Japan Fought for a World of Racial Equality

Seiji Fuji

Demanding unconditional surrender was aimed at eradicating ethnic groups

 Mikihiko Okada writes a column in A Choice for Tomorrow, the Japan Policy Institute’s monthly magazine, called, “How America Saw the Greater East Asia War: Japan Did Not Know its Enemy.” His article in the October 2023 issue was titled, “Impartial World War II History According to an American Soldier 4: Unconditional Surrender was a Mistake.” It read:

“Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill lacked the most important ability for leaders who determine justifiable war goals and appropriate strategies to accomplish them. At the January 1943 Casablanca Conference in French Morocco, they announced to the world their demand for Japan, Germany, and Italy to surrender unconditionally. Albert Coady Wedemeyer decried this as a terrible, irreversible mistake.” “In Germany, the majority of citizens were part of the anti-Adolf Hitler faction that was not enthusiastic about war. The Allies’ demand for unconditional surrender left Germany no options besides continuing to carry out a thorough resistance all the way until the end.” “Wedemeyer was asked his opinion of the unconditional surrender issue when it came up at the General Staff Headquarters right before the Casablanca Conference.” “He replied that this demand would certainly inspire the German people to fight to the very last soldier, and that it would merely encourage unity among German citizens.” “John R. Deane, secretary of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, agreed with Wedemeyer.” “He said, ‘Demanding an unconditional surrender from the Axis powers (Japan, Germany, and Italy) seems to ignore the fact that this will delay the end of the war, increase the Soviet Union’s power, and bring about disastrous results over a long period of time.’” “Wedemeyer stated as follows: ‘British Major General Feller, a military historian, recognized that the United Kingdom and United States lost justification for their crusade by asking for an unconditional surrender aimed at the eradication of ethnic groups. They are caught in their own trap and have given political hegemony to Joseph Stalin.’” “This American and British demand for the Axis powers’ unconditional surrender was absolutely a means of eradiating ethnic groups. It makes sense that Wedemeyer agrees with Feller, who said they lost ‘justification for their crusade.’ Thus, Wedemeyer denounces the request for Germany’s unconditional surrender because it would prolong the war, completely negate this powerful nation in Europe, and allow Stalin to dominate Europe.”

 The article continues, “The U.S. forced Japan’s unconditional surrender through indiscriminate bombing across the mainland,” and also by “dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with no prior warning.” “Due to its biases, the U.S. powerfully desired to eradicate and exterminate the Japanese ethnic group from the Earth.” This was a way to maintain global control by the white, Christian powers of the West. When asked about the Greater East Asia War, I reply that its purpose was to achieve racial equality across the globe.

 I agree with Kanehara. It only makes sense for an independent nation to defend itself, and it is true that JSDF members are the only ones who can fulfill that role.

Pan-Asianism developed into the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

 Japan rapidly modernized and enhanced its national power through the Meiji Restoration, a response to the threat of being colonized by Western powers. Other Asian countries faced this danger as well. While Japan managed to avoid colonization, other nations such as China, India, and Southeast Asian countries were occupied, divided, and ruled by the West. The concept of “Pan-Asianism” was created during the Meiji period in Japan, which intended to stand against the West and assist other Asian nations in similar circumstances. Japan started the First Sino-Japanese War (1894) and Russo-Japanese War (1904) to ensure security by establishing power on the Korean Peninsula and in Manchuria. It won both wars, and its victory against the white nation of Russia lent great confidence to the people of Asia. It also had lasting effects in the West by inspiring great fear that the “colored” nation of Japan could become the leader of Asia.
Japan, a nation of colored people, was the target of international derision. To change this situation, it submitted a proposal to abolish racial discrimination at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference after World War I. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs describes this in detail on its website, “Historical Diplomatic Holdings: Q&A.”

“The Paris Peace Conference was held after World War I to establish a peace treaty with Germany. Japanese representatives to the conference were given plenipotentiary powers, including Kinmochi Saionji, Nobuaki Makino, and Sutemi Chinda. They were directed to bring up the issue of racial prejudice in addition to the topics of the former German South Seas Mandate and Shandong Problem. At the conference the Japanese delegation made some concessions faced with the negative stances of the UK and other countries, but they continued their negotiations in a tenacious manner with the goal of abolishing racism. For example, Makino stated that ‘racial and religious hatred has been the source of wars and strife.’” “At the final League of Nations committee meeting on April 11, 1919, Makino proposed that the charter’s preamble include a statement affirming the equality of all countries and the impartial treatment of their citizens. It was approved by 11 of the 16 attendees, but American President Woodrow Wilson, who was the chairman, rejected the proposal on the grounds that such an important matter required a unanimous vote. The only thing that remains is the record of proceedings including Makino’s statement and the number of votes for and against Japan’s suggestion.”

 This decision was spearheaded by the U.S. in consideration of the Western countries. It caused great despair among many people of color, and even led to riots by Black citizens in the U.S.
 Japan clearly adopted Pan-Asianism as a diplomatic policy in August 1940 with Minister for Foreign Affairs Yosuke Matsuoka’s first use of the term “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” setting forth a diplomatic concept that established the idea of Pan-Asianism. On August 2, the Evening Edition of the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun printed an article titled, “Start of Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere: Cooperation With Friendly Nations That Agree.” According to the article, Matsuoka said that Japan’s diplomatic policy was “to first establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, including Japan, Manchuria, and China.” He called for “cooperation with friendly nations that agree with this concept” and “determined, intrepid efforts to achieve the ideals and duties that have been given to our ethnic group by heaven.” This did not mean Japan would carry out Western-style exploitation in Asia; these nations would be liberated from imperialism and joined together with Japan through relationships of co-existence and co-prosperity. Japan embarked on the Greater East Asia War in 1941 according to this ideal.

Japan’s first international summit was not a farce

 The Greater East Asia Conference gave concrete form to this vision on November 5 and 6, 1943 in Tokyo. It is described in detail in “3. Highlights of the Great War: Greater East Asia Conference” in The Holy Mission of DAI-TOA (Tendensha), edited by Futaranosuke Nagoshi.

“Japan put on this event, the first top-level conference in the country. It was also the first international conference in Asia by an Asian nation for Asian nations. Another appropriate name would have been the ‘1943 Asian Summit.’” “There was never before a chance for Asian people to gather in one venue, increase their sense of unity, and discuss common issues. This is because Japan and Thailand were the only independent nations with long histories. Other countries had their independence stolen away: the Philippines were colonized by the U.S., while Burma and India were British colonies.”
The conference was attended by leaders from Japan, the Republic of China, Thailand, Manchuria, the Philippines, and Burma, as well as Subhash Bose from India. They adopted the Joint Declaration of Greater East Asia Conference, consisting of five general principles: co-existence and co-prosperity, independence and friendly relations, cultural elevation, economic development, and contribution to global progress. Proponents of the Tokyo Trials said this conference was a “farce drawing together representatives of puppet regimes.” Author Yusuke Fukada, who was just 12 at that time, actually met the Thai representative. Based on his memories, he wrote that these leaders were all “outstanding figures” – they were nothing at all like puppets.

 The Holy Mission of DAI-TOA evaluates World War II as follows:

“It is true that we were defeated in the war, and that the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere collapsed, leaving our ambitions unfulfilled. However, this did not sever the path of independence opened up by our grandfathers along with their Asian brethren. The war led to the liberation of colonies from Asia to Africa, resulting in the birth of numerous independent nations.” “The Asian-African Conference (held in 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia) can be regarded as the second Greater East Asia Conference. Twenty-nine countries attended, a larger number than before. The United Nations General Assembly released its Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960 after many African nations achieved independence and joined the UN.” “Aimed at co-existence and co-prosperity throughout Greater East Asia, the Co-Prosperity Sphere has been partially revived as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).” “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC) is also the same concept as the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” “Congress participants and other Asian counties have grown and developed steadily in this region that is gaining the power to positively affect the world in the political and economic fields. Our grandfathers sowed seeds in Asia that are being steadily tended.”
Japan, not the West, achieved its war goal

 Japanese people are not the only ones who actively recognize the significance of the Greater East Asia War. Let us look at Japan was a Victor Nation in the Great East Asia War: “The Pacific War” is America’s Brainwashing by Henry Scott-Stokes, a British journalist. He lucidly writes:

“Japan was a victor in the Greater East Asia War – this is a solemn fact of world history. Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz penned On War from 1818 to 1830, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Clausewitz was head of the military academy at that time. In his book, he wrote that the victor is the one that has achieved its war objective. This was understood by Churchill and all leaders and generals from major powers that fought against the Japanese military. These countries battled Japan with the goal of maintaining their colonial rule in Asia. Asian countries began gaining independence during World War II. The era of Western colonial rule, which lasted for hundreds of years, suddenly met its demise. Did these Western suzerain states accomplish their war goals, or did Japan achieve its goals? For Japan, the Greater East Asia War was firstly a fight for existence and self-defense. But from the beginning, Japan also set forth the goal of establishing a new East Asian order. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo gave a speech at a conference on February 16, 1942, where he said, ‘The objective of the Greater East Asia War is for ethnic groups in Greater East Asia to obtain their own nations, and to build a new order of mutual prosperity and coexistence founded on moral principles with the empire at its heart. This is totally different from the West’s stance on East Asia.’” “The Communist Party and other members of the left wing describe the Greater East Asia War as a ‘war of aggression,’ but is this correct? The historical facts clearly show that it was also a conflict to liberate Asia, one entirely different from America’s wars of conquest or the British Empire’s colonial rule. I have come to think that we can only clarify Japan’s reasons for fighting the war – and the results it caused across the globe – with a global, birds-eye view of the history of civilization.”

 Many new facts about the Greater East Asia War have been unearthed, 78 years after the end of the war. This information has overturned Japanese peoples’ long-held assessments of World War II. We can no longer maintain the view that Japan unilaterally started the war; the American government was clearly biased against people of color, and it plotted to take part in the war in Europe. Today, I believe we should fully re-examine the significance of the Greater East Asia War and call it by its true name.

October 23 (Monday), 6:00 p.m.