By Theodore Shoebat
“The spirit of Japan is the Great Way of the gods. It is the substance of the universe, the essence of the truth. The Japanese people are a chosen people whose mission is to control the world.” — Harada Daiun Sogaku
Upon the Allied victory in the Second World War, Japan became an occupied nation of the American empire. It is still controlled by the US, but the Americans are gradually releasing their grip on the ancient nation of the rising sun. If the Americans relinquish their leverage over Japan, they will be unleashing alongside with it, the demons that possess the soul of Japan, wreaking havoc and destruction on the earth. Even the United States government understands that if Japan perceives that the US is indifferent towards Japan’s security, the Japanese will pursue nuclear armament. This issue was made known in a report addressed to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate in 2008, entitled: Chain Reaction: Avoiding a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East, in which it says:
“In the cases of Germany and Japan, both countries can easily obtain nuclear weapons but have chosen not to because of their integration beneath a NATO (Germany) or an American (Japan) security umbrella. Today, all of these countries have the technical capacity to obtain nuclear weapons in a matter of months or a few short years. Yet, they chose not to because of their respective cost-benefit analyses. Pursuing nuclear weapons demands a large amount of finite money and other resources and could invite punishing international political pressure and economic sanctions. At the same time, little need exists to pursue such an undesirable policy because these countries do not view nuclear weapons as necessary for their national security. This belief derives primarily from the fact that these countries rest comfortably beneath a U.S. or U.S.-led security umbrella. If these countries ever begin to question the reliability of this security umbrella, they would almost certainly reassess past nuclear weapons decisions.”
The US government wants Japan to boost its military. This has been a task of the Trump administration as it continues its cold war against China. According to a recent report from Foreign Policy:
“Trump wants allies like Japan to spend more on defense to acquire higher-end platforms that could help the United States keep the military edge it has had in the Pacific since 1943 but which is now threatened.”
Japan is in a predicament: on one side it has China and North Korea, and on the other side there is the United States, whose commitment to Japan’s security is not being seen as guaranteed. To quote the New York Times: “…Japan finds itself caught between China, whose rising military aggression has reverberated across Asia, and the United States, whose once-ironclad commitment to guaranteeing the region’s security has come into question.”
The traditional narrative of US-Japan security cooperation is that Japan holds the shield and houses the sword, while the United States wields the sword. Japan is suppose to be defensive while the US has the offensive position for Japan’s security. But, in the words of Euan Graham, “that paradigm has been breaking down for many years,” especially now with President Trump pushing key American allies to pay more for their own defense and to stop relying so much on the United States.
This phenomena is reflected in the words of Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York: “Japan increasingly has to provide for its own defense by Japanese means.” As the years go by, Japan is taking a more self-determinist view on its security as opposed to considering her neighboring ally, South Korea. This manifested in a recent press conference in which Japan’s defense minister, Taro Kono, told a reporter: “At a time when China is enhancing their missiles, why do we need their approval? …Why do we need South Korea’s approval for defending our territory?” This was said in response to a reporter who asked Kono about fears that South Korea or China may have about Japanese remilitarization due to Japan’s past of conquest and genocide. Kono’s answer is reflective of a growing vicious nationalism that emphasizes on militarism and national pride while empowering a military industrial complex, all under the name of national security. Yes, China and North Korea due pose problems, and yes the Chinese do want to dominate east Asia, but we must remember that insidious agendas are done under the banner of truth, and destruction is paved on a path of legitimate concerns.
Under the cause of self-defense, Japan now wants to have the ability to launch pre-emptive strikes against her enemies, which is something utterly foreign to the country’s post-War constitution which forbids the use of war. Moreover, if Japan can do preemptive strikes, that means that she could devise a false-flag attack in order to justify attacking a neighboring country like China or North Korea. Japan could utilize a strategy of tension in order to create a pretext for attacking another country. Its not as simple as “China bad, yay Japan!” What is occurring in East Asia is a volatile situation in which you have an extremely militarily capable and technologically advanced country — Japan, backed by the world’s most powerful hegemony, the United States — wanting to remilitarize itself, in a highly tense atmosphere of tribalism that goes back centuries into history. And we can only go back to some decades ago to find the Japanese murdering millions of their neighbors in the name of racial supremacy and the emperor who they saw as divine. In such a tense climate, with such a sanguinary historical background, optimism is naive. In July of 2020 the Wall Street Journal published an article by Chieko Tsuneoka which talked about Japan’s goal to have the capacity to make preemptive strikes. In the article it reads:
“Ruling-party lawmakers are pushing for Japan’s military to have the ability to strike foreign missile-launch sites to improve deterrence against potential attacks from North Korea and China.
A proposal released Friday by the Liberal Democratic Party’s defense policy committee is set to be a new test of Japan’s pacifist constitution under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has sought to loosen restrictions on the military in response to rising challenges from Beijing and Pyongyang in recent years.
Japan relies heavily on the threat of U.S. military retaliation for its defense under a security alliance formed after World War II. But Tokyo has been boosting its own military capabilities in recent years, such as the development of aircraft carriers and purchases of cruise missiles, as well as the creation of a Marine-like amphibious troop unit.”
Lets look at what we are dealing with here: We have a country — Japan — which is very technologically advanced and which has the capacity to be militarily very dangerous and to even go nuclear. Neighboring with Japan there is North Korea which is a satellite state of China and who is feared to be a nuclear threat; and then you have a rising China who threatens Japan’s preponderating position in the Far East. In the midst of all this, there is an intensifying nationalism and growing militarism in Japan. There is an historical parallel to this: the Meiji era, when Japan established itself as a world superpower and as the most powerful country in East Asia. Let us recount some of the events of this era to see this historical comparison so we can see how history — while not exactly repeating — rhymes.
THE BEGINNING OF THE JAPANESE EMPIRE
The beginning of Japan’s journey towards modern military capabilities begins in 1853 when the Japanese people, for the first time in their lives, saw Western naval ships. They gazed with amazement and awe upon four American warships (two of the ships, actually, were out of service and being towed by the other two) led by Commodore Matthew Perry. The flagship, the Susquehanna, was twenty-five times larger than the biggest Japanese fleet that was afloat. The masses were in awe. They called it a “castle upon the water.” The ships, they said, were “as large as mountains” and “as swift as birds.” Perry had the ships’ seventy-three guns fire, roaring with smoke. It was done to supposedly celebrate Independence Day, but the reality was the Americans were trying to scare the Japanese into opening up their country for Western trade. It worked.
When Perry returned to Japan in February of 1854, the Japanese were in a panic, fearing that the guns could be turned on them. They gave Perry the Treaty of Kanagawa, allowing two ports to be opened for American ships. Thus began Japan’s modernization. There were many Japanese who were resistant to modernization, but the more cunning and prudent saw the necessity and the advantage for Japan to adapt. One of the major supporters of Japan’s modernization was Fukuzawa Yukichi, a Confucian scholar who heavily studied the West. He affirmed that adaptation to Western ways was absolutely necessary for Japan’s interests. He described Japan’s “leaving Asia” to “enter the West” as Bunmei Kaika, or progress towards enlightenment. He used the analogy of measles to convey his point: Western civilization (bunmei) would be like the measles that Japan’s immune system would have to adapt to in order to become stronger. Some of the brightest Japanese students — called bakufu students — were chosen to go to Europe to learn what Japan needed to know to advance.
In 1868, the Meiji government issued the Five-Charter Oath reflecting the country’s volition towards modernization. The fifth point of the Charter indicated this road to adapting to the West: “Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundation of imperial rule.” What this implied was Japan’s desire to learn the technology of the foreign invaders in order get Japan to be at an equal level with them so that she could become powerful enough to repulse the economic imperialism of the US, the British, the French and the Russians (the British represented four-fifths of Japan’s foreign trade).
Japan saw their neighbor China, how she was utterly controlled by the British, and did not want to end up like that. Instead, Japan wanted to become the superpower that would control China. In 1871, the Emperor Meiji commenced the Iwakura Mission, a project in which forty-eight envoys and fifty-four students would travel to Europe to absorb the military and governmental knowledge of the West. From the French, they learned a system of law; from the British, they learned about a navy; and from the Germans, they learned about an army. The Japanese wanted to learn merely what was useful to Japan, and nothing else. Technology, military tactics and knowledge, this they desired to imbibe. But Christianity, they despised. It is a fact that Japan secluded itself from the world for over two centuries as a response to the expansion of Christianity, and only opened themselves up to the world to gain money and learn technology in order to become an empire. The Japanese intellectual, Kuga Katsunan, made the warning that foreign ideas should only be accepted if they benefit Japan. He emphasized on retaining Japanese nationalism:
“If a nation wishes to stand among the great powers and preserve its national independence, it must strive always to foster nationalism (“kokuminshugi”)…If the culture of one country is so influenced by another that its completely loses its own unique character, that country will surely lose its independent footing.”
Japan’s position “among the great powers” was soon to rise in the late 19th century, when she began to expand into Chinese territory as a result of tensions between her and China. In 1871, a ship from the Ryukyu islands was attacked and its entire crew massacred by Taiwanese aborigines. Japan immediately demanded reparations from China, but the Chinese argued that they had no responsibility over the eastern coast of Taiwan where the murderous aborigines were. As a response the Japanese launched an attack on Taiwan in 1874, but the outbreak of disease forced them to rescind their expedition. This was the beginning of Japan’s seizure of Taiwan.
China at this time was actually weak and crumbling and did not have the capacity to handle a war with Japan. Nonetheless, China tried to give off the impression to the Japanese that it was a strong country. In 1886, China showed off its two new German-built fleets: the Dingyuan and the Zhenyuan, to the Japanese by parking them right on the coast of Nagasaki. The ships were much bigger than any fleet the Japanese had. Chinese sailors, upon arriving, quickly started trouble with the populace. According to locals they were pursuing women and children and sparking outrage. The situation eventually escalated into a fight with local officers. The officers pulled out swords, and the Chinese officers also had swords, and a bloody fight ensued, leaving eighty people dead.
While the Chinese were trying to scare the Japanese with their big ships, the Japanese would soon find out that China was really not all what they presented themselves as. Captain Togo Heihachiro, dressed as a civilian, spied on the Chinese sailors and reported that they were sloppy, unkempt, and their deck was filthy. In other words, the Chinese were disorganized. Regardless of this report, the Japanese increased the budget for their navy. The Japanese also got a dictionary from a Chinese sailer which was filled with odd numbers. This was actually a book filled with signaling codes, and the Japanese managed to unlock their meanings. Knowing the disorganization of the Chinese, and knowing their signaling codes, put the Japanese at an advantage above their neighboring enemy. Tensions between China and Japan intensified further, especially over Korea. The Japanese wanted the natural resources in Korea, and also feared Russian interference in the country. Korea was also very important strategically speaking. If Japan controlled Korea, she could easily invade China; and if China controlled Korea, the Chinese could invade Japan, since Korea was, in the words of a Prussian military advisor, a “dagger pointed at the heart of Japan.”
In the 1880s Korea was quite a turbulent place. The country was split between those who were pro-China and those who were in favor of Western modernization. It reminds us of how today, Korea is split between north and south, with the North being a satellite of China and the South being a satellite of the US. Those who wanted Westernization looked to Meiji Japan as their inspiration, and thus Japan saw in these reformers prospective proxies through which to influence and control Korea. An 1884 the reformers attempted a coup against the pro-Chinese government, and this was backed by the government of Japan who promised the rebels military support. This led the Queen of Korea, Empress Myeongseong, to request military intervention from China. At least 1,500 Chinese soldiers garrisoned in Seoul, and they had to fight against 140 Japanese troops who they easily defeated and then restored power back to the pro-Chinese faction. During the fighting the Japanese legation building was burned down and 40 Japanese were killed.
Tensions continued to intensify, and years later, by 1894, a war broke out between China and Japan over Korea. But the Japanese had an advantage: they were able to read the Chinese’s coded communications. A revolt from the pro-Chinese faction in Korea broke out, but Japanese forces were able to squash it. By July of that year, the Japanese captured the King of Korea, Gojong, and forced him to rescind any treaties he had made with China and to declare a new, modernist regime adaptable to the innovations of the West, and to order the withdrawal of all Chinese soldiers. Japanese forces repulsed Chinese troops and chased them across the Yalu River and continued to pursue them all the way to Chinese territory. Days before a truce could be established, General Togo seized Taiwan which would become a Japanese territory until 1945. Korea was now occupied by Japan. But Japan was assisted, by the United States.
Foreknowing that Japan was going to invade, the king of Korea, Gojong, asked the United States for protection, but as is typical of how America treats its allies, the Americans ordered all of their troops to pull from Korea, and convinced the Western powers to withdraw their forces as well. Korea was a helpless victim. The Japanese swallowed all of Korea, completely deprived it of independence, and threw the king out. Within a very short time, the Japanese hung thousands of Korean nationalists from the gallows. (See Bradley, Flyboys, ch. 3, p. 31)
By defeating China, Japan believed that they had solidified their place as a modern nation. The British, seeing the Chinese utterly vanquished, respected the Japanese and formed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which promised that Britain and Japan will defend one another in the case of either one of them being in war with more than one enemy. This was beneficial for the British because it allowed them to redeploy ships from the China seas to European waters where another powerhouse was rising, Germany, who would end up being the most dangerous threat to Britain.
The alliance was of great advantage to Japan because, in the case of Japan going to war with Russia, no one would come to the assistance of the Russians in fear of getting in a war with Britain. Confident under the protection of the British, the Japanese eyed the biggest threat to her goal of being an empire: Russia. In 1904, the Japanese commenced an unprovoked attack on the Russian navy at Port Arthur (just like they attacked the American navy at Pearl Harbor). The British watched with joy as the Russians were slaughtered. The London Times even called the attack “an act of daring.”
Russia’s Pacific Fleet was trapped in Port Arthur by Togu’s forces. Tsar Nicholas had no choice but to deploy the Baltic Fleet, which had a long way to travel to the battlefield. The problem was that every time the Baltic Fleet stopped to resupply, they were only given a day’s worth of support. The reason for this was that countries were terrified that if they helped the Russians it would be seen as an act of war of against the Japanese, and since the British had an alliance with Japan, they were horrified at the prospect of getting into a war with Britain. The British publication, the Daily Telegraph, reported publicly that the Baltic Fleet was illegally waiting in Cam Rahn Bay in Indochina, thus breaking the Russians’ cover and letting the Japanese know of their coming.
Since the Baltic Fleet had very little fuel — due to not getting inadequate supplies — the Russians could not travel the safer route through Vladivostok, but instead had to go through the Korea Straight where they were ambushed on both sides in the Battle of Tsushima in which over five thousand Russians lost their lives. (See Clements, A Brief History of Japan, chs. 7-8) One of the results of the First Russo-Japanese War was the Japanese taking the Sakhalin island from the Russians. In the Second World War, the Russians would take the Sakhalin back from the Japanese and to this day there are tensions over that region. The Japanese had now defeated the two powers that worried the Americans and British, China and Russia (with the help of both the US and the UK). This now solidified Japan as the most powerful nation in Asia. Even after the Second World War, these victories are celebrated by Japan’s Right-wing. In 1966, the Japanese Buddhist monk, Omori Sogen, who was a supporter of Imperial Japan’s military conquests in WW2, wrote in 1974:
“As for a ‘strong military,’ this was a demand of the Meiji state. It was precisely the step by step realization of this goal that made it possible, thanks to both the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars, to smash the surging waves of European expansionism, thereby enhancing the radiant glory of our nation before the world.” (Arahara Bokusui, A Major History of the Right Wing, in Victoria, Zen War Stories, ch. 4, p. 44)
President Theodore Roosevelt praised the Japanese for their slaughter of the Russians, and at the same time expressed his contempt for the Chinese:
“Bad as the Chinese are, no human beings, black, yellow or white, could be quite as untruthful, as insincere, arrogant — in short as untrustworthy in every way — as the Russians under their present system. I was pro-Japanese before, but after my experience with the peace commissioners I am far stronger pro-Japanese than ever.” (H.W. Brands, T.R.: The Last Romantic, ch. 20, p. 540)
Roosevelt believed that he could now control a “civilized race” to dominate their neighboring Asian countries, and essentially dominate Asia so the United States would not have to, “with, of course,” said Roosevelt, “a paramount interest in what surrounds the Yellow Sea” (See Bradley, Flyboys, ch. 3, p. 31). This is similar to today, where the US thinks it can use Japan to keep in check China, North Korea and Russia.
So in this history, what do we see? We see a Japan that wants to break free from American and Western control (the Meiji Era); we see a rising China who is perceived as strong but, once pushed, shatters in war (First Sino-Japanese War of 1894); we see a Korea divided by pro-Chinese and pro-Western factions; we see Russian-Japanese tensions with eventual war breaking out between the two. Today, what do we see? We see a Japan that wants to break free from American control and wants to determine her own military ambitions without the dictates of US decisions; we see a rising China that is worrying the world; we see Russia and Japan having tensions over the Sakhalin, which is the very territory that Japan took from Russia during the First Russo-Japanese War. We also see the United States relaxing her military hegemony, such as with the withdrawing of troops from Germany and giving much leeway to Japanese military pursuits. If the Americans eventually give Japan full military independence, the Japanese will go full throttle in their military goals. When the Japanese invaded China, they butchered millions and even believed that such genocide was doing their gods — such as Avolokiteshvara, or Amitabha Buddha — a service. In the worlds of General Matsui:
“The China Incident [of 1937] has resulted in massive lost of life through the mutual killing of neighboring friends. This is the greatest tragedy of the last one thousand years. Nevertheless this is a holy war to save the peoples of East Asia. …Invoking the power of Avalokiteshvara, I pray for the bright future of East Asia.” (See Victoria, Zen At War, ch. 9, p. 142)
A country with such a history, once released, will spark only a conflagration of blood. Demonic forces are at work in the world, to unleash the old dragons on mankind.