Friday, August 10, 2012

"so great faith, no, not in Israel" - Yasukuni Shrine and Emperor

The Tokyo Tower, Tokyo

Yasukuni Shrine and Emperor

Showa Emperor of Japan (Emperor Hirohito) stopped voluntarily going and praying in the Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, from a certain period of time after WWII.

The emperor visited the Shrine on November 21, 1975 as his last religious mission to Yasukuni.

It is said that it was because class-A war criminals of the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals established in Tokyo by the US and allies' supreme commander General MacArthur after WWII were enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine in 1978 with other war victims.

Traditionally the Yasukuni Shrine was the place to worship fallen soldiers who fought for the emperor in and after the civil war on the Meiji Restoration of the imperial authority of 1860s..  Accordingly, it had been customary for the emperor to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine on appropriate occasions.

So, after the second world war, Showa Emperor sometimes visited the Shrine.  But after he knew that class-A war criminals of the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals were also enshrined there in 1978, he stopped this de-facto duty.

The class-A war criminals were those leaders of the Empire of Japan who led the nation to wars against China, the US, etc. in 1930s and early 1940s.  When the Empire surrendered in the summer of 1945 to the US and its allies, they were arrested by US officers subject to the order from General MacArthur.   And they were judged in the special court set up by the General.

There were 28 class-A criminals who were took to the court, and seven of them were sentenced to death.  Hideki Tojo, an Army general of the Empire who was prime minister at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, was one of the seven ex-elites to be executed in 1948 by the American forces that were occupying Japan after WWII.

So, the Yasukuni Shrine decided to regard those executed class-A war criminals as ordinary service members who lost their lives in wars made for the emperor and the Empire of Japan. The Shrine did not take them as criminals but respectable military men like others who had died in previous wars and civil wars.

However, Showa Emperor did not accept it.  For the Emperor, who was in the imperial throne from 1926 to 1989, those class-A criminals were not ordinary fallen-soldiers who fought and died for the Imperial House and the Empire.  The Emperor could not worship them as gods, though every fallen soldier was believed to become a god in principle, according to the shinto religion.

Showa Emperor refused to pay religious respect to those ex-top elites of the Empire, namely the class-A war criminals, who had once led the Empire with the Emperor himself before WWII.

Of course after WWII, Showa Emperor never led the defense forces of Japan as the supreme commander.  The Emperor became a symbol of peace-loving Japan after WWII.  He also became very friendly to the US and even officially visited Washington DC in 1975.

And, it looked as though Showa Emperor trusted the US military forces stationed in Japan subject to the Japan-US Security Treaty after WWII more than the old Imperial Army and Navy that were disbanded in 1945.

By avoiding showing religious respect to those class-A war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine, the Emperor expressed implicitly or explicitly his standpoint after WWII not only to the Japanese people but also American parties concerned.

Showa Emperor at Yasukuni Shrine before WWII

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Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

"What might this parable be?" - Okinawa and Nixon


Okinawa and Nixon

Okinawa Prefecture is one of the most special autonomous bodies in Japan.

It is situated in the most southern and western part of the Japanese Archipelago.  It consists of tens or more of islands situated between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea.  It takes the position between Taiwan and Kyusyu, one of the major islands of Japan.

Okinawa was once an independent kingdom, though Okinawa residents are undoubtedly of the Japanese race.  Okinawa was so far away from Nara, the center of ancient Japan, and Kyoto, the imperial capital of Japan since the 8th century.  Accordingly, until the 17th century, Okinawa was independent from political power in Japan proper, consisting of four major islands.  Rather, as it was close to the Chinese Continent, the Okinawa (Ryukyu) kingdom was nominally subject to imperial courts of China, though this ambiguous situation was ended when the Empire of Japan was established in the late 19th century.  Okinawa became a prefecture of the Empire.

During WWII, Okinawa became the only battleground within the inherent Japanese territory.

The Battle of Okinawa continued from March 26 to June 20 of 1945.  The Imperial Army and Navy deployed 116,400 soldiers against 548,000 American soldiers coming on ships to land on the mainland of Okinawa and other peripheral islands. The Imperial military headquarters in Tokyo sent 1,900 military planes for kamikaze missions around Okinawa Island.

The US lost 12,520 soldiers and the Empire of Japan lost 94,136 soldiers and 94,000 civilians in this Battle of Okinawa.

After the end of WWII in 1945, the US continued to occupy Okinawa to run the administration.  Okinawa citizens were separated from mainland Japan.  The Japanese Constitution and laws did not apply in Okinawa.

So, after WWII it became a big political issue for Tokyo to take back Okinawa.  However, as the US lost so many soldiers in the Battle of Okinawa, the American military was against the idea of returning Okinawa to Japan, though Japan and the US became very friendly with each other after WWII.

However, On May 15, 1972, the administration right over Okinawa was returned to Japan without any costs (except some secret agreements on defense issues).  It was one of the major and last transactions to settle territorial disputes in the world after WWII.

And, it was then regarded as great diplomatic success for the then prime minister of Japan Eisaku Sato.   Sato later even received the Nobel Peace Prize.

But it was his old brother Nobuskuke Kishi who paved the way for this diplomatic success by Sato.  Kishi was prime minister of Japan between 1957 and 1960, though his younger brother Sato assumed the PM office between 1964 and 1972.

When Kishi was PM of Japan, he visited the US to meet President Dwight Eisenhower.  Kishi consolidated a diplomatic tie with the Eisenhower Administration.  And the Vice President for Eisenhower was Richard Nixon.

When Nixon later lost a presidential election against John F. Kennedy and failed in an election for the governor of California, Kishi supported Nixon.  Kishi invited Nixon to Japan and asked some top business leaders of Japan to financially support the unlucky American politician.  And, eventually, Nixon won the presidential election in 1968.

Then, former Japanese prime minister Kishi traveled to the White House to meet Nixon and asked the president to treat his younger brother Sato, the then PM of Japan, with favor especially in terms of the Okinawa issue.  
Eventually, negotiations between Tokyo and Washington over the reversion of Okinawa to Japan went well to the advantage of Japan.  Prime Minister Eisaku Sato could take back Okinawa under the Japanese sovereignty in 1972 with help from President Richard Nixon.

So, a personal relationship between a US president and Japanese prime ministers made the difficult achievement possible.  Okinawa returned to Japan as Nixon was familiar with some Japanese elites in politics and business.

Nonetheless, it is interesting that one of Nixon's aids, Mr. Henry Kissinger, does not look like being pro-Japanese at all, even today.

In addition the Senkaku Islands are duly part of Okinawa Prefecture, which the US Government admits, tough China and Taiwan claim their right on Senkaku so groundlessly.

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Luk 8:9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
Luk 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

"and bare fruit an hundredfold" - Hiroshima/Nagasaki Air Defense in 1945

Nagata-cho, Tokyo

 Hiroshima/Nagasaki Air Defense in 1945 

When the Imperial military of Japan surrendered to the US forces in August 1945, there were 5,000 Japanese military planes prepared for final battles on mainland Japan.

The Imperial Army and Navy kept 5,000 military planes in safe bases and facilities.   They did not fully use those war planes for defense of Japanese cities under sever air raids by US B29 bombers and other attack planes.

Top leaders of the Imperial military ordered not to make full efforts to intercept B29 bombers and other American carrier-based attack planes that were flying to Japan for air raids almost everyday.  Imperial generals intended to use 5,000 military planes at hand for planned large-scale kamikaze attacks onto coming US fleets and troops for landing on main Japanese islands.

For this reason, though the Imperial military had fighter planes that could reach 10,000 meters (30,000 feet) above the ground and intercept mighty B29 bombers, those planes were not fully used for air defense.  In other word, Imperial military leaders saved those fighter planes for the coming kamikaze missions against US fleets and troops to land on Japan.  So, they sacrificed Japanese civilians and citizens to be defenselessly attacked by B29 bombers and other US attack planes.

US B29 Bombers

However, as the Imperial military surrendered to the US forces on August 15, 1945, the total of 5,000 fully-equipped military planes were left unused in military bases in Japan proper.

But, if the Empire had used fully these war planes to defend Japanese cities from US bombers, they could have probably shot down the B29s carrying atomic bombs to attack Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9.

The Shiden-Kai Fighter Plane of the Imperial Navy of Japan (in 1945?)

In addition, the radio interception division of the Chief Administration for Intelligence of the Empire of Japan succeeded in decoding radio messages B29 bombers sent to their bases and the US while flying to Japan for air raids.

Those B29 bombers used mostly call signs of V400, V500, and V700 for their radio communications.  But Japanese radio soldiers found that some B29s started to use a new call sign of V600.  And while each of the call signs V400, V500, and V700 was assigned to almost 100 B29s, the call sign V600 was assigned to only a dozen B29s.  Accordingly, staff members of the radio interception division started to think that B29s using the V600 code were operated for a special mission.

And on the early morning of August 6, 1945, the Japanese radio staff found that a B29 using the V600 call sign was passing the sky over Hiroshima.  This B29 was a reconnaissance plane preceding the B29 carrying the atomic bomb. Staff of the radio interception division thought this B29 was engaged in a special mission.  But this information was not relayed to the top level of the air defense headquarters in Hiroshima.

Accordingly, no Japanese fighters such as a Shiden-Kai were not scrambled to shoot down the B29s in the sky over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Actually, in the morning of the day, one Shiden-Kai was flying through Hiroshima from Hyogo Prefecture (near Osaka) to Nagasaki.  The Japanese pilot actually witnessed the historic atomic bomb attack by a B29 on Hiroshima.  He observed, from the sky, a big blast and a big mushroom-cloud in Hiroshima.  He saw the big lively city Hiroshima he had observed a moment before suddenly being blown off.  The city in fire and smokes became flattened with just rubble in a very short period of time.

And, it is also said that three days later on August 9 the Imperial military also detected the similar pattern of an air raid by a B29 on Nagasaki several hours before the actual bombing.  So, if the commander of the air defense had ordered Shiden-Kais and other fighter planes to intercept the B29, the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack might have been prevented.

So, there was at least a small chance that the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be prevented unless the Imperial Army and Navy did not plan to fight final battles on mainland Japan against US troops and fleets rushing to the mainland.  The Imperial Army and Navy should have full efforts to shoot down B29s as many as possible with available fighter planes even while waiting for the landing on mainland Japan by US forces.

Finally, after the atomic (nuclear) bomb attack on Hiroshima, there was a strange rumor prevailing in some shelters where hundreds and more victims injured by the nuclear blast were carried in.  "The Imperial military had attacked New York with a Japanese atomic bomb in retaliation for the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack."  Indeed, Hiroshima survivors got information so quickly that they were attacked by a horrible new type of bomb called an "Atomic bomb."  And they believed that the Imperial military must have staged a counterattack to America for them.

When the US troops landed on Japan after WWII, they destroyed all the remaining Japanese military planes left in military bases.  The number of those planes was said to be 13,000, including those without fuel and necessary equipment.

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Luk 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

"some fell among thorns" - Truth of Globalization of Economy

Prime Minister's Official Residence, Tokyo

Truth of Globalization of Economy

There are no countries where everybody is rich.

However, there are some countries, especially in Europe, where poor people do not live a very miserable life.  In such countries, even the poorest people can enjoy some types of social benefits so as not to become homeless or insurgents.

But not all the countries can be such European nations blessed with rich natural resources, moderate population, advantageous geographical conditions of being closer to major advanced Western European countries, etc.

Those European countries with a smaller gap between the rich and the poor are exceptional.  Their merit is based on advantages of Western Europe to other regions such as Africa.

And as a whole Western European countries enjoy a higher level of living standards with a relatively smaller gap between the rich and the poor.  It is because Western Europe has accumulated great wealth by colonizing Africa, Asia, and America in the past to take various natural resources at lower costs or for free and also by developing advanced technology through the Industrial Revolution.  The economic advantages of Western Europe relies on these conditions.  And based on these advantages of Western Europe, those blessed European countries can enjoy a small gap between the rich and the poor.

Turning to the US, we find a combination of a kind of Western Europe and colonized regions in one nation.  There are two types of Americans: those who can enjoy a rich life like rich Western Europeans and others who have to live like poor Africans, Asians, or Latin Americans though they live in an environment far better than that in Africa, etc.  The high living standards of Americans are also supported by poor Latin Americans.

Indeed, in the US the gap between the poor and the rich must be far smaller in some states, especially those on the East Coast.  If they are independent nations, they would look liker those blessed North European countries supported by poor people and regions within the US and Latin American countries.

Put simply, this economic system that is prevailing in Western Europe and the US cannot make all the world rich.  It will not eradicate the gap between the rich and the poor.  So, it is unlikely that G20 countries will become like those blessed European countries.  There will be many rich men in every country, like those in Western Europe and the US, but they still need their own poor "African, Asian, or Latin American people" for them to enjoy a rich life.  They need victims.

So, the issue is the globalization of economy.  And, the old question "Will the globalization make all the people on the earth rich?" must be addressed.

From the beginning, this globalization was not intended to make all the people in the world rich.

It is just like the great success of the modern Western European/American Civilization was not intended to make all the people in the world rich.

Nonetheless, European colonialists did not intend to make all the colonized people poor.  They just wanted to make themselves richer by keeping and administrating their colonies.  So, if it was necessary to make some colonized people rich for European colonists to be richer, they would accept existence such rich local Africans, Asians, or Latin Americans.

The globalization of economy is intended to make rich Western Europeans and Americans richer by diffusing and expanding advanced industry and market to developing countries, such as China, India, Brazil, etc. as a new form of acquiring wealth.  So, those rich people in advanced countries do not mind whether or not the globalization of economy would make some Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans rich so long as they can be richer due to globalization of economy.

Those very and super-rich people in New York and London have never worked on the planning of globalization of economy to make all the Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans rich while there are many poor people in the US and the UK.  But those people with wealth and power in the US and the UK or any other advanced countries would not mind if some Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans become rich so long as those rich people in America and Europe can win them in competition and keep their dominance over Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

And it is unlikely that this globalization of economy would make all the people in the world rich by chance against expectations of those rich Americans and Europeans who have promoted this globalization of economy.

In addition, it is the economic success of Taiwan, South Korea, and China that those rich Americans and Europeans came to realize that the era of globalization came.  And it is Japan that allowed Taiwan, South Korea, and China to economically succeed by offering Japanese technology and funds.  And this provision of Japanese technology and funds was done so efficiently due to great development and application of the advanced computer and telecommunications technologies.

The origin of this globalization of economy is Japan.  And, Japan itself did not intend to make all the people in the world rich, though it has not been against making all the Chinese, South Koreans, and Taiwanese rich.      

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Luk 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

Monday, August 06, 2012

"because it lacked moisture" - Hiroshima and Related Stories

The Tokyo Railway Station, Tokyo

Hiroshima and Related Stories

When Hiroshima, one of major cities in western Japan, was attacked by a US B29 bomber that released an atomic (nuclear) bomb onto the ground zero, most of Hiroshima citizens thought it was just one common example of US air raids that were being conducted all over the Empire of Japan.

Surviving Hiroshima victims did not think that it was a very, very extraordinary attack with one super-bomb that could kill 100,000 people instantly with its blast. They thought that Hiroshima was attacked like Tokyo where tens of thousands of innocent citizens were killed in bombing by 300 B29 bombers on March 10, 1945.  Hiroshima people did not think it was an attack that would be remembered in human history forever.  And almost nobody thought at the time that the great devastation of the city and great losses of human lives in Hiroshima would persuade the Imperial Government to surrender to the US and its allies.  Like most of citizens of the Empire of Japan, Hiroshima survivors were still prepared for the final mainland battles against US troops expected to carry out landing operation on Japan proper.

However, most of the elite Japanese soon realized that the US military used an atomic bomb when they heard the news that Hiroshima was devastated by one B29 bomber.  The Imperial Government soon dispatched scientists to Hiroshima who confirmed that it was an atomic bomb that had been used by checking residual radiation, for example, recorded in films in a camera shop.

To tell the truth, the Empire of Japan itself had a plan to develop a nuclear bomb.  (Actually there were a few cyclotrons in the Empire during WWII.) The best scientists of the Empire at the time were recruited for this project.  One of them was Hideki Yukawa who received the first Nobel Prize for Physics for Japan in 1949.

However, after WWII, Yukawa never talked about his experience in joining the development of the Japanese-version of atomic bombs.  Rather, Yukawa was invited to study in the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, the US.  Where he met Albert Einstein.  Einstein frequently talked with Yukawa and confessed how he had taken an initiative in recommending the US Government to develop atomic bombs as he had been afraid of Hitler so much.  

Later Einstein and Yukawa planned peace movement together. Today, Yukawa was remembered by Japanese as a great scientist who sought the world peace earnestly after WWII but not as a member of the atomic-bomb development team led by the Imperial military during WWII.    
However, it was J. Robert Oppenheimer that invited Yukuawa to Princeton after WWII, while Oppenheimer was in charge of development of nuclear bombs in the US during WWII.  And it is said that Oppenheimer made some contribution to Yukawa's receiving of the Nobel Prize, though Yukawa's theory about mesons as a source of the force that combines a proton and a neutron in an atomic nucleus was one of the greatest attainments in the history of science.

So, the Hiroshima tragedy linked the Japanese greatest scientist, Hideki Yukawa, to Einstein and Oppenheimer in a peaceful way, probably, for future peace of the world, at least.

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Luk 8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.