up a Chinese prisoner without anesthetic, and who also acknowledged that he had helped poison rivers and wells. Yet his main intention in agreeing to an interview seemed to be to explain that Unit 731 was not really so brutal after all.

Asked why he had not anesthetized the prisoner before dissecting him, the farmer explained: "Vivisection should be done under normal circumstances. If we'd used anesthesia, that might have affected the body organs and blood vessels that we were examining. So we couldn't have used anesthetic."

When the topic of children came up, the farmer offered another justification: "Of course there were experiments on children. But probably their fathers were spies."

"There's a possibility this could happen again," the old man said, smiling genially. "Because in a war, you have to win."

Photo: Japan proposed using germ-war balloons against America. (From "Unit 731"/The Free Press) (pg. A1); Gen. Shiro Ishii, head of Unit 731. (pg. A12) Map shows the location of Harbin, China. (pg. A12)
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« Reply #518 on: February 26, 2017, 08:58:07 AM »

The Untold Story of the Vengeful Japanese Attack After the Doolittle Raid
When the U.S. responded to Pearl Harbor with a surprise bombing of Tokyo, the Imperial Army took out its fury on the Chinese people

Planes Preparing
The flight deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet, some 800 miles off Tokyo Japan, where it shows some of 16 Billy Mitchell (B-25) Bombers, under the command of Major Jimmy Doolittle, just before they were guided off flight deck for historic raid on Tokyo, April of 1942. (Bettmann/Corbis)
By James M. Scott
April 15, 2015

At midday on April 18, 1942, 16 U.S. Army bombers, under the command of daredevil pilot Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, thundered into the skies over Tokyo and other key Japanese industrial cities in a surprise raid designed to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the 80 volunteer raiders, who lifted off that morning from the carrier Hornet, the mission was one-way. After attacking Japan, most of the aircrews flew on to Free China, where low on fuel, the men either bailed out or crash-landed along the coast and were rescued by local villagers, guerrillas and missionaries.

That generosity shown by the Chinese would trigger a horrific retaliation by the Japanese that claimed an estimated quarter-million lives and would prompt comparisons to the 1937-38 Rape of Nanking. American military authorities, cognizant that a raid on Tokyo would result in a vicious counterattack upon free China, saw the mission through regardless, even keeping the operation a secret from their Pacific theater allies. This chapter of the Doolittle Raid has largely gone unreported—until now.

Long-forgotten missionary records discovered in the archives of DePaul University for the first time shed important new light on the extent to which the Chinese suffered in the aftermath of the Doolittle raid.

In the moments after the attack on Tokyo, Japanese leaders fumed over the raid, which had revealed China’s coastal provinces as a dangerous blind spot in the defense of the homeland. American aircraft carriers not only could launch surprise attacks from the seas and land safely in China but could possibly even fly bombers directly from Chinese airfields to attack Japan. The Japanese military ordered an immediate campaign against strategically important airfields, issuing an operational plan in late April, just days after the Doolittle raid.

Survivor accounts point to an ulterior objective: to punish the Chinese allies of the United States forces, especially those towns where the American aviators had bailed out after the raid. At the time, Japanese forces occupied Manchuria as well as key coastal ports, railways and industrial and commercial centers in China.

Preview thumbnail for video 'Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

The dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated— and controversial—military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid.

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