Friday, July 20, 2012

"by their fruits ye shall know them" - Chinese toward Military Prestige

Around the Official Residence of Prime Minister, Tokyo

Chinese toward Military Prestige

It is not the First Emperor of Qin (259-210 BC) who first unified China in a full scale that Chinese people respect most.  It is Emperor Wu of Han (156–87 BC) since he expanded the territory of China so wide and vast.
As a military campaigner, Emperor Wu led Han China through its greatest expansion—at its height, the Empire's borders spanned from modern Kyrgyzstan in the west, to Korea in the east, and to northern Vietnam in the south. Emperor Wu successfully repelled the nomadic Xiongnu from systematically raiding northern China and dispatched his envoy Zhang Qian in 139 BC to seek an alliance with the Yuezhi of modern Uzbekistan. This resulted in further missions to Central Asia. Although historical records do not describe him as a follower of Buddhism, exchanges probably occurred as a consequence of these embassies, and there are suggestions that he received Buddhist statues from central Asia, as depicted in Mogao Caves murals.

However preceding Wu, two benevolent and clever emperors reigned Han.

After the first emperor of the Han dynasty Emperor Gaozu died, Han went into an era of political turmoil.  Many members of the imperial family were executed through internal conflicts.  But one of grandsons of Emperor Gaozu survived to be raised to the imperial throne. So, Emperor Wen (202 BC – 157 BC) was established as the fifth emperor of the Han Dynasty.

Emperor Wen governed China so wisely.
Emperor Wen was considered one of the most benevolent rulers in Chinese history. His reign was marked by thriftiness and attempts to reduce burdens on the people. His reign and that of his son Emperor Jing were often collectively known together as the Rule of Wen and Jing, renowned for general stability and relaxed laws.

Emperor Wen and Jing tried to rest people as they were exhausted through internal conflicts.  They tried to recover production power in farming villages.  The Emperors did not unnecessarily try to build big buildings, roads, and other facilities, though Chinese emperors traditionally loved to conduct a large-scale public work, such as expansion of their palaces, during their reigns.  They also mitigated application of serious punishment to criminals.  They also abated tax sometimes.  

So, it was said that during the reign of Emperor Wen and Jing, people enjoyed peace and prosperity so much.  Stock rooms of villages were full of grains.  Depot buildings in towns were full of coins.  Economy was greatly improved.  

However, it is said that Chinese people today respect Emperor Wu of Han more than those two prudent and pacifist Emperors, since Emperor Wu expanded the territory of China with military power more than the First Emperor of Qin had done. 

Therefore, it is thought that Chinese people today are very ambitious in terms of boosting national prestige.  They would support an aggressive defense policy of the Chinese Government.  The Chinese people would support enhancement of military capability of China and deployment of naval fleets in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.  They might expect their Government to take as much as sea territory and as many as islands in those Seas.  

And as China prevented Japan from obtaining a permanent seat in the UN Security Council several years ago, we cannot expect any effective movement of China toward peace in Asia and the world.  We have to be careful in dealing with China in any fields, including economy and trade.
Early Han and Other Powers

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Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"hewn down, and cast into the fire" - How the Emperor was Secured

The National Diet Building Street, Tokyo

How the Emperor was Secured

After the Japanese-American War (the main part of WWII for Japan), a big issue rose in Japan and the US as well as other parties of the Pacific theater of WWII, including the UK, China, the Soviet Union, Australia, etc.

Supreme commander of the occupation forces General MacArthur got prepared for the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals.  He ordered arrest of scores of Japanese generals, admirals, and politicians who had played major roles in the Empire of Japan when it launched wars in China and the Pacific region.

The biggest concern was whether or not Showa Emperor would be arrested, indicted, and, in the worst case, punished by allied forces that now occupied whole Japan, since he had been the emperor of the Empire of Japan since 1926.  The emperor of Japan presided over both the Imperial Government and the Imperial military while the two authorities were functionally separated by the Imperial Constitution.

Briefly speaking, the result was that the Emperor was not persecuted by the allied forces that occupied Japan after WWII.  His responsibility for the wars was not pursued.  Rather the Emperor met more than 10 times with General MacArthur in person to cement a kind of friendship till the General left Japan forever in 1951.

When the war ended, the US Government led by President Truman was not determined to execute or exempt the Emperor, since it was unclear how much the Emperor had been involved in the decision by the Empire of Japan to attack Pearl Harbor in 1941.  But, the US Government eventually decided not to call the Emperor to account.

It was General MacArthur that advised Washington that it was dangerous to bring a charge against the Emperor to simply inflict vengeance on the old enemy, the Empire of Japan.  If the Emperor had been taken to the Tokyo Tribunal, millions of Japanese would have been offended.  Some nationalists or ex-Imperial military officers might have started to attack US generals, officers and other personnel who now occupied Japan.  A larger-scale sabotage or guerrilla war might erupt in post-war Japan under military occupation mainly by the US Army and Navy.  It was not acceptable while the US and the Soviet Union were going to enter the era of the Cold War.    

General MacArthur further wrote a letter to Washington, explaining that the Emperor had not taken the initiative in planning and ordering the Pearl Harbor Attack.  He just reluctantly accepted the war plan having been prepared by the Imperial Government.  This letter worked so well that the US Government accepted MacArthur's policy not to prosecute Showa Emperor.

But why could MacArthur understand the situation around the Emperor so well?  How could MacArthur understand uniqueness of Japan and the Japanese people so well?  It is because he had a military secretary, a brigade general, who knew Japan so well, though MacArthur himself had once visited Tokyo before WWII while he was stationed in the Philippines.

It is Bonner Frank Fellers (1896–1973) who helped MacArthur understand well Japan and Japanese.  Fellers advised the General that occupation of Japan could be very successful if the Emperor became cooperative with the General Head Quarters of the occupation forces.  Besides, Fellers obtained a testimony that the Emperor had not been willing to support the war plan against the US.  

After the war and when the Tokyo Tribunal was scheduled, the Emperor decided to speak candidly to his aids in the Imperial Palace, expressing how he acted, thought and felt during the Japanese-Chinese War and the Japanese American War.  This monologue was conducted following advise from his aids for the purpose to present a proof that the Emperor was not responsible for the Pearl Harbor Attack.  Accordingly, his aids made a record of the Emperor's monologue.  It was translated into English and given to Fellers who found that the Emperor had not been proactive in carrying out the Pearl Harbor Attack, though he would not stop it.  Anyway, based on this personal testimony by the Emperor, Fellers could strongly support General MacArthur who then wrote the decisive letter to Washington.

However, it is now also understood that General MacArthur from the beginning had no intention to bring the Emperor to the Tokyo Tribunal, in order to make his occupation of Japan successful. 

More interestingly, Fellers had some Japanese friends before WWII or the Pearl Harbor Attack.  He had visited Japan a few times before the war.  From those Japanese friends he came to know author Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (1850 – 1904) who wrote many novels about Japan.  So, Fellers' knowledge about Japan was fairly deep.

In 1890, Hearn went to Japan with a commission as a newspaper correspondent, which was quickly terminated. It was in Japan, however, that he found a home and his greatest inspiration. Through the goodwill of Basil Hall Chamberlain, Hearn gained a teaching position during the summer of 1890 at the Shimane Prefectural Common Middle School and Normal School in Matsue, a town in western Japan on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum and his old residence are still two of Matsue's most popular tourist attractions. During his fifteen-month stay in Matsue, Hearn married Koizumi Setsu, the daughter of a local samurai family. He became a naturalized Japanese, assuming the name Koizumi Yakumo, in 1896 after accepting a teaching position in Tokyo.

During late 1891, Hearn obtained another teaching position in Kumamoto, Kyūshū, at the Fifth Higher Middle School, where he spent the next three years and completed his book Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894). In October 1894, he secured a journalism job with the English-language newspaper Kobe Chronicle, and in 1896, with some assistance from Chamberlain, he began teaching English literature at Tokyo Imperial University, a job he had until 1903. In 1904, he was a professor at Waseda University. On 26 September 1904, he died of heart failure at the age of 54 years. His grave is at the Zōshigaya Cemetery in Toshima, Tokyo.

Put simply, Showa Emperor (usually called Emperor Hirohito in English) was secured by General MacArthur, his military secretary Bonner Fellers, and Fellers' favorite author Lafcadio Hearn. 
(Emperor Hirohito is called Showa Emperor in Japan as his reign was during the Showa period in the Japanese calendar.)

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Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"it cannot defile him" - The Empire and the Peninsula

The Japanese National Diet Building

The Empire and the Peninsula

Till the middle of the 20th century or the end of WWII, some European countries, the Russian Empire, and the US invaded Asia and colonized many regions.

But Japan had been closed off to the world.  The samurai government had trade ties with only China and the Netherlands in addition to a diplomatic tie with Korea.  But, the US sent several naval ships to Tokyo Bay to force the samurai leaders to open the nation.

(The reason why Japan had been sealed off to the world for centuries was that samurais did not want Christianity to prevail in Japan.)

As the Tokugawa shogun, namely the head of the samurai regime, found that his troops could not be well matched against the US fleet due to fire superiority on the American side, he decided to open the nation and conclude a diplomatic treaty with the US.  Japan ended its 250-year long separation from the world.  But after opening the nation, the Tokugawa clan fell.  Anti-Tokugawa samurais taking the emperor on their side launched a civil war to defeat the Tokugawa camp.  They formed a new government in the former capital of the Tokugawa regime Edo which was now called Tokyo.  

(There were some samurai clans in Japan who had been enemies of the Tokugawa clan since the early 17th century.  They were waiting for a chance of reprisal.  They found that the Tokugawa shogun failed in handling foreign countries so that Japan opened the door to Western powers.)

Then, the new government of Japan that took over power from the Tokugawa clan started modernization and Westernization of Japan.  They especially concentrated on building up modern army and navy, though the samurai spirit was inherited.  The new Japanese leaders knew well that the Tokugawa shogun was forced to accept unequal treaties with the US and other Western powers because Japan had less fire power.  Without the strong military forces, Japan had to face a danger of being subject to Western rule.  So, ex-samurais who formed the new government in the Meiji era (since 1868) pursued a policy of increasing wealth and military power with full efforts.

But this new Japan, namely the Empire of Japan, imitated Western powers too much.  It started to behave like one of Western powers.  It came to despise other Asian countries, especially Korea and China, as the two countries could not adapt themselves to the trend of time.  Korea and China did not now show any sign of success in modernization and Westernization.  And as Korea was so close to Japan, the Imperial Government started to interfere in the Korean politics, though Korea was then continuing a closed-door policy like Tokugawa Japan.  

The Empire of Japan wanted Korea to develop itself well to be a trade partner of the Empire and a military ally of the Empire.  But, the Korean kingdom could not succeed in modernization due to its out-of-date social and political systems.  The literacy rate in Korea was less than 10% while it was over 90% in Japan around 1900.  For example, Korean soldiers could not read and write but Japanese ones could.  Korea could not even make war against Japan.

After a long story, the Empire of Japan annexed, occupied, and managed the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.  But with the end of WWII, the Empire of Japan fell.  The Japanese military elites were wiped away from the Japanese Government.  Korea came to be independent.

But when Korea left the Japanese control, there were many Japanese assets in Korea.  As the Japanese Government did not take back them, Koreans could build the new nation based on industrial and social infrastructures Japanese left in the Peninsula.

The value of those Japanese assets left in Korea after WWII is estimated to be 13 trillion 350 billion yen or $167 billion in today's value.  

So, Koreans got factories, plants, equipment, infrastructures, and systems worth $167 billion for free after WWII from Japan.

That is why most of Japanese are disappointed to see rude and mean anti-Japanese behaviors among Koreans today.
Assets of the Empire of Japan Given to Korea after WWII

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Mar 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"which God had sworn to Abraham" - Immediately After Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings

Japanese National Diet Building

Immediately After Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings

After the US military forces attacked Hiroshima (on August 6) and Nagasaki (on August 9) with B29 bombers that dropped a nuclear (atomic) bomb in each city, the Imperial Government started medical investigation on citizens of the two cities.

It continued after the US troops landed on Japan following surrender of the Imperial Army and Navy on August 15.  The Japanese medical team started to cooperate with an American investigation team that came to Japan to study the effect of atomic bombs on human bodies.

But the initial report was solely prepared by Japanese medical doctors and scientists.  The report was issued on November 15, 1945 under the title of "Medical Report of The Atomic Bombing in Hiroshima." The authors were specified as Army Medical College, The First Tokyo Army Hospital (of the Empire of Japan).

However, another report delivered on November 30, 1945 seemed to be more popular among parties concerned:
The Impact of The A-Bomb (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945-80) 
November 30: 
Special Committee for Investigation of A-bomb Damages (Scientific Research Council) presents first report (at Tokyo Imperial University). GHQ issues directive requiring prior permission for A-bomb research.

A medical department of the Imperial Army of Japan started medical checks on 6,000 Hiroshima citizens who survived while suffering the atomic bomb attack in an army hospital in Hiroshima City immediately after the atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1941.        

Japanese medical doctors who participated in this investigation checked injured citizens not to cure them but to collect data without informing patients of the true purpose of the medical examination.  (This fact is now criticized by many Japanese citizens engaged in peace movement.)

At the time, Japanese parties concerned were eager to prepare a report without delay and present it to a US investigative team and related authorities that came to Japan for study on the effect of the nuclear bombs.  The Japanese elites involved wanted to receive a favor from US parties concerned who were mostly under authority of General MacArthur, General Head Quarters (GHQ) of the occupation forces, or defense branches of the US Government.  By presenting useful and precise data on effects of atomic bombs on the human body, ex-Imperial military generals, officers, and officials expected lenient judgment from US authorities on their anti-American and inhumane acts they had conducted during WWII.

Specifically the report included results of medical checks on 17,000 surviving children who had been in 70 locations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when an atomic bomb was dropped in each city.  There included were also 14 volumes of data from postmortem examination with 200 dead bodies.
US medical doctors and scientists who received the report prepared by Japanese experts expressed their great gratitude to the Japanese team.  And it is believed that this report contributed much to development of American study on radiation medicine and technology.

In addition, cooperation between Japan and the US on effects of radiation on the human body has continued to date.

It might still help Fukushima citizens who lived close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that started a great accident after the M9.0 earthquake and the great tsunami on March 11, 2011.  

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Act 7:17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
Act 7:18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Do men gather grapes of thorns" - Truth of 1937 Shanghai-Nanjing Battles

The Tokyo Railway Station

Truth of 1937 Shanghai-Nanjing Battles

Japanese people despised Chinese incredibly badly before WWII.

Most of the Japanese people looked down on Chinese after the Japanese-Sino War (1894 - 1895).  This national atmosphere was further intensified after the Japanese-Russo War (1904 - 1905).

Samurai Japanese were treated badly by Western powers when Japan stopped the national isolation in the middle of the 19th century.  Samurai swords and matchlocks could not compete with modern weapons the US and European countries had.  So, samurais modernized themselves and their country to become a modern military power.  Now they knew that China failed where they succeeded.  As proud samurai, namely rulers of Japan in the samurai era, had looked down on merchants and farmers, most of the Japanese adopting the samurai spirit started to despise Chinese (as well as Koreans).  Those Japanese started to think of themselves as almost equal to Europeans and Americans.  They thought they were now superior to Chinese (as well as Koreans), though Japanese learnt many things from Chinese classics and the ancient Chinese civilization.    

This mind set of regarding Chinese people as inferior to Japanese is one of keys to understanding tragedy in the Shanghai-Nanjing Battles in 1937.

As this feeling to put a slight on Chinese prevailed so much in the Japanese society before WWII, nobody was against a claim by the Imperial Army that foolish, rude, and unfriendly Chinese politicians and generals should be hit hard once or twice and then they would honestly obey the Empire of Japan.  Accordingly the Imperial Army stationed in Manchukuo invaded northern China around Beijing to hit hard Chinese troops so that they would be suppressed.  It was because Imperial troops stationed in Manchukuo (to defend the puppet nation against the Soviet Union) were sometimes attacked by Chinese troops deployed along the border area between northern China and Manchukuo. (China had even concluded a secret agreement with the USSR to check military operation of the Imperial Army of Japan in its dependent state Manchukuo.)  

But this arrogant feeling in the Japanese people, or especially among the Japanese elites, toward China and Chinese of course gave offense to Chinese people and especially the Chinese elites.

So, Chiang Kaishek, the then Chinese president, decided to launch a large-scale military campaign  to Shangahai where one regiment of the Imperial Marines of Japan was stationed with other troops of the US and European countries. Shanghai in 1937 was an international city and not subject to the Chinese Government led by Chiang Kaishek.  Chiang never dreamed that this campaign would fail.  His troops were trained by German generals for years and equipped with German and Czech weapons.   Chiang could mobilize hundreds of thousands of troops for this operation to take and occupy the richest city in Asia.  So, this operation must have been successful.  Tokyo would send a few divisions for defense of  Shanghai.  But they would be wiped away by his Army so intensified with help from Germany and the USSR.

But, Chiang Kaishek was wrong.  Japanese soldiers dispatched from Japan to Shanghai were too strong.  Chinese divisions were defeated and ran away from Shanghai to Nanjing.  Japanese troops chased them so quickly without much planning and thinking.  On 300-km roads from Shangahai to Nanjing 300,000 dead bodies of fallen Chinese soldiers were left. 

But it was just a beginning of tragedy, since Japanese generals and soldiers, who were fighting enemies whose number was ten times larger, looked down on Chinese politicians, generals, officers, soldiers, civilians, and farmers so badly.

One of the causes of tragedy of the Shanghai-Nanjing Battles was disdain of the Japanese people for Chinese.  But, other was Chiang Kaishek's arrogance to attack Japanese troops defending Shanghai while Chiang mobilized and deployed divisions and units ten times more than Japanese troops. 

From a Japanese point of view, Chiang Kaishek should have called for suspension of hostilities when his Army failed to invade Shanghai and take on Imperial troops of Japan who were dispatched from the north China front line and the Japanese mainland.  Then, Imperial troops should not have ventured their lives for the battles between Shanghai and Nanjing against enemies ten times larger in the land of hostility while those Japanese divisions and regiments were not supplied with enough foods and other resources needed for management of a large number of prisoners of war they might have taken if any.  

(But why no foods and resources?  It is because the Shanghai-Nanjing Battles were started, on initiative of Chiang Kaishek, so abruptly for the Empire of Japan.  The Imperial Government could not prepare its troops with sufficient foods and other resources for the Battles.  They were forcibly drawn to the war...)
Shanghai Street in 1930s

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Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?