The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper ran an article entitled “CPC Played a Central Role in the Second Sino-Japanese War” on July 8. It read:
Liu Yunshan, fifth-ranked member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), gave a speech in which he emphasized, “The CPC played a central role based on the great cause of its ethnic group (during the Second Sino-Japanese War).”
The ceremony was attended by over 1,000 former soldiers who participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War and current military personnel. Liu spoke to restrain Japan in his speech, saying, “The attempt to deny and glorify this history of aggression runs contrary to the tide of historical progress.” He referred to General Secretary and President Xi Jinping as the party’s “core” leader, and said he hopes for the success of the 19th National Congress of the CPC to be held this autumn, when Xi will begin his second term.
Liu also emphasized that the Second Sino-Japanese War lasted for the long period of 14 years. This is based on a movement in China to have a consistent interpretation of the war’s duration as 14 years starting from the 1931 Mukden Incident, rather than the traditional period of eight years from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.
The former Japanese Army mainly fought against the Kuomintang (KMT) army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It has been pointed out that this unified interpretation of the war’s duration – going back to the Mukden Incident, when the KMT had a doctrine of non-resistance – more strongly highlights the central role played by the CPC (according to the Chinese media). It is also likely that this is aimed at indicating the contributions made to the victory in World War II over a longer term.
Xi raised this figure of 14 years in July 2015, and the Ministry of Education has officially notified elementary and junior high schools across China to use it consistently in their teaching materials starting from this year.
It has become clear that the CPC carried out the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which is behind this Chinese movement to change the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War from the Marco Polo Bridge Indecent to the Mukden Incident. Historical commentator Yoshiro Takeshita publishes a column entitled “Reconsideration of the History” on his website, The Teikoku Denmo Show. In his post “Concerning the actuality and significance of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident,” he wrote as follows:
However, the local Chinese government said that the Japanese Army had fired first. When former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama visited the site, he made nonsensical statements such as saying he “had come to repent what had happened at Marco Polo Bridge.” Think about it – would the Japanese Army, during an unarmed military exercise, want to act aggressively against the KMT army that likely possessed weapons? No, of course not.
At the time of the incident, the KMT army was actually fired on just like the Japanese Army. The Japanese Army thought it was being shot at by the KMT army at Marco Polo Bridge, while the KMT army conversely assumed it was being fired on by the Japanese Army. This incident plunged the Japanese Army and KMT army into a state of war, and the two armies could not accept what happened. They negotiated – based on a policy of local resolution and nonexpansion of the incident – and declared a ceasefire five days later.
So, who was it that fired on the Japanese Army and KMT army to make them fight each other?
The Marco Polo Bridge Accident was actually a stratagem by the CPC. Namely, CPC spies fired on the two armies stationed near Marco Polo Bridge under cover of darkness, instigating a fight between them. This is proven by a pamphlet for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers that clearly states, “The Marco Polo Bridge Incident was carried out under the order of our exemplary comrade Liu Shaoqi (who later became president).” When the People’s Republic of China was established on October 1, 1949, Premier Zhou Enlai stated, “At that time (when the Marco Polo Bridge Incident occurred), our army (the PLA) fired on both the Japanese Army and KMT army (under cover of night). This inspired mutual distrust between them, hindered the ceasefire deal, and brought about our (the CPC’s) current glory.” The CPC has confessed, so no further proof is needed.
At that time the CPC was inferior to the KMT. To break free from its hopeless situation, the CPC wanted to exhaust the Japanese Army and KMT army by forcing them to fight and benefitting while they did so (in other words, to achieve dominion over all of China).
Considering this, the Japanese Army was entrapped by the PLA (China) during the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Japan was drawn by China into the Second Sino-Japanese War.
These facts coming to light is disadvantageous to the CPC, which is why I think it changed the starting point of the Second Sino-Japanese War and is saying that it lasted for 14 years.
We must calmly look back at the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japan-China relationship started worsening after the 1928 Huanggutun Incident. The prevailing historical view says the culprit was Colonel Daisaku Komoto of the Kwantung Army, but it has recently become evident that the incident was actually carried out by the Soviet secret service, which falsely portrayed the Kwantung Army as culpable. A report sent home by the Far East bureau of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence directly after the incident said the Soviet Union was responsible (this report was made available to the public in 2007 in the National Archives). Japan owned up to the offense, so Britain ordered a second investigation. The results once again said that the perpetrator was the Soviet secret service, based on the fact that the blasting powder was made in the Soviet Union. Russian author Dmitri Prokhorov also wrote a book based on his original research indicating that the Soviet secret service carried out the Huanggutun Incident. His work was cited in global bestseller Mao: The Unknown Story by husband-and-wife team Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. I went to Saint Petersburg to meet with Prokhorov and invited him to Japan afterwards for a press conference, which the major Japanese media outlets totally ignored. After Zhang Zuolin was assassinated, his devotedly anti-Japanese son Zhang Xueliang caused the Xi’an Incident (a coup d’état in which Zhang [of the Northeastern Army] arrested Chiang Kai-shek [of the KMT] in Xi’an, and forced Chiang to agree to ending the Chinese Civil War). This led to the Second United Front against Japan in 1937. In this way, the Soviet Union worked to encourage greater division between Japan and China.
Why did the Soviet Union tear Japan and China apart? In his book The World is Full of Schemes: Freely Sharing My Views, journalist Masayuki Takayama writes:
The world belonged to the white race until the first half of the 20th century. Qing Dynasty China was for all practical purposes divided and ruled by the white nations based on their own interests.
While China was divided and governed in this way, Japan was victorious in the First Sino-Japanese War that broke out over Korea in 1894. Regarding the interests Japan won in this conflict, the white nations of France, Germany, and Russia carried out the Triple Intervention to make Japan return the Liaodong Peninsula to Qing Dynasty China, by which Russia cleverly leased Port Arthur. This was an indirect cause of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. The white countries, which wanted to ruin both Japan and China, saw Japanese victory as a significant threat, so they devoted efforts to separating Japan and China while weakening both.
The Mukden Incident took place in 1931, starting with the Liutiaogou Incident in which the Kwantung Army set an explosion at its South Manchuria Railway track and pinned the blame on the Chinese army. Japanese textbooks say the Lytton Report acknowledged that the Japanese act was not lawful, but this report is not so simple. During the Tokyo Trials, Indian judge Radhabinod Pal concluded from the Lytton Report that the Mukden Incident was not a war of aggression. The following is an excerpt from “How did Pal See the Mukden Incident?” on the Japan Policy Institute website. Pal said that the special circumstances in Manchuria must be understood to comprehend the Mukden Incident.
Pal wrote about the interpretation of the Lytton Report on Japan’s special position in Manchuria as follows: “All Japanese people have vivid memories of the great war fought with Russia in Manchuria from 1904 to 1905. They fought this war and put their lives on the line to defend their country against the threat of a Russian invasion.”
In other words, Japan’s interests in Manchuria are the result of immense citizen sacrifice. Accordingly, this report indicates its understanding that Japan’s interests differed from those of other countries.
The report’s view is as follows regarding the strategic importance of Manchuria for Japan’s self-defense: “Manchuria is frequently referred to as Japan’s ‘lifeline.’ A fundamental interest of Japan in Manchuria is its strategic importance for self-defense and national survival.”
Through the combination of these treaty-based interests and absolute necessity for national defense, Japan gained a special position in Manchuria.
The international community has also recognized this.
In light of this special position, Pal concluded that Japan had the right to state that the Mukden Incident was “necessary for self-defense.” Japan stressed Manchuria’s importance in defending the country from Russia. It established Manchukuo as an attempt to mitigate the threat facing Japan not by exploiting the region, but by making it more affluent. These actions were all for self-defense, and were certainly not an invasion of China.
However, after the Mukden Incident the white nations were extremely afraid that Japan and China might be integrated, so they implemented a divide-and-rule strategy to bring Japan and China into opposition. The CPC spearheaded the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, but its background included the white nations and Soviet Comintern that wanted Japan and China to clash. The United States provided extensive support to the KMT to gain hegemony of the Pacific Ocean, its long-held wish since Commodore Matthew C. Perry arrived in Japan. Christianity did not gain much popularity in Japan because of the Emperor, but it was spread to a fair degree in China and I suspect there were also religious aspects behind this aid to China. Things were fine from the Meiji Restoration to the First Sino-Japanese War, but the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War threatened the white nations’ continued global hegemony. Their strategy was to prevent Japan from gaining power, which is the true meaning of World War II.
At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference after World War I, Japan submitted a proposal that the abolishment of racial discrimination be clearly stipulated in the Covenant of the League of Nations. However, American President Woodrow Wilson made an inequitable decision on the proceedings, suddenly requiring a unanimous vote rather than a majority, by which the world’s first anti-discrimination stipulation was overturned. Afterwards Japan fought under the banner of racial equality. It was defeated in World War II, yet as a result colonies disappeared and the world was transformed into one of racial equality. This is surely a great international contribution made by Japan. Japanese people must have a correct historical awareness and regain pride in their own country. If we remain brainwashed by the Tokyo Trials viewpoint, I think Japan may become a Chinese autonomous region or American protectorate in the future like its territories of Puerto Rico and Guam.
In the international community, right and wrong is influenced by the logic of power. In the past, the American “nuclear umbrella” shielding Japan was merely a fantasy in regards to the nuclear states of Russia and China. Now it is powerless against North Korea, which has successfully developed small nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The only effective way to guard against nuclear weapons is with nuclear armament, yet Japan is not permitted to have nuclear weapons and cannot manufacture them surreptitiously. That is why I have long insisted that Japan should maintain a nuclear power balance by taking part in nuclear sharing with the U.S., like the American arrangement with the four North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. President Donald J. Trump plans to curtail the U.S. Armed Forces across the globe based on his “America First” policy. To safeguard people and land with its own strength, Japan should amend its constitution, possess offensive weapons that provide deterrence, and enter into a nuclear sharing agreement with the U.S. so it need not be daunted by the threat of nuclear weapons.
We should revise the constitution to make Japan into a country capable of independent self-defense, but this has to be done in two steps. It may be true that over two thirds of National Diet members are in favor of constitutional change, but they have different ideas of what should be revised. Because it would be impossible to revise the second clause of Article 9 in this political climate, I think one option is adding a third clause while keeping the first and second clauses as-is, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed in May. However, this additional clause should allow the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) to have military strength and the right of belligerency as a national defense army, rather than the current JSDF that have police powers.
The media is continually bashing Abe – who raised the idea of adding a new clause to the constitution – for the baseless Moritomo Gakuen scandal. It also keeps criticizing Abe about the Kake Educational Institution scandal without reporting on the testimony by former Ehime Prefectural Governor Moriyuki Kato, who said, “The distorted administration has been reformed.” Still, Abe should stand strong and boldly speak these truths to boost his approval rating, inspiring a citizen movement and submitting a constitutional reform motion by the end of the Diet session in June 2018. Afterwards, it would be good to dissolve the lower house and hold a national referendum and House of Representatives election at the same time to get a majority (in the national referendum). That would be the first step towards constitutional reform. After showing the citizens that constitutional change is possible, we must enact an autonomous constitution that allows for independent self-defense.
Japan’s circumstances are rapidly becoming more severe. Diplomacy analyst Akio Kawato wrote a column in the July 11 issue of Newsweek entitled, “A Severe Global ‘Earthquake’ Could Strike Japan, Which has no Sense of Danger.” He writes that uncertainty is growing across the globe:
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, our neighbor, suspended the additional deployment of the U.S. Armed Forces’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system that serves as a shield against missiles. He is also once again dragging up the comfort women issue with Japan. If South Korea keeps putting aside its relationships with the U.S. and Japan like this, it will likely end up with a weak position against North Korea and China.
It appears that North Korean nuclear missiles will soon be capable of reaching the American mainland, yet the U.S. cannot take the step of using military force that could lead to retaliation against Japan or South Korea. The U.S. has entrusted the North Korea issue to China, and is for all intents and purposes being pushed out of the Korean Peninsula. The Trump administration is being placated by China regarding the South China Sea, and the U.S. Armed Forces cannot do anything about China continually reinforcing its defense of man-made islands.
Japanese people do not have a sense of this danger because most of the media outlets do not convey the truth due to their anti-Japanese stance and anti-Japanese personnel. Japan’s global position is steadily falling because it believes in erroneous textbooks and news reports. If this does not change, Japan will be ruled by China, the U.S., or even North Korea.
Japan must promptly establish a decent constitution and become capable of defending itself.
July 15 (Saturday), 2017 6:00 p.m.