After-math “If you don’t have faith in yourself, who else would?” – Charlie McLachlan Contents — Courage Under Fire ...................................................................................... 4 Australia’s first commandoes ....................................................................... 8 The ‘Rules of War’ ..................................................................................... 16 * Gunboat Diplomacy .............................................................................. 19 * Western Influence ................................................................................. 23 * Eastern Power ....................................................................................... 32 * Isolation ................................................................................................ 45 * Culture Clash ........................................................................................ 69 Did ‘The Bomb’ save lives? ....................................................................... 80 Mitsushima deaths ...................................................................................... 97 ‘Victor’s Justice’? .................................................................................... 108 Luck ........................................................................................... 117 1
After-math     If you don   t have faith in yourself, who else would          Charlie McLachlan  Contents      Courage Und...
2 Sparrow Photo 1: Charlie's discharge papers, included in his soldier's service and paybook.
2  Sparrow  Photo 1   Charlie s discharge papers, included in his soldier s service and paybook.
After-math “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke (1729-1797) After-math — Sparrow Force was 1852 strong. Of this number, 415 died during the war (22%). Of those captured, almost 30 percent died. In total, a third of all deaths occurred on Timor. Of those deaths in captivity, almost as many Sparrow Force deaths came from ‘friendly’ Allied fire than from illness in Japanese prisoner of war work camps. One hundred and twenty perished on prisoner of war ‘hellships‘– the result of American submarines blockading Japan-controlled ports. In comparison, 73 died while constructing the Burma-Siam ‘Death’ Railway and a further 33 died in Japan. Considering two thirds of the deaths occurred in captivity outside of Timor, many questions linger:  Was Leggatt’s strategy flawed?  Was the guerrilla campaign effective?  Should Veale’s plan to invade Timor have been implemented?  What were the Japanese attitudes towards prisoners of war?  Were the Japanese planning to execute prisoners of war?  Did dropping the atomic bombs really save Allied lives?  Why did so many prisoners of war die at Mitsushima?  Were the Yokohama War Crimes Trials ‘Victor’s Justice’? 3
After-math     Those who don   t know history are destined to repeat it.         Edmund Burke  1729-1797   After-math     ...
4 Sparrow Photo 2: Lt. Col. W.W. Leggatt DSO MC Courage Under Fire One of the defining images of Lieutenant Colonel William Leggatt’s legacy is his sun-bleached officer’s shirt on the battlefield. Some thought he was mad for wearing such a high visibility, almost white shirt. His conspicuous bravery, however, was visible to all of his men as he led the charge up Usua Ridge in what would become the last full battalion bayonet charge in military history. Replacing Youl only weeks prior, Leggatt had only been on Timor for a short time. Whilst the initial Timor strategy was to repel an invasion and defend the airfield, once the aircraft and reinforcements returned to Darwin, another strategy was needed. His strategy was to retreat the whole of Sparrow Force to the jungle east of Champlong in order to wage a guerrilla campaign. The plan would have been to hide in the jungle, regroup, reorganize the force, and then initiate a guerrilla campaign. Later, once Darwin was operational again after the February 19 raids, would surplus personnel be evacuated. Leggatt’s greatest problem was the hostile environment of West Timor. Japanese had spies on the ground weeks ahead of the invasion and natives in the West were generally hostile to Europeans. If Sparrow Force did reach the high country to the east, surviving off the land would be difficult. As the 2/2 Independent Company in Portuguese East Timor later discovered, feeding and maintaining a large force was difficult. Alexander Spence and Bernard Callinan organized their men according to self-sufficiency. Sections were spread out to cover main transport routes, with large areas between to provide cover and to provide food. Maintaining a large fighting force for a guerrilla campaign posed its problems. After the 2/4 Independent Company reinforcements arrived in September 1942, it proved difficult to hide so many men. Ironically, Veale’s decision to destroy the radios and order ‘every man for himself’ provided all the evidence that supports the viability of Leggatt’s plan. Due
4  Sparrow  Photo 2   Lt. Col. W.W. Leggatt DSO MC  Courage Under Fire One of the defining images of Lieutenant Colonel Wi...
After-math to the radios being destroyed, Sparrow Force was isolated for months. Those who stayed in a group of 152 in the border area sustained themselves effectively. They did manage to conceal their location for some months while they trained to form Platoon D of the 2/2 Independent Company. Many fought and returned to Australia later. Of those who didn’t join the main group of 152 either died in the jungle or were captured by the Japanese. So, why did Leggatt’s plan not go accordingly? According to Sir John Carrick, the clearing of Babau and Usua Ridge (on the second attempts) were ‘textbook’ offensives. Leggatt’s problem was the speed at which he could get his force to Champlong. The first sign of any problem with Leggatt’s plan was the capture of a map at the Yokozuka Special Landing Force headquarters in Babau. When Captain Roff presented the map to Leggatt, Leggatt was concerned by a circle drawn on the map around Champlong. As communication was cut off with Champlong, he thought that Champlong was already captured. This made him extra cautious of an escape route for the main force. Many of those interviewed were concerned by the delays after the assault on Usua Ridge. Clyde McKay, one of the 15 Platoon troops sent by Leggatt to see if the road to Champlong was clear, said it took too long for the order to be given. Clyde said that a Don-R (a motorcycle despatcher) could have done the job in less than an hour. Essentially, the delay after the Usua Ridge attack was the crucial factor. The survival of Sparrow Force was also unclear when the Japanese tanks met the rear of the Sparrow Force column at Airkom. By that time, word had not spread of the fate of Singapore or Ambon captives. It was not known whether Japanese took prisoners. Leggatt did secure treatment for the injured as a condition of the surrender. What Leggatt or the Japanese would have done if the Japanese did not accept those terms is unknown. Besides the bravery of the men of Sparrow Force, the way the medical orderlies conducted themselves shortly after surrender assisted greatly in the way the men were perceived by their captors. Here is how Clyde McKay described his captors: “I do think what influenced the treatment our boys got in Penfui [on Dutch Timor] was when the battalion had to surrender there were truckloads of Nips among [us] and then came over the Nip bombers and they came in on a bombing raid and our boys took to the [bush] quick smart you see. The Nips looked up and said, “Ha ha ha! Nippon Squawkee!” “There was a direct hit on two truckloads of Nips and a lot of them were killed. Then when the bombers came back on a return run the [Nips] got down on the side [of the road] with our blokes and there weren’t so many casualties. “After the [raid] was over, our doctors and medicos treated the wounded soldiers, the Nips the same as our boys because that was the period of time. They weren’t enemies, they were wounded soldiers. And I do think that 5
After-math to the radios being destroyed, Sparrow Force was isolated for months. Those who stayed in a group of 152 in the...
Sparrow 6 influenced the treatment of us when we were in prison camp. I played basketball with them and some of the blokes would wrestle with them. “The day we left Timor that bloke, the Nip, drew a badge on my arm and said “Very bad men, be very careful!” We wondered what it was all about. He drew the Korean badge on our arm and they were worse than any Nip. They were sadistic brutes. They were terrible fellas.”1 Before the war, the Japanese thought the Australians were racist. The treatment of Japanese injured at Airkom, along with the bravery of Sparrow Force, demonstrated the mutual respect of both sides of the conflict. This contributed greatly towards the standard of treatment Sparrow Force received as prisoners of war on Timor. Before capitulation, the injured did not slow the Sparrow Force column. The injured, however, would be a problem if the force dispersed into the jungle. What is almost certain is that if Leggatt refused to surrender, there would have been a Mexican Standoff. Japanese troops had already surrounded Sparrow Force. It would have been a bloodbath. Therefore, the decision to surrender certainly saved more than the number that would eventually die in captivity. In the context of history, some could discount Sparrow Force’s effectiveness in West Timor as a dismal failure. Conversely, if one took into account the cards that Sparrow Force were dealt compared to other forces, what Sparrow Force achieved was remarkable. Sparrow Force were alone. They had no reinforcements. They had no air cover. They had no escape. They faced Japan’s most experienced elite forces. They decimated the Yokozuka Special Landing Force paratroopers who fought in China, Hong Kong, and Ambon. They achieved this with First World War bayonets. Nazi Germany had its Blitzkrieg, Japan had its Special Landing Forces. Sparrow Force decimated Japan’s main strike force. Babau and Usua Ridge were the first defeats of the Japanese. In many respects, Timor was a turning point for Japan in terms of strategy. Sparrow Force weren’t meant to defeat the Japanese. They, like Lark Force in Rabaul and Gull Force on Ambon, were meant to be in Japan’s way. They weren’t called Eagle, Falcon, or Hawk Force, were they? Certainly, Sparrow Force can claim to have more than wasted Japanese bullets. Lark Force only killed 16 Japanese in action, Gull Force only inflicted 55 kills and 135 wounded. Sparrow Force was half the size of Lark and slightly larger than Gull yet killed more than 4000 Japanese. Gull Force lost 15 in action. Over 300 captured Gull Force were massacred at Laha. More than 130 captured Lark Force were massacred. The bravery of Sparrow Force certainly left an impression on the Japanese. It is unknown whether their bravery saved their lives. Leslie Poidevin suggested it did. The Kanose POW Camp Commander, who fought on Rabaul, recounted Sparrow Force’s bravery. 1 Interview with Ivan Clyde McKay. Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, 20 February 2004.
Sparrow  6  influenced the treatment of us when we were in prison camp. I played basketball with them and some of the blok...
After-math Peter Henning’s biography of the 2/40 Infantry Battalion is titled ‘Doomed Battalion.’ In my opinion, Sparrow Force’s bravery and resilience defies the defeatist ‘doomed’ tag. Sparrow Force could have been sent to a number of postings. The 79th Light AntiAircraft Battery were meant to invade North Africa as part of what would eventually be known as Operation Torch. The Australian Sparrow Force troops expected to be sent to North Africa. Sparrow Force’s stubbornness rivaled the Rats of Tobruk. The isolation of Sparrow Force did have an effect on the decision to surrender. If Leggatt knew that reinforcements were on the way, that there was air support, or more modern communications equipment were available, the speed of his retreat east would have been more decisive. The availability of these three elements – along with the escape route to Port Moresby – were the crucial factors for the 39th Infantry Battalion on the Kokoda Track in New Guinea. By the end of the war, the men of Sparrow Force who escaped to the east can claim to have spent more time in combat with the Japanese than any other troops. Overall, Sparrow Force were dealt a bad hand. Leggatt and his men achieved more than was expected of them. This reflects in the number of medals awarded and the respect they earned from both sides. Photo 3: A map of the Japanese invasion of Dutch Timor. (English labels have been added.) (Courtesy of Akira Takizawa) 7
After-math Peter Henning   s biography of the 2 40 Infantry Battalion is titled    Doomed Battalion.    In my opinion, Spa...
Sparrow 8 Photo 4: Sig. Keith Richards, Cpl. John Donovan, and Sgt. Frank Press using a radio on a mountain top in Japanese-occupied Portuguese Timor, about November 1942. (Photograph by Damien Parer.) Australia’s first commandoes “You alone do not surrender to us.” – Lieutenant General Yuichi Tsuchihashi When Leggatt led the retreat east to fight a guerrilla campaign, he looked to Australia’s first commandoes in Portuguese Timor as his secret weapon. Only 152 of the Dutch Timor branch of Sparrow Force formed up with the 2/2 Independent Company, but over the following months the remnants of Sparrow Force would achieve legendary status. The Independent Company format was an unproven concept. The concept was an Australian Army response to a British Government request in late 1940 to form special forces, utilizing the hunting and tracking skills Australians were renowned. A British military mission headed by Lieutenant Colonel J.C. Mawhood arrived in Australia to investigate the possibility of establishing a number of special units within the Australian Army.2 The British, including Mike Calvert3 and F. Spencer Chapman,4 proposed the establishment of independent companies that would receive special training in order to take part in combined operations and various 2 3 4 Horner, David. SAS: Phantoms of the Jungle — A History of the Australian Special Air Service. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1989. p.21. Brigadier James Michael ‘Mad Mike’ Calvert, DSO and Bar (6 March 1913 – 26 November 1998.) Later commander of the Chindits, alongside Orde Wingate. Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Spencer Chapman, DSO & Bar, ED (10 May 1907 – 8 August 1971.) A famous mountain climber and arctic explorer, he was most famous for his exploits behind enemy lines in Japanese occupied Malaya. His medals include: The Arctic Medal, Gill Memorial Medal, Mungo Park Medal, and the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal.
Sparrow  8  Photo 4   Sig. Keith Richards, Cpl. John Donovan, and Sgt. Frank Press using a radio on a mountain top in Japa...
After-math other tasks, including “raids, demolitions, sabotage, subversion, and organizing civil resistance.”5 Although there was confusion over the broad role that the independent companies would play, the Australian Army began raising and training in March 1941 at the 7th Infantry Training Centre, Guerrilla Warfare School, at Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria. By mid-1941, the first three companies – 2/1, 2/2 and 2/36 – were trained. The 2/4 – which would later be deployed to reinforce Timor – had commenced training. Initially raised to serve alongside the Second Australian Imperial Force in the Middle East, the Photo 5: The 2/2 Independent Company’s hit threat from Japan required and run ambushes proved successful. outposts on islands to the north of Australia to warn of Japan’s approach and to remain behind to harass the Japanese advance.7 Independent Companies were formed as ‘mini-battalions’; each platoon acted like an infantry company, and each section acted like an infantry platoon. Heavily armed with Thompson machine guns and Bren guns, they could pack the punch of a battalion but manoeuvre in the field with more agility and flexibility. The 2/2 Independent Company had the chance to prove the concept. The 2/1 and 2/3 Independent Companies in Rabaul and Ambon were swiftly out outmanoeuvred and overwhelmed. The 2/2 beat a retreat, reformed, and encircled the transport routes out of Dili. The 2/2, and those who escaped from Dutch Timor, were the last remaining fighting force of the Second Australian Imperial Force’s Eighth Division. The rest of the division was captured on Singapore, Malaya, and Ambon. A small group of 450 troops and civilians, who had managed to evade the Japanese in Rabaul, were evacuated by sea. Of a force of over 30,000, only 434 were left fighting on Timor. 5 6 7 Horner, op cit., n.2. The titles were originally No. 1, 2, and 3 Independent Companies as Independent Companies did not exist during the First Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. The adoption of the “2/” was to maintain consistency with other unit titles in the Second Australian Imperial Force of the Second World War. Horner, op cit., p.23. 9
After-math other tasks, including    raids, demolitions, sabotage, subversion, and organizing civil resistance.   5 Althou...
10 Sparrow Photo 6: A patrol of 2/2 Independent Company commandoes, escorted by native criado. On 18 April 1942, General Douglas MacArthur was appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA.) When Winnie the War Winner transmitted the first message to Australia the following day, Sparrow Force was the only unit under his command still fighting the Japanese. Bataan fell on 9 April, the Japanese landed on the mainland of New Guinea on 8 March 1942 at Lae and Salamaua unopposed. When Corregidor fell on the 6 May, Sparrow Force was the only land force fighting the Japanese anywhere. At the lowest point in the war, Winnie the War Winner’s transmission was the first good news of the war for the Allies in the Pacific. Within a year, the stories of Winnie the War Winner, the ‘Singapore Tiger’, and the guerrilla campaign would spread to the other side of the world. In late 1942, Army public relations sent the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Damien Parer and war correspondent Bill Marien to Timor to record the efforts of the Australian commandos. Australian audiences greeted his film, The Men of Timor, with enthusiasm. Sparrow Force fought the Japanese for 60 days cut off from Australia. The 2/2 proved that the Independent Company concept could work. Back in Melbourne, leading brass didn’t know what to make of Sparrow Force. MacArthur was pragmatic. If they were still engaging the enemy, the least his available forces could do was to supply them. The first attempts to supply Sparrow Force were pathetic. Aircraft from Darwin literally threw ammunition boxes out of their aircraft without parachutes attached. Once the commandoes found what was left of the shattered ammunition boxes, they had to collect the rounds of ammunition amongst the dense foliage. The Independent Company revelled in their independence from Australia. Japanese thought that they were up against a force of brigade strength. The hit-andrun ambushes meant few Japanese saw who they were fighting. It relayed back to Sparrow Force that the Japanese thought the commandoes were ghosts who came out of the ground.
10  Sparrow  Photo 6   A patrol of 2 2 Independent Company commandoes, escorted by native criado.  On 18 April 1942, Gener...
After-math Essential to achieving mystical status amongst their enemy were the criado who not only sought and carried supplies but were also Sparrow Force’s eyes and ears in Japanese-controlled territory. Most importantly, they carried away the dead and wounded commandoes undetected. The Independent Company not only honed their skills, they also passed them on. Turton and Doig trained the escapees from Dutch Timor into a fourth platoon, called D Platoon. During the August offensive, they held their own. The Japanese saw Sparrow Force as a serious threat. In August, the Japanese 48th Division arrived from the Philippines in an attempt to flush out the menacing Sparrow Force into a corner on the south coast of the island.8 While three Japanese columns moved south from Dili and Manatuto, another moved eastward from Dutch Timor to attack Dutch positions in the central south of the island. The offensive ended on 19 August when the main Japanese force was withdrawn and deployed to Rabaul. Sparrow Force held out, only losing one commando whilst inflicting many casualties. Back in Melbourne, Supreme Commander MacArthur initially had few troops under his command. What he did have were mostly Australian. When Brigadier Veale arrived in Melbourne, Veale conjured up a plan to retake Timor. It is difficult to imagine what Brigadier Bill Veale was thinking as he flew back to Australia on May 24 from Timor. He was meant to command a brigade-strength Sparrow Force of over 5000. Instead, his only orders were:      To hand over command to Leggatt; To destroy the remaining Sparrow Force radios; To declare ‘every man for himself’ to those left of the Dutch Timor Sparrow Force; To appoint Alexander Spence a Lieutenant Colonel and commander of Sparrow Force; and Leave Timor on a Catalina. It is understandable if Veale felt obliged to the men he left on Timor – at least salvage his reputation. Veale prepared a 19-page report prescribing his recommendations to retake Timor. The plan included:     8 9 Landing commandoes to reconnoiter landing locations and liaise with prisoners held at Usapa Besar; Bomb strategic airfields and coastal defences; Land a brigade-strength force; and Eliminate the Japanese force, which Veale believed to be 6,000.9 White, Ken. Criado: A story of East Timor. Briar Hill: Indra Publishing, 2002. p.92. Veale’s plan, op cit. 11
After-math Essential to achieving mystical status amongst their enemy were the criado who not only sought and carried supp...
12 Sparrow In June, General Douglas MacArthur was advised by General Thomas Blamey — Allied land force commander — that a fullscale Allied offensive in Timor would require a major amphibious assault, including at least one infantry division of at least 10,000 personnel. MacArthur was preoccupied with the overall Allied strategy of recapturing areas to the east — in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Blamey recommended that the campaign in Timor should be sustained for as long as possible but not expanded.10 Blamey did, however, expand the Timor operation. Up until September, Sparrow Force soaked up so much attention from the Japanese that Japan kept sending more troops that would have otherwise been sent to other Photo 7: Brigadier W.C.D. Veale fronts, such as New Guinea. The problem for Veale was that, due to the success of Sparrow Force’s guerrilla campaign, the numbers of enemy troops on Timor doubled. Eventually, the Australian chiefs of staff estimated that it would take at least three Allied divisions, with strong air and naval support, to recapture the island. It was noticed at MacArthur’s Headquarters, which were now located in Brisbane, that the Japanese were diverting troops to Timor instead of other fronts. The Japanese feared invasion. On 23 September, the last of the Sparrow Force prisoners of war held at Usapa Besar left Timor on the hellship Dai Nichi Maru. On the same day, the 450-strong 2/4 Independent Company, given the more intimidating name of Lancer Force, arrived on the south coast to reinforce Sparrow Force. The destroyer HMAS Voyager ran aground at the southern port of Betano while landing the 2/4 and had to be abandoned after it came under air attack. The ship’s crew was safely evacuated by HMAS Kalgoorlie and Warrnambool on 25 September 1942 and the Voyager was destroyed by demolition charges. When the Japanese heard that three enemy warships had docked on the south coast, they must have feared the worst. How many troops could have crammed into three warships? On 27 September, the Japanese mounted a thrust from Dili towards the wreck of Voyager but without any significant success. What the Allied commanders and many historians have not grasped is the role Sparrow Force had in the overall scheme of the war. Whether the Allied Command realized it or not, Sparrow Force was an important pawn in the island-hopping strategy. The United States Navy had secretly devised the island-hopping strategy as early as 1897 in response to fears of Japanese military expansion affecting American trade routes. 10 MacArthur to Blamey, op cit.
12  Sparrow In June, General Douglas MacArthur was advised by General Thomas Blamey     Allied land force commander     th...
After-math After World War I, the Versailles Treaty gave Japan a mandate over former German colonies in the western Pacific, specifically, the Mariana, Marshall, and Caroline Islands. If these islands were fortified, Japan could in principle deny the U.S. access to its interests in the western Pacific. Between the First and Second World Wars, the strategy was updated to include modern weapons, such as submarines and aircraft. It was called War Plan Orange. Shortly afterwards, a British-American naval correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph, Hector C. Bywater, publicized the prospect of a Japanese-American war in his books Seapower in the Pacific (1923) and The Great Pacific War (1925). Amongst the predictions in The Great Pacific War were:      The war would begin with a Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Formosa, and Korea; Japan would then stage a surprise attack to greatly diminish U.S. Naval power in the Pacific (Bywater predicted blowing up a freighter in the Panama Canal); A large role in the conflict for aircraft carrier-based aircraft; Suicidal tactics by Japanese aviators; and A detailed island-hopping strategy as the U.S. retook the Pacific. The books were read not only by Americans but also by senior officers of the Japanese Imperial Navy,11 including Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto,12 who meticulously studied the strategy of island-hopping in great detail. Japan implemented their own island-hopping strategy during their advance through South East Asia in early 1942. The troops that fought on Timor hopped from Hong Kong to Ambon to Timor, capturing strategic airfields and ports in each leap. To the Japanese, they tried to show up the Americans. Why wouldn’t the Americans try to retake each island the Japanese captured, especially Timor and Rabaul? What they didn’t take into account was what was missing from Bywater’s books. War Plan Orange, as originally conceived, had the following stages:     11 12 Withholding of supplies from the Philippines and other U.S. outposts in the Western Pacific (they were expected to hold out on their own); In the meantime, the Pacific Fleet would marshal its strength at bases in California, and guarded against attacks on the Panama Canal; After mobilization (the ships maintained only half of their crews in peacetime), the Fleet would sail to the Western Pacific to relieve American forces in Guam and the Philippines; and Afterwards, the fleet would sail due north for a decisive battle against the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Combined Fleet, and then blockade the Japanese home islands. Honan, W. H. Visions of Infamy: The untold story of how journalist Hector C. Bywater devised the plans that led to Pearl Harbor. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. Toland, John Willard. Infamy: Pearl Harbor And Its Aftermath. Berkley, 1991. 13
After-math After World War I, the Versailles Treaty gave Japan a mandate over former German colonies in the western Pacifi...
14 Sparrow On Timor, the Japanese reinforced their defences with troops from the Philippines. Some of those troops would reinforce Rabaul. MacArthur devised Operation Cartwheel to bypass and starve Rabaul, which had been defended by Lark Force. To some extent, if it weren’t for Lark Force defending that port, the Japanese would not have tried to capture it. The Japanese sent thousands of troops to fortify the port and airbase. When all those troops were isolated, they were useless to the Japanese war effort and were left to “wither on the vine.” Leapfrogging had a number of advantages. It would allow the United States forces to reach Japan more quickly and not expend the time, manpower, and supplies to capture every Japanese-held island on the way. It would give the Allies the advantage of surprise and keep the Japanese off balance.13 Some have suggested that, by the end of 1942, the chances of the Allies re-taking Timor were remote.14 In reality, there was never any intention to retake Timor. The more the Japanese thought that Timor would be the first step in the Allied leapfrogging campaign to take back the Dutch East Indies, the less likely that the Allies should want to retake Timor. If the Allies could coax as many Japanese to defend the island from invasion, the Allies could bypass Timor and block its supply routes. Instead of this mindset, the Allied Commanders were concerned with the Australian Army fighting a number of costly battles against the Japanese beachheads around Buna in New Guinea. They thought that there were insufficient resources to continue operations in Timor.15 On 11–12 and 15-16 December, the Dutch destroyer HNLMS Tjerk Hiddes evacuated the remainder of the original Sparrow Force — except for a few officers — with several Portuguese civilians.16 By the time that Sparrow Force left Timor, there were plans to maintain a presence on the island. Some of the commandoes would stay on the island as part of a reconnaissance Special Z Unit, reporting back to Australia Japanese troop, air, and ship movements. The greatest problem that Sparrow Force faced on Timor was the Japanese scorched earth tactic used to flush out the guerrillas. The Japanese targeted the native population, killing as many as 70,000, to deprive the commandoes of anywhere to hide and sustain itself. By the end of 1942, the Japanese had built a native spy network to report the commandoes’ movements. While the massacre of natives continued after Sparrow Force left the island, the Japanese were paranoid of the commandoes’ presence. Sparrow Force performed with considerable success, conducting a guerrilla style campaign and occupying the attention of an entire Imperial Japanese Army division for almost twelve months.17 For the rest of the war the Japanese were suspicious of 13 14 15 16 17 Roehrs, Mark D., and William A. Renzi. World War II in the Pacific. 2nd ed. London: M.E. Sharpe Inc., 2004. p.119. Klemen. L. Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 2000. Dennis, Peter et al. The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1995. p.530. Wheeler, Tony. East Timor. Lonely Planet Publications, 2004. p.152. Dennis, op cit., p.308.
14  Sparrow On Timor, the Japanese reinforced their defences with troops from the Philippines. Some of those troops would ...
After-math the presence of commandoes on the island and they maintained a large garrison on the island, which eventually made them ineffective to the Japanese war effort. More importantly, at the lowest point in the war, Sparrow Force proved that in certain circumstances unconventional operations could be both versatile and more economic than conventional operations at a time when resources were not available to the Allies.18 Photo 8: 18 The ‘Singapore Tiger.’ The Glasgow Herald, Saturday January 2, 1943. Dennis, op cit., pp.529–530. 15
After-math the presence of commandoes on the island and they maintained a large garrison on the island, which eventually m...
16 Sparrow Photo 9: Word of the ‘Bataan Death March’ spread quickly across America. Propaganda poster from the Office for Emergency Management, Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services, 9 March 1943. The ‘Rules of War’ “Some focus on who did what to whom, but if you find out why it happened, it won’t happen again, this time to you.” – Charlie McLachlan Throughout Charlie’s war, there were regular discussions about its causes, the motives of both sides, and attitudes towards the opposing side. Charlie, as the battery barber, was never short of conversation topics and the variety of customers provided many perspectives. Whether someone was Scottish, Cockney, American, Canadian, Australian, or Japanese, whether they were regular army, volunteers, conscripted, or civilian, each person brought insight through sharing their experiences. Charlie was a newspaper man and the conversations with Archie Muir opened his eyes to the motives and misconceptions about war. Skeptical about British motives and their preparedness for war, he avoided joining the war effort until conscripted. After all, to Charlie, patriotism only gets people killed and, as a new father, his role was to support his family. Most of those who volunteered were too young to know the horrors of the First World War – then known as the Great War. There was nothing ‘great’ about that
16  Sparrow  Photo 9   Word of the    Bataan Death March    spread quickly across America. Propaganda poster from the Offi...
After-math war. Many Australians thought the same as those who volunteered for the previous war – it was an adventure to see far-flung places. War changes people. It takes a certain mindset to fight, to kill, to capture, then to guard an enemy. Motivating factors include information sought and unsought, personal experiences, and preconceptions. Limiting factors include physical capabilities, intellectual grasp, religion, morality, and laws. The commonality between these limiting factors in conflict evolved into what became the Rules of War. Throughout the late 1930s, the British and American governments raised concerns over the Japanese treatment of captured Chinese militants. After Japan’s attacks on British, Dutch, and American ports on 7 December 1941 the Allies said that they would hold Japanese to account for the mistreatment of prisoners of war. The Empire of Japan, which signed but never ratified the Second Geneva Convention of 1929,19 also did not treat prisoners of war in accordance with international agreements that they did ratify, including provisions of the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907.) Japan was an Ally during the First World War. At the siege of the Germancontrolled Chinese port of Tsingtao in Kiautschou Bay, Japan took 3,900 German soldiers to Japan. Just under 1000 German prisoners were interned at places like the Bandō Prisoner of War camp on the Island of Shikoku.20 When the camp closed in 1920, sixty-three of the prisoners chose to remain in Japan.21 The German orchestra at the camp was credited with the Japanese tradition of performing Beethoven’s Ode de Joy each New Year.22 The camp and orchestra became the subject of a movie, The Ode de Joy.23 In all respects, Japan observed the articles of the 1907 Hague Convention. German prisoners of war were also held in the Omori POW Camp on a purposebuilt island in Tokyo Bay, which would become the Tokyo Headquarter Camp to Mitsushima and Kanose Camps during the Second World War. 19 20 21 22 23 “International Humanitarian Law - State Parties / Signatories.” International Committee of the Red Cross. 27/07/1929. Schultz-Naumann, Joachim, “Unter Kaisers Flagge: Deutschlands Schutzgebiete im Pazifik und in China einst und heute.” Universitas, 1985. p.207. Johnston, Eric. “Bando POW camp: chivalry’s last bastion.” The Japan Times, 13 June 2006. Brasor, Philip. “Japan makes Beethoven’s Ninth No. 1 for the holidays.” The Japan Times, 24 December 2010. “The Ode de Joy” (Baruto no Gakuen). Buena Vista International Distribution, 2006. 17
After-math war. Many Australians thought the same as those who volunteered for the previous war     it was an adventure to...
18 Sparrow Photo 10: Omori Prisoner of War Camp in Tokyo Bay, August 1945. The Japanese viewed surrender as dishonorable, yet they treated prisoners of war during the First World War with great respect. The modern (and European-model inspired) Sugamo Prison built in the 1920s to house political and high profile prisoners symbolized Japanese attitudes towards incarceration during the era. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East used the prison to house those detained for war crimes after the Second World War. Japan’s attitudes towards war drew parallels to its relationships with the West. It started in 1853 with United States Commodore Matthew Perry’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’ at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. In 1945, General Douglas MacArthur officiated Japan’s capitulation to the West on the USS Missouri near the same spot – the result of ‘atomic diplomacy’ the previous month. Within a century, Japan went from being closed to foreign influence, to being opened up by the United States, to being a United States ally fighting alongside in several conflicts, to becoming its enemy, and finally being conquered by the United States. The rapid decline of Japan’s attitudes towards the West was exacerbated by the foundations upon which its modernization was built. Commodore Perry’s volley of exploding shells provided all the incentive to Japan’s warring factions of the benefits of trade to consolidate their grip on power. The thirst for modern weaponry triggered a chain of events that would ultimately demonstrate the reasons why Japan was closed for two centuries beforehand.
18  Sparrow  Photo 10   Omori Prisoner of War Camp in Tokyo Bay, August 1945.  The Japanese viewed surrender as dishonorab...
After-math Photo 11: Commodore Perry’s flag (upper left corner) was flown from Annapolis to Tokyo for display at the surrender ceremonies, which officially ended World War II. * Gunboat Diplomacy “It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War. The Japanese have a long history of skepticism towards the West. For two centuries, they took a strict isolationist stand, banning trade and contact with empires thought to threaten Japanese culture. In the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa Shogunate, who ruled Japan, enforced the Sakoku (“locked country”) policy in order to remove the colonial and religious influence of primarily Spain and Portugal, which was perceived as posing a threat to the stability of the Shogunate and to the peace of the Japanese archipelago. Empress Meishō heard of how the Spanish and Portuguese were settling the New World and had great doubts that Japan could benefit from such rape and pillage imperialism. Protestant English and Dutch traders, who spread rumours that the Catholic colonizers were systematically spreading religion as part of plans to culturally dominate Asia, reinforced this perception. The English and Dutch were generally perceived as being able to separate religion and trade, while their Iberian counterparts were looked on with suspicion. After the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637–38, consisting of 40,000 mostly Christian peasants, Christians were expelled or driven underground. The penalty of practicing Christianity was death. All contact with the outside world became strictly regulated by the Shogunate. Dutch traders were permitted to continue commerce with Japan only by agreeing not to engage in missionary activities. Trade with Dutch and Asian ships was 19
After-math  Photo 11   Commodore Perry   s flag  upper left corner  was flown from Annapolis to Tokyo for display at the s...
20 Sparrow controlled through specified ports and bans were put in place for the exportation of the few minerals Japan did possess, such as silver and copper. Japan kept abreast with Western technology, such as medicine, through the Dutch at its Dejima trading post in Nagasaki Bay. The focus on the removal of Western and Christian influence from the Japanese archipelago as the main driver of the Sakoku maritime prohibitions – called Kaikin (“Sea Restriction”) – is a common perception, mostly by Westerners,24 but was not the only motivation. The gradual strengthening of the Kaikin also secured the Tokugawa Bakufu’s domestic agenda. Controlling Japan’s foreign policy guaranteed domestic social peace and supremacy over the other powerful lords in the country, particularly the tozama daimyo, who used trade to build their military strength. Directing trade predominantly through Nagasaki enabled the bakufu, through taxes and levies, to bolster its own treasury.25 There were many attempts to break the Sakoku, ranging from Russians, French, British, as well as the Americans. It took a flotilla of four U.S. Navy warships (nicknamed the ‘Kurofune’ or ‘Black Ships’ due to their pitch-covered hulls) to enter a harbour near Tokyo in 1853 and fire a volley of exploding shells to break the deadlock. The ‘gunboat diplomacy’, led by Commodore Matthew Perry, demanded the opening of trade to the West. Perry returned the following year with seven warships and forced the Shogun to sign the ‘Treaty of Peace and Amity,’ known as the Convention of Kanagawa. In the same year, the British signed a similar treaty, followed by Russia. Within five years, Japan had signed similar treaties with other western countries. During the Sakoku, Japan was a largely self-sufficient country with an agrarian economy. Peace was maintained by the grip the Shogunate had through its network of strongholds. Western technology was adapted for traditional purposes. Although peaceful, the Japanese warrior culture was still evident. Battles were tournament-based, fortress sieges, or raids. There weren’t large-scale engagements across a wide battlefront. The Japanese code of Bushidō — ‘the way of the warrior’ — was deeply ingrained. The concept of Yamato-damashii equipped each soldier with a strict code: “Never be captured, never break down, and never surrender. Surrender was dishonorable. Each soldier was trained to fight to the death and was expected to die before suffering dishonor. Defeated Japanese leaders preferred to take their own lives in the painful samurai ritual of seppuku (called hara kiri in the West). Warriors who surrendered were not deemed worthy of regard or respect.”26 24 25 26 Laver, Michael S. The Sakoku Edicts and the Politics of Tokugawa Hegemony. Cambria Press, 2011. Hellyer, Robert I. Defining engagement: Japan and global contexts, 1640-1868. Harvard University, 2009. Correll, John T. The Smithsonian and the Enola Gay. U.S. Air Force Association, 15 March 1994. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
20  Sparrow controlled through specified ports and bans were put in place for the exportation of the few minerals Japan di...
After-math To consider the motives for the Kurofune, one must consider the wider context of imperialism in the Far East and the United States’ ambitions. During the period that Japan’s borders were closed, the Western Powers colonized vast tracts of the Far East. India, Burma, and Malaya were in British hands, the French controlled the Mekong catchment, the Dutch controlled from Sumatra to Guinea and Borneo, and the Spanish colonized the Philippines. Most Western Powers had trading posts in China. Japan and the United States weren’t imperialists, but it was clear that to develop as a modern nation both countries needed access to resources. Trading relationships were fickle, much like the alliances between the Western Powers. Maintaining access to resources required direct control, not just ownership. The United States was built by negotiation and, if that failed, conquest. After the war with Mexico, in 1848 the United States had a Pacific coastline after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded California, New Mexico, and adjacent areas to the United States. Shortly after, gold was discovered in Northern California. The United States’ focus gradually oriented towards the Pacific and the Far East. The growth of the United States westwards was driven somewhat by their own Sakoku foreign policy. The Monroe Doctrine, expressed in 1823, proclaimed the United States’ opinion that European powers should no longer colonize or interfere in the Americas. The Monroe Doctrine was adopted in response to American and British fears over Russian and French expansion into the Western Hemisphere.27 The Republicans also imposed tariffs designed to protect the infant industries that had been created when Britain was blockading the U.S. At the time of the Kurofune, the United States was embroiled in Civil War that would divide the country until 1865. The economies of the north and south were engaged in total war, where each side mobilized into a war machine. Industrialization of the north saw the United States steel industry swell to the most productive in the world. Railroads and telegraph efficiently transported troops and intelligence to the front lines. The ‘gunboat diplomacy’ of Perry and other Western Powers generated resentment over what factions within the Shogunate considered being ‘unequal treaties.’ Due to the treaty with the United States making them a ‘most favoured nation’, Japan was forced to sign treaties with other Western Powers. In 1858 followed the Ansei Treaties with the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Netherlands, and France. Edo, Kobe, Nagasaki, Niigata, and Yokohama opened to foreign trade. Foreigners could live and trade in those ports under their own laws. The problem was that fixed low import-export duties were subject to foreign control – thus depriving the Japanese government control of foreign trade and protection of Japan’s industries. The rate would drop to a low of 5 percent in the 1860s.28 The unequal treaties with Japan were unique because other unequal treaties, such as those with China, were the result of military defeat. Japan simply was threatened by a few exploding shells by four American warships. Resentment grew with those 27 28 Gilderhus, Mark T. The Monroe Doctrine: Meanings and Implications. Presidential Studies Quarterly March 2006, Vol. 36#1. pp.5–16. Auslin, Michael R. Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. 21
After-math To consider the motives for the Kurofune, one must consider the wider context of imperialism in the Far East an...
22 Sparrow who signed the treaties, which materialized into a radical, xenophobic movement – the sonnō jōi (literally “Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians.”)29 What followed was a series of conflicts that generated several surprising twists. Emperor Kōmei agreed with the sentiments of the sonnō jōi, and — breaking with centuries of imperial tradition — began to take an active role in matters of state. Opportunistic, he railed against the treaties and attempted to interfere with the Shogunate’s succession plans. His efforts culminated in March 1863 with his “Order to expel barbarians.” Because the Shogunate had no intention of enforcing the order, the Shogunate and foreigners were attacked. The catalyst of conflict was the Namamugi Incident. Because foreigners only had to follow their own laws and not the Japanese, Japanese often felt insulted by Westerners who did not observe their traditions. A Yokohama-based British trader, Charles Lennox Richardson, was riding his horse through Namamugi when he encountered a large armed procession of samurai, including the daimyo of Satsuma, Shimazu Hisamitsu, heading in the opposite direction. The Dutch trader ahead of Richardson’s party, Eugene Van Reed, dismounted and bowed – as required by tradition. Richardson, after being gestured to dismount several times, refused to dismount. Richardson was slashed by a bodyguard and, while escaping, fell from his horse and was mortally wounded. Hisamitsu gave the order for todome – the coup de grâce – to be given. The Tokugawa government was required to pay an indemnity of one hundred thousand British pounds for Richardson’s death. When payment was not forthcoming, a squadron went to Satsuma’s capital, Kagoshima, to demand reparation. The British seized several vessels as hostage against payment and were fired upon by Satsuma forces. The British squadron retaliated by bombarding Kagoshima. Satsuma admired the superiority of the Royal Navy and sought a trading relationship with Britain as a result. Later that year, they paid the £25,000 compensation demanded by the British Government, and borrowed the remainder (and never repaying) the money from the bakufu – the shogun’s government. On 12 June 1863, Captain David McDougal of the U.S. Navy, in a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, stated, “General opinion is that the government of Japan is on the eve of revolution, the principal object of which is the expulsion of foreigners.” Many feudal daimyos remained bitterly resentful of the shogun’s open-door policy to foreign trade. Lord Mori Takachika expelled all foreigners and fired on all foreign ships traveling through the 112-metre wide Shimonoseki Strait between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu. The gunboat diplomacy of the Shimonoseki Campaign came at the time of the Gettysberg and Vicksburg battles in the American Civil War. The world watched President Abraham Lincoln’s government for any sign of weakness and indecision. To their surprise, USS Wyoming became the first foreign warship to offensively uphold treaty rights with Japan. The USS Wyoming, under Captain McDougal 29 Hagiwara, Kōichi. Illustrated life of Saigō Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi (図説 西郷隆盛と大 久保利通.)Kawade Shobō Shinsya, 2004.
22  Sparrow who signed the treaties, which materialized into a radical, xenophobic movement     the sonn   j  i  literally...
After-math himself, sailed into the strait and single-handedly engaged the US-built but poorly manned local fleet. The British, Dutch, French, and American navies followed by bombarding and capturing the battery at Shimonoseki. Considering Japan had only been open to trade for a short time, the quality and abundance of the armaments captured shocked the world. * Western Influence “Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War. It is ironic that the death of Emperor Kōmei would bring a successor who would seek help from the West to secure power. It would be the remnants of the Tokugawa Shogunate, who opened Japan’s borders and received weapons and training from Westerners, who would be left fighting using traditional methods. The West found themselves in a conundrum. The British ambassador, Harry Smith Parkes, supported the anti-Shogunate forces in a drive to establish a legitimate, unified imperial rule in Japan, and to counter French influence with the Shogunate. Several daimyo, including the Satsuma and Chōshū, who had strong connections with the British, sided with the new Emperor Meiji. After the young Emperor called for the “slaughtering of the traitorous subject Yoshinobu,” Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned his post at the head of the Shogunate, resulting in a power vacuum. Satsuma and Chōshū seized the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and Emperor Meiji declared the restoration of full imperial power. Yoshinobu changed his mind about the restoration of the Emperor and attacked Kyoto after Edo Castle, the main Tokugawa residence, was arsoned. Shogunate forces then attacked Satsuma’s Edo residence. What followed was a series of engagements where Satsuma took advantage of his modern weaponry, including pack howitzers and Gatling guns. The Shogunate took advantage of their modern navy. Stuck in the middle were the ministers of foreign nations, who gathered at present day Kobe. They issued a declaration recognizing the Shogunate as the only rightful government in Japan, which gave hope to Tokugawa Yoshinobu that foreign nations (especially France) might consider an intervention in his favour. A few days later, however, an imperial delegation visited the ministers, who declared that the Shogunate was abolished, that harbours would be open in accordance with international treaties, and that foreigners would be protected. The ministers finally 23
After-math himself, sailed into the strait and single-handedly engaged the US-built but poorly manned local fleet. The Bri...
24 Sparrow decided to recognize the new government.30 This did not stop anti-foreign sentiment, which included the deaths of 11 French sailors and an attack on British Ambassador, Sir Harry Parkes. Although foreign ministers recognized Meiji’s government, they sat on the fence to see who would prevail. Under the influence of Parkes, foreign nations signed a strict neutrality agreement where they would not intervene or provide military supplies to either side until the resolution of the conflict.31 Edo fell and Shogunate forces retreated north by sea with the help of French advisors. While most of Japan recognized the Emperor’s rule, a few northern pockets resisted. Poorly equipped, they relied on traditional methods. The few modern arms they did have, including two of the three Gatling guns in Japan, held off only briefly. Retreating to the northern island of Hokkaido, they formed the Ezo Republic (based on the United States’ model.) The last stand came in the form of a large-scale naval battle in Hakodate Bay. The Boshin War ended with the surrender of Ezo Republic Naval Commander Enomoto Takeaki, who originally said he would fight to the end. Instead, his commander in chief, Otori Keisuke, convinced Enomoto to surrender, telling him that deciding to live through defeat was the truly courageous way: “If it’s dying you want you can do it anytime.”32 The French advisors escaped and fled back to France. Out of the Boshin War emerged a different moral code, more flexible than the strict Bushidō code. Enomoto wasn’t expected to kill himself. Reprisals were avoided. Unifying the enemy to within the fold was paramount. Contrast this with the Lieber Code33 – an instruction signed by President Abraham Lincoln to the Union Forces of the United States during the American Civil War that dictated how soldiers should conduct themselves in wartime. It was the first expressly codified law that expressly forbade giving ‘no quarter’ to the enemy (i.e., killing prisoners of war), except in such cases when the survival of the unit that held those prisoners was threatened. The Code forbade the use of torture to extract confessions; it described the rights and duties of prisoners of war and of capturing forces. The Code, however, permitted reprisal (by musketry) against the enemy’s recently captured POWs; it permitted the summary execution (by musketry) of spies, saboteurs, francs-tireurs, and guerrilla forces, if caught in the act of carrying out their missions. Without opposition, Emperor Meiji set about unifying his country, starting with moving his seat of power from Kyoto to Tokyo (formerly Edo.) Instead of seeking retribution on enemies, the clemency given was influenced by Parkes, who said, “that severity towards Keiki [Yoshinobu] or his supporters, especially in the way 30 31 32 33 Polak, Christian. Soie et lumières: L’âge d’or des échanges franco-japonais (des origines aux années 1950). Tokyo: Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Française du Japon. Hachette Fujin Gahōsha, 2001. p.75. Ibid., p.77. Ibid. “The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.” Series III, Volume 3, General Order № 100. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899. pp.148-164.
24  Sparrow decided to recognize the new government.30 This did not stop anti-foreign sentiment, which included the deaths...
After-math of personal punishment, would injure the reputation of the new government in the opinion of European Powers.”34 Meiji took a different approach to his father’s objective to expel foreigners from Japan. Instead, he took a more progressive policy of modernizing the country and renegotiating the unequal treaties with foreign powers. His motto was fukoku kyōhei – “rich country, strong army” or “enrich the country, strengthen the military.” At Meiji’s coronation, his Charter Oath, called for planned congresses, increased opportunities for the common people, abolishing the “evil customs of the past,” and seeking knowledge throughout the world “to strengthen the foundations of imperial rule.”35 Domains were replaced by prefectures, schooling became compulsory, Confucian class distinctions were abolished, and conscription of commoners to the army introduced. The French, who built the Shogunate Navy, continued their work to build a large-scale Imperial Japanese Navy. The Satsuma, who wanted the retention of the samurai class, rebelled but were defeated by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Battle of Shiroyama in 1877. The word “Meiji” means “enlightened rule” and the goal of the Emperor’s goal was to combine “western advances” with the traditional, “eastern values.”36 The leaders under Meiji sought to “promote civilization and enlightenment” through western ethics and ideas. To the West, Japan was seen as the last frontier. As Japan’s doors were closed for two centuries, its citizens had not travelled abroad to witness the effects of imperialism. So, when Emperor Meiji wanted to know how the rest of the world functioned, he sent delegations to find out what they could to benefit his plans. The West’s dominance of Japan was the result of Japanese ignorance of the West. The West could follow the same formula as it had done elsewhere:      Set up a trading post; Trade in arms; Watch the natives wage a civil war; The Imperialists pick the winning side; and The Imperialist power colonizes the people for their own protection (and from a rival imperial power). This formula was applied by the West in Africa, by the British in Africa, India, and New Zealand. The Americans also did this with the Native Americans. Japan was different. While the Western Powers were over-stretched in conflicts elsewhere, Japan was not on their list of potential colonies. While the unequal treaties allowed dominance of trade, Japan used the trade for their own purposes whilst maintaining aspects of their culture. There was no ‘assimilation’ as, to the Japanese, their homogenous race was not inferior. Whilst the Emperor was seen as 34 35 36 Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852–1912. Columbia, 2005. p.143. Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan. Harvard, 2002. p.338. Also n.34, p.138. Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, R. Po-chia Hsia et al.. The Making of the West, Peoples and Cultures. Vol. C. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2009. pp.712-13. 25
After-math of personal punishment, would injure the reputation of the new government in the opinion of European Powers.   ...
26 Sparrow a living god, Emperor Meiji received Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Tokyo, “as his equal in point of blood.”37 Before the Meiji Restoration, several missions were sent abroad by the Bakufu in order to learn about Western civilization, revise treaties, and delay the opening of cities and harbours to foreign trade. A Japanese Embassy to the United States was sent in 1860. In 1862 and 1863, embassies were sent to Europe. Japan also sent a delegation and participated in the 1867 World Fair in Paris. The first Meiji delegation was the 1871-73 Iwakura Mission, whose role was to renegotiate unfair European treaties and to get information on education, mechanics, worldview, military, and social structures. Their itinerary included a rail journey from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., then tours of Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Bavaria, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, then on to Egypt, Aden, Ceylon, Singapore, Saigon, Hong Kong, and finally Shanghai. During a time of rebuilding after the Civil War, there was enormous social change with the abolition of slavery and the influx of Eastern and Western immigrants. The Iwakura Mission would have been shocked by the disorder and division of the fledgling power. Arriving in San Francisco, the Japanese observed how mineral wealth could be translated into a hastily built modern city. Traveling across the recently completed Transcontinental Railroad, it was difficult not to notice the effects of infrastructure on opened up territory confiscated from Native Indians who, for a time, lived in concentration camps and then segregated to reservations. Japan, whose economy was agrarian based, observed how Southern agrarian industry was built off the back of black slavery. As they travelled from the Great Lakes down the East Coast, they saw how the Civil War fueled northern industrial expansion and how the financial infrastructure was built on trade with the West. In Europe, the Japanese envoy observed the fractious and duplicitous nature of diplomacy between the European nations. The appalling social problems associated with industrial growth on cluttered populations would have concerned them greatly. On the return voyage, the Japanese saw the effects of European Imperialism on Africa, the Middle East, the Asian subcontinent, and the Far East. After returning to Japan, the Iwakura Mission would have tried to explain what they learned from Western civilization by promoting the positive aspects coupled with warnings. With each positive, the threat to Japan would have been the fear of falling behind and the fear of implementing industrialization to the detriment of its society. The rapid industrialization and modernization of Japan both allowed and required a massive increase in production and infrastructure. Japan built industries, such as shipyards, iron smelters, and spinning mills, which were then sold to wellconnected entrepreneurs. Consequently, domestic companies became consumers of Western technology and applied it to produce items that would be sold cheaply on the international market. With this, industrial zones grew enormously and there was 37 Keene, op cit., p.183.
26  Sparrow a living god, Emperor Meiji received Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Tokyo,    as his equal in point of blood.  ...
After-math massive migration to industrializing centres from the countryside. Industrialization also went hand in hand with the development of a national railway system and modern communications. Industrialization provided internal stability and international status. The Victorian Industrial Revolution, however, was centred on the technology of steel and oil. Japan did have coal, iron ore, and oil reserves but, over time, these resources would be depleted. Japan’s hunger for steel resulted in:      Coal production swelling from 600,000 metric tons in 1875 to 21.3 million tons in 1913; Steel production growing; Raw silk production exploding from 1,026 tons to 12,460 tons; A merchant fleet swelling from 26 steamships to 1,514; and Railways growing from 29 kilometres to 11,400 kilometres. The problem for Japan was that it only had 90 million tons of iron ore deposits, offshore oil reserves of almost 3 million barrels, and small deposits of copper, gold, silver and sulphur. Steel needed trade, trade needed security, security needed steel. Foreign diplomacy and trade was the frontline of Japan comparing and contrasting their culture with those of its counterparts. The Japanese would have taken considerable interest in the unstable and shifting alliances of Europe’s powers. The British warred with the French for centuries, then the Ottoman Empire and French were British allies during the Crimean War. The Western Powers unified to bombard Shimonoseki. If Japan was to rely on trade for its raw materials, the fickle Western Powers were a major concern. With modernization, there was a modern morality to war. The Crimean War saw modern fighting methods, unified war industries, modern medicine, and an emerging code of conduct. Also, the justification for war and annexation of territory came to the fore. The world was changing and Japan was trying to change with it. The West was seen as the leaders of change. Japan wanted to stay in step with the West in order to be the leader of the East. Nevertheless, what sort of example did the West provide to Japan? What did it condone, promote, how did it justify its actions? More importantly, how did it react to others doing the same? Japan saw Britain as a good example to compare itself with. Britain was a small country with few natural resources off the coast of a continent. Britain used its model of government, technology, trade, and military to form the basis of the greatest empire the world had ever known. At the time of Japan’s curiosity with the world, Britain was engaged in total war in South Africa. Britain had acquired the Cape of Good Hope in 1815 from the Dutch during the Napoleonic Wars. After the discovery of diamonds and then gold, the British fought the Boers to a stalemate in 1881. The Boer guerrilla campaign combined marksmanship, tactical flexibility, and good use of ground to bog down the British. Almost 20 years later, the lure of gold made it worth committing the vast resources of the British Empire and incurring the huge costs required to win that war. 27
After-math massive migration to industrializing centres from the countryside. Industrialization also went hand in hand wit...
28 Sparrow The British methods to win the Second Boer War demonstrated the lengths of total war. Total war wasn’t just the control of an entire economy to win a war, it extended to controlling the enemy’s, including its civilian population. To flush out guerrillas, the British made it difficult for them to hide and to feed themselves. A ‘scorched earth’ raped the land of resources, which also deprived the Boers of a living. The systematic destruction of crops and slaughtering of livestock, the razing of homesteads and farms, the poisoning of wells, and salting of fields were designed to prevent the Boers from resupplying from a home base. Many tens of thousands of women and children were forcibly moved into the concentration camps Kitchener initiated to: “Flush out guerrillas in a series of systematic drives, organised like a sporting shoot, with success defined in a weekly ‘bag’ of killed, captured and wounded, and to sweep the country bare of everything that could give sustenance to the guerrillas, including women and children.... It was the clearance of civilians—uprooting a whole nation—that would come to dominate the last phase of the war.”38 The English term “concentration camp” was used more widely during the Second Boer War (1899–1902), when the British operated such camps in South Africa for interning Boers. They built a total of 45 tented camps for Boer internees and 64 for black Africans. Of the 28,000 Boer men captured as prisoners of war, the British sent 25,630 overseas. The vast majority of Boers remaining Photo 12: Lizzie Van Zyl was a child inmate of Bloemfontein camp who died from in the local camps were women typhoid fever during the Second and children. Conditions were Boer War. horrendous and epidemics killed thousands. Despite outcries in Britain at the appalling conditions suffered by the Boers, the government retained power due to the military successes of the South African campaign. To appease the protestors, a commission of inquiry was conducted. Expecting a whitewash, the Fawcett Commission confirmed the protestors’ fears. The report concluded that 27,927 Boers (of whom 24,074 were children under 16) died of starvation, disease, and exposure in the concentration camps. In all, about one in four of the Boer inmates, mostly children, died. To put that in context, fifty percent of the Boer child population died in concentration camps. Japan also looked to the United States to understand the workings of a growing power. The first uses of concentration camps were those set up in the United States for Cherokee and other Native Americans in the 1830s. The authorities simply 38 Pakenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Random House, 1979.
28  Sparrow The British methods to win the Second Boer War demonstrated the lengths of total war. Total war wasn   t just ...
After-math believed that if they liked particular areas of land, they could capture the Native Americans, place them in concentration camps, and keep them there until they figured out what to do with them. They would then find a less valuable area of land and relocate them on reserves, much like cattle. Although the Civil War put an end to slavery, African Americans were secondclass citizens and segregated in the South. The Japanese also learned from the Americans that the justifications for war needn’t be an obstacle. American ambition – combined with deep-set racism and media propaganda – fuelled the fire between Spain and the United States. In the minds, schoolbooks, and scholarship of the mostly Protestant U.S. public, the Catholic Spanish Empire was a backward, immoral union built on the backs of enslaved natives and funded with stolen gold.39 While the Monroe Doctrine provided an exception to Spain in Cuba, the Cuban independence struggle worried American economic interests on the island. Many American firms pressed both American and Spanish politicians to restore order, not war. Cuban autonomy was proposed by the Spanish. Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and William Randolph Hearst of the New York Journal, on the other hand, recognized the potential for great headlines and stories that would sell copies. Shortly after the Cuban autonomous government took power, a small riot erupted in Havana, ironically by Spanish officers offended by persistent newspaper criticism of their general’s policies. The United States Photo 13: Inventing excuses for war isn’t new. ‘Yellow journalism’ between Hearst and sent the USS Maine to Pulitzer papers escalated the SpanishHavana to ensure the safety of American War. American citizens and interests. Other U.S. ships were moved to Quay West, off the coast of Lisbon, and Hong Kong. 39 Kagan, Richard L. Prescott’s Paradigm: American Historical Scholarship and the Decline of Spain. The American Historical Review 101, no.2, April 1996. pp.423–46. 29
After-math believed that if they liked particular areas of land, they could capture the Native Americans, place them in co...
30 Sparrow On 15 February 1898, the Maine sank in Havana Harbour after suffering a massive explosion, killing 266 sailors. President McKinley asked Congress to appropriate $50 million for defence, and Congress unanimously obliged. The media went into frenzy, making all sorts of wild speculation. The momentum for war was unstoppable – although later it was suggested that the ship sunk due to an internal explosion, not by external causes. The New York City papers used sensationalistic and astonishing accounts of “atrocities” committed by the Spanish in Cuba. Their press exaggerated what was happening and how the Spanish were treating the Cuban prisoners.40 Stories based on truth but written with incendiary language caused emotional and often heated responses among readers. There was a common myth that, when his illustrator Frederic Remington said that conditions in Cuba were not bad enough to warrant hostilities, Hearst responded: “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”41 Under pressure from Congress, President McKinley found himself alone and asked Congress for authority to send American troops to Cuba, knowing that Congress would force a war. A joint resolution of Congress, signed by McKinley, demanded Spanish withdrawal from Cuba and authorized the President to use much military force to help Cuba gain independence. In response, Spain broke off diplomatic relations and the United States blockaded Cuba. Spain then declared war. In response, the United States declared that a state of war existed when the blockade of Cuba had begun.42 Instead of attacking mainland Spain, or just Cuba, it targeted Spanish colonies it wanted – including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. It was the naked ambition of an emerging imperial power and, after the Spanish sued for peace, the United States got what they wanted. The excuse for attacking the Philippines was similar to Cuba: that the Americans were simply helping the liberation of the Filipinos. Instead, the Americans took the place of the Spanish as colonizers after the war and the Philippine-American war ensued. American Imperialism reared its ugly head in the Philippines. United States attacks in the countryside often included scorched earth campaigns where entire villages were burned and destroyed,43 and civilians were detained in concentration camps, called “protected zones.”44 The use of ‘water cure’ (induced drowning) torture was widespread.45 While an estimated 34,000 Filipino soldiers lost their lives, the Filipino population decreased by more than a million within a decade. 40 41 42 43 44 45 Ruiz, Vicki L. Nuestra América: Latino History as United States History. Journal of American History, 2006. p.655. Campbell, W. Joseph. Not likely sent: the Remington-Hearst “telegrams.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, August 2000. Trask, David F. The war with Spain in 1898. University of Nebraska Press, 1996. p.57. Schirmer, Daniel B.; Shalom, Stephen Rosskamm. The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance. South End Press, 1987. p.18. Storey, Moorfield; Codman, Julian (legal counsel for the Philippine Investigating Committee.) Secretary Root’s Record:”Marked Severities” in Philippine Warfare, 1902. Ibid.
30  Sparrow On 15 February 1898, the Maine sank in Havana Harbour after suffering a massive explosion, killing 266 sailors...
After-math Filipino historian E. San Juan Jr. alleges that the death of 1.4 million Filipinos constitutes an act of genocide on the part of the United States.46 In the concentration camps, known as reconcentrados, 8,350 of the 298,000 prisoners died during a three-month period. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent: “One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and ‘home’ to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed.”47 US General Franklin Bell ordered that by Christmas 1901, the entire population of the Batangas and Laguna Provinces to gather in small areas of their towns. The US Army burned anything left behind and shot anyone found outside the ghettostyle concentration camps. The American media didn’t turn a blind eye to the atrocities. After all, they sold newspapers. On May 5, 1902, the New York Journal published a cartoon of the Samar massacre where, enraged by a guerrilla massacre of U.S. troops on the Island of Samar, General Jacob H. Smith retaliated by carrying out an indiscriminate attack upon its inhabitants. His order “KILL EVERY ONE OVER Photo 14: “KILL EVERY ONE OVER TEN.” TEN” became a caption. The Old New York Journal - May 5, 1902. Glory draped an American shield on which a vulture replaced the bald eagle. The Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger reported: “The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog....”48 Many attempts were made to cover up atrocities. Many soldiers wrote letters home describing massacres of civilians. Investigations into atrocities involved sending copies of letters to the superiors of authors, the superiors would demand a retraction, and, if one was not forth-coming, they would be court-martialed. What these letters showed was an emerging theme by Americans towards Asians. Here is an excerpt of a New York-born soldier: 46 47 48 San Juan, E. Jr. “U.S. Genocide in the Philippines: A Case of Guilt, Shame, or Amnesia?” March 22, 2005. Dumindin, Arnaldo. “The Last Holdouts: General Vicente Lukban falls, Feb. 18, 1902.” Philippine–American War, 1899–1902. Self-published. Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. Harper & Row, 1980. 31
After-math Filipino historian E. San Juan Jr. alleges that the death of 1.4 million Filipinos constitutes an act of genoci...
32 Sparrow “The town of Titatia [sic] was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger.”49 Corporal Sam Gillis wrote: “We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now.”50 Already, the Americans perceived their enemy, even those they colonized, as subhuman. Desensitized by racial hatred, their cruelty escalated against their perceived enemy. The actions of the Americans in the Philippines shocked the West and the East from the outset. Following the American victory in the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War, Manila Bay was filled with the warships of Britain, Germany, France, and Japan.51 Japan’s presence clearly showed that it actively defended its interests, much like the Western Powers did in Japan during the Boshin War. * Eastern Power “We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Japanese came face to face with the ugly side of American imperialism in Hawaii. In 1881, King David Kalākaua visited Japan to strengthen relations between the two nations. Kalākaua and Emperor Meiji could identify with each other; both countries were island nations, both were nations of the Pacific, both were monarchies, and both were under pressure from Western Powers. Japan had barred immigration to Hawaii over fears that Japanese labourers would be degraded, as the Chinese were. The bar was, however, dropped in 1885 and the first 153 Japanese arrived as contract labourers for sugar cane and pineapple plantations. 49 50 51 Miller, Stuart Creighton. Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899–1903. Yale University Press, 1982. p.88. Ibid. Field, James A. Jr. American Imperialism: the Worst Chapter in Almost Any Book. The American Historical Review (American Historical Association), June 1978. Vol. 83 (3). p.659.
32  Sparrow    The town of Titatia  sic  was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last nig...
After-math Japan’s original fears were well founded. In 1887, the white elite forced a ‘Bayonet Constitution’ on the King. While Hawaiian, Americans, and Europeans could vote, Japanese could not. In 1893, due to pressure from American Hawaiians pushing for annexation, the King was overthrown. Shocked by the American aggression, Japan responded with its own gunboat diplomacy but, due to concerns that diplomacy would break down at the expense of Japanese citizens, the Japanese withdrew its protests. Meanwhile, the British warships present, whose Union Jack appeared on the Kingdom of Hawaii’s flag, appeased the American aggression. Americans living on Hawaii, scaremongering that the Japanese would restore the Hawaiian throne, generated anti-Japanese sentiment. As early as 1897, the United States began to regard Japan as a potential threat to its interests in the western Pacific. By that stage, America hadn’t declared war on Spain. The U.S. Navy, however, began to draft war plans against Japan, which were eventually code-named “War Plan Orange.” Over time, this plan would be updated as the U.S. and Japan gained more colonies in the Pacific. So how did the United States go from kicking in Japan’s door to trying to fence them in? In short, Japan demonstrated to the West that it could mix with the best of them, form alliances with the big boys, and share the spoils. America, on the other hand, acted like a sidelined brat left sulking on the bench. With its borders forced open, Japan developed the fukoku kyōhei strategy to maintain its security – both militarily and psychologically. An important objective of the military buildup was to gain the respect of the Western Powers and achieve equal status for Japan in the international community. Many of the social and institutional reforms of the Meiji period were designed to remove the stigma of backwardness and inferiority. Regardless of how modern or strong Japan was, they were still ‘yellow.’ Japan was concerned with being associated with China and other Asiatic countries, not because they thought they were inferior, but because Europeans couldn’t and wouldn’t distinguish Japan from the rest. Europeans did consider themselves some type of ‘master race.’ Kaiser Wilhelm II coined the phrase “Yellow Peril” and accompanied it with an illustration of Archangel Michael as an allegorical Germany leading the European powers (Britannia, Columbia, Marianne, and Mother Photo 15: “Völker Europas, wahrt eure Russia amongst them) against an heiligsten Güter” (Peoples of Europe, guard your dearest goods.) 33
After-math Japan   s original fears were well founded. In 1887, the white elite forced a    Bayonet Constitution    on the...
34 Sparrow Asiatic threat represented by a golden Buddha. This illustration hung in all ships of the Hamburg America Line.52 Effectively, such imagery was some contrived belief that Europeans were meant to rule the Earth and Asians were a threat. Considering the European powers had dominated trade with the East and colonized vast tracts of it, such fears were of their own making. If trade was such a good thing, and their presence so far away from home was so mutually beneficial, why would they worry? Japan went through a period of reunifying. Scattered across a vast archipelago, in 1879 the Ryukyuan kingdom, which was under the influence of the Shimazu clan of the Satsuma, was annexed. These islands, which included Okinawa, were a string of small islands that stretched from the Japanese mainland to Formosa, forming the boundary of the East China Sea. Next, Japan tried to develop trade links with its Eastern neighbours, whilst strengthening its security. Korea was first cab off the rank. In 1876, early tension was settled temporarily through the Japan–Korea Treaty, which opened Korean ports to Japan. The 1885 Tianjin Convention, which removed Japanese and Chinese troops from Korea, effectively made Korean a co-protectorate of Beijing and Tokyo. Relations between Beijing and Tokyo deteriorated in 1894 after a string of events generated unstoppable momentum. First, a pro-Japanese Korean diplomat was assassinated in Shanghai. Pro-war elements in Japan called for a punitive expedition, which the cabinet resisted. With the assistance of several Japanese nationalistic societies, Korea staged a peasant uprising, which was crushed by Chinese troops. Japan quickly responded with force and defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War. After nine months of fighting – where Japan mobilized its modern navy and army in Taiwan, Manchuria, and Korea – China called a cease-fire, and the resulting Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895 secured Korean independence, Chinese reparations to Korea, Japan gained Taiwan and its neighbouring Penghu Islands, China lost Liaodong Peninsula to Japan, and Japan gained trade access to Yangtze River ports. Japan’s first war with a foreign power in over 400 years produced a decisive victory that sent shockwaves through the Western Powers. Russia, British, and United States interests in the Korean Peninsula were growing at the time. The advisor to the Chinese, German General Staff officer William Lang, stated that “in the end, there is no doubt that Japan must be utterly crushed.”53 The Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were, however, able to inflict a string of defeats on the Chinese through foresight, endurance, strategy, and power of organization. By utilizing pro-Japanese calls for intervention to start the war, Japan applied the same strategy that the United States used in Hawaii. 52 53 Rupert, G. G. The Yellow Peril or, the Orient versus the Occident. Union Publishing, 1911. p.9. Fairbank, John King; Kwang-Ching Liu, & Twitchett, Denis Crispin, ed. Late Ch’ing, 1800-1911. Volume 11, Part 2 of The Cambridge History of China Series (illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press, 1980. p.269.
34  Sparrow Asiatic threat represented by a golden Buddha. This illustration hung in all ships of the Hamburg America Line...
After-math Japan gained more Chinese territory than every Western power combined. The victory established Japan as a regional power on equal terms with the West and as the dominant power in Asia. 54 Japan disturbed the status quo. China was humiliated, which generated internal instability. Russia still wanted an all-season port. To the other Western Powers, Japan’s encircling empire could effectively control all the shipping between Taiwan to Japan. The West focused on how Japan defeated the Chinese. Japanese were frustrated by the treatment of their captured compatriots by the Chinese. Chinese tortured and murdered Japanese prisoners of war held at Pyongyang and elsewhere. In the Battle of Lushunkou, Japanese anger boiled over. On 18 November 1894, the Japanese movement down the Liaodong Peninsula was temporarily frustrated. When the Photo 16: A ‘sensationalist’ and ‘yellow journalism’ Western newspaper’s Japanese returned, they found that depiction of Japanese soldiers their abandoned wounded troops mutilating bodies during the Port were horribly mutilated with hands Arthur massacre. and feet cut off. Others had been burned alive. Arriving in an evacuated city, the Chinese left mutilated Japanese bodies on display at the entrance to the city. The Japanese sought reprisals against the remaining inhabitants of Port Arthur. How many were massacred remains controversial but it is believed to be between 1,500 and 6,000.55 Many Western reporters were attached to the Japanese Second Army. American ‘sensationalist’ and ‘yellow journalist’ James Creelman,56 writing for Pulitzer’s New York World and Frederic Villiers, a writer and illustrator for the London Black and White, described a wide scale and cold-blooded massacre. A French journalist originally denied that the massacre occurred, but later admitted that it had. The reporting of the Port Arthur massacre took the shine off Japan’s victory. Clearly, the Western media were hungry for anything that could damage Japan’s public image. While no ‘Rules of War’ formerly existed for another five years, the Japanese were determined to demonstrate Western military discipline. The reprisals at Port Arthur were justified and consistent with the American Lieber Code. The 54 55 56 Paine, S.C.M. The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895: Perception, Power, and Primacy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003. Northrop, Henry Davenport. Flowery Kingdom and The Land of Mikado or China, Japan and Corea: Graphic Account of the War between China and Japan-Its Causes, Land and Naval Battles. 1894. Knightley, Phillip. The First Casualty, from Crimea to Vietnam: the War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist, and Myth Maker. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975. p.58. 35
After-math Japan gained more Chinese territory than every Western power combined. The victory established Japan as a regio...
36 Sparrow American media reaction, combined with the political threat to cancel renegotiation of the unequal treaties, could only be seen as applying a double standard. Taking into account the United States’ atrocities in the Spanish-American and PhilippinesAmerican war over the coming years, it smeared the United States as hypocrites. As early as 1899, the U.S. newspapers, notably those owned by William Randolph Hearst,57 used the phrase “Yellow Peril.” While the U.S. committed atrocities in the Philippines, according to Hearst the West should fear the Japanese. Japan now found itself stuck between the impending disintegration of China and the ambitions of Russia, Germany, France, and the United States. Britain, wanting to keep Russia out of Manchuria (and focus its efforts elsewhere), would sign a Treaty of Photo 17: “The Yellow Terror In All His Alliance in 1902 with Japan. Glory.” 1899 editorial cartoon. Japan gave back the Liaodong peninsula to China to appease protests from Germany, Russia, and France. To Japan’s shock, Russia then secured Port Arthur and rights to the South Manchurian Railway Company – a semiofficial Japanese company. Around this time, Tsar Nicholas II called the First Hague Convention, which was signed on July 29 1899 and entered into force on September 1900.58 At the same time, the Boxer Rebellion and Philippine-American War occurred, which somewhat demonstrated why Rules of War were required. In 1899, the Boxers (nicknamed due to their use of traditional Chinese martial arts instead of modern military weapons and tactics) rebelled and Japan found itself alongside the seven Western Powers in an eight-empire alliance. Ironically, Japan found itself opposing the Boxers, who were opposed to foreign imperialism, Christianity, and unequal treaties. While the Imperial Court squabbled over whether to back the Boxers, the Boxers besieged the foreign legation quarter in Beijing, where foreigners and Christians took refuge. On 19 June 1900, the Empress notified the legations, diplomats, and other foreigners to depart Beijing, escorted by the Chinese Army, within 24 hours. The following morning, a German envoy was killed by a Manchu captain and the foreigners refused to leave. On 21 June, the Empress declared war against all foreign powers. 57 58 Foreign News: Again, Yellow Peril. Time, 11 September 1933. Tuchman, Barbara. The Proud Tower. Ballantine Books, 1996. p.229.
36  Sparrow American media reaction, combined with the political threat to cancel renegotiation of the unequal treaties, c...
After-math Almost 500 foreign civilians and 400 foreign soldiers, together with 3,000 Chinese Christians, quickly fortified the quarter and defended the quarter from 20 June to 14 August 1900. More than 40 percent of the Legation guards were killed in heated brick-by-brick, yard-by-yard battles. The massacre of missionaries and over 2,000 Chinese Christians gained Western media attention. Almost 50,000 foreign troops from the Eight-Nation Alliance, including 20,840 Japanese and 18 warships (by far the largest contingent), flowed into China. Japan was actively involved with the Seymour and Gaselee Expeditions, capturing Tianjin under the command of Japanese Colonel Kuriya. From Photo 18: “China - the cake of kings and… of there, a 20,000 force marched 120km emperors.” French political cartoon to Beijing to relieve the Legation from 1898. Japan now found itself at the Imperialist’s table, carefully Quarter. contemplating which pieces to take The Chinese called an armistice while the Western powers when the 20,000 allied force landed maneuvered. in China to relieve the siege. As the foreign army approached, Chinese launched their heaviest fusillade on the Legation Quarter but then melted away. The Japanese secured the Beitang (Northern Catholic Cathedral), where 43 French and Italian soldiers, 33 foreign priests and nuns, and 3,200 Catholics were holed up. The United States only played a limited role in the Boxer Rebellion, which they called the China Relief Expedition. They were engaged in the PhilippinesAmerican War. Russia focused its forces instead on invading Manchuria right under the nose of Japan. In response to Chinese harassing Russians and institutions, such as the Chinese Eastern Railway, and the subsequent bombarding of a Russian border town, the Russians massacred several thousand Chinese and Manchus in the town. The Russians then deployed 200,000 troops into the area. After Russian owned railway bridges and telegraph lines were destroyed, the Russians invaded Manchuria. Reprisals were common on both sides with many atrocities committed. The Eight-Nation Alliance occupied Beijing for a year. During that time, one would have thought it was an excellent opportunity for the Japanese to learn from their Western partners. So, what did they learn? In the immediate aftermath of the siege, an “orgy of looting” by soldiers, civilians, and missionaries of all nationalities took place. Each nationality accused the others of being the worst looters. Americans filled entire railway cars, British held 37
After-math Almost 500 foreign civilians and 400 foreign soldiers, together with 3,000 Chinese Christians, quickly fortifie...
38 Sparrow auctions “in the most orderly manner,” and the Beitang was a “salesroom for stolen property.”59 To avoid being raped and mutilated by Alliance troops, The Daily Telegraph journalist E. J. Dillon stated that thousands of Chinese women committed suicide. One witness recalled that, “The conduct of the Russian soldiers is atrocious, the French are not much better, and the Japanese are looting and burning without mercy.”60 In another witness account, “The Russian soldiers are ravishing the women and committing horrible atrocities.” A French commander dismissed the rapes, attributing them to “gallantry of the French soldier.” It was reported that Japanese troops were astonished by other Alliance troops raping civilians. Japanese officers brought along Japanese prostitutes to stop their troops from raping Chinese civilians.61 Photo 19: Troops of the Eight-Nations Alliance of 1900. Left to right: Britain, United States, Australian colonial, British India, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Japan. (Russia is absent.) Although atrocities by foreign troops were common, German troops in particular were criticized for their enthusiasm in carrying out Kaiser Wilhelm II’s impromptu speech before they departed: 59 60 61 Chamberlin, Wilbur J. letter to his wife (11 December 1900), in Ordered to China: Letters of Wilbur J. Chamberlin: Written from China While Under Commission from the New York Sun During the Boxer Uprising of 1900 and the International Complications Which Followed. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1903. p.191. Preston, Diana. The boxer rebellion: the dramatic story of China’s war on foreigners that shook the world in the summer of 1900. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2000. p.284. Ebrey, Patricia Buckley; Walthall, Anne; Palais, James. East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History. Cengage Learning, 2008. p.301.
38  Sparrow auctions    in the most orderly manner,    and the Beitang was a    salesroom for stolen property.   59 To avo...
After-math “Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated! No quarter will be given! Prisoners will not be taken! Whoever falls into your hands is forfeited. Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend, may the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross-eyed at a German.”62 Although the German force arrived too late to take part in the fighting, they undertook several punitive expeditions in the countryside. Not to be outdone, the Japanese were noted for their skill in beheading Boxers or people suspected of being Boxers. General Chaffee commented, “It is safe to say that where one real Boxer has been killed... fifty harmless coolies or laborers on the farms, including not a few women and children, have been slain.”63 Clearly, what occurred brought into question the morality of the ‘civilised’ powers, and demonstrated why the Boxers were against foreigners. A foreign journalist, George Lynch, said, “There are things that I must not write, and that may not be printed in England, which would seem to show that this Western civilization of ours is merely a veneer over savagery.”64 The Russian positioning in Port Arthur – and subsequently in Manchuria – demonstrated to Japan that, if they didn’t act decisively, another Western power would manipulate their interests. Russia, whose original intention was to secure their railway, instead settled in. When they assured the other powers that it would vacate the area after the crisis, by 1903 they had not established a timetable for withdrawal and instead strengthened their position. The Russians stalled negotiations with Japan over their interests in Manchuria and Korea. Japan knew that the Russian Fleet was unprepared and the Trans-Siberian Railway and its connection to the Manchurian Railway were near completion. Japan struck first by attacking the Russian Fleet at Port Arthur and three hours later issued a declaration of war. When the Tsar was shocked that Japan would attack before a formal declaration of war, Japan pointed to Russia’s 1809 attack on Sweden without a declaration of war. The Qing Empire favoured the Japanese position and even offered military aid, but Japan declined it. As Japan attacked Port Arthur, it provided cover for Japanese troops to land near Incheon in Korea. From there, Japan occupied the rest of Korea and was poised to cross into Russian-occupied Manchuria. 62 63 64 Wilhelm II. “Hun Speech.” (July 27 1900.) German History in Documents and Images (GHDI.) Thompson, Larry Clinton. William Scott Ament and the Boxer Rebellion: Heroism, Hubris, and the Ideal Missionary. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009. p.204. Preston, op cit. 39
After-math    Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated  No quarter will be given  Prisoners will not be taken  ...
40 Sparrow Knowing that Russian reinforcements were yet to arrive from the West, Japan acted swiftly. Suffering heavy losses against entrenched Russian positions, the Japanese drove the Russians back towards Port Arthur. The Japanese then blockaded Port Arthur by sea and land. Japanese artillery fired shells into the harbour. Starved of supplies and suffering heavy casualties, Port Arthur fell to the Japanese. Without a port and short of supplies, the Russian Fleet fled to Vladivostok. In the first naval longPhoto 20: France: “Keep It Up Russia, you’re range gunnery duels and clash of winning.” Russia: “Well, if this is steel battleship fleets on the high winning, what will he do to me if I lose?”(Britain in Japan’s corner, seas, the Japanese routed the Russian France in Russia’s.) Brooklyn Eagle, fleet in the Battle of the Yellow Sea. February 2, 1904. The Japanese then proceeded to force the Russians north out of Manchuria, first at Sandepu, and then at Mukden. In a battle involving half a million troops, the Russians fled after fearing being encircled and lost 90,000 troops. The Russian Baltic Fleet arrived too late to relieve Port Arthur so it took the shortest route to Vladivostock – the Tsushima Straits between Japan and Korea. Trying to sneak through the strait at night, the trailing hospital ships (who kept their lights on in compliance with the Rules of War) gave away their position. The Russian fleet was virtually annihilated – losing eight battleships, numerous smaller vessels, and more than 5,000 men – while the Japanese lost three torpedo boats and 116 men. The Japanese army occupied the entire chain of the Sakhalin Islands to force the Russians to sue for peace. Japan’s victory against Russia was the first against a Western power since Genghis Khan. Japan’s prestige grew greatly as a world power. Britain extended its Alliance with Japan. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s back-channel diplomacy to mediate the Treaty of Portsmouth earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. The Tsar faced revolution. Japan was weak on the diplomatic front. Although Japan won the war decisively, their treaty negotiation skills were manipulated by the United States, who was meant to be a mediator. The United States, who purchased Alaska and the Aleutian Islands off Russia in 1867, had a good relationship with Russia as they did not have any competing interests. The U.S. did, however, have competing interests with Japan in China, Korea, and the Far East in general.
40  Sparrow Knowing that Russian reinforcements were yet to arrive from the West, Japan acted swiftly. Suffering heavy los...
After-math Russia refused to make any concessions in the name of peace and took advantage of Japan’s apparent need to end the war and willingness to compromise.65 Riots erupted in Japan due to the lack of territorial gains and monetary reparations. Japan was pressured by the United States to retain only half of the Sakhalin Island. After Japan’s victory, several new Rules of War were developed. In the Second Geneva Convention of 1906, rules gave protection and care for shipwrecked soldiers in armed conflict. In the Second Hague Convention of 1907, it would become international law to declare war before hostilities. In the annex to the Laws and Photo 21: Customs of War on Land, there was a chapter detailing the rules protecting prisoners of war. Joining the club of world powers, Japan would ratify these Rules of War. Uncle Sam to Japan: “Hold on son! Don’t strike him while he’s down.” Just for Love of Fair Play. Los Angeles Times. August 24, 1904. Now that Japan started to show strength, the Western Powers painted Japan with skepticism. While the British publicly recognized Japanese interest in Korea through their alliance, the Russians acknowledged Japan’s “paramount political, military, and economic interest” in Korea, the United States signed the secret TaftKatsura Agreement with Japan, which recognized U.S. interests in the Philippines in exchange for Japan’s interests in Korea. Meanwhile, anti-Japanese sentiment in the United States grew. In 1893, the San Francisco Board of Education attempted to introduce segregation for Japanese American children. They withdrew the measure following protests by the Japanese government. In 1906, however, they successfully implemented segregation for Asian students in public schools. While Japan expanded its empire throughout the Far East, Korea was only a protectorate. Japan had already fought two wars over Korea and the threat of China, Russia, and other Western Powers irked Japan. Under pressure from Japan’s Minister of War, Japan effectively annexed Korea when Korea signed the JapanKorea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Shortly after, Japan started a policy of ‘Japanization’ of the peninsula, including banning the use of written Korean in education and publications. 65 White, J. A. Portsmouth 1905: Peace or Truce? Journal of Peace Research, 1969. Vol. 6(4.) p.362. 41
After-math Russia refused to make any concessions in the name of peace and took advantage of Japan   s apparent need to en...
42 Sparrow The annexation of Korea was different to how the Japanese treated other colonies, such as Taiwan. In Taiwan, the Japanese gained Taiwan after China ceded it to them. Japan took a British ‘carrot and stick’ approach to colonial governance. In Korea, for the first time t hey acted like a Western power and seized territory as part of its e mpire. It was bold, it was measured, and it impressed the West. To gain its place in the eyes of the West, Japan lost self-control. After Emperor Meiji died, a constitutional crisis emerged as the Emperorappointed cabinet ministers struggled against the elected Diet. The Meiji Constitution, which came into force in 1890, was based Photo 22: “So Obliging.” For some time, on the Prusso-German model but Japan used Korea as a bridge to its interests in Manchuria. Brooklyn replaced European constitutional Eagle, February 17, 1904. practice and Christianity with 66 kokutai (“national polity.”) Meiji’s Constitutional Study Mission rejected the United States Constitution as “too liberal,” the British system as being too unwieldy and granting too much power to Parliament, and the French and Spanish models tended towards despotism. The Emperor had power over foreign affairs through his cabinet of ministers of state. The Emperor, acting under the advice of former senior statesmen, also appointed the judiciary and the Supreme Command of the Military (who organized the military draft.) Asia’s first parliament, called the Diet, passed domestic-related laws and comprised of a direct male suffrage-elected lower House of Representatives and an Emperor-appointed upper House of Peers (much like Britain’s House of Commons and House of Lords.) All laws required Emperor Assent. Civil rights and civil liberties were guaranteed, though in many cases they were limited by law. Under Meiji, the Constitution worked well as there was little disagreement with Japan’s direction. Under the new Emperor Taishō, however, the ambiguities of the Constitution surfaced as the cabinet wanted to expand the military while the government coffers were struggling. The final years of Emperor Meiji’s rule saw increased government spending, notably for overseas investments and defence, with little credit or reserves available to cover it. When Prime Minister Saionji Kinmochi, who was appointed Prime Minister by Emperor Meiji, attempted to cut defence spending, Army Minister Uehara Yusaku resigned in protest. The Constitution required that the Army Minister be an active-duty general. No eligible general of the Imperial 66 Beasley, William G. The Meiji Restoration. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972. p.79-80.
42  Sparrow The annexation of Korea was different to how the Japanese treated other colonies, such as Taiwan. In Taiwan, t...
After-math Photo 23: The Second Japanese Diet Hall (1891-1925), site of Asia’s first representative Parliament. Army was willing to serve. Unable to form a cabinet, Saionji was thus forced to resign. Taishō appointed Katsura Tarō, a former army general who was unpopular with the public, as Prime Minister. When the navy wanted to fund new battleships, the navy threatened to withhold the appointment of a Navy Minister. Katsuro went directly to the Emperor, who issued an edict that the navy must provide a minister. The opposition political parties in the Diet, concerned about Katsuro’s commitment to constitutional government, joined forces with journalists and businessmen. Katsuro responded by suspending the Diet on three occasions. After popular protest and rioting in Tokyo, the Diet responded with a vote of noconfidence in Katsuro. Katsuro resigned and was replaced by Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, ironically a former navy admiral. Clearly, the Achilles heel of the Meiji Constitution was the vetoing power of the military ministers in government decisions. This dominance over the civilian government would later steer Japan to self-destruction. Germany’s Kaiser, who had the same constitutional powers as Japan’s, led his empire down a self-destructive path in the First World War. Japan obviously didn’t notice this irony as Japan swiftly declared war on Germany and seized its territories in China, the Mariana, Caroline, Palau, and Marshall Islands. The Japanese would also capture many Germans in China, hold them on the Japanese mainland in specially built camps, and treat them according to the Rules of War. 43
After-math  Photo 23   The Second Japanese Diet Hall  1891-1925 , site of Asia   s first representative Parliament.  Army ...
44 Sparrow The Japanese reached the pinnacle of their relationship with the West. After they conducted the first naval-launched air raids against German positions in Shandong, they assisted the British suppression of Indian troops in Singapore, and assisted the British Navy in escort and rescue operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Later, the Treaty of Versailles would recognize Japan’s territorial gains due to Japan’s assistance in the war effort. While the West’s resources were stretched in Europe and Russia faced revolution, Japan tried to achieve hegemony in China by presenting Twenty-One Demands to China. The demands fell into five groups:      Group 1 recognized Japan’s acquisitions in Shandong Province from Germany, and expanded sphere of influence over railways, coasts, and major cities; Group 2 recognized similar rights in Japan’s South Manchuria Railway Zone, extending the leasehold into the twenty-first century, and expanding the sphere of influence in Manchuria to include rights of settlement and extraterritoriality and appointment of financial and administrative officials; Group 3 gave Japan control of the Hanyepoing mining and metallurgical complex (already deep in debt to Japan); Group 4 barred China from giving any further coastal or island concessions to foreign powers, except for Japan; and Group 5 demanded Japanese advisors appointed to the Chinese central government, administrators to the Chinese police force, and Japanese Buddhist preachers to conduct missionary work in China. Under Group 5, China would effectively be a protectorate of Japan. The other groups confirmed the status quo. After stalling by China, widespread anti-Japanese sentiment and international condemnation (especially from the United States), Japan dropped the fifth group of demands. Not wanting a war with Japan, China appeased the amended “Thirteen Demands.” For Japan, the ‘agreement’ was far more negative than positive. While Japan gained little that it already had, its overbearing and bullying diplomacy did not impress the British or the Americans.
44  Sparrow The Japanese reached the pinnacle of their relationship with the West. After they conducted the first naval-la...
After-math Photo 24: “Emperor of Japan and his British and American well-wishers.” Russia cartoon from 1905. * Isolation “By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.” – Confucius Japan struggled with foreign diplomacy and often relied on its alliance with Britain for guidance. From the ruins of Europe came a new type of diplomacy that, while meant to unify the powers, led to Japan’s isolation: multilateralism. As Japan discovered when it opened its borders, providing favorable status to one trading partner exposed Japan to other powers seeking similar terms. Conversely, aligning oneself excluded other opportunities. One needed to be careful with whom to associate. Towards the end of 1918, Japan found itself in two peculiar situations. First, Japan was in a wartime boom, supplying war materials to its European allies. Japan went from a debtor to a creditor nation for the first time. Exports quadrupled from 1913 to 1918. Japan supplied European nations in 1918 in a similar way to the United States armed Britain in the 1940s. The problem was; where would those war industries focus their production during peacetime? The second peculiar situation Japan found itself in was sending forces, alongside the United States, to Siberia to bolster the anti-communist White Movement Army against the Bolshevik Red Army. 45
After-math  Photo 24      Emperor of Japan and his British and American well-wishers.    Russia cartoon from 1905.    Isol...
46 Sparrow Japan initially refused to send troops to Siberia. After the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asked for 7,000 Japanese troops – and a heated debate in the Diet – Prime Minister Terauchi agreed to send 12,000 troops so long as they were under Japanese command rather than under an international coalition. The growth of Japan’s military industrial complex swelled to such an extent that the massive capital influx led to rapid inflation. The government also bought existing rice stocks to support the troops in Siberia. The sudden increase in food prices triggered unprecedented rice riots in August 1918. By mid-September 1918, over 623 disturbances occurred in 38 cities, 153 towns, and 177 villages with over 2 million participants. Some 25,000 people were arrested – of whom 8200 were convicted of various crimes, with punishments ranging from minor fines to the death penalty.67 Taking responsibility for the collapse in public order, Prime Minister Terauchi and his cabinet resigned. The political instability of Japan did not assist its relations with the West. So many short-term administrations would have left the West wondering whether the agreements with one Japanese administration would be honoured by the next. Domestically, ‘taking responsibility’ by resigning just passed the problem to the next administration who, more likely than not, was less experienced than the one it replaced. Over time, politicians were lining up to be the next group to hold power. The continuity problem played into the hands of those who held their positions – notably the military members of the cabinet. The Army continued to occupy Siberia even after other Allied forces withdrew in 1920. After intense diplomatic pressure by the United States and Great Britain – and facing increasing domestic opposition due to the economic and human cost – the administration of Prime Minister Kato Tomosaburo withdrew the Japanese forces in October 1922. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, which led to the Treaty of Versailles, Japan sat alongside the ‘Big Four’ (France, Britain, The United States, and Italy) and gained a permanent seat on the League of Nations Council (along with France, Britain, and Italy.) The United States Senate never ratified the Treaty of Versailles due to their opposition to Article X, which would require the United States to defend a League of Photo 25: Although U.S. President Woodrow Nations member if attacked. The Wilson was the architect of the League of Nations, the United States never joined. United States was weary of being Punch magazine, 10 December 1920. dragged into another war. Although Japan was recognized as a world power, Japan sought the inclusion of a ‘racial equality clause’ in the 67 MacPherson, WJ. The Economic Development of Japan 1868–1941. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
46  Sparrow Japan initially refused to send troops to Siberia. After the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asked for 7,000 Jap...
After-math Covenant of the League of Nations. While Japan sought racial equality, such a clause had wider ramifications for the Western-dominated norms of the day, which involved the colonial subjugation of non-white peoples. While Woodrow Wilson realized the Treaty already faced problems to get through the Senate, he knew that, if there was any hope of getting through, it required the support of the pro-segregation Southern Democrats. Fortunately for Wilson, who was chairing the commission, the Australian delegation put pressure on Britain to reject the proposal so Wilson overturned the proposal. Japan, France, Italy, Brazil, China, Greece, Serbia, and Czechoslovakia (the majority) all voted in favour of the amendment while the British Empire, United States, Portugal, and Romania did not register a vote. Australia wanted to maintain its ‘White Australia Policy.’ Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes clarified his opposition and announced at a meeting that: “Ninety-five out of one hundred Australians rejected the very idea of equality.”68 After the defeat of the proposed amendment, Japanese delegation head Nobuaki Makino announced at a press conference: “We are not too proud to fight but we are too proud to accept a place of admitted inferiority in dealing with one or more of the associated nations. We want nothing but simple justice.”69 Japan would never forget the behaviour of Britain or the United States at the Peace Conference. The Japanese media fully covered the progress of the conference, leading to an alienation of Japanese public opinion towards the United States of America, leading to nationalistic policies. In the United States, the American deliberate inaction fueled racial riots.70 A racial equality clause would later appear on the United Nations Charter. Technically, as the United States rejected the Treaty of Versailles, it had to negotiate individual treaties with other countries. Due to this, although the United States followed a path of isolationism, they interfered with many of Japan’s diplomatic arrangements in the Far East. The United States, China, France, and Russia were opposed to the Anglo-Japanese alliance signed in 1902. It was the sole reason why France didn’t come to the aid of Russia in the war with Japan. The alliance was seen by the four countries as a major obstacle at the Paris Peace Conference. Britain and Japan released a joint statement, stating the alliance treaty “is not entirely consistent with the letter of the Covenant (of the League of Nations), which both Governments earnestly desire to respect.”71 68 69 70 71 Lauren, Paul Gordon. Power And Prejudice: The Politics And Diplomacy Of Racial Discrimination. Westview Press, 1988. p.90. Ibid. Ibid., p.99. Text of the statement in League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 1, p.24. 47
After-math Covenant of the League of Nations. While Japan sought racial equality, such a clause had wider ramifications fo...
48 Sparrow Japan benefited considerably from the cultural exchanges provided by the AngloJapanese Alliance. Academics, scientists, doctors, military officers, diplomats, and members of the Imperial Family received a Western education. Emperors Meiji and Showa (Hirohito) were Orders of the Garter and attended British coronations. Crown Prince Chichibu, for example, attended Eton and Oxford. Upon his return, he introduced the sport of rugby union to Japan. The demise of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance came about due to the concerns of Britain’s colonies in the Pacific. Canada was concerned that a conflict could develop between the United States and Japan and didn’t want the Commonwealth to be drawn into the conflict. Australia, on the other hand, was concerned that it couldn’t hold off a Japanese naval advance and sought a continuance of the alliance as the United States isolationism would provide little protection.72 The 1921 Imperial Conference of British Commonwealth leaders Photo 26: Crown Prince Chichibu. sought to determine a unified international policy. The delegates looked towards the United States to find a suitable solution. The United States position was predictable: the Alliance created a Japanese dominated market in the Pacific and could close China off from American trade.73 Canadian opposition to the Alliance was also fuelled by scaremongering in North America that the Alliance treaty included anti-American clauses.74 The press, along with Canadian Prime Minister Meighan’s hysteria that Japan would attack Commonwealth assets in China, led to the deferring of the alliance.75 72 73 74 75 Brebner, J. B. Canada, The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Washington Conference. Political Science Quarterly 1935, vol.50, n.o.1. p.52. Spinks, Charles N. The Termination of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Pacific Historical Review 1937. Vol.6, n.o.4. p.324. Ibid., p.326. Nish, Ian H. Alliance in Decline: A Study in Anglo-Japanese Relations 1908-23. London: The Athlone Press, 1972. p.334.
48  Sparrow Japan benefited considerably from the cultural exchanges provided by the AngloJapanese Alliance. Academics, sc...
After-math It was the Commonwealth, not Britain, who wanted to sacrifice its alliance with Japan in favour of goodwill with the United States. Trying to avoid Japan running into the arms of Germany and Russia, the Commonwealth delegates convinced America to invite Japan, along with other Pacific powers, to the Washington Naval Conference for talks regarding Pacific and Far East policies, specifically naval disarmament. Already with a deepening mistrust of Britain, Japan attended. Fearing that Britain no longer wanted what was best for Japan, they also wanted to avoid a war with the United States.76 Effectively, by the United States conducting the Washington Naval Photo 27: “Only a Fleabite.” Australia’s The Bulletin portrays Japan’s reaction Conference outside the auspices of to Australia spending a pittance to the League of Nations, it form a navy. 1 August 1907. undermined the League. It was the first ever disarmament conference. Knowing that Europe was weak after a long war, it would also slow Japan’s growth. The Four-Power Treaty – signed by Britain, France, The United States and Japan – while agreeing to maintain the status quo in the Pacific in terms of territory, it terminated the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902. The two other treaties signed at the conference were the Five-Power Treaty (including Italy), which was designed to avert a naval arms race after the war, and the Nine-Power Treaty (the nine colonial powers with trading posts in China), which affirmed the sovereignty of China and the Open Door Policy. All three treaties signed at the conference were designed by the United States to isolate Japan’s strategic alliances, halt Japanese military growth, and weaken its ability to expand territorially. As soon as Japan was a world power, it was immediately bullied by racist powers. The distrust between the Commonwealth and Japan, as well as the manner in which the Anglo-Japanese Alliance concluded, are credited by many scholars as being leading causes to Japan’s involvement in World War Two.77 During this period, Emperor Taishō’s health was failing and there were fears that decisions were manipulated by the head of his household. Taishō suffered from a mental illness for most of his reign since the death of Meiji in 1912. Taishō’s heir, Hirohito, who was eleven years of age when his father became emperor, was fasttracked to take his father’s place. 76 77 Ibid. Kennedy, Malcolm D. The Estrangement of Great Britain and Japan. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969. p.56. 49
After-math It was the Commonwealth, not Britain, who wanted to sacrifice its alliance with Japan in favour of goodwill wit...
50 Sparrow Hirohito was an army and naval officer at age thirteen and a special institute – the Tōgūgogakumonsho – was created to educate him. In 1920, he became a major in the army and lieutenant commander in the navy. He then took a six-month tour of Europe, becoming the first crown prince to travel abroad. During Hirohito’s tim e in the United Kingdom, he received many honours, including knighthoods and an honorary general in the British Army. Later, these would be promoted to Photo 28: Crown Prince Hirohito meeting British Prime Minister Lloyd George, 1921. Knight’s Garter and field marshal. In 1941, these titles would be revoked. Upon his return to Japan at the age of twenty, Hirohito became the Regent of Japan (Sesshō) on 29 November 1921, in place of his ailing father. He would become Emperor in 25 December 1926, after his father died. The Washington Treaties could not have come at a worse time. Japan’s light industry had secured a share in the world market. Its military industrial complex was sustained by the need to update the military with modern advances. In the postwar era, however, exports dropped and Japan returned to a debtor-nation. On 1 September 1923, the Great Kantō earthquake devastated Tokyo, killing 105,385 people. While Japan sunk into recession and struggled to rebuild, the United States torpedoed U.S. Japanese relations in 1924 with the Japanese Exclusion Act, which blocked Japanese immigration to the United States. The reaction at all levels in Japan was sustained hostility. Effectively, the United States was painting itself as a racist enemy acting against Japan’s very survival. The Taishō Democracy two-party, universal male suffrage system was also only in its infancy. With an electorate increased from 3.3 million to 12.5 million, it now had to endure economic, social, and political pressures. Ten days before the passage of universal male suffrage, the conservative right forced the passage of the Peace Preservation Act, which seriously curtailed individual freedom. The Act, which was meant to outlaw communist movements, effectively outlawed and crushed any left wing proposal that could be portrayed as a threat to the state. As the Taishō period came to an end in 1926, the incoming Shōwa period – literally “period of enlightened peace/harmony” – was anything but. The young Hirohito inherited an economy and society facing collapse. From 1928 to 1932, the economic collapse brought a new hardship to the people of Japan. Silk and rice prices plummeted and exports decreased 50%.
50  Sparrow Hirohito was an army and naval officer at age thirteen and a special institute     the T  g  gogakumonsho     ...
After-math Unemployment in both the cities and the countryside skyrocketed and social agitation came to a head. As the left was vigorously put down by the state, a new nationalism emerged. Buoyed by a romantic concept of Bushidō, the Shōwa Restoration movement wanted to replace the existing political order dominated by corrupt politicians and capitalists, with one which (in their eyes) would fulfill the original goals of the Meiji Restoration of direct Imperial rule via military proxies. To young military officers, it meant a return to a military Shogunate where the Emperor would reassume direct political power. During the following decade, A New York Times correspondent called Japan a country ruled by “government by assassination.”78 Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi was shot on 14 November 1930 by an ultranationalist and died the following year. While this was the act of a sole assassin, it would be the first of many coordinated coup and assassination attempts. Japan’s economic troubles cannot be blamed for the rise in nationalism. The Great Depression did not strongly affect Japan, compared to other countries. While Japan’s economy shrunk by eight percent between 1929-31, Japan was the first to implement what would become Keynesian economic policies. First, Japan’s Finance Minister Takahashi Korekiyo implemented a large-scale fiscal stimulus package of deficit spending, mostly to purchase munitions for the armed forces. Secondly, he devalued the currency, undercutting British textile prices in export markets. The Bank of Japan sterilized the deficit spending to minimize inflationary pressures. Japan was out of the Depression by 1933. The problem was how the ‘stimulus deficit spending’ was disbursed. Japan could have stimulated its economy a variety of ways. Instead, it stockpiled a huge cache of ammunition and weapons. The incentive to look for ways to clear the stockpiles must have been too much to bear for the military. In 1931, it reached breaking point when Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi tried, but was unable, to impose fiscal restraint on the military. On 18 September 1931 at Mukden in Manchuria, Imperial Japanese Army colonels of the Kwantung Army staged an explosion on the Japan-controlled South Manchurian Railway and blamed it on the Chinese. Following a ‘retaliatory’ response on the Chinese garrison, the Japanese invaded and occupied Manchuria. Inukai tried, again unsuccessfully, to rein in the military’s designs for China. After Chinese protests, the League of Nations appointed Britain’s Earl of Lytton to head a commission into the Mukden Incident in December 1931. Again, the Japanese military looked for incidents, this time in Shanghai on 28 January 1932, to justify military intervention there. Five Japanese Buddhist monks - members of a nationalist sect - were beaten by agitated Chinese civilians near the Sanyou Factory, killing one and seriously wounding two.79 A group then burnt down the factory. It is unknown whether the arson was conducted by Japanese agents or by Chinese in response to the Police’s aggressive anti-riot tactics in the 78 79 Byas, Hugh. Government by Assassination. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1942. Hoyt, Edwin P. Japan’s War: The Great Pacific Conflict, 1853 to 1952. NY: McGraw, 1986. p.98. 51
After-math Unemployment in both the cities and the countryside skyrocketed and social agitation came to a head. As the lef...
52 Sparrow aftermath of the monks’ beating. The upsurge of anti-Japanese and anti-imperialist protests in the city led to Japanese air (from aircraft carriers) and sea forces bombarding the city and 100,000 troops defending Japanese concessions and citizens. Shanghai was an international city. The United States, Britain, and France tried to negotiate a ceasefire. Japan demanded that the Chinese Army retreat twenty kilometres from the border of the Shanghai Concessions. China refused and the Japanese landed a division behind Chinese lines, forcing a Chinese retreat from the city on 2 March. On 4 March, the League of Nations passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire. After negotiation, on 5 May Shanghai became a demilitarized zone, except for a ‘few’ Japanese units and a small Chinese police force. Shortly after, in Tokyo on 15 May 1932, eleven young naval officers, aided by Army cadets, and right-wing civilian elements stormed the Prime Minister’s residence and shot Inukai. Inukai’s last words were, “Hanaseba wakaru” (“If I could speak, you would understand.”) His killers replied, “Mondō muyō” (“Dialogue is useless.”) The assassination plot originally included killing visiting actor Charlie Chaplin to facilitate war with the United States. Instead, the plot also attacked two leading politicians, the Mitsubishi Bank headquarters in Tokyo, and several electrical substations. Besides the death of the Prime Minister, the attempted coup d’état came to nothing. The eleven murderers took a taxi to the police headquarters and surrendered to the Kempei-Tai. After being court-martialed – and a petition of 350,000 signatures in blood – the sentences were extremely light. The Lytton Commission Report was released in September 1932. During the time it took to prepare the report, Japan had already secured its control of Manchuria and set up the puppet state of Manchukuo, led by the former Emperor of China, Pu Yi. The report went to great strains to recognize Japan’s legitimate interests in Manchuria but could not accept that the operations of the Imperial Japanese Army following the Mukden incident could be regarded as legitimate self-defence. The report also concluded that the new state could not have been formed without the presence of Japanese troops; that it had no general Chinese support; and that it was not part of a genuine and spontaneous independent movement. In short, the Lytton Report declared Japan to be the aggressor and demanded Manchuria be returned to the Chinese. Before the report could be voted on by the Assembly, however, Japan announced its intention to push further into China. The report was passed 42–1 in the Assembly in 1933 – Japan being the only vote against the report. When a motion was raised to condemn Japan as an aggressor in February 1933, the Japanese delegation, led by ambassador Yosuke Matsuoka, walked out. Japan then gave formal notice of its withdrawal from the League of Nations on 27 March 1933. According to the League of Nations Covenant, the League should have responded by enacting economic sanctions or declaring war. It did neither. Non-League members, such as the United States, could continue trade with Japan. Other powers were disinterested in declaring war.
52  Sparrow aftermath of the monks    beating. The upsurge of anti-Japanese and anti-imperialist protests in the city led ...
After-math Japan could now enjoy the same freedom from the League of Nations as the United States. The problem was, it also became isolated80 and at the helm was the military. Photo 29: “The Doormat” by British cartoonist David Low, 1933. By 1934, Finance Minister Takahashi realized that the economy was in danger of overheating and, to avoid inflation, he moved to reduce the deficit spending that went towards armament and munitions. This resulted in strong and swift opposition from nationalists, especially those in the army. Instead of reducing deficit spending on the military, the government introduced price controls and rationing to reduce inflation. The deficit spending doubled Japan’s industrial production during the 1930s. Japan was dominated by light industries, especially textiles, but before the end of the decade it had been replaced by heavy industries, such as shipping and aviation. These heavy industries weren’t for export, however, but for the military. The government was rocked by scandal and the Teijin Incident, which related to discounted shares in a textile firm, led to Prime Minister Saitō Makoto dissolving government in 1934. While those charged were cleared of all charges, the public perception was that there was extensive corruption at high levels. Indirectly, the Teijin Incident contributed to an increase in violent, terrorist attacks by secret societies against leading figures in government and finance. The imbalance of the industrial boom, including extreme rural poverty and perceptions of political corruption, led to the February 26 Incident in 1936 where 1,483 Army troops attempted a coup d’état. Of the six political targets, Takahashi, Saitō Makoto and the Inspector-General of Military Education, Watanabe Jōtarō, 80 Harries, Meirion. Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House, 1994. p.163. 53
After-math Japan could now enjoy the same freedom from the League of Nations as the United States. The problem was, it als...
54 Sparrow were assassinated. Other targets, including Prime Minister Okada Keisuke and Grand Chamberlain Admiral Suzuki Kantarō, escaped. While the rebels occupied Tokyo, the leaders of the rebellion asked the head of the Army to talk to the Emperor to demand the establishment of a Shōwa Restoration. The Emperor was enraged and demanded that the rebels be crushed for killing his loyal supporters. The Emperor refused to order them to commit suicide because their “terrible atrocities” were contrary to Bushidō.81 Loyal troops then surrounded the rebels and persuaded them to surrender. Some leaders committed suicide after returning to their units. The others were tried in a military court, 18 of which were executed and countless others imprisoned. Between 1921 and 1944 there were no fewer than 64 incidents of political violence. The assassination of moderate Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi in 1932 marked the end of civilian control of the military. The February 26 Incident in 1936 sent shockwaves through the civilian bureaucrats in the Japanese government, making them wary of the Photo 30: The third regiment of the insurgents marching towards the Diet (background left) military’s growing during the February 26 attempted coup dominance of the d’état. The Imperial Palace is to the left. government. If junior military officers could assassinate senior politicians, who would be brave enough to stand in the way of senior military figures? The answer, it turned out, would be no one. Even the Emperor, who appointed the Supreme Command and Cabinet, feared for his safety. In 1932, he escaped an assassination attempt when a Korean independence activist threw a grenade at him in Tokyo. Near the end of the war, senior military tried to overthrow him when he tried to end the war. The entire Japanese economy was geared towards war. The citizens were suppressed by a police state under the Peace Preservation Act. If the economy seemed threatened, the military would find a solution – which often involved more arms and more conquest. On 5 August 1937, following a string of incidents in China where atrocities were committed against captured Japanese, Hirohito ratified a directive where the constraints of the Hague Conventions were explicitly removed from Chinese prisoners.82 This came at a time when the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo was reluctant to escalate the conflict into full-scale war. 81 82 Brendon, Piers. The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s. Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. pp.452-4. Akira Fujiwara. “Nitchû Sensô n.i Okeru Horyo Gyakusatsu.” Kikan Sensô Sekinin Kenkyû 9, 1995. p.22.
54  Sparrow were assassinated. Other targets, including Prime Minister Okada Keisuke and Grand Chamberlain Admiral Suzuki ...
After-math Shortly after the directive was signed, however, the Kuomintang sensed that the Japanese aggression had reached “breaking point.” Chiang Kai-shek quickly mobilized the army and air force under his direct command and attacked the Japanese Marines in Shanghai. In response, it took three months, 200,000 Japanese troops, and higher than expected casualties to capture the city. The Kuomintang did attack the Japanese at Shanghai, which started the conflict. The Japanese did suffer 92,640 casualties. None were taken prisoner. Of the 600,000 Chinese troops, 333,500 were killed or injured. Chiang Kai-shek lost more than 60 percent of his elite German-trained troops and more than a third of his officers. What followed the Battle of Shanghai is the most controversial event of the war, the Battle of Nanking. The Japanese mobilized 240,000 troops to capture the Kuomintang capital. The Japanese lost 6,000 in the battle compared to 10,000 Chinese soldiers. Only 7,000 of Kai-shek’s elite forces were left after the defence of Nanking. In anticipation of the attack on Nanking, General Iwane Matsui issued the following orders: “Nanking is the capital of China and the capture thereof is an international affair; therefore, careful study should be made so as to exhibit the honor and glory of Japan and augment the trust of the Chinese people, and that the battle in the vicinity of Shanghai is aimed at the subjugation of the Chinese Army, therefore protect and patronize Chinese officials and people, as afar as possible; the Army should always bear in mind not to involve foreign residents and armies in trouble and maintain close liaison with foreign authorities in order to avoid misunderstandings.” Hirohito did not have any objection to the invasion of China in 1937, which was recommended to him by his chiefs of staff and Prime Minister Konoe.83 On 2 December, Hirohito nominated one of his uncles, Prince Asaka, to command the invasion. Despite Kai-shek’s heavy losses at Shanghai, he decided to defend the city. As he retreated, he implemented a “scorched-earth” strategy of jianbi qingye “to leave nothing behind after their evacuation.”84 On 7 December 1937, correspondent Frank Tillman Durdin sent the following special dispatch to The New York Times: “Between Tangshan and Nanking barricades were ready along the highway every mile or so, and nearer the capital there raged huge fires set by the Chinese in the course of clearing the countryside of buildings that might protect the invaders from gunfire. In one valley a whole village was ablaze.” Nanking was a strategic military objective. On 15 August, Matsui remarked to War Minister Hajime Sugiyama that: “There’s no solution except to break the power of Chiang Kai-shek by capturing Nanking. That is what I must do.” 83 84 Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi. Emperor Hirohito on Localized Aggression in China. Sino-Japanese Studies, 1991. vol.4 (1). pp.4–27. Higashinakano Shudo, Kobayashi Susumu & Fukunaga Shainjiro. Analyzing the “Photographic Evidence” of the Nanking Massacre. Tokyo, Japan: Soshisha, 2005. p.183. 55
After-math Shortly after the directive was signed, however, the Kuomintang sensed that the Japanese aggression had reached...
56 Sparrow As the Chinese retreated from the walled city, the Chinese troops looted shops for food and other supplies, cast away their arms, and shed their uniforms in the street. Some soldiers donned civilian clothes, sometimes by robbing civilians of their garments, and others ran away in their underwear. As Durdin reported, “Streets became covered with guns, grenades, swords, knapsacks, coats, shoes, and helmets.”85 A Nanking Safety Zone was a demilitarized zone set up by Westerners, 3.86km2 in area. The Japanese did respect the zone but Chinese, including soldiers dressed in civilian clothing, crammed the zone. The Japanese entered the zone to sort the Westerners from the Chinese in an orderly manner. Durdin wrote that the loss of the city: “was the most overwhelming defeat suffered by the Chinese and one of the most tragic debacles in the history of modern warfare. In attempting to defend Nanking, the Chinese allowed themselves to be surrounded and then systematically slaughtered...” What followed shocked the West. Several Western reporters witnessed what was to become the Rape of Nanking. Durbin Wrote: “…The helpless Chinese troops, disarmed for the most part and ready to surrender, were systematically rounded up and executed.” Chicago Daily News reporter Archibald Steele wrote: “Plainclothes suspects were shot one by one while their condemned fellows sat stolidly by, awaiting their turn.”86 There were numerous reports of Japanese massacring Chinese soldiers by bayonetting, beheading, and even burying them alive. Many were machine gunned at the Yangtze River bank. Atrocities weren’t just committed against soldiers. Durbin wrote: “Wholesale looting, the violation of women, the murder of civilians, the eviction of Chinese from their homes, mass executions of war prisoners and the impressing of able-bodied men turned Nanking into a city of terror.”87 Durdin and Steele were evacuated on 15 December to Shanghai on the USS Oahu. From there, they telegraphed their reports. The Japanese massacred as many as 300,000 Chinese. The actions of the Japanese at Nanking were unprecedented in character, in scale, and justification. Previously, the Japanese could point to some precedent, such as the actions of an enemy or ally. Nanking was different. Nanking was the result of a breakdown in command. As witnessed by the attempted coup d’états in Tokyo, many young officers disobeyed orders and 85 86 87 Durdin, Frank. All Captives Slain. New York Times, 18 December 1937. Steel, Archibald. War’s Death Drama Pictured by Reporter. Chicago Daily News, 17 December 1937. Durdin, op cit.
56  Sparrow As the Chinese retreated from the walled city, the Chinese troops looted shops for food and other supplies, ca...
After-math pursued their own agenda. There were also conflicting orders from General Mitsui and Prince Asaka. Orders from Tokyo were ignored. On 7 December, Tokyo Army Headquarters issued a command to all troops advising that, because occupying a foreign capital was an unprecedented event for the Japanese military, all soldiers who commit “any illegal acts”, “dishonor the Japanese Army”, “loot”, or “cause a fire to break out, even because of their carelessness” would be severely punished. Prince Asaka, however, signed the order for Japanese soldiers in Nanking to “kill all captives.”88 Foreign Minister Hirota Koki had warned the Army many times to take action. On 18 December 1937, General Iwane Matsui became dismayed as he began to comprehend the full extent of the rape, murder, and looting in the city. He reportedly told one of his civilian aides: “I now realize that we have unknowingly wrought a most grievous effect on this city. When I think of the feelings and sentiments of many of my Chinese friends who have fled from Nanking and of the future of the two countries, I cannot but feel depressed. I am very lonely and can never get in a mood to rejoice about this victory.” He even let a tinge of regret flavor the statement he released to the press that morning: “I personally feel sorry for the tragedies to the people, but the Army must continue unless China repents. Now, in the winter, the season gives time to reflect. I offer my sympathy, with deep emotion, to a million innocent people.” On New Year’s Day, Matsui was still upset about the behavior of the Japanese soldiers at Nanking. Over a toast, he confided to a Japanese diplomat: “My men have done something very wrong and extremely regrettable.”89 Shortly after, Matsui and Prince Asaka were recalled to Japan. After the war, Asaka was granted immunity but Matsui was executed as a Class A war criminal in Sugamo Prison. What possessed the Japanese to commit such an atrocity on such an unprecedented scale? Some have suggested that the atrocities were motivated by racial prejudices, where Japanese soldiers were taught to think of captured Chinese as not worthy of mercy.90 Jonathan Spence suggests: ”There is no obvious explanation for this grim event, nor can one be found. The Japanese soldiers, who had expected easy victory, instead had been fighting hard for months and had taken infinitely higher casualties than anticipated. They were bored, angry, frustrated, tired. The Chinese women were undefended, their menfolk powerless or absent. The war, still 88 89 90 Bergamini, David. Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc, 1971. pp.23–24. Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust. Basic Books, 1997. pp.51–52. Kushner, Barak. The Thought War. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006. p.131 57
After-math pursued their own agenda. There were also conflicting orders from General Mitsui and Prince Asaka. Orders from ...
58 Sparrow undeclared, had no clear-cut goal or purpose. Perhaps all Chinese, regardless of sex or age, seemed marked out as victims.”91 The Rape of Nanking is different from the Port Arthur Massacre or the Boxer Rebellion aftermath. Years in China, in isolation from any oversight from the West, the Japanese soldier evolved in some type of Lord of the Flies92scenario. They seemed to have cast away what they learned and developed their own path. The events that led to 7 December 1941 are a string of contradictions in Japan’s chain of command, and conflicting signals from the West. In the momentum of criticism to Japan’s activities in China, Japan looked for alliances that instead escalated its chances of war with the West. While America continued its ‘isolationism’, Britain and France continued their appeasement of Nazi Germany. Frustrated by the isolationists in Congress, on 5 October 1937 President Roosevelt called for an international “quarantine of the aggressor nations” (without mentioning Japan by name) as an alternative to the political climate of American neutrality and non-intervention that was prevalent at the time. The United States, however, was still supplying Japan. More than 80 percent of Japan’s oil came from the United States. In July 1939, the U.S. government extended a trade agreement with Japan for six months, and then fully restored it. Under the agreement, Japan purchased:    Trucks for the Kwantung Army,93 Machine tools for aircraft factories, Strategic materials including –  steel and scrap iron up to 16 October 1940,  petrol and petroleum products up to 26 June 1941, and  various other much-needed supplies. At the same time, while Japan effectively ignored the Nine-Powers Treaty, negotiations between Japanese Foreign Minister Arita Khatira and the British Ambassador in Tokyo, Robert Craigie, led to an agreement where Great Britain recognized Japanese conquests in China. Meanwhile, Germany, Soviet Union, and other countries were helping the fight against Japan. Germany helped modernize the Chinese army in return for raw materials. The Soviet Union supplied bombers, fighters, supplies, and advisors, including the future ‘Hero of Stalingrad’ Vasily Chuikov. Australia banned exports of iron ore in 1938. International diplomacy proved to be farcical. While the United States branded Japan an aggressor and treaty breaker, Japan could scoff them off as hypocrites. 91 92 93 Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China, W.W. Norton and Company, 1999. p.424. Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Faber and Faber, 1954. US Congress. Investigation of Concentracion of Economic Power. Hearings before the Temporary National Economic Committee. 76th Congress, 2nd Session, Pt.21. Washington, 1940, p.11241.
58  Sparrow undeclared, had no clear-cut goal or purpose. Perhaps all Chinese, regardless of sex or age, seemed marked out...
After-math As part of the United States effort to bypass the League of Nations, they convinced many countries in 1928 to sign the Kellogg–Briand Pact,94 which aimed to “condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies” and sought peaceful means to resolve disputes. The pact, however, was not worth the paper it was written on. It did not prevent U.S. intervention in Central America, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935, the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939, and the German and Soviet Union invasions of Poland. Japan watched on as Nazi Germany systematically breached Photo 31: “Japan the Treaty Breaker.” Cartoon from 1940. each clause of the Treaty of Versailles, then invaded Czechoslovakia while the West appeased. While the West was preoccupied pursuing a pointless diplomatic path in Europe, Japan sought its own path for Asia separate to the failed diplomacy of the West. In the absence of any coherent or consistent diplomacy for the region, Japan developed their own. It was based on a simple formula meant to win over the Far East. It is apparent that Japan had a longer memory than the West. Japan noticed a pattern of behaviour in the West, which, over time, molded into three characteristics:    94 White supremacy over Asians; Asian resources are to be controlled for the benefit of the West; and ‘Do as we say, not as we do.’ Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/kbpact.htm. 59
After-math As part of the United States effort to bypass the League of Nations, they convinced many countries in 1928 to s...
60 Sparrow Japan remembered the rejection of the racial equality clause by the British. Together with subsequent events, to Japan it was apparent that the imperialist powers wanted Asians to be subjugated to white rule. Also, the behaviour of the imperialist powers in China demonstrated that the West only wanted to dominate trade for their own benefit, not Asia’s. What annoyed Japan was the West’s bullying double standards. Japan meticulously applied strategies the West applied in other parts of the world, yet were condemned for applying them. In response, Japan developed its own Monroe Doctrine and they called it the ‘Greater East Asia CoProsperity Sphere’ concept, which represented the desire to create a selfsufficient “bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western Photo 32: “Asia for the Asians!” 1942 poster. Powers.”95 Japan made no secret of its intentions. It was announced in a radio address entitled “The International Situation and Japan’s Position” by Foreign Minister Hachirō Arita on 29 June 1940.96 Japan manipulated concepts such as Hakkō ichiu (i.e. “all the world under one roof”) to promote racial harmony and Japan as a leader and liberator against Western imperialism. There is no disguising the fact that Japan exploited these colonial sentiments for their own economic and political benefit.97 The policy was diplomatically sound, but was undone by the brutality of the war machine, which the policy was meant to benefit. Whether it was by chance or by design, several opportunities presented themselves in 1939 that would open the door to Japan, which believed it could achieve its Monroe Doctrine. First, in mid-1939, the bored, restless, and almost autonomous Kwantung Army fought a border dispute with Mongolia and Soviet Union. Known as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol (a river) to the Soviets and Mongols, the Japanese believed the river to be the border between Manchukuo and the two other countries. The Soviets and Mongols, however, believed the border to include the town of Nomonhan, which was 16 kilometres east of the river. 95 96 97 Gordon, William. “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” Wesleyan University, March 2000. De Bary, William Theodore. Sources of East Asian Tradition: The modern period. Columbia University Press, 2008. p.622. McClain, James L. Japan: A Modern History. W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. p.495.
60  Sparrow Japan remembered the rejection of the racial equality clause by the British. Together with subsequent events, ...
After-math Known to the Japanese as the Nomonhan Incident, the Japanese attacked Mongol cavalry grazing in the disputed area and then occupied the area with a regiment of troops. The Soviets and Mongols responded by surrounding the Japanese regiment and destroying it. As both sides accumulated forces in the area, Russian General Georgy Zhukov took command of the Russian forces - now equipped with 500 tanks - greatly outnumbering the Japanese. The Kwantung Army attacked first, without getting permission from Tokyo. While the Japanese won the first engagement, Tokyo promptly ordered the air force not to attack Soviet bases to avoid escalation. After a few minor skirmishes, and the continuing buildup across the border, Tokyo gave the order to “expel the invaders.” The Japanese tried a two-prong attack. Zhukov’s tanks then almost encircled the Japanese. With both sides’ supply lines stretched, the battleground to a stalemate. Both sides regrouped. Zhukov wanted a swift victory so he could refocus on events in Europe. After a massive fighter/bomber attack on Japanese positions, 50,000 Soviet and Mongol forces stormed the east bank supported by massed artillery. They achieved a classic double envelopment of Japanese forces. Japanese counterattacks to relieve the encircled troops failed. When the encircled troops refused to surrender, they were bombed and shelled. By the end of August, the Japanese forces on the Soviet side of the border were destroyed. The Japanese commander in the field refused to surrender, but the Foreign Minister circumvented him with a ceasefire signed in Moscow. The ceasefire resulted in a non-aggression pact with the Soviets, meaning that Japan could focus its forces elsewhere. Stalin, who signed a non-aggression pact with Germany on 24 August, could invade Poland on 17 September. The second opportunity to present itself was the German invasion of the Netherlands and France in May 1940. As Nazi Germany set up Vichy France to govern French-Indochina, Japan was concerned by arms and fuel movements through that colony to China via the Sino-Vietnamese Railway. Japan pressured the Vichy government to close the railway, but the French did not agree. Faced with an invasion threat, Vichy French yielded and signed an accord, which granted Japan rights to move supplies, transit no more than 25,000 troops, and station up to 6,000 troops in Indochina. Japan swiftly breeched the agreement by crossing the border in three places, and attacking from aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin. On 26 September, after five days of fighting, Japan controlled the territory. The following day, Japan signed a military alliance with Germany and Italy, known as the Tripartite Pact, making Japan an Axis Power. This alliance, which recognized their Photo 33: How the United States media saw the distant spheres of influence, lacked Tripartite Pact. synergy and was driven by mutual 61
After-math Known to the Japanese as the Nomonhan Incident, the Japanese attacked Mongol cavalry grazing in the disputed ar...
62 Sparrow self-interest. From the Japanese perspective, it was a radical measure to spite the United States’ Export Control Act passed in July 1940, which cut (but did not stop completely98) oil, iron, and steel exports to Japan. In reality, it only unified opposition to the Axis powers. The curious Article 3 of the pact stated: Japan, Germany, and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the JapaneseChinese conflict. The unnamed ‘Power at present not involved’ was a thinly disguised reference to the United States – subtlety that was not lost. The closer relationship with Germany did produce two breakthroughs for Japan. First, General Yamashita learned many military techniques from Germans during a six-month trip in 1941. He inspected the Maginot Line, the German Atlantic defences, and flew in a raid over Britain. When he returned home in mid-1941, he was accompanied by more than 250 German aviation technicians, engineers and instructors. Shortly after, Japan’s air force was among the most powerful in the world.99 Yamashita would later lead the Japanese capture of Malaya and Singapore. Secondly, Germany shared its gathered intelligence with Japan. In November 1940, the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis boarded the British cargo ship SS Automedon, capturing fifteen bags of Top Secret mail for the British Far East Command. The intelligence included naval intelligence reports containing the latest assessment of the Japanese Empire’s military strength in the Far East, along with details of Royal Air Force units, naval strength, and notes on Singapore’s defences. It declared that Britain was too weak to risk war with Japan. The relationship was very one-sided. Japan was reluctant to open a front with the Soviets. Also, because the Americans had cracked Japan’s codes, Japan revealed German strategy and strengths. Japan effectively used its alliance with Germany to bolster negotiations with the United States. The problem with the Tripartite Pact was that Germany occupied the Netherlands. Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch government escaped to London. Although the Netherlands were neutral, if the Dutch collaborated with Germany, Japan could invade the Dutch East Indies. The Dutch East Indies were the third largest oil producer at the time. Aruba and Curaçao produced high-quality refined products and Dutch Guiana had large bauxite mines. Queen Wilhelmina, who Churchill described as “the only man in the Dutch government,” sacked her Prime Minister (who wanted to side with Germany) and replaced him with a Prime Minister who would work with Churchill and Roosevelt on ways to smooth the path for an American entry into the war. 98 99 Maechling, Charles. Pearl Harbor: The First Energy War. History Today, vol 50, Dec. 2000. World: Is Hitler Running Japan? TIME, 2 March 1942.
62  Sparrow self-interest. From the Japanese perspective, it was a radical measure to spite the United States    Export Co...
After-math With the Dutch on their side, the United States, Britain, and Australia tried to curb Japanese militarism by stopping the supply of iron ore, steel, and oil to Japan – which Japan referred to as the ‘ABCD encirclement.’100 The inclusion of the Dutch would have been a double blow to Japan. First, Japan had a longer and stronger trading relationship with the Dutch as it was the only Western nation allowed to trade with Japan during its Sakoku. Secondly, with oil imports from the U.S. halted, Japan would have imported oil from the previously neutral Dutch. Foreseeing a breakdown in U.S. relations, by July 1940 Japan stockpiled 54 million barrels of oil. Those sanctions were too weak and only cut Japan’s reliance on U.S. oil from 80 to 60 percent. The full ABCD embargo imposed in July 1941 stopped oil shipments and froze Japanese assets in the U.S.101 Japan only had a further 4.5 million barrels of oil on its way from the Dutch East Indies. Using the United States’ blockade of Cuba in 1898 as a precedent, many Japanese saw the ABCD embargoes as an act of war and pushed for a retaliatory response. The Emperor took a more balanced and active role to choose the most appropriate course. On 31 July, the navy informed the Emperor that Japan’s oil stockpiles would be completely depleted in two years. Prime Minister Kanoe, who had been counting on the navy to restrain the Army’s aggressive designs, instead argued that if war with the United States was inevitable, it should start right away. The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters had already begun planning for a war with the Western Powers in the months before the Photo 34: The Rise of Asia Japanese propaganda poster, 1941. Here, Japan breaks the embargo came into place. imperialist chain of the ABCD (America, Kanoe also pushed for peace Britain, China, Dutch) encirclement in April and May. strangling Japan and Asia. 100 101 “Kokushi Daijiten” (“Historical Dictionary”), 1980: “It was not an official term, but a term of incitement used by the Japanese media, under the guidance of the military, in order to stir up the Japanese people’s sense of crisis...” Cited by Christopher Barnard, “Language, Ideology and Japanese History Textbooks.” London & New York, Routledge Curzon, 2003. p.85. Maechling, op cit. 63
After-math With the Dutch on their side, the United States, Britain, and Australia tried to curb Japanese militarism by st...
64 Sparrow With backing from the Navy, the Emperor, and a reluctant Army, Kanoe pushed for one last attempt to avert war. Roosevelt played along, knowing that the wasted time would give the U.S. more time to stock its arsenal and rush supplies to Britain and the Soviets. On 4 September 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider war plans against “United States, England, and Holland” prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided that: Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defence and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war ... [and is] ... resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain, and the French if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives ... In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the French. The ‘objectives’ to be obtained were clearly defined:    A free hand to continue the conquest of China and Southeast Asia; No increase in US or British military forces in the region; and Cooperation by the West “in the acquisition of goods needed by our Empire.” The following day, Kanoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to the Emperor, just one day before the Imperial Conference. That evening, the Emperor met with the Army Chief of Staff General Sugiyama, Chief of the Navy Admiral Nagano, and Kanoe. The Emperor asked Sugiyama about the chances of success with the West. As Sugiyama answered confidently, the Emperor scolded him: “At the time of the China incident, the army told me that we could make Chiang surrender after three months but you still can’t beat him even today! Sugiyama, you were minister at the time. China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties. You say the interior of China is huge; isn’t the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China? Didn’t I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?”102 The Emperor then announced his intention to break with tradition at the Imperial Conference. Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague, “I have never seen the Emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice.” The next day, the policy was formally proposed at the Imperial Conference. The Privy Council President, Hara, observed that the plan seemed to put military action 102 Bix, Herbert P. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. pp.411,745.
64  Sparrow With backing from the Navy, the Emperor, and a reluctant Army, Kanoe pushed for one last attempt to avert war....
After-math ahead of diplomacy and, standing in for the Emperor, asked if that was the case. The Navy Minister made a reply along the lines that Konoe had stated in his private conference. Then there was silence. No other figure, including Konoe, attempted to answer the question. At this point, the Emperor astonished all present by addressing the conference personally, which left his advisors “struck with awe,” according to Kanoe. The Emperor stated that Hara’s question was an important one, and that it was “regrettable” that none of the senior leaders had addressed it. The Emperor then recited a tanka poem written by his grandfather, Emperor Meiji, several times: In this world of ours, Across the four seas, Everywhere we are all brothers, Why is it that waves and wind, Should rise and rage so turbulently?103 The Emperor stated that he had often reflected on this verse, which represented the Emperor Meiji’s desire for peace – a desire that he shared. Recovering from their shock, the ministers hastened to express their profound wish to explore all possible peaceful avenues. Navy Chief of Staff Nagano rose to defend the policy, assuring the Emperor that the consensus document was not a decision to go to war and that priority would be given to negotiations. Kanoe was given until mid-October to produce a diplomatic solution. The minimum demands included:     A halt to the economic and oil embargoes; Withdrawal of political and economic support for the Chinese Nationalist government; Agreement to keep Western military forces in the Pacific at their current level; and Non-interference in Japan’s attempts to bring “peace” to China. In other words, The United States had to accept Japanese hegemony over China, Manchuria, and French Indochina, and Japanese military primacy in an even broader swath of the East. Throughout September and October, the Army Imperial Headquarters kept continuous communications with the Imperial Household with minute details of the plans for the advance in Southeast Asia.104 In the second and third weeks of October, Sugiyama presented reports. Meanwhile, Kanoe found himself increasingly isolated. He made one last desperate attempt to avoid war by arranging a secret conference with the U.S. Ambassador, Joseph Grew. Kanoe told Grew that he was prepared to travel to meet Roosevelt on a moment’s notice and that a ship was waiting prepared. Kanoe was 103 104 This poem was written at the end of the Japanese–Russian war and was admired by the US President Theodore Roosevelt. Wetzler, Peter. Hirohito and War: Imperial Tradition and Military Decision Making in Prewar Japan. University of Hawaii Press, 1998. pp.52-54. 65
After-math ahead of diplomacy and, standing in for the Emperor, asked if that was the case. The Navy Minister made a reply...
66 Sparrow convinced that the United States and Japan could reach agreement. Grew, impressed with Kanoe’s sincerity, cabled back to the State Department. The State Department replied that, unless there were detailed negotiations that would be affirmed at a summit, an open-ended summit was a waste of time. Kanoe was out of time. Kanoe tried to stall as long as possible while the Navy and Army continued their preparations. Because of the oil embargo, Japan had to act soon or it Photo 35: A visibly distressed Kanoe in midOctober 1941. He resigned shortly would be conceding defeat through afterwards. delay. At the 14 October cabinet meeting, frustration boiled over. Army Minister Hideki Tōjō stated that the deadline had passed and negotiations had failed. Kanoe and his allies suggested that if the Army would agree, in principle, to a gradual withdrawal from China, a negotiated settlement could be reached with the United States. General Tōjō responded heatedly: “To yield to the American demand and withdraw our troops would wipe out all the fruits of the China War, endanger Manchukuo, and jeopardize the governing of Korea. To accept troop withdrawal in name only would not benefit Japan either! “Withdrawal would mean retreat. It would depress morale. A demoralized Army would be as worthless as no Army. “Our troops in China are the “heart of the matter!” Having made one concession after another, why should Japan now yield the “heart?” “If we concede this, what is diplomacy? It is surrender … a stain on the history of our empire!”105 Admiral Nagano summed up his service’s ambivalent attitude during this period by observing: “The government has decided that if there is no war, the fate of the nation is sealed. Even if there is a war, the country may be ruined. Nevertheless, a nation that does not fight in this plight has lost its spirit and is doomed.”106 Konoe resigned on 16 October 1941, one day after recommending Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni to the Emperor as his successor. He explained to his chief cabinet secretary: Of course His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me: “You were worried about it yesterday, 105 106 Oka, Yoshitake. Konoe Fumimaro: a political biography. Madison Books, 1983. p.187. Morley, James William. Japan’s foreign policy, 1868-1941: a research guide. Columbia University Press, 1974. p.98.
66  Sparrow convinced that the United States and Japan could reach agreement. Grew, impressed with Kanoe   s sincerity, ca...
After-math but you do not have to worry so much.” Thus, gradually, he began to lean toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward. In short, I felt the Emperor was telling me: my prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more. In short, the Emperor had absorbed the view of the army and navy high commands.107 Two days later, Hirohito chose General Tōjō as Prime Minister despite the wish of the Navy and the Army, who would have preferred Prince Higashikuni. No one now stood between Japan and the events of 7 December 1941. Japan learned its military strategy and tactics from the West. It used Western battles as precedents for its own actions. Japan followed a predictable formula of declaring war moments before an attack, gain an upper hand, and then set terms for peace. The attacks of the 7 December 1941 were no different. Japan sent strict instructions to its Washington Ambassador to deliver a note to the US Secretary of State at precisely half an hour before the attacks commenced at Pearl Harbour and Manila. The Ambassador arrived 55 minutes late. The Americans (who intercepted the diplomatic cable) were expecting the meeting and declaration of war. They didn’t, however, expect the attack on Pearl Harbour. Churchill, however, received an intercepted Japanese naval code, which deciphered that Pearl Harbour would be attacked, but withheld this information from Roosevelt and the Americans. The key objective of the attacks of 7 December 1941 was twofold. First, the “Southern Plan” would seize economic resources in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies under the control of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Secondly, due to the ‘close relationship’ between Britain and the United States, an “Eastern Plan” would attack the United States before they became involved. Some have suggested that Japan’s belief that the United States would enter the war to come to Britain and Holland’s aid is ‘misguided.’108,109 What is known is that Churchill got his wish when Pearl Harbour was attacked. Japan’s Eastern Plan required: 107 108 109 Fujiwara, Akira. Shōwa Tennō n.o Jū-go Nen Sensō (Shōwa Emperor’s Fifteen-year War). Aoki Shoten, 1991. p.126, citing Kenji Tomita’s diary. Wilmott, H. P. Barrier and the Javelin: Japanese and Allied strategies, February to June 1942. US Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1983. Evans, David C. & Peattie, Mark R. Kaigun Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Naval Institute Press, 1997. 67
After-math but you do not have to worry so much.    Thus, gradually, he began to lean toward war. And the next time I met ...
68 Sparrow    Initial attacks on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor with carrier-based aircraft of the Combined Fleet; Seizure of the Philippines; and Cutting the U.S. lines of communication by seizing Guam and Wake. The Southern Plan called for:    Attacking Malaya and Hong Kong; Following with attacks against  the Bismarck Archipelago,  Java, and  Sumatra; and Isolating Australia and New Zealand. Following completion of these objectives, the Japanese strategy was to turn to defence while hoping for a negotiated peace.110 The problem for Japan was that the United States did not accept any terms offered by Japan. The United States would only accept unconditional surrender. Japan believed that it could negotiate terms with the United States. It tried using intermediaries such as the Russians, Swiss, and Swedish throughout the war. The United States wouldn’t have a bar of it. The term ‘unconditional surrender’ had a short history by the time the Allied Powers made the demand at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. A form of it had previously been applied to Napoleon Bonaparte when he was declared an outlaw after his escape from exile in Elba. After then, the only time it was actually demanded was by General Grant in the American Civil War. Announcing that only unconditional surrender is acceptable puts psychological pressure on a weaker adversary. The problem with such a demand is that it antagonizes an enemy and exacerbates conflict. At the Casablanca Conference, it was Roosevelt who sprung the term on the Allies and the media. Churchill, Stalin, and most of the senior U.S. officials disapproved of the demand against the Axis powers as it would prolong the war and act as a propaganda tool by the Axis to encourage further resistance. One possible reason for the demand was that Roosevelt was concerned by the criminality of the Axis leadership. A party who accepted unconditional surrender was still protected by international law. Conversely, they were still liable for war crimes under international law. Effectively, as Douglas MacArthur argued, much of the loss of life in the war could have been avoided if the unconditional surrender demand was not made. It only antagonized Japan’s military leaders. The final surrender of Japan was conditional. It was conditional that the Emperor remain the head of state. The United States only revised its terms when they feared that Japan would surrender to the Soviets. Ironically, the Japanese accepted the revised terms because they did not want to surrender to the Soviets. 110 Wilmott, op cit.
68  Sparrow              Initial attacks on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor with carrier-based aircraft of the Combin...
After-math Photo 36: “Waiting for the Signal From Home.” Dr. Seuss joined the war effort. * Culture Clash “Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Of those interviewed for this book, non-Americans said that Japan entered the war to rid the Far East of Imperialism in order to trade with its neighbours. To the Americans, “The Japs started it.” As demonstrated by Japan’s spectacular successes through 1941-1942, Japan had done their homework on their enemy. They had spies on the ground well in advance of the 7 December 1941 attacks, were aware of the deep seeded hatred the Asians had for their imperial powers, and were also aware of the atrocities committed against them by their colonizers. The Japanese also had a very pigeon-holed view of Western culture. The guards at Mitsushima shared stories about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and the similarities between the British and Japanese. Attitudes towards an enemy isn’t random. It is a process manipulated by several factors. In total war, preparing an army psychologically is as important as preparing them physically. A soldier needs to believe that their cause is right, that their enemy is inferior, that they can and will win. Citizens need to be motivated to hate and/or fear their enemy, to support their leaders, and to contribute towards the war effort. Total war is a total government, total economy, total population exercise. Politicians, media, word of mouth – all information streams influence the way people gather information, interpret it, form opinions, and act based on it. During the first half of the twentieth century, information streams were dominated by a few. What sold newspapers was shocking revelations, something new that was different from the status quo. Over time, ‘news’ formed a pattern that shifted the status quo. Politicians utilized the release of information in campaigns to position themselves to benefit. They would identify a problem, make people feel it is important, proportion blame (acting on prejudice), offer a solution, and call people 69
After-math  Photo 36      Waiting for the Signal From Home.    Dr. Seuss joined the war effort.    Culture Clash    Now in...
70 Sparrow to action. In marketing, this is called the AIDA model – attention, interest, desire, and action. During the Great Depression, there was mass unemployment, high inflation, political and social unrest. In Germany, the people lost faith in their institutions’ ability to steer the country to recovery. The Treaty of Versailles was humiliating to Germans. Hyper-inflation was debilitating, poverty disheartening, and communism reverberating. National socialists seized on a unifying prejudice. The leading figures in the banks and communist parties were Jewish. Oppressed for centuries, they had a distinct culture. They were identifiable. They could be targeted. The Nazi Party prepared a propaganda campaign to unify a broad cross-section of society using a campaign of hatred against the Jewish. They identified some similar physical characteristics of Jewish people and portrayed those exaggerated features to give the appearance of evil, conniving, and an inferior subhuman species. The Nazis drummed up hatred, unified a response, and perceived an enemy as inferior, which desensitized people to commit cruel acts. The Nazi propaganda machine extended the theme of the ‘Conspiring Jew’ from causing Germany’s problems, to causing wars, to conspiring with the enemy. Photo 37: Examples of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda. Nazis developed Jewish stereotypic appearances to portray them as subhuman. These Der Stürmer posters’ captions read “The Eternal Jew”, “Jews- make wars longer, start wars”, and “Behind the enemy powers: the Jew.” Race was always a factor between the Occident and the Orient. Subjugation was the goal of the Imperialist West. Strength by the Orient was seen as a threat to Occidental interests. Racism wasn’t just perceived. Discrimination was law. Immigration laws, the League of Nations Covenant, trade agreements, and civil laws segregated and persecuted Asians. The media invented the ‘Yellow Peril’ and acted on racist fears. It was this racism that generated Japan’s considerable resentment of the West. Once the West entered the war with Japan, the racism would intensify. “Between two countries at war there was always a danger that one or other of the combatants would seek to turn public opinion in his favour by resort to a propaganda in
70  Sparrow to action. In marketing, this is called the AIDA model     attention, interest, desire, and action. During the...
After-math which incidents, inseparable alas from all hostilities, were magnified and distorted for the express purpose of inflaming prejudice and passion and obscuring the real issues of the conflict!” – Sir Charles Addis at Chatham House, November 10, 1938. There is little difference between the racism in the propaganda of the United States and Nazi Germany. Both followed the same motivating influences, both portrayed the enemy as subhuman, both encouraged a desensitized and violent retribution. In both cases, the government set the tone; the media pushed the barrier, and the public acted on the fear and hatred generated. Nazi Germany copied many of the United States’ eugenics policies, including racial screening of immigration and euthanasia or sterilization of ‘genetically inferior’ groups such as criminals, homosexuals, ill, disabled, and mentally insane. 111 In the US, a 1911 Carnegie Institute report supported the establishment of local gas chambers. There was a unique difference between how the United States portrayed the Nazis and the Japanese. The Nazis were portrayed as the ‘Hun’ – a strong and ghostly monster. Often the caricatures had Hitler’s moustache, a muscular physique or a chiseled jaw. The Japanese, on the other hand, were myopic with round glasses, had large protruding teeth like a rodent, a body like a primate, and a snarl like vermin. “Our country is now geared to an arms Photo 38: While United States portrayed economy bred in an Nazis as strong and aggressive, artificially induced Japanese were portrayed as myopic primate vermin. psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.” – Douglas MacArthur 111 Black, Edwin. “Eugenics and the Nazis - the California connection.” San Francisco Chronicle, November 9, 2003. 71
After-math which incidents, inseparable alas from all hostilities, were magnified and distorted for the express purpose of...
72 Sparrow Racism was a motivating tool for not just soldiers but also civilians. It was used to increase production and to encourage sales of war bonds to fund the war effort. Effectively, people were investing in pest control. Racism generated an exacerbating cycle. Japan’s society was more homogenous, unified, and closer-knit. The worse the racism got in the United States, the more hostile Japan became. Japan’s hostility towards the Americans was the culmination of the American’s condescending xenophobia towards it. Photo 39: American and Australian propaganda responded to Japan’s desire to ‘liberate the Far East of Western Imperialism’ by referring to Japan as the ‘Empire of Japan’, then stirred up fears of ‘Yellow Peril’ xenophobia by portraying the Japanese as myopic primate vermin. “As a member of President Roosevelt’s administration, I saw the United States Army give way to mass hysteria over the Japanese...
72  Sparrow  Racism was a motivating tool for not just soldiers but also civilians. It was used to increase production and...
After-math Crowded into cars like cattle, these hapless people were hurried away to hastily constructed and thoroughly inadequate concentration camps, with soldiers with nervous muskets on guard, in the great American desert. We gave the fancy name of ‘relocation centers’ to these dust bowls, but they were concentration camps nonetheless.” – Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, Washington Evening Star, September 23, 1946 The racist hysteria reached new extremes after the events of 7 December 1941. On 19 February 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of people of Japanese ethnicity who lived near the Pacific Coast of the United States in ‘War Relocation Camps.’ Even Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and senior U.S. officials called them concentration camps, because that is what they were. 112 Photo 40: First-graders at the Weill public school in San Francisco pledging allegiance to The internment was the United States flag. A month later, inconsistently applied. While those of Japanese ancestry would be all Japanese Americans ‘relocated’ to concentration camps. living on the West Coast were interned (112,000), less than 1,800 of the 150,000-plus living in Hawaii were interned. Of those interned, more than 80,000 were born in the United States holding American citizenship. Those who were 1/16 Japanese could be placed in internment camps. The Executive Order gave power to military leaders to designate “military areas” at their discretion, “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” These “exclusion zones,” applied to anyone the military commanders might choose. The area would eventually cover over one-third of the country. Ethnic Japanese in the United States were not alone. Similar camps sprung up in Canada and many from South America were interned in U.S. camps. The measures were racially motivated, rather than a military necessity. The military leader in charge of the ‘relocation’ was a particularly nasty bigot. General John L. DeWitt, who said that “A Jap’s a Jap,” testified to Congress: 112 Smithsonian Institution. A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans & the U.S. Constitution: Internment: Permanent Camps. 1990-2001. Retrieved July 18, 2007. 73
After-math Crowded into cars like cattle, these hapless people were hurried away to hastily constructed and thoroughly ina...
74 Sparrow “I don’t want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty... It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty... But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.”113 By February, Earl Warren, the Attorney General of California, had begun his efforts to persuade the federal government to remove all people of Japanese heritage from the West Coast. By 3 May 1942, DeWitt issued Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34, ordering all people of Japanese ancestry, whether citizens or noncitizens, who were still living in “Military Area No. 1” to report to assembly centers, where they would live until being moved to permanent “Relocation Centers.” The exclusion orders were popular amongst the white farmers of the West Coast who resented the competition from Japanese-American farmers. The media fuelled the resentment: “We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We do. It’s a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown men. They came into this valley to work, and they stayed to take over... If all the Japs were removed tomorrow, we’d never miss them in two weeks, because the white farmers can take over and produce everything the Jap grows. And we do not want them back when the war ends, either.”114 Racism was government sanctioned. A report prepared at Roosevelt’s request sought to link Japanese Americans with espionage in order to justify the internment program. One columnist reflected the growing public sentiment fueled by the Roberts Commission Report: “I am for the immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to a point deep in the interior. I don’t mean a nice part of the interior either. Herd ‘em up, pack ‘em off and give ‘em the inside room in the badlands... Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them.”115 Those interned suffered both financially and physically. Deserted suburbs were looted, luggage was stolen from government storage facilities, and farms were either sold cheaply or abused in their absence. As they weren’t told where they would be held, their clothing was insufficient for sub-zero degree Fahrenheit winters (minus eighteen degrees Celsius). In 1944, even the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders and internment. Later, in 1988, the U.S. government gave $20,000 compensation to each surviving detainee. On 7 December 1991, President George H.W. Bush issued the following formal apology: 113 114 115 Testimony of John L. DeWitt, April 13, 1943, House Naval Affairs Subcommittee to Investigate Congested Areas, Part 3, pp.739–40. Austin E. Anson, managing secretary of the Salinas Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association, quoted in the Saturday Evening Post, in May 9, 1942. Neiwert, David. The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right. Paradigm Publishers,2009. p.195 quoting Columnist Henry MɔLemore.
74  Sparrow    I don   t want any of them  persons of Japanese ancestry  here. They are a dangerous element. There is no w...
After-math “In remembering, it is important to come to grips with the past. No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces of its past. We in the United States acknowledge such an injustice in our history. The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.” Photo 41: “A view of the Granada Center looking west from the water tower.” Amache, Colorado. November 30, 1942. (Courtesy of National Archives) 75
After-math    In remembering, it is important to come to grips with the past. No nation can fully understand itself or fin...
76 Sparrow “There is a point when coincidence becomes a deliberate pattern.” – Charlie McLachlan Charlie McLachlan had the unique experience of detainment in five prisoner of war camps and three hellships. He met prisoners of British, Australian, Dutch, American, Canadian, New Zealand, Indian, and Asian extractions. Guards were either frontline troops, Korean, injured former troops, or civilian. From his many interactions, patterns formed. Charlie’s first experiences of the Japanese were on Timor. Previously, the Yokozuka Special Landing Forces fought in China, Hong Kong, and Ambon. In Ambon, they massacred Australians at Laha. The Yokozuka troops were the Japanese equivalent of marines and paratroopers. They were fanatical and refused to surrender or be captured. They committed atrocities against many captured Australians before capitulation. The other Japanese troops on Timor were regular infantry. They were a mixed bag. Clearly, their orders in relation to captured forces had changed since the Fall of Singapore days before. They also respected Sparrow Force for their bravery and compassion at the capitulation by treating injured Japanese troops. The conditions at Usapa Besar were a resort atmosphere. Sparrow Force built their own accommodation and received sufficient food and recreation. Punishment for infractions, however, were harsh but in accordance with Hague and Geneva Conventions. The Japanese were surprised by the attitudes of Sparrow Force. At the end of their campaign, the troops now guarded their captives. On Ambon, they simply rounded up their captives and slaughtered them without a second thought. On Timor, they got to know the British, Dutch, and Australians. The Japanese clearly tried to treat Allied forces differently from the Chinese and other enemies previously engaged. They tried to keep to the Rules of War. On Timor, Leggatt received complaints from Japanese officers about the bayoneting of captured soldiers at Usua Ridge. Leggatt promptly responded, citing the execution of prisoners in Babau and Usua. This exchange clearly identifies that the Japanese did have rules of engagement determined on a case-by-case basis. The Japanese were trained to believe that their enemy was imperialist, racist, and greedy dogs not worthy of mercy. Instead of generating purely hatred, there was a fear generated of being captured. Japanese propaganda didn’t resort to the depths that the Americans or Australians but instead manipulated perceptions of leaders, such as Roosevelt, as a conniving aggressor. The Japanese fought their propaganda on concepts rather than stigmas. Japan didn’t need to lie, the truth was the most effective weapon against the West. Japanese knew that the West was racist. As news of the Japanese American internment in the desert spread, Japanese fears were confirmed.
76  Sparrow    There is a point when coincidence becomes a deliberate pattern.        Charlie McLachlan Charlie McLachlan ...
After-math Charlie noticed a strange series of coincidences evolving relating to the Japanese treatment of prisoners of war. The Japanese appeared to treat their captives similarly to how their captives treated those they colonized. The Japanese had a vast spy network throughout the Far East. Timor was no different. The troops who invaded each colony were selected and briefed with information relating to why they were liberating each colony. In Malaya, the Japanese knew of the massacre of Indian soldiers by the British during the First World War. The Japanese Navy were sent to help Photo 42: Japan portrayed Roosevelt as an the British deal with the revolt. Once imperialist aggressor, in response Singapore fell, many Sikhs swapped to trade embargoes that starved sides and brutally guarded the Japan of oil, steel, and iron ore. British POWs. The Americans received similar treatment to how the Americans treated the Filipinos. The Americans were marched into the jungle on the Bataan ‘Death March’, transported in cattle trains, and thrown into concentration camps. The ‘White-Australian’ Government were racist and the Japanese knew this. Many Australian prisoners of war received severe treatment due to the Japanese hatred of Australian white supremacy. At Singapore, many Australians were sent to work in the harshest slave labour environments, such as the Burma Railway. Charlie was told by the Japanese guards many favourable stories of the British. At one time, Britain was Japan’s closest ally and many in Japan believed that Britain betrayed them due to being manipulated by America. In reality, it was the reverse as Churchill conjured America into the war. As contact increased between the Japanese and the Allies, the Japanese Command resorted to more extreme measures to motivate resistance. Combining hatred and fear, Hirohito, as divine Emperor, feared the defection of Japanese civilians surprised by generous U.S. treatment. He authorized the commander of Saipan to promise civilians who died there an equal spiritual status in the afterlife with those of soldiers perishing in combat.116 Over 10,000 took up the Emperor’s offer, many jumping from cliffs. 116 Bergamini, op cit., pp.1012–1014. 77
After-math Charlie noticed a strange series of coincidences evolving relating to the Japanese treatment of prisoners of wa...
78 Sparrow Frontline Japanese didn’t need propaganda to generate fear of their enemy. The Australians and Americans subjected the Japanese to extraordinary brutality. Many Japanese were summarily executed rather than escorted as captives. Many Allies mutilated corpses and kept body parts as trophies. The media circulated photographs of the ‘trophies,’ which ended up in the hands of the Japanese. Photo 43: American soldiers would mutilate Japanese corpses, boil skulls, and keep Disrespect for the dead is one of them as trophies. the worst sins in Japanese (Australian War Memorial, AWM_072837) culture. Japanese were also racist. Japan was stuck between their perceived status as the top Asian race, and at the bottom of the West’s race hierarchy. This elitism/inferiority complex exacerbated Japanese treatment of their captives. The Japanese prided their navy along British Royal Navy traditions. Japan’s army was based on German and French military theory. Of those interviewed, it was clear that the Japanese Navy was elitist whereas the Army was the domain of the lower echelons of society. Of all those interviewed, all said that the Korean guards were the nastiest – most likely the result of their resentment of their status amongst the Japanese. Korean soldiers were regarded as one of the lowest echelons and – based on the hierarchical corporal punishment culture within the army – would be on the tail end of beatings. Only prisoners of war were considered lower, which often meant they were the only people that Koreans could beat. Many interpreters in prisoner of war camps were Western educated. They either ‘answered the call’ or happened to be in Japanese-controlled territory when the war broke out. These interpreters were unpopular amongst the army fold and were either given behind the scenes intelligence roles or (‘the lowest of the low’) roles guarding captured prisoners of war. Japan’s successful drive through the Far East produced some unexpected results for Japan. In many ways, Japan was unprepared to be burdened with so many prisoners of war. Due to the sheer number of Western prisoners of war, Japan conceded that a change of approach was necessary. Although Japan did not ratify the 1929 Geneva Convention, in 1942 it did promise to abide by its terms as well as the Hague Convention of 1907. Its front line soldiers, however, had little if no education of what to do with captured enemy combatants. Soldiers were trained to be fanatically aggressive. As the war progressed, many Japanese felt the West were hypocrites. Japanese guards would highlight contradictions between the West’s previous conduct and the West’s complaints regarding Japanese conduct. The British and U.S. Army had their own corporal punishment disciplinary system, including group punishments.
78  Sparrow Frontline Japanese didn   t need propaganda to generate fear of their enemy. The Australians and Americans sub...
After-math The British invaded South Africa for its mineral wealth. The United States cleared Indians off their territory. The British held the Boers in concentration camps. The United States did imprison Japanese who were American citizens in concentration camps. The United States did bomb civilian targets. Japan was simply doing what the Imperialists did. Suddenly, if Japan does it, it is not OK? “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War. As Charlie noted, Japan got its way in the end. Independence movements sprung up throughout the Far East and the Western Powers gradually relinquished colonial rule. Japan was able to trade with its neighbours and became the world’s second largest economy within thirty years. Japan achieved this with an isolationist military and a tweaked constitution that gave the Diet control over foreign and domestic affairs. Japanese land reform and labour unions contributed to a consumer-oriented industrial democracy. While MacArthur steered Japan into a peaceful society, Eisenhower oversaw a permanent war economy in an arms race with the Soviet Bloc. During the Cold War, the United States formed alliances with militarist regimes in the Middle and Far East, and Central and South America. Japan’s economy initially flourished during the Korean War. In September 1951, the Treaty of Peace with Japan ended the occupation and restored full sovereignty in 1952. All Japanese war criminals were then released. In many ways, the United States and Japan swapped roles. The United States became a war economy with a government run by assassination while Japan became isolationist. Meanwhile, during the Cold War, communism killed many more than during the Pacific War. Stalin purges amounted to 799,455 executions, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags, and 390,000 deaths during kulak forced resettlement.117 No fewer than 15 million but as many as 20 million perished from famines and state cruelty.118 In China, around 6 million died during the Civil War119 and 49-78 million was killed during the Cultural Revolution.120 As many as 1.6 million North Korea citizens were killed between 1948 and 1994. In other territory previously occupied by Japan, independence movements killed more citizens than the Japanese did during World War II. 117 Wheatcroft, Stephen G. “Victims of Stalinism and the Soviet Secret Police: The Comparability and Reliability of the Archival Data. Not the Last Word.” Europe-Asia Studies 51 (2): 315–345. 1999. 118 Conquest, Robert. The Great Terror: A Reassessment. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19507132-8. 1991. 119 Lynch, Michael. The Chinese Civil War 1945-49. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1841766713. 2010. p.91. 120 Jung Chang. Mao: the Unknown Story. Anchor, 2005. 79
After-math The British invaded South Africa for its mineral wealth. The United States cleared Indians off their territory....
80 Sparrow Photo 44: Central Hiroshima, September 1945. The building at the centre is now the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. Did ‘The Bomb’ save lives? “There were those who considered that the atomic bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas… I am surprised that very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt a position that rather than throw this bomb we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives…” – Winston Churchill, August 1945. Liberated prisoners of war were told that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved their lives. Of the 140,000 Allied prisoners of war captured by the Japanese, 36,000 were located on the mainland of Japan at the end of the war.121 The atomic bombs dropped killed between 90,000-166,000 in Hiroshima and 60,000-80,000 in Nagasaki.122 Did killing so many Japanese civilians save Allied military personnel lives? Those who argue that the atomic bomb saved Allied lives mostly base their argument on the American losses in Okinawa, where 12,513 were killed and 38,916 wounded. Taking into account experiences in Okinawa – along with Japan’s inadequate defences due to the Allied firebombing and sea campaigns – the Joint War Plans Committee provided a study to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 15 June 1945 estimating an invasion of Japan would result in 40,000 U.S. dead and 150,000 121 122 POW Research Network Japan. “Frequently Asked Questions #1.” Radiation Effects Research Foundation.
80  Sparrow  Photo 44   Central Hiroshima, September 1945. The building at the centre is now the Hiroshima Peace Memorial....
After-math wounded.123 Taking into those factors, the figures were revised down from 380,000 killed and 1.6 million casualties in an April 1945 report.124 Although Generals George Marshall and Douglas MacArthur signed documents agreeing with the Joint War Plans Committee (JWPC) June 1945 estimate,125 there was still some disparity between military chiefs’ estimates before invasion and the later claims by politicians after the atomic bombs were dropped. Even after being presented with the JWPC June report, on 18 June U.S. President Truman came up with a figure of “250,000 to one million” casualties. When hearing that phrase, General Marshall responded, “One quarter of a million would be the minimum.” The term “as much as a million” phrase was added to the final draft by Truman’s staff, so as to not appear to contradict an earlier statement by Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson.126 Some argue that, by dropping the atomic bombs, Japanese lives were saved. General MacArthur’s staff provided an estimated range of American deaths depending on the duration of the invasion. Based on as estimated 22:1 ratio of Japanese to American deaths, a short-term invasion of two weeks would kill 200,000 Japanese and almost 3 million Japanese deaths if the fighting lasted four months.127 Should the Soviets invade the northern island of Hokkaido, another 400,000 Japanese deaths might have occurred.128 The June 1945, JWPC’s revised estimates are a good indication of Japan’s ability to defend its shores. By Japan’s own estimates, the Allied air raids killed 323,495 citizens.129 One raid alone on Tokyo 10 March 1945 destroyed 25 percent of the city and 100,000 people. Operation Starvation – the mining of Japanese ports and sea-lanes – along with the U.S. submarine blockade of merchant shipping, would have starved Japan, forcing an earlier end to the war.130 The prisoners of war in Japan certainly experienced the effects of the blockade. Many also saw the effects it had on the Japanese. Many observed that, while the local Japanese starved, Red Cross parcels continued to arrive at their camps. It was well known to prisoners of war that, should the Allies invade, then prisoners of war could be executed. Some even point to a 1 August 1944 Japanese War Ministry order to Formosa forces to execute POWs “...when an uprising of large numbers cannot be suppressed without the use of firearms” or when the POW-camp was in the combat zone, so “escapees from the camp may turn into a hostile fighting force.”131 These orders mean exactly what they say. Prison guards were ordered to 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 MacEachin, Douglas J. The Final Months of the War With Japan. CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence, December 1998 (CSI-98-10001). Part III, note 24. Frank, Richard B. Downfall. The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire. New York City: Penguin Books, 1999. p.135–7. Carroll, James. House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007. p.48. MacEachin, op cit., Part V: Did the SIGINT Picture Affect the Discussions at Potsdam? Skates, John Ray. The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb. University of South Carolina Press, 2000. p.79. Kirkendall, Richard Stewart. Harry’s Farewell: Interpreting and Teaching the Truman Presidency. University of Missouri Press, 2004. pp.133–134. Frank, op cit., pp.334–335. United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Summary Report (Pacific War). July 1, 1946. See Photo 32 on page 380. The translation can be found at: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Document_No._2701. 81
After-math wounded.123 Taking into those factors, the figures were revised down from 380,000 killed and 1.6 million casual...
82 Sparrow kill prisoners who became hostile. These orders were no different to how Japanese prisoners of war were treated at Featherston Camp in New Zealand132 or Cowra in New South Wales,133 which were also consistent with the Rules of War. Nonetheless, in accordance with orders he received, Kanose Camp Commander Hiroshi Azuma made repeated efforts to communicate with Allied officers under his care to ensure that there was no hostility towards guards and locals to ensure their survival. Another reason why some argue that the atomic bombs saved lives is that the Japanese refused to surrender. Some argue that the code of Bushidō was deeply ingrained and that surrender was never an option.134 Japanese militarism was aggravated by the many assassinations of those seeking to reform military power during the Great Depression and some argue that opposition to war was a much riskier endeavor.135 These arguments, however, fall flat when one considers that the Japanese did negotiate a ceasefire with the Soviets on 16 September 1939 after being routed in a bitter 4-month border dispute at Khalkhin Gol. The Khalkhin Gol does highlight Japan’s opinion of its enemies. Japan did consider American morale as “brittle and could be shattered by heavy losses in the initial invasion.” Frank suggested, “American politicians would then gladly negotiate an end to the war far more generous than unconditional surrender.”136 The U.S. Department of Energy’s history of the Manhattan Project reinforces this view.137 What appears strange about the actions of the United States in the lead up to the dropping of the atomic bombs was how irrelevant communication with Japan was. The 26 July 1945 Potsdam Declaration by Britain, the United States, and China stated that, unless Japan surrender unconditionally, “The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.” Truman and Churchill made no mention of their new weapon to Japan. Stalin, however, was aware of it. Table 1: 132 133 134 135 136 137 Potsdam Declaration. Outrage after WW2 grave plaques stolen. The New Zealand Herald, 30 August 2008. Outbreak of Japanese Prisoners of War at Cowra, August 1944. National Archives of Australia. (A5954, 674/7) Correll, John T. The Smithsonian and the Enola Gay. U.S. Air Force Association, 15 March 1994. Retrieved 9 July 2012. The Pacific War Research Society. Japan’s Longest Day. Oxford University Press, 2005. p.352. Frank, Richard B. Why Truman Dropped the Bomb. The Weekly Standard, Aug 8, 2005, Vol.10, No.44. Retrieved 16 July 2012. Rezelman, David; F.G. Gosling and Terrence R. Fehner. Japan Surrenders, August 10–15, 1945. The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History. U.S. Department of Energy.
82  Sparrow kill prisoners who became hostile. These orders were no different to how Japanese prisoners of war were treate...
After-math Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. We - the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war. The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist. The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason. Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay. There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world. Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan’s warmaking power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine. The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives. We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established. Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted. The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government. We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction. 83
After-math  Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 6.  7....
84 Sparrow But the Potsdam Declaration was conditional. In exchange for demilitarization, occupation, and punishment of war crimes, it provided many protections to allow Japan to be a modern nation. The Allies gave Japan 10 days to respond before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Some argue that the Potsdam Declaration was ignored by Japan. The Japanese Prime Minister was quoted as using the term Mokusatsu (“to ignore” or “to treat with silent contempt”) but there is much evidence that the Japanese were scrambling to figure out what to do. On 25 July, the day before the Potsdam Declaration was issued, Japan asked for a diplomatic envoy led by Konoe to go to Moscow hoping to mediate peace in the Pacific.138 Kanoe was supposed to bring a letter from the Emperor stating: “His Majesty the Emperor, mindful of the fact that the present war daily brings greater evil and sacrifice of the peoples of all the belligerent powers, desires from his heart that it may be quickly terminated. But as long as England and the United States insist upon unconditional surrender the Japanese Empire has no alternative to fight on with all its strength for the honour and existence of the Motherland…It is the Emperor’s private intention to send Prince Konoe to Moscow as a Special Envoy…”139 In early August 1945, the cabinet was equally split between those who advocated an end to the war on one condition, the preservation of the Kokutai, and those who insisted on three other conditions:140 1. 2. 3. Leave disarmament and demobilization to Imperial General Headquarters; No occupation of the Japanese Home Islands, Korea, or Formosa; and Delegation to the Japanese government of the punishment of war criminals. The ‘hawks’ consisted of General Korechika Anami, General Yoshijirō Umezu, and Admiral Soemu Toyoda – led by Anami. The ‘doves’ were Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki, Naval Minister Mitsumasa Yonai, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shigenori Tōgō – led by Tōgō.141 Aware of the stalemate, The Emperor made no move to change the government position while he awaited a Soviet reply to Japanese peace feelers.142 These diplomatic messages, which sought Soviet mediation and the retention of the Emperor as head of state, were intercepted by the Allies. 138 139 140 141 142 Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi. Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005. p.162. Ibid., p.124. Bix, Herbert P. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. p.512. The Pacific War Research Society, op cit. Bix, Herbert P. Japan’s Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation. Cambridge University Press, 1996. cited in Hogan, Michael J. Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge University Press, 1996. p.290.
84  Sparrow But the Potsdam Declaration was conditional. In exchange for demilitarization, occupation, and punishment of w...
After-math A more obvious problem faced by the Japanese leadership was that, by accepting the Potsdam Declaration, there was the risk of facing war crimes. The Japanese didn’t want to fight the Soviets again but had experience with them negotiating peace terms. The Soviets may have been more condoning of war conduct. As the Allies listened to intercepts, the Japanese weren’t aware of Stalin’s plans. “For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history.” – Winston Churchill, 23 January 1948. As agreed with the Allies at the Tehran Conference (November 1943) and the Yalta Conference (February 1945), the Soviet Union promised to enter the Pacific Theater within three months of the end of the war in Europe. That deadline was 9 August 1945. It is telling that Chiang Kai-shek signed the Potsdam Declaration and not Stalin. The Chinese Nationalist had already defeated the Chinese communists and sent them on their Long March to escape annihilation. It is unknown whether he was aware of the deal for the Soviet Union to enter the war by 9 August. Churchill’s attitude towards the Soviet Union changed from distaste, to pragmatic, to hostile. Churchill was a vehement anti-Communist but, when Hitler invaded the Soviet Photo 45: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill on the Union, he famously stated, “If Hitler portico of the Russian Embassy invaded Hell, I would at least make a during the Tehran Conference, favourable reference to the Devil in November 1943. Churchill was a the House of Commons,” regarding spectator as American and Russian carved up the world between them. his policy toward Stalin.143 Soon, British supplies and tanks were flowing to help the Soviet Union.144 Later, Churchill would insist that Stalin open a front against Japan. Churchill was more than pragmatic. He was the ultimate Machiavellian. He effectively wanted the Soviet Union to suffer losses and for the Allies to claim victory and the spoils. But even Churchill knew that he couldn’t play the same trick twice on Stalin, especially after the delay to open a western front against Germany. Roosevelt, who entered the war after years of supplying Britain with arms, also knew that the 143 144 The Churchill Papers: Biography. Chu.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2012. Stokesbury, James L. A Short History of WWII. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1980. p.159. ISBN 0-688-03587-6. 85
After-math A more obvious problem faced by the Japanese leadership was that, by accepting the Potsdam Declaration, there w...
86 Sparrow Britain Empire was vulnerable against Japan. Churchill wanted to get the United States into the war, which he did. Churchill was understandably a spectator as early as the Tehran Conference. The positioning of the United States and the Soviet Union was obvious. Whilst Churchill encouraged Stalin to open a front against Japan, Roosevelt was concerned by communist influence in the Far East. As the Soviet troops served their purpose to hasten the surrender of Nazi Germany, Churchill was concerned with the possibility that the celebrations would soon be brutally interrupted.145 He concluded that the United Kingdom and the United States should anticipate the Red Army ignoring previously agreed frontiers and agreements in Europe, and prepare to “impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.”146 According to the Operation Unthinkable plan ordered by Churchill and developed by the British Armed Forces, the Third World War could have started on 1 July 1945 with a sudden attack against the Soviet troops. The British Chiefs of Staff Committee rejected the plan as militarily unfeasible. When the war in Europe ended, Churchill saluted the Whitehall crowd. “This is your victory!” he exclaimed. The crowd replied, “No, it is yours!” On the same day as the Potsdam Declaration, the United Kingdom General Election Results were declared. Churchill was voted out of office and he then took a back seat at Potsdam, much like he did since Tehran. The Japanese were concerned with fighting the Soviets. They had already suffered severe losses in 1939 at Khalkhin Gol and knew that the Soviets were brutal fighters willing to suffer heavy losses. Had the Potsdam Declaration included the Soviet Union, then Japan’s response would have almost certainly been different. Instead, the Soviets invaded Manchuria on 9 August 1945, the day that the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Truman knew the Russians would invade that day. Instead of waiting for the Japanese leadership to gather their thoughts after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the second atomic bomb was dropped only three days later. The most telling admissions for the motives behind the dropping of the atomic bombs came from Churchill. Winston Churchill was holidaying on the Mediterranean when he heard of the bombing of Hiroshima. He said that he saw the atom bomb as a way to keep Stalin in check.147 Imagine if, after three and a half years of the United States and Britain fighting the Japanese, Japan would turn around and surrender to Stalin. Imagine how Chiang Kai-shek would feel if communists claimed victory in China. The Allies wanted Japan to surrender to them rather that the Soviet Union. Anything else would be a disaster. 145 146 147 Fenton, Bob. The secret strategy to launch attack on Red Army. Telegraph, Issue 1124. 1 October 1998. Operation Unthinkable: ‘Russia: Threat to Western Civilization.’ British War Cabinet, Joint Planning Staff, Public Record Office, CAB 120/691/109040 / 002 (11 August 1945.) Lord Moran (Sir Charles Watson.) Churchill at War 1940 to 1945: the memoirs of Churchill’s doctor. Carroll & Graf, 2002.
86  Sparrow Britain Empire was vulnerable against Japan. Churchill wanted to get the United States into the war, which he ...
After-math The Soviet Union had some intentions of occupying Hokkaidō.148 When a Soviet general confronted Douglas MacArthur with this suggestion, MacArthur threatened to use the atomic bomb. So, where did this notion originate that the atomic bombs ended the war? It appears that only the Allies support this view. After the war, Admiral Soemu Toyoda said, “I believe the Russian participation in the war against Japan rather than the atom bombs did more to hasten the surrender.”149 Prime Minister Suzuki also declared that the entry of the USSR into the war made “the continuance of the war impossible.”150 Upon hearing news of the event from Foreign Minister Tōgō, Suzuki immediately said, “Let us end the war,” and agreed to finally convene an emergency meeting of the Supreme Council to end the war. Historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa wrote that the atomic bombings themselves were not the principal reason for Japan’s capitulation but, instead, he contends that it was the Soviet declaration of war on 8 August, which was allowed by the Potsdam Declaration signed by the other Allies.151 The fact that the Soviet Union did not sign this declaration gave Japan reason to believe that the Soviets could be kept out of the war.152 Hasegawa’s view is that when the Soviet Union declared war on 8 August, it crushed all hope in Japan’s leading circles that the Soviets could be kept out of the war, and/or allow reinforcement from Asia to the Japanese islands for the expected invasion.153 “On the basis of available evidence, however, it is clear that the two atomic bombs… alone were not decisive in inducing Japan to surrender. Despite their destructive power, the atomic bombs were not sufficient to change the direction of Japanese diplomacy. The Soviet invasion was. Without the Soviet entry in the war, the Japanese would have continued to fight until numerous atomic bombs, a successful allied invasion of the home islands, or continued aerial bombardments, combined with a naval blockade, rendered them incapable of doing so.”154 The Soviet Declaration of War would have upset Japan’s Ambassador to the USSR, Naotake Sato. It is understandable if he felt manipulated. The third clause reads: Taking into account the refusal of Japan to capitulate, the Allies approached the Soviet Government with a proposal to join the war against Japanese aggression and thus shorten the duration of the war, reduce the number of casualties and contribute toward the most speedy restoration of peace.155 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 Hasegawa, op cit. Toland, John. The Rising Sun. Modern Library, 2003. p.807. Bunting, Edward. World War II Day by Day. Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2001. p.652. Hasegawa, op cit. p.298. Hasegawa, op cit. p.178. Hasegawa, op cit. Chapters 6-7. Hasegawa, op cit. p.298. Soviet Declaration of War on Japan, 8 August 1945. 87
After-math The Soviet Union had some intentions of occupying Hokkaid  .148 When a Soviet general confronted Douglas MacArt...
88 Sparrow The official British history, The War Against Japan, also states that the Soviet declaration of war “brought home to all members of the Supreme Council the realization that the last hope of a negotiated peace had gone and there was no alternative but to accept the Allied terms sooner or later.” “Sooner or later” is a moot point. The Allies could have waited. It appears that Japan was willing to surrender to the Soviets before the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria but preferred to surrender to the Allies instead of facing a hostile Stalin. The Japanese leadership, including the “one condition” faction led by Tōgō, seized on the atomic bombs as a decisive justification to accept the Allies’ Potsdam Declaration. Hisatsune Sakomizu, the chief Cabinet secretary in 1945, called the bombing “a golden opportunity given by heaven for Japan to end the war.”156 MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur’s reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: “...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face ‘prompt and utter destruction.’ MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General’s advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary.”157 In an interview between Norman Cousins and MacArthur, he claims: “When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.” 158 Konoe said that Japanese resistance would have continued through November or December 1945 if the atomic bombs were not dropped.159 This position acknowledges the effect Operation Starvation had on Mainland Japan. Many other U.S. military officers disagreed with the necessity to use the atomic bombs. Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy – the Chief of Staff to the President – said: “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the 156 157 158 159 Kristof, Nicholas D. Blood On Our Hands? New York Times, 5 August 2003. Manchester, William. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964. Little, Brown, and Company, 1978. p.512. Cousins, Norman. The Pathology of Power. W. W. Norton and Company, 1988. pp.65, 70–71. Gentile, Gian P. How Effective is Strategic Bombing?—Lessons Learned from World War II to Kosovo. NYU Press, 1 December 2000. p.116.
88  Sparrow The official British history, The War Against Japan, also states that the Soviet declaration of war    brought...
After-math effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. “The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”160 Brigadier General Carter Clarke – the military intelligence officer who prepared intercepted Japanese cables for U.S. officials – was more forthright: “...when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.”161 Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz – Commander of the Pacific Fleet (and commander of the airbases that the atomic strikes were launched – was succinct: “The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war.” 162 Nimitz would later say: “The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan.” Ultimately, the decision to drop the bomb was by a U.S. President who was only aware of the Manhattan Project since 12 April 1945 – shortly after being sworn in after the death of Roosevelt. In a memorandum for Major General L.R. Groves, which recorded the minutes of a 10-11 May 1945 Los Alamos meeting of the Target Committee, it states: 163 6. Status of Targets A. Dr. Stearns described the work he had done on target selection. He has surveyed possible targets possessing the following qualification: (1) they be important targets in a large urban area of more than three miles in diameter, (2) they be capable of being damaged effectively by a blast, and (3) they are unlikely to be attacked by next August. Dr. Stearns had a list of five targets which the Air Force would be willing to reserve for our use unless unforeseen circumstances arise. These targets are: (1) Kyoto – This target is an urban industrial area with a population of 1,000,000. It is the former capital of Japan and many people and industries are now being moved there as other areas are being destroyed. From the psychological point of view there is the advantage 160 161 162 163 Leahy, William. I Was There. Ayer Co Pub, 1979. p.441. Alperovitz, Gar. The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb. Vintage, 1996. p.359. Speech given at the Washington Monument on October 5, 1945. Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, TS Manhattan Project File 42-46, folder 5D Selection of Targets, 2 Notes on Target Committee Meetings. 89
After-math effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.    The lethal possibilities of ato...
90 Sparrow that Kyoto is an intellectual center for Japan and the people there are more apt to appreciate the significance of such a weapon as the gadget. (Classified as an AA Target) (2) Hiroshima – This is an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary target. (Classified as an AA Target) (3) Yokohama – This target is an important urban industrial area which has so far been untouched. Industrial activities include aircraft manufacture, machine tools, docks, electrical equipment and oil refineries. As the damage to Tokyo has increased additional industries have moved to Yokohama. It has the disadvantage of the most important target areas being separated by a large body of water and of being in the heaviest anti-aircraft concentration in Japan. For us it has the advantage as an alternate target for use in case of bad weather of being rather far removed from the other targets considered. (Classified as an A Target) (4) Kokura Arsenal – This is one of the largest arsenals in Japan and is surrounded by urban industrial structures. The arsenal is important for light ordnance, anti-aircraft and beach head defence materials. The dimensions of the arsenal are 4100’ x 2000’. The dimensions are such that if the bomb were properly placed full advantage could be taken of the higher pressures immediately underneath the bomb for destroying the more solid structures and at the same time considerable blast damage could be done to more feeble structures further away. (Classified as an A Target) (5) Niigata – This is a port of embarkation on the N.W. coast of Honshu. Its importance is increasing as other ports are damaged. Machine tool industries are located there and it is a potential center for industrial despersion. It has oil refineries and storage. (Classified as a B Target) (6) The possibility of bombing the Emperor’s Palace was discussed. It was agreed that we should not recommend it but that any action for this bombing should come from authorities on military policy. It was agreed that we should obtain information from which we could determine the effectiveness of our weapon against this target. 7. Psychological Factors in Target Selection A. It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released. B. In this respect Kyoto has the advantage of the people being more highly intelligent and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the
90  Sparrow that Kyoto is an intellectual center for Japan and the people there are more apt to appreciate the significanc...
After-math weapon. Hiroshima has the advantage of being such a size and with possible focussing from nearby mountains that a large fraction of the city may be destroyed. The Emperor’s palace in Tokyo has a greater fame than any other target but is of least strategic value. Effectively, the rationale of the Target Committee of the Manhattan Project advising Truman was to terrorize the Japanese by bombing an intellectual city. How can an intellectual fully grasp whether something is “sufficiently spectacular” if they are vaporized? The report wanted a large urban area that had not previously been bombed so “clean data” could be collected. More appallingly, the report wanted the targets to have small military targets “in a much larger area subject to blast damage in order to avoid undue risks of the weapon being lost due to bad placing of the bomb.” Many scientists on the Manhattan Project provided their expertise due to the threat of an Axis nation developing an atomic bomb first. The decision by Roosevelt to initiate the Manhattan Project was in response to the 2 August 1939 Einstein– Szilárd letter which warned of the potential development of “extremely powerful bombs of a new type.”164 Leo Szilárd, who wrote most of the Einstein–Szilárd letter, later became concerned by the eagerness of military leaders to test the new ‘gadget’ on a civilian population. He was not alone. The Franck report of 11 June 1945165 urged that the bomb be demonstrated “before the eyes of representatives of all United Nations, on the desert or a barren island.” On 16 June 1945, The Scientific Panel responded: “The opinions of our scientific colleagues on the initial use of these weapons are not unanimous: they range from the proposal of a purely technical demonstration to that of the military application best designed to induce surrender…[We] see no acceptable alternative to direct military use.” The loaded language of this panel – which included A. H. Compton, E. O. Lawrence, J. R. Oppenheimer, and E. Fermi – clearly favoured “military use,” even though: “[As] scientific men, have no proprietary rights… [and] no claim to special competence in solving the political, social, and military problems which are presented by the advent of atomic power.”166 Leo Szilárd would go further and prepare a petition signed by 69 other Manhattan Project scientists and present it to Truman. In the meantime, General Groves sought ways to take action against him.167 Szilárd’s petition inspired a further 2 petitions from 85 scientists at Oak Ridge, Tennessee calling for the power of the bomb to be “adequately described and demonstrated” before use.168 164 165 166 167 168 Letter from Albert Einstein to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 2 August 1939. U.S. Department of Energy, UChicago Argonne LLC. Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. (Franck Report) U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Manhattan Engineer District Records, Harrison-Bundy File, folder #76. Ibid. Ibid. Decimal files, “201 (Szilard, Leo).” Ibid. Oak Ridge petition, July 13, 1945. Oak Ridge petition, mid-July 1945. 91
After-math weapon. Hiroshima has the advantage of being such a size and with possible focussing from nearby mountains that...
92 Sparrow Truman insisted that the effects of Japan witnessing a failed test would be too great of a risk to arrange such a demonstration.169 Such a rationale does not take into account the options of an unannounced demonstration off the coast of Japan or the Japanese finding an undetonated atomic bomb in the centre of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The quality of decision-making is troublesome. Harry S. Truman wrote in his diary on 25 July 1945: This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler’s crowd or Stalin’s did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful...170 But Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t military targets. Before the Japanese had the opportunity to figure out what happened to Hiroshima, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The Target Committee chose those targets due to the size and shape of the civilian area. Maybe Stimson and Truman were more interested in putting on a show? “I was a little fearful,” Stimson told Truman, “that before we could get ready the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon would not have a fair background to show its strength.” To this the President laughed and said he understood.171 The irony in Truman’s diary entry was his perception of the Japanese as “savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic.” Truman stated two days after the Nagasaki bomb, “The only language they seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them. When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him like a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true.”172 Truman’s attitude towards the Japanese could be perceived as so extreme that it contributed towards the ease that he allowed the use of the atomic bomb. 169 170 171 172 The Decision to Drop the Bomb. U.S. History Online Textbook. Independence Hall Association, Philadelphia, 2012. Ferrell, Robert H. Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman. New York: Harper and Row, 1980. pp.55-56. Kolko, Gabriel. The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943–1945. Random House, 1968. pp.539–40. Weingartner, James J. Trophies of War: U.S. Troops and the Mutilation of Japanese War Dead, 1941–1945. Pacific Historical Review, February 1992. University of California Press. Vol.61 (1). p.54.
92  Sparrow Truman insisted that the effects of Japan witnessing a failed test would be too great of a risk to arrange suc...
After-math Essential to the propaganda campaign against the Japanese, the United States used images and vocabulary to dehumanize the enemy. Weingartner suggested, “The widespread image of the Japanese as sub-human constituted an emotional context which provided another justification for decisions which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands.”173 The U.S. propaganda campaign desensitized its military and civilians to Japanese suffering. So disconnected to basic morality, American soldiers mutilated Japanese corpses and collected skulls as trophies. The benefit to Truman and Churchill of their electorates being apathetic to killing “sub-humans” is that Stalin could see that the Allies weren’t worried about killing so many people. Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph A. Bard, in a 27 June 1945 memorandum to Secretary of War Henry Stimson warned that use of the bomb without warning was contrary to “the position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation,” especially since Japan seemed close to surrender.174 173 174 Weingartner, op cit., p.67. Franck Report, op cit., Interim Committee, International Control. 93
After-math Essential to the propaganda campaign against the Japanese, the United States used images and vocabulary to dehu...
94 Sparrow The United States strategy to use aerial bombing is a complete turnaround from its earlier positions. Here is what President Roosevelt had to say at the beginning of the war: Appeal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aerial Bombardment of Civilian Populations, September 1, 1939 The President of the United States to the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty, September 1, 1939 The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity. If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same Rules of Warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT Before that diplomatic wire was sent, the Rules of War regarding aerial bombardment were straightforward. It was illegal. On 14 March 1902 the United States Senate ratified the Hague Convention 1899, which specifically forbid the use of poisoned weapons, killing an undefended enemy, or employing material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.175 Furthermore, it prohibited the bombarding of undefended towns, unless there is prior warning.176 The main effect 175 176 (Hague Convention) Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, July 29, 1899. Article XXIII a-d. Ibid. Articles XXV & XXVI.
94  Sparrow The United States strategy to use aerial bombing is a complete turnaround from its earlier positions. Here is ...
After-math of the Convention was to ban the use of certain types of modern technology in war, including bombing from the air, chemical warfare, and hollow point bullets.177 The second Hague Conference was called at the suggestion of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, but postponed because of the war between Russia and Japan. The U.S. Senate ratified the 1907 Convention on 10 March 1908. Here, Declaration I extended Declaration II from the 1899 Conference to other types of aircraft.178 This extension was signed, among the great powers, only by United Kingdom, United States and Austria-Hungary.179 In 1938, the League of Nations declared for the “Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing From the Air in Case of War.”180 The resolution stipulated three principles: 1. 2. 3. The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal; Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable; and Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighbourhood are not bombed through negligence. Although the United States never joined the League of Nations (and Japan left in 1933), the 1 September 1939 letter from Roosevelt mirrored the sentiment of the resolution. The original two strategies considered by the senior U.S. brass for operations in the Pacific were MacArthur’s ‘island-hopping’ campaign – a plan originally devised by the U.S. Navy in 1897 (and Japan copied in 1941-42181) – and the ‘strategic bases’ campaign. What was eventually decided was a combination of the two. The island-hopping campaign was the capture of lightly defended islands capable of locating an airfield that, linked together with other similar islands, could bypass and isolate enemy strongholds. The strategic bases plan would have simply captured islands within bombing range of Japan and then bombed Japan into submission. It was called ‘strategic bombing’, but by using incendiary bombing, it is hard to argue that the Allies were targeting purely military targets. Most military facilities were steel and concrete. Most Japanese civilian housing was wooden. MacArthur’s plan tried to engage the enemy and recapture territory in accordance with the Rules of War. The strategic bombing campaign was the sum of Roosevelt’s earlier fears. By Potsdam, the Allies and the Soviets effectively ignored every moral high ground they held, ignored every fundamental rule of war, yet insisted that Japanese be held accountable for war crimes. 177 178 179 180 181 Ibid. Declarations I-III. Declaration (XIV) Prohibiting the Discharge of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons. The Hague, 18 October 1907. Source: International Committee of the Red Cross. Austria-Hungary never ratified it, so this extension remained, practically, only a purpose. Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing From the Air in Case of War, Unanimous resolution of the League of Nations Assembly, 30 September 1938. War in Aleutians. Life, 29 June 1942. pp.32. 95
After-math of the Convention was to ban the use of certain types of modern technology in war, including bombing from the a...
96 Sparrow The Allies proclaimed that Japan’s unprovoked attacks on 7 December 1941 were undeclared acts of aggression. Yet the Allies did not quibble about the Soviet’s declaration of war with Japan one hour before invading Manchuria. The Allies proclaimed that Japan be held accountable for war crimes against prisoners of war. The Allies, however, ignored Soviets in Manchuria raping, looting, and massacring many Japanese while many others ended up in Siberian prisons for up to 20 years.182, 183, 184, 185 What example does it set when the victors of war don’t abide by the same standards that they applied to their defeated? Effectively, the decision to drop the atomic bomb did not save Allied lives, nor Japanese lives. The Allies blockaded Japan. The Allies could have simply sat back and starved Japan into submission. Japan was willing and able to negotiate. Negotiation, however, inconvenienced the Allied plans. By demonstrating the power of their new gadget on a large population showed the Soviet Union the lengths the United States were willing to take in the New World Order, even if it was against everything the United States stood for, and at the expense of innocent civilians’ lives. “I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.” – Douglas MacArthur “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 17 January 1961 182 183 184 185 Kuramoto, K. Manchurian Legacy : Memoirs of a Japanese Colonist. East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 1990. Jones, F. C. Manchuria since 1931. Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1949. p.221. Shin’ichi, Y. Manchuria under Japanese Dominion. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. Tamanoi, M A. Memory Maps : The State and Manchuria in Postwar Japan. Honolulu, University of Hawai’i Press, 2009.
96  Sparrow The Allies proclaimed that Japan   s unprovoked attacks on 7 December 1941 were undeclared acts of aggression....
After-math Photo 46: The Mitsushima POW Memorial, Hiraoka, Japan. The poppies (left from a visit the previous year) mark the names of members of the 79th LAA Battery. Mitsushima deaths “It not matters whether you are among those who hit or among those who watch, among those who perform or among those who let it happen. You are all guilty, actors and spectators.” – Michael Quoist, 1963. The people of Hiraoka erected a memorial on the site of the former Mitsushima POW camp – at the location of what was the area between the Administration Building and the ‘esso musho’ (guardhouse cell.) The site of the former prisoner of war work camp is now the local elementary school’s sports field. On the memorial it reads: “In April 1943, we did get a supply of Red Cross medicines, but it was insufficient for our needs and due to the lack of medicines the life of the prisoners were endangered and many prisoners died due to lack of medicines.” The following prisoners died as a result of the behaviour of the Japanese camp staff in withholding food and medicines. (From the official records of the Yokohama Class B and C War Crimes Trial.) As a result of the number of deaths at Mitsushima, Tatsuo Tsuchiya being tried as the first war criminal, and the subsequent war crimes trials which resulted in 6 97
After-math  Photo 46   The Mitsushima POW Memorial, Hiraoka, Japan. The poppies  left from a visit the previous year  mark...
98 Sparrow executions and 4 life sentences, Mitsushima earned the reputation as one the most notorious POW Camps of the war. But was that reputation deserved? The prisoner of war camp at Hiraoka – which was known as Mitsushima – was Tokyo Headquarters’ second detached camp. The headquarter camp was on a specially built island in Tokyo Bay called Omori. It was effectively Japan’s Alcatraz. The first detached camp was a hospital at Shinagawa – where sick prisoners of war were sent. Mitsushima was effectively Tokyo Headquarters’ first labour camp. It was the furthest from the coast than any other prisoner of war camp, deep in Japan’s mountainous interior. The site was a hydro-electric power scheme, built using stockpiles of American cement, steel, and equipment. Chinese and Korean labourers upstream cleared the area that would become the hydro lake. Allied prisoners of war would collect aggregate (Sakamoto detail), prepare aggregate (Kumagai detail), or assist with lining the intake tunnel (Kamijo detail). The first to arrive at Mitsushima were 82186 Americans captured on the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor in the Philippines. The Americans volunteered to escape the disease and starvation at Camp Cabanatuan after they survived Camp O’Donnell, which was the final stop of the Bataan Death March. The Americans chosen for the trip to Japan had to pass strict health inspections. Then, they were loaded into the holds of the Nagato Maru, a filthy ship whose previous cargo included livestock. Animal effluent and hay still lined the holds. Sailing through rough seas for 23 days, the Nagato Maru travelled from tropical to near arctic climes. During this journey, the POWs wore what was left of their tropical army uniform. Thirteen died on the journey to Japan. By the time they arrived at Mitsushima, many more were sick. Richard Gordon, author of Horyo, described the journey in a Public Broadcasting Service documentary American Experience – MacArthur: “They jammed us into the holds of the ship, no lights. [They] let us up on deck for the first couple of nights out and then, after that, wouldn’t let us because American submarines were in the area. They had given us life jackets when we first went aboard that ship. And then when the submarines came near us, they took the life jackets off us and put them on the cases of their dead that they had, [that] they were taking back to Japan. The ashes. And they protected the ashes with our life jackets. So fortunately this submarine didn’t hit us that time. But it hit enough other ships after that. But there was no toilet facilities down in those holds. Pitch black. They had one bucket that you used for urinal and defecation and what have you. And the boat would rock and spill it all over and men were lying in it. It’s unbelievable to attempt to describe that. It can’t be done because it gets too close to home when I start thinking about some of those conditions. But that’s what we lived with for twenty-some-odd days. Yet later ships took forty days to get to Japan. So the conditions became even worse for those people. Ultimately, 5,000 Americans went to the bottom of the Pacific 186 A full list of these prisoners can be found on p.742.
98  Sparrow executions and 4 life sentences, Mitsushima earned the reputation as one the most notorious POW Camps of the w...
After-math Ocean as a result of those sub attacks and those plane attacks that took place.”187 Conditions weren’t any better when they arrived at Mitsushima Camp. Gordon described the conditions: “The very first five months of [Mitsushima] was probably the worst five months of my life. Worse than anything in the Philippines. Because, number one, we had come out of the Philippines with no clothing, other than what we had on our backs. Which was trousers cut off at the knees because they wore out, shirts cut off at the elbows because they had worn out. No socks and no shoes. “The cold that first winter in Japan was incredible. We had no clothing, as I say. They gave us British clothing they had captured in Singapore. Which they wouldn’t let the Japanese people see us in. So they put a Japanese cloth clothing over us, which they made it so thin you could see through it, but it covered up the uniforms that the Japanese had taken in Singapore...So we would sleep in our clothing and even then, we’d freeze because [of] subfreezing temperatures. And at the bottom of the bay where we slept was a pit. They gave us charcoal to burn. And then at nine o’clock at night, we had to put it out for fear of fires. There was no heat in those barracks all night long. So men slept huddled together for body warmth. And used all sorts of blankets just to wrap each other up in. And if you became ill, as I did, and you had the chills as I did from malaria, it just was that much colder on you because you shivered yourself all night long. “That first winter the guards were a Japanese army guard. They were not civilians yet. They still were active duty soldiers. Young. Japan had-everything they touched at that point in time had turned to gold. They had won everywhere. And the Japanese felt very filled with the spirit of winning. And they were acting out. They mistreated every prisoner they ever laid their hands on. They would make-- take any pretext to beat on you, to make life miserable for you. If they caught you leaving the barracks at night to go to the latrine, because you had to make a lot of trips to the latrine, to the bathroom, if they caught you not completely dressed, they’d beat you. That first winter, we lost something like 48 men, Americans and British. And mainly from the cold and the fact that we were without food and were sick when we went into that camp. Men died.” The following night on 27 November 1942, 193188 British prisoners of war arrived in Japan. One prisoner died on the train journey to Mitsushima. They survived a month long journey from Singapore on the Tofuku Maru in similarly ghastly conditions as the Nagato Maru, which resulted in 27 deaths. On arrival at Japan, about 150 POW were stretchered off sick and about 30 subsequently died. 187 188 Interview with Richard Gordon. American Experience - MacArthur. Public Broadcasting Service. Link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/macarthur/sfeature/bataan_japan.html. Refer p.742. 99
After-math Ocean as a result of those sub attacks and those plane attacks that took place.   187 Conditions weren   t any ...
100 Sparrow The root of the cause of the deaths at Mitsushima were twofold: 1. 2. The condition of the prisoners when they arrived; and How those prisoners were treated after their arrival. Here is how Charlie McLachlan recalled his arrival at Mitsushima: “It was freezing cold, everything was frozen. The river was frozen, everything was freezing and we were in rags, just shorts, rags, bare feet. “And here he comes out [the camp commander]. Big fur lined leather coat, fur hat, big top boots, and said, ‘If you think you are cold, it is only your mind that is cold. If you think you are cold, rub your body with snow because it is only in your mind.’ “And here he is all wrapped up! All these other ones must have looked down on him. Everybody was in rags, in tatters… frozen stiff.”189 It couldn’t have been made clearer to the Camp Commander, Sukeo Nakajima, that the prisoners of war were his responsibility. His prisoners were there to work. He subsequently was fired by the Commander of Tokyo Camps, Colonel Kunji Suzuki, due to the number of deaths in his care. So, how did Sukeo Nakajima allow so many deaths in his care? Mitsushima was a collision of cultures: stubbornness, ignorance, and prejudice from both sides combining in a lethal cocktail. The Japanese have a deep-seeded fear of disease. It is still evident today as the public wear facemasks to avoid catching or spreading disease. Since Japan opened its borders to trade in the 1850s, Japan also suffered several epidemics. In many ways, Japan feared the West due to the risk of disease. Photo 47: Japanese wear facemasks in public to avoid catching or This fear was demonstrated by the spreading disease. measures the Japanese military took before and after each hellship journey. Each prisoner was ‘rodded’ – a procedure where a glass rod was inserted up the rectum to inspect for diarrhea. Every prisoner was also inspected for respiratory diseases. Some prisoners interpreted these inspections as being some type of slave grading. In fact, the Japanese didn’t want sick on the mainland. That explains why sick were kept on Java, Changi Prison, and Selerang Barracks. On board most hellships, conditions were as cramped for prisoners as they were for Japanese troops. On board the Tofuku Maru, there were three holds. In the rear hold were 600 Japanese troops. In the front two holds were 1,200 Allied prisoners. Not one Japanese troop died on the 31-day voyage. 189 Interview with Charles MɔLachlan. Havelock North, New Zealand, 19 September 2003.
100  Sparrow The root of the cause of the deaths at Mitsushima were twofold  1. 2.  The condition of the prisoners when th...
After-math The poor hygiene amongst some prisoners on the Tofuku Maru caused and spread the epidemic aboard. The prisoners had plenty of food for a 35-day voyage but not enough medicine for such an epidemic. Once the epidemic became severe, the guards stayed clear of the holds. Many prisoners aboard blame the Dutch Javanese soldiers for starting the outbreak of disease. They pointed to the Dutch using food bowls as toilets. They would clean their polluted bowls in the drinking water. Many Royal Air Force airmen would also waste drinking water for cleaning. The Royal Artillery prisoners pointed to these two examples due to the lessons learned on the Warwick Castle trip out to the Far East where they needed to ration water. Those in The Sparrows had two previous journeys on hellships from Timor and Java so, by the time they boarded the Tofuku Maru, they knew how to avoid disease. Another contributing factor to the care of prisoners of war was the Japanese perception of frailty. Westerners were of larger build with more muscle mass and required more food. The Japanese also treated dysentery and digestive diseases with reduced food intake. The prisoners thought that the sick were punished with half rations because they were not working. The Scottish traditionally used the same methods and ate charcoal to flush out disease. The Japanese were very proud of their culture and methods. Even under the Hague and Geneva Conventions, prisoners must be treated the same as the captor’s forces. The guards issued Japanese army split-toed footwear instead of the South African Army boots held in storage for months. The guards said that the army boots would be issued at the end of the war so prisoners could wear them home. The guards were also aware that the locals were suffering from malnutrition. The food and conditions within the camp were better than the locals enjoyed. The distribution of the Red Cross parcels was conducted sparingly and surreptitiously. The guards kept ‘luxuries,’ like hot chocolate and cigarettes, for themselves. Some guards, who were also starving, kept some cans of food. The Japanese were brutal to fellow Japanese. Japanese soldiers could beat lower ranks with impunity. Prisoners were the lowest of the low in the Japanese hierarchy. Japanese civilian prisons – today and back then – are harsh environments. Corporal punishment still takes place. Being taken prisoner in war is inconceivable to Japanese culture. Yet, there were 36,000 Allied prisoners working on the Japanese Mainland. The Japanese used them to fill the labour shortage. They were there to work. They weren’t there to be beaten to death as sport. Based on evidence, no prisoner of war at Mitsushima was killed by brutality. They, however, died: a. b. c. d. e. f. As a direct result of their condition when they arrived at the camp; Due to the climatic conditions of the camp; From being forced to work when they were frail; Due to the lack of medical treatment at the camp; Due to their diet at the camp; and/or Due to a combination of the above. 101
After-math The poor hygiene amongst some prisoners on the Tofuku Maru caused and spread the epidemic aboard. The prisoners...
102 Sparrow For a start, Nakajima was a lazy camp commander. He arrived late, left early, and did little in between. The camp was left in the hands of an interpreter, ‘Mushmouth’, who tried to conceal his poor grasp of the English language, and former Japanese soldiers scarred from battle. Guarding prisoners – their enemy – was the ultimate insult. Unable to communicate with the prisoners using words, they used sticks, fists, and rope. This is no excuse for the sadistic nature of some beatings but no cases led directly to anyone dying. Nakajima was so preoccupied with the perception of his camp that he tried to conceal the condition of his prisoners to his superior officer. The Author: “Whenever the colonel would be visiting the sickbay would be emptied out and sent out on work detail.” Chater: “You’d be amazed what happened when the colonel were coming into inspect the camp. We had to turn in all the Red Cross presents, what we had been given out, we had to turn them back in… afterwards. Collected them all. Stuff like this all the time. “When the Red Cross people were coming the same thing happened. We weren’t really allowed to say much to the Red Cross representatives.”190 Nakajima disobeyed the orders from his colonel. Red Cross supplies were meant to be distributed to prisoners. They were not. Nakajima tried to be self-sufficient at the most isolated prisoner of war camp in Japan. He unnecessarily put the lives of prisoners at risk by not asking for help when he could have. Colonel Kunji Suzuki effectively kept to the standards of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, which Japan had promised to observe. The problem is that those under his command did not. The one area where guards did not comply was corporal punishment, which was forbidden by the Geneva Convention. Under the Hague Convention, however, a captor can apply the same discipline to a prisoner as the captor would apply to his own troops. Mitsushima prisoners witnessed brutality between guards. A slap across the ear, a hit on the head with a wooden sword, or a punch in the face was acceptable. It was part of the Japanese hierarchical disciplinary system. Nakajima did not monitor his own guards. Mushmouth, the interpreter, unilaterally deciding who was fit to work. The Author: “A lot of people I have interviewed have said they used to avoid the sick bay. Even when they were sick they wanted to work to stay out of sickbay.” Chater: “Oh yeah.” The Author: 190 Interview with Leslies Hilton Chater. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 15-20 June & 6 July 2004.
102  Sparrow For a start, Nakajima was a lazy camp commander. He arrived late, left early, and did little in between. The ...
After-math “So, do you find it strange that Mushmouth (the interpreter) used to send people out to work who were sick?” Chater: “Send them out?” The Author: “Mushmouth used to send sick people out to work?” Chater: “Oh God yes! Yes sir. He would hold his own sick bay and so would the camp commandant. “You go to work, you go…” After our own people would say they weren’t OK they would come along and say “You go, you go, you OK, you go.” And some of them died working.” The Author: “Some of them died on the job?” Chater: “That’s right. Right at the beginning.” Nakajima could have communicated more regularly with the officer POWs sooner. It was only after he was getting grief from his colonel that he tried to improve the lines of communication. Here is how Chater described the breakthrough. Chater: “People were dying and we couldn’t produce enough for the workforce and [the camp commandant] was getting hell from Tokyo, the Headquarters for the POW Camps. “So eventually he came to us, the same as what happened in the pictures, the Bridge on the River Kwai. They came to us. They used to take the officers and make them stand at attention when anything went wrong when they couldn’t produce enough people. “He eventually came to us.” “What’s the matter with you people? You’re all sick! You can’t get enough workers!” “So we told him bluntly, “In the first place when we arrived here we were all half dead because of the boat trip and you made it worse by cutting the food for anyone who was sick and couldn’t work, half rations.” “And other things like that. Penalizing us. So it made it worse and worse. “And finally he came to us and we told him what was wrong. We said, “We can’t blame you for the ship. It wasn’t your fault. But the other things were your fault because we didn’t have any rest or anything when we arrived at Mitsushima.” 103
After-math    So, do you find it strange that Mushmouth  the interpreter  used to send people out to work who were sick   ...
104 Sparrow “OK, what do you need?” “We desperately need medicines for dysentery.” “What medicine do you need?” “The doctor was there and he handed him a list. He turned around to his medical orderly, this was the camp commander, and handed him the list.” “You go up to the village and get these!” “Just like that.” “And also, we’ve got to have to have better food. They can’t work without food particularly when they aren’t well in any event.” “OK!” “Next thing we know we have more food. It’s as simple as that. And gradually you could see the difference in the troops. And I kept a record of how many people we could produce to work up to that time and the time after. You could see the numbers going right up until we could produce all they needed to work.”191 If Nakajima asked for medication sooner from the Red Cross, he would have received it. Once they asked for a real doctor, they got one in the form of Dr. Whitfield. Nevertheless, again, Japanese pride interfered with the treatment of the sick. Japanese used traditional methods that were either outdated by Western methods or not beneficial at all. Burning treatment – where burning cotton wool lined the spine – was one such method. As Dr. Whitfield said, “A hot water bottle would suffice.” Eating charcoal was seen as primitive but, even today, it is the best method for treating some forms of digestive infection. The senior British officer at the camp, Flight Lieutenant Leslie Chater – a Canadian engineer commissioned by the Air Ministry – squarely lay blame on the Camp Commander, Lt. Sukeo Nakajima. Nakajima was where the buck stopped. The Author: “Do you hold anyone responsible for the deaths of the POWs in Mitsushima and Kanose?” Chater: “No.” The Author: “Do you think the guards at Mitsushima were responsible for any of the deaths?” Chater: “No.” 191 Ibid.
104  Sparrow    OK, what do you need        We desperately need medicines for dysentery.       What medicine do you need  ...
After-math The Author: “Why?” Chater: “The Camp Commander is responsible for deaths. Doesn’t matter what happened they’re responsible for it. The guards were under pretty strict orders… by the book… all set out by the command in Tokyo.” “And the actual… it’s like the British… the actual camp commanders were scared stiff of that top boss. And I gave you some idea, examples of what happened when he finally came to us because he was getting hell from the bossman in Tokyo.” “You prisoners are dying, you have been doing enough work for us, you promised work for us to the company!” “That was the time things turned around.” 192 Notwithstanding the conduct of the guards and commander, the conduct of the prisoners should not be overlooked. Knowing that guards would punish groups for the conduct of one prisoner, several of the prisoners’ conduct exacerbated the cruelty and deteriorated the conditions for the most vulnerable. The lack of leadership by Major Cory and Ace Faulkner stood out as a major problem with cohesion amongst the men. Instead of reigning in troublemakers, they were more concerned with their own welfare. They wanted to be relocated to an ‘officer’s camp’ and moped around the camp. Captain Hewitt struggled to control the American prisoners as Cory and Faulkner’s conduct undermined him. The conduct of people such as ‘Bully’ Jones and Martindale are worthy of war crimes prosecutions. They not only stole food from civilians and the guards, but also from fellow prisoners. In one case, they not only traded meals for cigarettes with Frank Brancaticano, but they also later stole the cigarettes from Brancaticano. After Brancaticano became frail from trading too many meals for cigarettes, Hewitt ordered that no one collect Brancaticano’s meals. Jones and Martindale continued to steal Brancaticano’s meals until he died from pneumonia – a complication from malnutrition. The depth of Martindale and Jones’ depravity is demonstrated by the Christian/Shinto funeral service conducted for Brancaticano. After the service, Jones and Martindale stole the food on the altar left as offerings to the Gods for Brancaticano’s transition to heaven. Brancaticano was the only prisoner at Mitsushima or Kanose to die as a direct result of human cruelty. All the others prosecuted at Yokohama were punished for what they did not do rather than what they did – in other words, negligence. Brancaticano would not have been able to trade meals had it not been for the likes of George Peil. George Peil and Jim Bitner were not trained cooks and yet they wrangled themselves into positions to feed the prisoners. They did not have experience with cooking rice or barley and it showed. The second epidemic at the camp was in spring 1943 when most deaths occurred. Most of the deaths were from inflammation of the digestive system – the result of poor diet. The barley that Bitner 192 Ibid. 105
After-math The Author     Why     Chater     The Camp Commander is responsible for deaths. Doesn   t matter what happened ...
106 Sparrow and Peil cooked was not properly prepared and, instead of providing carbohydrates and essential amino acids, acted like chards of glass through the intestines. It was only after Shichino spoke out that the camp commander took an active interest in the quality of the food served to the prisoners. The level of medical treatment that the prisoners received was the most controversial subject raised by those interviewed. Every former prisoner interviewed mentioned the late arrival of a sufficiently qualified medical practitioner at Mitsushima. Many criticized the Dutch-Javanese doctor, who accompanied the British prisoners from Java, Medical Officer 2nd Class Nicolaas Van Slooten. Squadron Leader Grant did ask repeatedly for a ‘proper doctor’ to be sent to the camp. Eventually, Ships Surgeon Whitfield arrived from Shinagawa via Noetsu too late to save anyone. No deaths occurred at Mitsushima between the time Whitfield arrived and the main group left for Kanose. Once the main group arrived at Kanose, there were only four deaths – Brancaticano and the three Battery men in the Carbide plant. Kanose Commander Hiroshi Azuma was tried for allowing prisoners to be exposed to dangerous working conditions. Central to the prosecution’s case was the length of the stoking rods used by workers at the plant and the provision of safety equipment. What is known is that the same conditions were provided to everyone at the plant. The equipment and methods were provided by United States-based heavy industrial companies. Sparks from the molten nabes of carbide ignited carbide dust on the factory floor and exploded, injuring Harold Rogers and killing Buchan, Crowdell, and Foster. The proximity of the stokers to the nabes made no difference. In reality, a double standard was applied. The prisoners volunteered to stoke the furnaces. They used safety equipment and methods which were best practice.
106  Sparrow and Peil cooked was not properly prepared and, instead of providing carbohydrates and essential amino acids, ...
After-math Photo 48: Harold Rogers showing two different length stokers used at the plant. (Exhibit in USA vs. Azuma et 5) Photo 49: Prosecution Exhibit M showing molten carbide poured into a nabe. Note the sparks onto the floor. 107
After-math  Photo 48   Harold Rogers showing two different length stokers used at the plant.  Exhibit in USA vs. Azuma et ...
108 Sparrow Photo 50: Tatsuo “Little Glass Eye” Tsuchiya before the Yokohama War Crimes Commission sentencing. He is flanked by Maj. Louis Geffen, prosecutor, and Lt. Col. John Dickinson, defense attorney. 5 January 1946. (Photographer: Tom Shafer. © Bettmann/CORBIS) ‘Victor’s Justice’? “The trial of the vanquished by the victors cannot be impartial no matter how it is hedged about with the forms of justice.” – U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft, October 5, 1946. The momentum of the Western World and Modern Japan collided at Mitsushima Prisoner of War Camp. Isolated in the Tenryu River valley of Japan’s Central Alps, a Lord of the Flies scenario played out where Bushidō culture and Western hypocrisy argued about how prisoners of war should be treated. How prisoners of war should be treated became the Rules of War. Japan ratified the Hague Convention. Japan, a military-run government, did not sign the Geneva Convention of 1929 though, in 1942, it did promise to abide by its terms. Among the ruins of Japan’s defeated capital, one of the Mitsushima guards would become the first person to be tried for war crimes against the Rules of War. At the Yokohama War Crimes Tribunal, the concept of the Rules of War would set the legal precedent upon which every successive trial would rely. Every murder, beating, summary punishment, brutal treatment, forced labour, medical experimentation, starvation rations, and poor medical treatment would rely on the effectiveness of the trial of a civilian guard and injured former corporal with the nickname “Little Glass Eye.”
108  Sparrow  Photo 50   Tatsuo    Little Glass Eye    Tsuchiya before the Yokohama War Crimes Commission sentencing. He i...
After-math With so much depending on the result, one would have expected every loose end to be firmly tied. Instead, any first year law student sitting through the trial of Tatsuo Tsushiya would have felt embarrassed to be present. To be fair, one can imagine the prosecutors sifting through all the affidavits to find some consistency between statements for what would appear to be a straightforward first case – a ‘slam dunk.’ Thousands of complaint forms were filed, sorted, then witnesses would need to be found. Remember, most prisoners of war were on their way home. But Mitsushima Camp had five different names. Matsushima appeared on the Gibbs Camp Report, Tokyo #2 Detached Camp appeared on Red Cross reports, Tokyo 3-B (or Number 3 Branch) on Japanese reports, and later in the war it was renamed Tokyo 12-B (or Number 12 Branch). The description of Tsuchiya varied greatly between affidavits. Another guard at the camp, Sadaharu Hiramatsu, had the nickname ‘Big Glass Eye,’ as well as ‘Glass Eye.’ The prosecution argued that Tsuchiya’s nickname in several affidavits was Glass Eye. Mark Gayn, a former Tokyo correspondent of The Chicago Sun who witnessed the trial, wrote in his book “Japan Diary”: “As evidence was unfolded, doubt vanished that this mild looking ex-farmer was a sadist, who delighted in inventing cruelties to be inflicted on the prisoners in the camp in which he was a guard.” 193 Gayn, however, added: “We all felt embarrassed watching the prosecutors handle the case.” “Their case was built on affidavits, some of which would not have passed the scrutiny of a police reporter, let alone a court of justice.” “The affidavits argued with each other. We snickered, but we felt uneasy and ashamed.” 194 Nonetheless, as Gayn remarked, “The purpose of the trials, I am told, is less to punish the guilty than to give the Japanese people a lesson in the futility of aggression.”195 Thus, it could, and has been argued, that MacArthur had more interest in establishing “Rules of War” for future international society than in ensuring only the guilty were punished. 196 A fundamental of law is that an accused be ‘tried.’ That is why it is called a trial. Much of the evidence presented was by affidavits from people who were not present to be cross-examined by the defence. Only a few ‘witnesses’ were present at the trial. None of them actually witnessed the beating of Robert Gordon Teas. Amongst the affidavits compiled in the Mitsushima Camp folder at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland was one by Raymond Kirch. He was in the same building when Teas died. He saw him die. 193 194 195 196 Kogure, Satoko. Justice Reaches Dead End. The Japan Times: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 109
After-math With so much depending on the result, one would have expected every loose end to be firmly tied. Instead, any f...
110 Sparrow No one bothered to ask Kirch to be present. Kirch returned home to his old job in the United States Army Air Force. In an interview, here is what he had to say: The Author: “What do you think actually killed Teas?” Kirch: “Well, it wasn’t actually the beating that killed Teas that time. He was swollen with water [with beriberi]. I tell you, he was huge. And this old Dutch doctor, who was supposed to be a Dutch doctor, this was early in the time because Dr. Weinstein hadn’t come in yet. So he got a big hypodermic needle, a great big one and a pan, and he started drawing the water out this guy did. The Dutch doctor did. He was supposed to be a doctor. “He drew out one panful. It went so well he decided to do a second. On the second pan, he was about half way through it and the guy went into shock. My people don’t know what that is but I found what happened and the guys who were there told me, they witnessed it. The second time he was being drawn he went into shock and died.”197 Much of the evidence presented would breach the United States Constitution and the Articles of War. The objections by the defence to such evidence were overruled by the U.S. military commission, which argued that such protection could not be afforded to the accused as a former belligerent.198 By the end of 1943, 275 prisoners of war passed through Mitsushima camp. Of that number, 54 died at Mitsushima, Kanose, or the journey home. Of those who died in captivity, 25 were Royal Air Force, 9 were from The Sparrows, and 18 were American. Of the 221 liberated prisoners of war – all of whom were interviewed in Yokohama or Manila – only 64 laid a complaint about their treatment as prisoners of war. Of this number, 12 were from Royal Air Force, 3 from The Sparrows, 1 Dutch Doctor, 1 Royal Naval Doctor, and a staggering 47 were Americans. In other words, of the 67 Americans who survived the war, 70 percent laid complaints. Of the 162 British who survived, 10 percent laid complaints. Table 2: List of Mitsushima prisoners who laid war crimes complaints. Rank L.A.C. Sqd/Ldr. Maj. Name Duffy, James Blanchard, William Thomas Cory, Allan Murray Serial 965952 Cpl. Capt. Rogers, Harold G. Hewitt, Walter J. 979453 0-338977 T/Sgt. Roy, John C. 6896934 United States Army Affidavit Cpl. Atwell, John R. 37042049 United States Army Affidavit 197 198 317610 Force Evidence Royal Air Force Royal Air Force Affidavit United States Army Testimony, Questionnaire, Statement Royal Air Force United States Army Questionnaire, Statement Interview with Raymond Kirch. Valparaiso, Florida, U.S.A., 29 June 2004. Kogure, op cit. Trials Azuma Trial Nakajima Trial Nakajima Trial Nakajima Trial Nakajima, Shichino & Azuma Trials Shichino & Azuma Trials
110  Sparrow No one bothered to ask Kirch to be present. Kirch returned home to his old job in the United States Army Air ...
After-math Cpl. S/Sgt. Pvt. Pvt. Pvt. Gnr. Cpl. A.C.2. A.C.2. P.F.C. Sgt. Cpl. Pvt. Cpl. A.C.2. P.F.C. Sgt. Pvt. P.F.C. S/Sgt. P.F.C. S/Sgt. Med.Off. 2nd Class P.F.C. Lt/Surg. Cpl. Bandish, William E. Bass, James O. Berry, Cullen W. Bitner, James E. Bolin, Bedford F. Bridger, Kenneth Arthur Bullock, Reginald Chow, Swee Soon Chua, Teong Swee Cupp, Burlin C. Duncan, Joseph J. Dunn, Eugene C. Ennis, Earl E. Evans, Henry Gill, Rajindra Singh Groves, James T. Marble, Vernon B. Martindale, Donald A. Richards, William R. Rouse, Samuel J. Spencer, Paul R. Sutterfield, James E. Van Slooten, Nicolaas 6971025 6227209 6250483 13022538 34049133 Wasson, Wayne N. Whitfield, R.G.S. Campbell, Kenneth C. 38012123 P.F.C. Dement, David A. 14014561 Cpl. Peil, George J. 14042451 P.F.C. P.F.C. P.F.C. Pvt. Pvt. Fg Off. Gnr. Sgt. S/Sgt. Lilly, Donald C. Gavord, Charles B. Holland, Pete B. Kirch, Raymond S. Kolilis, Fred L. Power, Christopher Telford, John Wilson, Jack D. Mitchell, Arthur J. 15061732 20842474 14014943 14014390 20956487 S/Sgt. Pratt, Dorris R. 6960136 1st/Sgt. Snodgrass, Clifton O. 6824973 Sgt. Tison, Thomas P. 6973420 A.C.2. Capt. Pvt. Sjt. 1st/Sgt. Sgt. Sgt. Sgt. P.F.C. Sgt. P.F.C. P.F.C. Cpl. Pvt. L/Bdr. A.C.2. Cpl. Campbell, Robert Addie Faulkner, Ace E. Fields, Bernard A. Fullock, Leslies Edmond Goff, Marshall W. Gordon, Albert R. Holstein, Jay Ivy, John B. Vallerga, Simone N. Brokaw, Glenn D. Grassick, Paul A. Hyde, Revis C. Jones, Eugene Mann, William H. Quennell, William J.H. Robertson, John S. Steele, Arvil L. 35001552 20843956 6472998 19052177 35100656 6977685 19050911 18049853 6842414 18050440 14002078 13001451 1826640 6286742 6864512 308907 7040173 6253514 12007158 20500721 6265784 19052525 32045386 35001515 6396050 6292899 33043704 1453708 6861252 United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army Royal Artillery Royal Air Force Royal Air Force Royal Air Force United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army Royal Air Force Royal Air Force United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army Dutch Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit United States Army Affidavit Royal Navy Affidavit United States Army Affidavit, Questionnaire United States Army Affidavit, Testimony United States Army Affidavit, Testimony United States Army Deposition United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire Royal Air Force Questionnaire Royal Artillery Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire, Statement United States Army Questionnaire, Statement United States Army Questionnaire, Statement United States Army Questionnaire, Statement Royal Air Force Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement Royal Air Force Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony Royal Artillery Testimony Royal Air Force Testimony United States Army Testimony 111
After-math Cpl. S Sgt. Pvt. Pvt. Pvt. Gnr. Cpl. A.C.2. A.C.2. P.F.C. Sgt. Cpl. Pvt. Cpl. A.C.2. P.F.C. Sgt. Pvt. P.F.C. S ...
112 Sparrow All the British experienced the same conditions as the Americans and yet seven times as many Americans felt that they were the victims of war crimes. How come? The prisoners were either regular army before the war, volunteers, or conscripted. They either endured traumatic captivity on Bataan, neglect on the Siam-Burma Railway, farcical conditions on Java, or reasonable treatment on Timor. Each soldier’s attitude was forged by their military and captivity experiences before they arrived in Japan. Those interviewed spoke of an ‘American bravado’ where, if they weren’t exaggerating their heroics in battle, they were exaggerating their resilience in captivity. It is true that the Americans did suffer on the Bataan Death March, at Camp O’Donnell, Camp Cabanatuan, and the hellship journey to Japan. The number of deaths reinforce this. However, was what happened at Mitsushima the fault of all the guards who were punished? Walter Hewitt – promoted to Major after the war199 – was instrumental in presenting evidence at the war crimes trials of Mitsushima and Kanose guards. He relied heavily on the war diary of Les Chater, who did not present evidence. By his own admission, Hewitt was present to ‘balance the books.’200 What ‘balancing the books’ meant was a perception of proportionality for the deaths at Mitsushima. An eye for an eye. Vengeance. Payback. In other words, in the eyes of Hewitt, all the deaths at Mitsushima could not be avenged by the execution of just one guard. To show the rest of the world that conditions at Mitsushima were worse than other camps, the number of guards executed and imprisoned needed to reflect it. The irony of the first war crimes trial is that Tsuchiya was found guilty of charges that he shouldn’t have been found guilty of and cleared of charges that he probably was guilty of. Tsuchiya was sentenced to life ‘confined at hard labour.’ After the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, the Allied occupation ended. Japan’s “full sovereignty” was restored, Japan was absolved from reparations to its wartime victims, and war criminals were freed. Tsuchiya was released in 1952 after serving six years at Sugamo Prison. Retrospectively, he probably served the right sentence. While acknowledging the legal flaws and unfair nature of the trial, “their true significance was far greater,” argues Toshiaki Manabe, a Yokohama-based lawyer and co-author of “The Stars and Stripes At the Court,” which explores War Crimes Tribunals in Japan. 201 Manabe believes that the most important aspect of the trials was not the rights and wrongs of so-called “victor’s justice,” but that it was an attempt to establish an international justice system by standing accused war criminals before an international court. 202 When the war appeared to not be turning in Japan’s favour, the Tokyo HQ for POW Camps reshuffled the guards and commanders. The Mitsushima Camp 199 200 201 202 All United States personnel liberated from prisoners of war camps were promoted one rank. Chater, Leslie H. (with Hamid, Liz). Behind the Fence: Life as a POW in Japan, 1942-1945: The Diaries of Les Chater. Vanwell, 2001. Appendices. Kogure, op cit. Kogure, op cit.
112  Sparrow All the British experienced the same conditions as the Americans and yet seven times as many Americans felt t...
After-math Commander, Sukeo Nakajima, was sacked and replaced with his second-incommand, Capt. Tatsuro Kubo. Nakajima was then promoted to captain, which conflicts with the so-called reasons for him being replaced – being the loss of so many prisoners in his charge. Other guards involved with the reshuffle were mostly those known for their brutality. Sgt. Mutsuhiro Watanabe, known as “The Bird,” was relocated twice after Omori – first to Noestu and to then Mitsushima. In 1945, General Douglas MacArthur included Watanabe as number 23 on his list of the 40 most wanted war criminals in Japan.203 Only after the 1951 Peace Treaty did Watanabe emerge from hiding. He became a successful life insurance salesman. Other guards in the reshuffle included PFC Keitaro Fukijima and Sgt. Kanemasu Uchida, who were sent to Kanose POW Camp. Fukijima was implicated with The Bird in several beatings at Omori HQ Camp. Uchida accumulated a charge sheet of over forty separate incidents at three camps. Colonel Kunji Suzuki only received a life sentence, yet many of the guards and commanders under him were executed. The second trial of Mitsushima guards was the trial of five, including the Camp Commander Captain Sukeo Nakajima. Only four former prisoners testified – two British and two American. There was general disappointment at the Tsuchiya verdict of life imprisonment. The prosecution was going for death penalties. The specifications of the charges ranged from negligence that resulted in deaths, to stealing Red Cross supplies, to physical acts of brutality. The physical acts of brutality were well documented. There was general consistency between affidavits, war diaries, and those interviewed. Some of those who laid the complaints were, however, caught stealing Red Cross supplies and food meant for prisoners. If the guards didn’t deal harshly with a prisoner, the other prisoners would deal to them. At Kanose, when a prisoner was caught stealing food, Azuma beat the prisoner with a stick. American M/Sgt. John Roy said, “If I was holding [that stick], I would kill that God damn son of a bitch!” Some specifications where guards punished prisoners for theft of food were dismissed. All guards charged with stealing Red Cross supplies were found guilty. The strange finding of the trial was that ‘Shorty’ (Rikio Shioiri: the Medical Sergeant) was given a life sentence but other guards were executed. Shioiri was responsible for deciding who was fit to work and who wasn’t. He conducted naked physical inspections of prisoners outside in sub-zero temperatures. Most of the deaths at Mitsushima occurred under his care. Sadaharu Hiramatsu, known as ‘Big Glass Eye,’ was found guilty of being responsible for the deaths of prisoners during the period that he was absent on leave to care for his sick family. He was a decorated soldier, injured in China. He was a disciplinarian, not a sadistic brute. He was also a local who had status. No complaints of brutality were made against him. He was executed due to Hewitt’s ‘balancing the books’ as well as confusion with ‘Little Glass Eye.’ Punk and Rivet Tooth were brutes. They stole, they beat, but they did not kill. 203 Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken. Random House, 2010. 113
After-math Commander, Sukeo Nakajima, was sacked and replaced with his second-incommand, Capt. Tatsuro Kubo. Nakajima was ...
114 Sparrow Mushmouth did kill. He was the interpreter – the link between the camp commander and the prisoners. He was incompetent and he concealed it. Nakajima’s absence from camp handed power to Mushmouth. Mushmouth went beyond his powers to decide who was fit to work. He sent prisoners to their deaths. The decision to execute Nakajima and Mushmouth were justified. Based on the evidence collected, the other guards should have received a sentence whereby they would have been released by 1952. Shioiri and Speedo (Kirishita) received the right sentences. In other words, three guards were executed on poor evidence and legal methods at the time. The third trial of Mitsushima guards was a mismatch. Smiler – the second in charge of the camp – was tried alongside Shichino and Big Speedo (Nojima). Shichino petitioned that he should not have been tried alongside the other two. Based on the evidence collected at the time and since, he should not have been tried at all. In fact, he should have received a medal for his bravery. Shichino begged, bought, and stole medical supplies to treat prisoners. He arrived at the end of January 1943. By that time, 20 had died and the sickbay was full with more than 40. Twenty-five would die of respiratory and digestive failure during the next five months that Shichino was at the camp. No one spoke against Shichino. No one blamed him for causing anyone’s death. He was caught in the midst of a witch-hunt. The other guards at the trial, Big Speedo and Smiler, were responsible for the food at the camp. They fed barley and white rice to prisoners with sensitive digestive tracts – the result of malaria and diarrhea. The undercooked barley ripped through the intestines of the vulnerable prisoners, causing inflammation. It was only after Shichino’s intervention that Nakajima started to observe the food being cooked and served. Due to Nakajima’s regular absences from the camp, Smiler was effectively in control. He should have reigned in Mushmouth and the other guards. He didn’t and prisoners died. In the end, his death sentence was warranted. Big Speedo received a life sentence and was released in 1952. That sentence was fair. The war crimes tribunal failed Shichino three times. He tried to be heard separately and turned down. He was then sentenced to 25 years. Even the clemency requests were turned down. Hewitt, who had a copy of Chater’s diary, clearly stated that Shichino used his own funds to buy medicine for the prisoners. Hewitt should have stressed this point. He didn’t, which is a smear on Hewitt’s character. Hewitt also failed Hiroshi Azuma, the Kanose Camp Commander. Even though Chater, Morris, and Hewitt handed Azuma a signed a letter of commendation to protect Azuma from prosecution, Hewitt gave evidence that led to Azuma receiving a 7-year sentence. Only after protests from other prisoners did Azuma receive clemency. The trials of other accused war criminals for the death of The Sparrows is just as disappointing. The trial of Sergeant Major Eiji Yoshinari, the commander of the Tofuku Maru, and Ship’s Master Shiro Otsu was clumsy. On one 31-day voyage, with two stops on the Mekong and Taiwan, 27 died and most arrived in Japan sick. The sick did
114  Sparrow Mushmouth did kill. He was the interpreter     the link between the camp commander and the prisoners. He was ...
After-math not disembark at either stop; medicine was not distributed. The ship was not marked according to The Hague and Geneva Conventions indicating that prisoners of war were aboard. Although Otsu was found guilty, Yoshinari was acquitted. There is no documentation indicating the sentence given to Otsu. The only accused war criminal tried in Australia to be executed was Kempei-Tai Lieutenant Colonel Yujiro Yutani. Yutani was originally sentenced to 10 years with hard labour for killing ‘Dummy’ Armstrong and Harry Martin while in custody. For some unknown reason, Yutani was transported to Rabaul and executed there. Based on the evidence presented at the original Darwin trial, Yutani should have been executed for the torture and death of the two Sparrow Force soldiers. Hewitt’s desire for ‘balance’ is grossly undone by the precedent it set. While the United States tried to sway the moral compass in its favour in order to set some type of moral high ground, the way the trials were conducted generated a resentment amongst the Japanese. The trials effectively became show trials due largely to the process and admissibility of evidence. There is further resentment of the United States due to their conduct since the war crimes trials. While the International Criminal Tribunal is built on the foundation of the war crimes trials after the war, the United States do not want their soldiers to be subject to the same jurisdiction. Satoko Kogure sums up the current state of the moral compass: There is a direct line that can be drawn from the tribunals to the reinforcement of the Geneva Conventions in 1949. And later, in 1993, the U.N. Security Council established the first international criminal tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo -- the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda followed it in 1994. And in July 2002, when the International Criminal Court (ICC), a permanent war-crimes tribunal based in the Hague, was established according to an international treaty of 1998, the process begun in 1945 appeared to have reached its logical and desired conclusion. However, by consistently opposing the ICC in order to exclude its own troops from accountability under a system of international law first established by its own government, the United States is threatening to unravel much, if not all of the progress of the last 60 years. Military scandals such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have forced the U.S. to drop its requests at the U.N. for exemption for its nationals from prosecution at the ICC, but it has managed to secure bilateral immunity agreements with some 90 countries, ostensibly by threatening the withdrawal of the U.S. economic and military aid. And last July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a foreign aid bill that included the approval of an amendment prohibiting Economic Support fund assistance to any country that is a part of the ICC and has not yet signed the immunity agreement. If it can be argued that MacArthur’s bending of the rules of international law are justified because of the precedent they set and developments they 115
After-math not disembark at either stop  medicine was not distributed. The ship was not marked according to The Hague and ...
116 Sparrow facilitated, can the same be said of current U.S. actions that weaken accountability and reintroduce the notion of victor’s justice with the greater good sacrificed for political expediency? 204 The moral compass clearly sways according to who wins conflicts. Might is right. Herman Goering was not charged with the Blitz, largely due to how the Allies bombed German cities like Dresden. Stalin wasn’t charged for the many atrocities against Germans. No American was tried for bombing a Japanese civilian target. The Second World War was won by the Russians doing the Allies’ dirty work. Today, whenever the UN Security Council raises concerns about human rights abuses, China and Russia abstain or veto intervention. The USA are not a member of the International War Crimes Court because they fear US soldiers would be tried, even though the jurisprudence was founded by them at Nuremburg and Yokohama. So much for moral high ground. Effectively, the way the United States conducted itself during the Class A, B, and C war crimes trials in Japan was ‘Victor’s Justice’ because the same standards applied to the Japanese were not applied to the conduct of their own soldiers. 204 Kogure, op cit.
116  Sparrow facilitated, can the same be said of current U.S. actions that weaken accountability and reintroduce the noti...
After-math Photo 51: A wreath laid by the Author at Hobart’s Cenotaph on 23 February 2004 on behalf of The Sparrows. Luck For this book, the same question was asked to every person interviewed: “Considering so many others died, why do you think you survived?” Their responses were almost unanimous: “Luck!” If one takes into account all the challenges the Allied prisoners of war faced on a daily basis, the chances of their survival are startling. In calculating the odds of Charlie McLachlan’s survival, it is nothing short of a miracle that he returned home in one (somewhat dented) piece. Here is a brief list.     Only one member of the Sparrows was killed in action and Charlie was on sentry duty next to him. The one other member of his unit killed by the Japanese bombing at the surrender was next to Charlie. There was no known cure for cerebral malaria until Dr. Leslie Poidevin injected Quinine into Charlie’s spinal cord. Charlie’s gangrene was disinfected with M & B tablets. Even by Charlie’s admission, he should not have survived. He lost count of the number of close shaves with bullets, bombs, and torpedoes. Charlie wasn’t the only lucky one. The whole of Sparrow Force were lucky. If Singapore hadn’t fallen a few days earlier, the Japanese would have massacred Sparrow Force much like what occurred to Gull Force on Ambon. 117
After-math  Photo 51   A wreath laid by the Author at Hobart   s Cenotaph on 23 February 2004 on behalf of The Sparrows.  ...
118 Sparrow Table 3: Table of Sparrow Force casualty numbers. Sparrow Force 79 LAA Bty RA Unit Size 1852 Not Captured 434 189 (Timor) 61 (Malang) - Total Deaths Australian Army British Army 415 368 47 66 Killed in Action Missing Presumed Dead Wounds Executed Accident Illness  Burma-Siam  Japan  Malaya/Singapore  Java, Sumatra  Australia Drowning after Hellship sunk  Tamahoko Maru  Rakuyo Maru  Junyo Maru  Suez Maru  Other hellships 63 29 21 16 12 128 (Total)  72  33  5  14  4 120 (Total)  114  3  3  0  0 1 0 3 1 4 40 (Total)  5  23  1  1 47 (Timor) 19 (Malang) 17 (Total)  6  4  1  6  2 Fortunately, for Sparrow Force travelling on the Dai Nichi Maru, the United States Navy was still using unreliable First World War submarines and torpedoes. None of the torpedoes that hit the hellship detonated. Others in Sparrow Force were not so lucky. Many Australians were sent to Siam to work on the Death Railway to Burma. Later in the war, they were transported to Japan on hellships where they encountered U.S. submarines with more effective torpedoes. In Japan, many Sparrow Force died within weeks of arriving, mostly due to disease caught during their journey. Others died during freezing cold winter conditions. Later in the war, several died from friendly fire, either from bombing or coastal bombardment by warships. While many saw the Nagasaki atomic blast, several survived within the blast zone.
118  Sparrow  Table 3   Table of Sparrow Force casualty numbers.  Sparrow Force  79 LAA Bty RA  Unit Size  1852  Not Captu...
After-math After the war, the men still faced danger. Sea lanes were mined and typhoons raged. Charlie was witness to the worst aviation disaster in peacetime as more than thirty planes transporting almost a thousand liberated prisoners of war between Okinawa and Manila crashed into the South China Sea. Prisoners of war from China, the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the Philippines held by the Japanese were subject to murder, beatings, summary punishment, brutal treatment, forced labour, medical experimentation, starvation rations, and poor medical treatment. The most notorious use of forced labour was in the construction of the Burma–Thailand Death Railway, where 16,000 Allied POWs died as a direct result of the project. The dead POWs included 6,318 British personnel, 2,815 Australians, 2,490 Dutch, about 356 Americans and a smaller number of Canadians and New Zealanders. After March 20, 1943, the Japanese Imperial Navy was under orders to execute all prisoners taken at sea.205 According to the findings of the Tokyo Tribunal, the death rate of Western prisoners was 27.1%, seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians.206,207 The death rate of Chinese was much higher. Thus, while 37,583 prisoners from the British Empire, 28,500 from the Netherlands, and 14,473 from the United States were released after the surrender of Japan, only 56 Chinese were.208 No direct access to the POWs was provided to the International Red Cross. Escapes among Caucasian prisoners were almost impossible due to the difficulty to hide in Asiatic societies.209 Allied POW camps and ship-transports were sometimes accidental targets of Allied attacks. The number of deaths from US Navy submarine attacks on Japanese hellships was particularly high. Gavan Daws has calculated that “of all POWs who died in the Pacific War, one in three was killed on the water by friendly fire.”210 Dawes states that 10,800 of the 50,000 POWs shipped by the Japanese were killed at sea211 while Donald L. Miller states that “approximately 21,000 Allied POWs died at sea, about 19,000 of them were killed by friendly fire.”212 Although Allied headquarters often knew of the presence of POW’s aboard vessels targeted for attack through radio interception and code breaking, the general policy was to sink the ships anyway, evidently on the basis that the interdiction of critical strategic materials was more important in the long run than the deaths of prisoners-of-war.213 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 Blundell, Nigel. Alive and safe, the brutal Japanese soldiers who butchered 20,000 Allied seamen in cold blood. Daily Mail, 3 November 2007. Yuki Tanaka. Hidden Horrors. 1996. pp.2,3. Burleigh, Michael. The Third Reich—A New History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000. Of the 232,000 Western Allied POWs, 8,348 died (3.5%). pp.512–13. Ibid. Also Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, 2001, p.360. Dawes, Gavin. Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific. Melbourne: Scribe Publications, 1994. Ibid., pp.295–297. Ibid., n.209. p.297. Miller, Donald L. D-Days in the Pacific. Simon & Schuster; 2005. p.317. Michno, Gregory F. Death on the Hellships: Prisoners at Sea in the Pacific War. US Naval Institute Press, June 2001. 119
After-math After the war, the men still faced danger. Sea lanes were mined and typhoons raged. Charlie was witness to the ...
120 Sparrow Of the 36,000 POWs who reached Japan, around 3500 POWs died (9.7%) – proportionally higher than Allied deaths in German POW Camps (3.5%).214 Many died within weeks of arriving in Japan or from Allied bombing. To contrast this, 560,000 to 760,000 Japanese were POWs in the Soviet Union and Mongolia. About 10% died (50–60,000), mostly during the winter of 1945– 1946 in labour camps.215 The West German government set up the Maschke Commission to investigate the fate of German POW in the war. In its report of 1974, they found that about 1.2 million German military personnel reported as missing more than likely died as prisoners of war, including 1.1 million in the USSR.216 In contrast, 3.3 million Russian prisoners (57.5% of the total captured) died during their German captivity.217 Most of Sparrow Force who survived the war were lucky in their own way. Here are some examples:        Val Richards and Keith Hayes survived firing squads; Noel Close’s cigarette tin prevented a bullet to the heart; Don Woolley survived the Sandakan Death March; Claude Longey and Arthur Richardson were rescued from shark infested waters by the US Navy after their hellship was sunk; Many survived the Burma Railway; Some survived the Tamahoko Maru sinking; and A handful survived the atomic bomb explosion in Nagasaki. Peter McGrath-Kerr and Frank Fitzmaurice survived the Burma Railway, Tamahoko Maru, and were close to the epicenter of the Nagasaki explosion. Any way that you look at it, Charlie was right. Taking into account the other possibilities of Charlie’s travels, he did come this distance for the better of it. 214 215 216 217 POW Research Network Japan. Applebaum, Anne. Gulag: A History. Doubleday, 2003. p.431. Maschke, Erich. On the history of German prisoners of war of the Second World War. Bielefeld, E. and W. Gieseking. 1962-1974 Vol 15 p.185-230. Soviet Prisoners of War: Forgotten Nazi Victims of World War II. Historynet.com. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
120  Sparrow Of the 36,000 POWs who reached Japan, around 3500 POWs died  9.7       proportionally higher than Allied deat...
After-math Photo 52: The letter from King George VI welcoming liberated prisoners of war home. Charlie kept his letter folded in the pouch of his service and paybook over the page. 121
After-math  Photo 52   The letter from King George VI welcoming liberated prisoners of war home. Charlie kept his letter f...