Prime Minister Abe Has the Right to Visit Yasukuni Shrine
The Spiritual Message of Hideki Tojo: Discussing “The Truth of the Greater East Asia War”
Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine provoked harsh criticism from not only China and South Korea, but also from the U.S.
The reason behind it was an old idea about Japan that circulated around the time of World War Two. American wartime propaganda labeled Japan as an “evil country” as well as “a fascist nation”. The U.S. government at the time promoted a view of World War Two as a battle between “democracy and fascism”.
Yet, Japan wasn’t really an “evil” nation because it fought in a war. Can people really say that victorious nations are good and defeated nations are bad?
Master Okawa of the Happy Science Group publicly called forth the spirit of Hideki Tojo, who was convicted as a class A war criminal at the Tokyo Trials, to address the issues with concern to Yasukuni Shrine.
Tojo was the Prime Minister at the outbreak of war. He was the highest governing official at that time.
What did Tojo say in his spiritual message? He has remained at the center of the Yasukuni controversy even though 70 years have passed since the end of war. What was he responsible for, and what did he think about the credit he received for his actions?
Below is an excerpt from that session. This spiritual message is a “must read” for people who are interested in the Yasukuni controversy in these greatly changing times.
Hideki Tojo (1884-1948)
Japanese military officer and politician. Army General. Born in Tokyo. Graduated from Army War College, served as chief of staff of the Kwantung Army, Minister of War and, in 1941, was appointed Prime Minister of Japan. As the highest ranking person at the outbreak of the Pacific War, concurrently held multiple ministerial positions and the position of Chief of the General Staff, but resigned en masse from the Cabinet following the fall of Saipan. Following Japan’s defeat in the war, was convicted as a class-A war criminal at the UN-held International Military Tribunal for the Far East and was executed by hanging in 1948.
Asking the spirit of former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo about the “Truth of History”
Ryuho Okawa: There is one point of contention I would like to mention relating to problems arising from the issue of visiting Yasukuni Shrine.
In fact, Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines a number of class-A war criminals, at the top of the list of whom is Hideki Tojo, was established before the war, not after as many have been led to believe. This shrine, which also enshrines loyalists who died during the Meiji Restoration, has been in existence since ancient times, and was not created for the purpose of honoring class-A war criminals.
The issues that have arisen in response to visits to Yasukuni Shrine by prominent members of the Japanese government result from major changes in the times, involving people’s judgments on what is right and wrong.
While it has been confirmed that those who fought and won in the Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War during the Meiji restoration have gone to Heaven, it is uncertain whether those who lost in the Second World War have gone to hell. Is it really that case that people go to Heaven or Hell merely on the basis of whether or not they are winners or losers?
However, with politicians, there are many cases in which those who are assassinated return to Heaven and become gods, so the mechanisms behind this are difficult to comprehend and there are still aspects that we do not yet understand. Even in America, assassinated Presidents become gods, so it really is difficult to understand.
Therefore, I am not sure if today’s points of issue will prove beneficial for the Happiness Realization Party. While they may not be pleasing, our assertion is that “The truth is the truth and nothing but the truth.” With this in mind, given that Hideki Tojo is the central figure concerning Japan’s wartime responsibility as well as the issue of Yasukuni Shrine, I would like to call him here today not only to ask him about his thoughts on what happened back then but to also approach things from a range of other angles, such as what he thinks about the situation today, as well as the actions of the Abe administration, the forces opposing these, and the various conditions of foreign powers.
He was sentenced to hang as an A-class war criminal, but what does he think of this now? Also, what was the nature of the overall scheme of things at the time, including information from the spiritual world? Or, did the Showa Emperor get away with not having to take responsibility for the war because Tojo took on the responsibility himself?
Today’s debates on whether to amend the Constitution are moving from the relaxation of procedures through amendments to Article 96 to amendments of Article 9; at the same time, however, in respect to Japan’s Emperor system, there are also movements seeking to position the Emperor as the clear head of state.
It is certainly the case that the Meiji Emperor and the Showa Emperor were, at the very least, heads of state, and that they had ultimate responsibility when it came to war. In other words, at the outbreak of the Second World War, the Showa Emperor was head of state and therefore had ultimate responsibility for the war.
However, following his Declaration of Humanity and change in status from a living god to a symbol of national unity, there was some ambivalence over whether he was head of state, leading to the interpretation that he was head of state in form but not in substance. This is why attempts are underway to reestablish him as a “substantial head of state” through amendments to the Constitution.
However, if he becomes a “substantial head of state”, he would have to take responsibility for war; therefore, it goes without saying that, as head of state, he would be responsible for such things as whether or not Japan goes to war, and whether Japan wins or loses in the event of a war.
While I do not wish to envisage a scenario in which Japan is occupied solely by North Korea, if Japan is not able to take a more aggressive stance toward China and is unable to amend its constitution, there is an extremely high likelihood that it will be occupied. Moreover, it is also quite possible that other scenarios will occur, such as a turnabout in military power between America and China, or America deciding to cast away Japan in favor of an alliance with China as a result of China’s growth, which is why I feel a sense of impending crisis in Japan’s Emperor system.
If amendments to the Constitution extend to these kinds of areas, I cannot completely rule out the possibility that they will be directly linked to the end of the Emperor system.
Was Japan’s finest individual Hideki Tojo really a “villain”?
Ryuho Okawa: As you can see, there are many different perspectives surrounding these issues, which are why today I would like you to summon Hideki Tojo as a representative from those times and question him from a range of perspectives, using your skills to elicit his thoughts on these matters.
Three million Japanese people died during the war; because of this,Hideki Tojo cannot run away from his responsibility for his role in these deaths. On the other hand, I would not be wrong in saying that he was one of Japan’s finest individuals at the outbreak of the war. I believe that he was the most intelligent person in Japan at the time and was an excellent general.
Commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet Yamamoto Isoroku was also a person of the highest caliber, but was defeated in spite of these qualities? Or, was he defeated because he was a bad person? Or perhaps he was just bad to begin with? These questions warrant further investigation.
I would like to examine these issues in today’s spiritual investigation. While this may send shockwaves through the very foundations of the Happiness Realization Party, the party must undertake an honest review of both sides of the argument in matters relating to the legitimacy of any views that it seeks to declare in the future.
However, even supposing that Japan is deemed to have been at fault in the Second World War, I do not believe the notion that, “A country is bad, so all of the people currently living in that country are by extension also bad, which is why it is okay to unilaterally invade and occupy that country.”
Prime Minister Abe has been criticized for his “insufficient awareness of history”, which is why I would like to ascertain the legitimacy of what he is seeking to achieve.
By the way, it was current President of South Korea Park Park Geun-hye who made the above remark concerning Abe. Her father, former President of South Korea Park Chung-hee, was a graduate of a Japanese military academy, and in the interim between the wars even rose up to the rank of lieutenant in the Manchukuo Imperial Army.
In this sense, we can clearly see how there was no discrimination between Japan and Korea, and that Japanese and Koreans were treated as complete equals – if anything, Koreans may have been treated as greater than equals. Irrespective of this, although this person’s daughter chooses to completely disregard these facts and made statements of a kind that place unilateral blame on Japan, it was her father who, after the war, went on to become major general of the South Korean army and then President of South Korea – here, we would not be wrong in saying that his experiences in Japan served as a springboard for his future career in South Korea. It is no doubt from this point on that he started to win his promotions.
Meanwhile, in contrast to Japan, none of the Western nations treated the peoples of the Asian countries that they colonized with such courtesy. For example, when the British colonized India, they did not treat Indians in a way befitting military officers, whereas Japan dealt with Taiwan on an equal footing. The fact that Lee Teng-hui (former President of the Republic of China) continued to speak positively of Japan testifies to the fact that he had no recollections of ever having met with discrimination.
I do think there were some small differences between them, so it is my hope to also examine these today.
Invoking the spirit of former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo
Ryuho Okawa: (To the questioner) Today, I would like you to ask Hideki Tojo questions on a variety of matters while examining the nature of his personality.
I will do my utmost to faithfully convey his opinions.
The content is of an extremely serious nature, dealing as it does with such grave issues as Japan’s future, the world’s future and war and peace and involving the complex problem of the interpretation of history between two or three countries, which is why we must choose our words carefully. While not on par with the spiritual words of His Majesty the Emperor, his ranking is one below this and we will therefore need to pay particular care when choosing our words.
Without any further ado, we shall begin.
Former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan at the outbreak of the Pacific War and general of the Imperial Japanese Army who acted as both Army Minister and Home Minister, we invite you to the headquarters of Happy Science, where it is our humble intention to question you in earnest on a range of matters pertaining to the war and the actions of the current Abe administration.
Former Prime MinisterHideki Tojo – we beseech you to descend to the headquarters of Happy Science and speak to us in earnest.
(A silence of around 20 seconds ensues)
The series of events that drove Japan to declaring war
– Am I speaking to former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo?
Hideki Tojo: Yes, it is he.
– We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for gracing us with your presence at Happy Science headquarters today.
Japan is currently in a state of crisis, one cause of which lies in issues relating to its awareness of history of the period from prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War to around the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
In particular, people have placed all blame on the class-A war criminal Hideki Tojo without stopping to think about the truth of this.
Hideki Tojo: I see.
– We believe that Japan has no future unless light is shed on what truly happened during this period of history.
In this sense, we presumed to summon you here today to tell us what really happened during those days.
Hideki Tojo: I see.
– We would like to begin by asking you why the Greater East Asia War broke out.
Did you really agree with declaring war? Or, did you have a desire to conquer Asia? We would like you to begin by relating the facts as they were.
Hideki Tojo: America is always up to the same old tricks. Even now, they are starving out the people of North Korea; at that time, though, they viewed Japan in the same way North Korea.
Just look at wartime propaganda about our people: Japanese people were depicted as yellow monkeys and were not seen as humans. In other words, this was a clear policy of racial discrimination under which Japanese people were deemed to be monkeys.
Furthermore, many people emigrated from Japan to America; however, even before the war, there were laws in place that sought to drive out Japanese immigrants (Immigration Act of 1924). This law had its intended effect, with Japanese people living on the West Coast experiencing ostracism and severe hardships as a result.
Like with Jewish quarters, they were forced into places akin to ghettos and were unable to work – thus, we can say that discrimination already existed before the war and that they were forced to live under such dire circumstances in which they were not far off being prisoners of war.
Japan’s sovereignty over Manchuria was a thorn in America’s side
Hideki Tojo: One major reason for this was that America was far from impressed by our sovereignty over Manchuria.
Simply put, Japan went to Manchuria with the aim of obtaining mining rights for raw materials such as iron ore and coal, but America also had the same intentions and demanded that Japan let them develop these resources on a joint basis. However, Japan did not agree to this, given that they had in effect beaten them to it. Enmity towards Japan stemmed from incidents such as these.
America’s pre-planned headlong dive into war
Hideki Tojo: Their retaliation for this was an embargo on oil. The imposition of the ABCD encirclement (embargoes against Japan by America, Britain, China, and the Dutch) aimed to bring Japan to a standstill by not allowing raw materials and oil to enter Japan. Even if Japan had warships, without heavy oil it would be immobilized. The generation of power would also be impossible. Fuel was indeed one of our weaknesses, although I would not go so far as to say we did not have a single drop left.
They knew that if they did thus, Japan would be forced to expand southwards. Naturally, they had planned this all along – they knew that Japan would go to Indonesia and other places where there was a prospect for oil fields. They did this because they intended to force Japan to attack in a southerly direction – they knew that Japan would do this if constricted in this way.
I think we played right into their hands – I was well aware of this at the time, but we had no choice.
At the very least, America assumed in advance that Japan would attack the southern front extending to northern Australia, and their map exercises had therefore already ended during the Taisho period. In fact, they already had plans in place almost 20 years prior to the outbreak of war, and even included a hypothetical surprise attack on Hawaii in their strategies. It is this that I would like to state clearly from the outset. It is a fact that Japan was driven into taking the action that it did as a result of these circumstances.
It was when Japan had beaten Russia, a country that even France (Napoleon) could not defeat, that America began to make clear calculations for a future war with Japan.
To be frank, America’s annexation of Hawaii in 1898 meant that it was now within one or two days distance from Taiwan, which is why it also had designs on Taiwan. While it wanted to create its own military ports or colonies in the Far East in the vicinity of China, it calculated that this would be impossible if Japan was strong.
It was Japan’s victory over Russia that proved decisive, furthering cementing America’s resolve to go to war with Japan.
An alliance between Japan and the United Kingdom could have averted war
– While the majority of historical evaluations are of the opinion that the government at the time harbored intentions to invade, some also say that MacArthur subsequently noticed that “That was a war for Japan’s self-defense.”
In addition, it is said that the Showa Emperor entrusted you with his hopes for averting war, and that you had been searching for ways to avoid war right up until when you were confronted with the Hull note.
In light of this, please set the record straight once and for all as to whether you were really trying to avert war.
Hideki Tojo: Well, it might have been different if there had been even one country among the Western world powers which was sympathetic towards Japan and had tried to forge connections with it. While of course Germany and Italy did so, it was a major blow to have lost Britain from among the Anglo-Saxon nations. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance might have been a means of averting war.
It is a generally known fact that when the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was annulled, Britain had already resolved to go to war against Japan. “We cannot let Japan win any more than this. They won against Qing China; they won against Russia; during the First World War, they were part of the group of winning nations – their power is increasing. While they are being held in check through disarmament, they cannot be held at bay forever.” These were no doubt the kinds of sentiments that Britain harbored at the time.
However, from the perspective of Japan, it was the sharp decline in stock prices on Wall Street that brought about the Great Depression, and it was America that exported recession to the world. The Showa Depression of 1930 brought about great hardship in Japan, with people in the Tohoku region even having to sell their daughters. I am sure you are well aware of this but their daughters could not go to school and were sold off as geisha, and nobody could eat without leaving Japan and settling in Manchuria.
The impact of the depression at this time was immense; to put it bluntly, we were so aggrieved about what had happened that we wanted to seek compensation.
Japan had expended vast amounts of money during the Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War, plunging into fiscal hardship and leaving it with little to gain. The damage this caused Japan was immense and the land was in a state of ruin, which is why as a country this was akin to sustaining earthquake damage.
The real enemy should have been communism in the Soviet Union and China
Hideki Tojo: Therefore, resorting to an alliance as a diplomatic expedient, Japan teamed up with the scientifically-advanced nation of Germany through an anticommunism pact. With the addition of Italy, this led to the signing of the Tripartite Pact between Japan, Germany and Italy. However, I must say straight that the purport of the anticommunism pact was not wrong when viewed in light of developments which took place following the war.
I feel that America was in the wrong. It is because America won that communism spread throughout the world and brought about decades of suffering.
The real enemies should have been the Soviet Union and China.
However, the fact that we lost meant that I was unable to give any kind of justification for what we did; I was tried under a military tribunal, forced to take responsibility for defeat and became a class-A war criminal. But this was a complete violation of international law. Those who have been disarmed have no means of resisting. Whether death by hanging or by firing squad – at the end of the day, it was inevitable and they could do as they pleased. Yet, I have a problem with being told that this was anything like justice.
It is because America also had great people like President Lincoln. Despite engaging in the American Civil War, Lincoln attempted to reunify America without questioning his responsibility once the war had come to an end. This war was fought on the principle of “regular troops vs. regular troops”; while there may have been a resolution when it came to an end, I think it was a mistake to unilaterally judge one party as being in the wrong and the other as being completely right.
Roosevelt, the man who got wind of the Japanese Army’s attack on Hawaii
Hideki Tojo: Franklin Roosevelt was also someone who could have done something about it. However, even with the “surprise” attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, they had already finished deciphering the telegram before the Japanese embassy and knew we were going to attack but still allowed us to do so. They abandoned the 3,000 people on board the America Arizona and others. They let Japan attack despite this advance knowledge. They had managed to get wind of what was going to happen.
One could say that we were stupid and fell right into their trap.
At the very least, despite overwhelming victories in the first year, from the second year we began to sustain a number of losses.
We saw clearly that we would not be able to keep fighting for more than two years, and that anything more than this would be a losing battle. America had oil, iron ore, plentiful food, and a high level of industrial productivity, and we would lose if it began to mobilize its forces in earnest. Almost everyone returning from abroad around this time was of this opinion.
However, in a decision like that of the Russo-Japanese War, I at least wanted to bring about a draw.
The Ideology of Racial Discrimination at the Heart of the West:
A war that was started not through the actions of the military but the collective will of the people
– I would like to ask you something else. Among those who oppose amendments to the Constitution, there are those who are of the opinion that, for instance, amidst the events surrounding the May 15 Incident and February 26th Incident, it was the power of the military to exclude party politics and form a military dictatorship that led to the outbreak of war. Do you have anything to say which might counter this argument?
Hideki Tojo: Well, postwar history has a long tradition of creating philosophy of a kind that places all responsibility on the actions of an “out of control military” and which argues that Japan will remain peaceful as long as the military is regulated.
“Make defense expenditure 1% of GDP – or perhaps GNP?” “Japan will continue to prosper as along as we protect the Constitution.” We constantly see sentiments such as these which make out that the military are bad guys, and I am made out to be the “boss of these villains.”
However, I responded to the mandate of the people. The general consensus in Japan at the time was over 90% in favor of going to war. It was definitely in excess of 90%. In all honesty, it was the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper that was at the forefront of those who felt that we could not allow them to get away with it. “We cannot let them get away with it under any circumstances!” they said.
– Who were they referring to by “not let them get away with it?”
– I mean, were they referring to America?
Hideki Tojo: Yes. And Europe.
The West’s ideology of white supremacy was identical to Hitler’s ideas of an Aryan master race
Hideki Tojo: This is because racism was clearly the foundation of Western ideology. “We cannot allow the yellow race to copy the white race. You lot aren’t part of the supreme race. That’s why we can’t permit you to have the right of supremacy or colonies in other countries. We can’t let anyone other than whites have colonies.” In this respect, they were no different to Hitler.
Honestly speaking, the idea that people from the Caucus are a chosen people is exactly the same as that of Jews being “God’s chosen people.” Hitler had exactly the same elitist ideas as the Jews he was suppressing; however, in fact America also held these exact same views.
In addition, Britain also subjected India to nearly a century of colonial rule through this doctrine of white supremacy. Amazing, isn’t it? Such a long time! (Note: Prior to this, the East India Company had effectively colonized India through the control it held here for over 250 years)
During this time, all they did was continue to exploit India for its resources, such as food, keeping it in a state of perpetual poverty. They were not administering the colonies for the benefit of India’s development. It was pure exploitation. Whenever there was an uprising, all they did was keep shooting people to death.
Following the war, Gandhi undertook the Salt Satyagraha and succeeded in getting across his messages of non-violence and disobedience, although he was only able to do so because the Indians had seen the Japanese army routing the British in India. This probably led them to think that being Asian does not make them inferior. Japan fought against Britain and France and won, and also beat Holland. All those who saw Caucasians losing at the hands of Japanese people like this gained independence after the war.
Hakkoichiu (eight corners of the world under one roof), a vision of peace and prosperity at odds with Western aggression
Hideki Tojo: Having said this, we also did what we did for our own self-defense, and there are some who might say that Japan went into other countries in search of resources. While it is true that we may have needed resources, I would like to make it clear that, for our (Asian) compatriots, the gaining of independence was not the only result.
At a stage prior to the occurrence of what the West sees as “invasion”, Japan had already attempted to introduce the whole world to the majesty of Shinto in the form of its unique vision of hakkoichiu (eight corners of the world under one roof). In other words, this was an idea which sought to bring together the whole of the Pacific Rim so that “our universal brothers could live in peace under the benevolence of the Emperor and the sun goddess Amaterasu Oomikami.” Japan did what it did based on these ideas of peace and prosperity for all, and its vision did not contain any of the kinds of ideology that sought the perpetual affirmation of aggressive invasion as seen in the West. I will not retract what I have said here, no matter how many times they sentence me to death.
Japan, a developed nation of equality which realized the principle of “equality for all the people” during the Meiji Restoration
Hideki Tojo: To put it bluntly, I think that the history of America is a “history of slavery.”
Many years later, Martin Luther King and others remarked that, “Based on the American Constitution, Lincoln declared in his Gettysburg Address that ‘All are created equally by God.’ This influenced the principle of ‘equality for all the people’ during the Meiji Restoration.” However, while Japan did indeed realize equality for all the people, in America discrimination against black people continued for nearly a century afterwards. Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.
A century on and Gandhi was also assassinated, and it was around this time that the Black People’s Liberation Movement (civil rights movement) of King et al. began. King himself was then assassinated and grass roots movements gradually began to spread; however, up until then white people and black people did not ride on the same buses, did not use the same toilets and went to separate schools, all of which was done without question. Although slavery had been abolished, discrimination of this kind still existed, and slums also continued to exist. Now that Obama has become President, he is no doubt trying to do his best for black people.
I can state clearly that, in the sense of equality, Japan is a much more developed nation. America has had a much stronger awareness of discrimination. Therefore, I would find it difficult to accept anyone as a real Japanese man who was called a “yellow monkey” and was not angered by this.
The Truth behind the Foundation of Manchukuo:
Manchukuo itself was validly established under international law
Hideki Tojo: I would like to mention one more thing that present day Japanese people are unaware of. During the Sino-Japanese War, Japan fought against and defeated Qing China, Qing being a Manchu country.
Japan fought against the Manchus and won. This was followed by the collapse of Qing China and the withdrawal of the Manchus to Manchuria, where they formed a country. This has been called a “puppet state” and is now viewed negatively in history; however, they were Manchus and were different to Han Chinese.
They (the Manchus) realized that if they were part of the same country as the Han Chinese, it would be their turn to be on the side of the oppressed, and would be enslaved and killed.
It is a fact that Japan assisted the Manchus in their efforts to create a country. While of course there is no denying that there were benefits for Japan, too, at the end of the day all they wanted was a place to call home. This is the truth.
Manchukuo itself was validly established under international law.
It is true that Japan was involved in the administration of Manchukuo. In respect to the opinions of the international community on this, the surrounding developed nations saw clearly that “Manchukuo cannot be administered solely by the Manchus, and it therefore falls upon Japan as the country which won the Sino-Japanese War to continue to maintain its security. If it does not, the country will be attacked by the Han, seized and then fall into ruin.”
The word “China” refers to a country that has experienced repeated invasions and pillaging by a number of different peoples. This is why it is a major fallacy to conceive of the current People’s Republic of China as something that has existed continuously without end. In fact, I have no recollection of ever having fought against the People’s Republic of China that was created by Mao Zedong.
We fought against Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China, which relocated to Taiwan. Japan currently enjoys good relations with Taiwan, which is why China makes the kinds of invidious statements that it does. I think is unforgivable how they take a stand on things which have nothing to do with them as if they were somehow at their detriment.
Thoughts on the issues surrounding Yasukuni Shrine
– Do you feel you could have stopped the war? Or did you have no choice?
Hideki Tojo: Well, at the end of the day, this was an issue concerning the person at the top, so if the American president wanted to go to war then there were no two ways about it: war was inevitable.
– Were there really no two ways about it?
Hideki Tojo: Yes, I believe so. They were out to get Japan and in some respects we fell into their trap.
If not, they probably would have attacked us. Yes, I think America would have attacked Taiwan, Korea or Manchuria. It would have been one of these places. While it would seem there is no longer anyone from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry around these days (top executives from the former Ministry of International Trade and Industry), if somewhere like the Ministry of International Trade and Industry were to do the calculations they would have a fairly clear idea of what was afoot. “How far can we squeeze Japan before it takes action of some kind?” If someone were to do a calculation of Japan’s material resources, they would know the answer to this question straight away.
Before this, the American President had to gain the support of public opinion, but was unable to persuade the general public.
This would have also been possible for Franklin Roosevelt if he had had a reason for going to war with Japan; instead, unable to find anything with which to persuade the general public, he resorted to creating the strategy of forcing Japan into making a surprise attack.
Make no mistake: it was the calculated actions of the intelligence bureau (equivalent to today’s CIA) which lured Japan in.
The possibility that the whole of Japan would have been colonized if war had been averted
– What would have happened if you had taken a pacifist stance and stated that you would take no action, even if you were attacked?
Hideki Tojo: It would have meant surrender. Instant surrender. Surrender from the very outset.
Hideki Tojo: Yes. Surrender from the very outset.
– What do you think would have happened to Japan in this case?
Hideki Tojo: The whole of Japan would most likely have become an American colony.
– A colony?
Hideki Tojo: The war resulted in Okinawa only becoming a colony for around 20 years, didn’t it?
Hideki Tojo: In this case, the Americans were in charge for around 20 years; however, (if Japan had surrendered) the whole of Japan would have become an American colony.
– If you have accepted the Hull note in order to avoid war, would Japan have still become a colony?
Hideki Tojo: Yes. It would have still become a colony. And America would not only have taken Japan but also the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria.
– I see.
Hideki Tojo: Make no mistake: it would have happened exactly as I have described. Once Japan had become a colony, the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria would also have become colonies.
– Was this Roosevelt’s intention….?
Hideki Tojo: Following this, they would no doubt have gone on to colonize the Republic of China – i.e. today’s Taiwan. You can be bet your life on it!
– The Americans intended to go that far?
Hideki Tojo: Think about: to them, we were yellow monkeys. They were not about to grant human rights to yellow people. And their elder cousins in Europe were no different.
The reason why atomic bombs were dropped on Japan rather than Germany was racial discrimination
– Incidentally, President Truman dropped these bombs, which, some say, were not necessary. What, though, has happened to him after death?
Hideki Tojo: Well, call him and find out. I am one of the enemy, so perhaps what I have to say is unreliable. Call him and you will soon find out – I think it would be good for your investigations. Yes, you should also carry out legitimate investigations on the other side. (See Spiritual Messages From Truman)
However, at the very least the theory that America dropped the bomb in order to bring about the end of the war gained currency in Japan after the war.
Hideki Tojo: “Because of this, Japan did not come under Soviet rule. As a result, Japan at last made moves towards surrender, the Emperor issued his imperial rescript on the termination of the war and the war ended early, which was good.” “From the outset, America intentionally spared historical cities with cultural properties such as Koto and Nara.” Both of these theories are lies.
It is because (America) was itching to try out its nuclear bombs, but did not drop them on Germany. The Nazis massacred 6.5 million Jews, so one would think that the Americans would have had no qualms about dropping their bombs on Germany, but they had no intention of doing so whatsoever. They did not want to drop them on Germany for the simple reason that they were fellow Caucasians. However, they had no qualms about dropping them on Japan, as they treated Japanese people as they did black people. In other words, this treatment followed the same patterns as that of black people from Africa.
More than anything, they wanted to test the power of nuclear bombs. They conducted experiments in the Nevada Desert, but these alone were not enough. What they wanted to do was to show the world their actual destructive power and use this to enhance their own national prestige. They had this idea clearly in mind. However, if the war ended then they would not be able to drop them. Thus, the truth of the matter is not that the war ended early because they dropped them but actually that they did not allow the war to end sooner than it did because they wanted to test them.
– I see.
Hideki Tojo: The actual war had already ended by about 1944.
Yes, it had already ended. The war had in effect already ended around about the time of the airstrikes on Tokyo. However, they did not feel like quitting. In reality, they wanted to test their nuclear bombs.
The decision over the rights and wrongs of visiting Yasukuni Shrine should be left to the Japanese people, the descendants of those enshrined there
– There is no denying that it was the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that formed the basis for these kinds of fanciful tales and the labeling of Japan as “bad.”
And then you were also executed as a class-A war criminal.
Hideki Tojo: Yes, but this was not as a result of the tribunal. No, the tribunal was not the reason for this. The reason why I was executed goes back to before the war.
Hatred of Japan and the desire to attack us were around before even the war began, so it by no means started with the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. From the outset, the West saw Japanese people as “yellow monkeys”, which is why there is very little difference between their attitudes towards us and Nazi discrimination against the Jews.
– While I understand where you are coming from regarding this racism, you and several others were executed at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East as class-A war criminals.
Even today, the impact of the tribunal lingers in other forms, such as the issue of visits to Yasukuni Shrine. The daughter of Park Chung-hee is the current President of South Korea; on a recent visit to America, she appealed to the American President that “Japan’s awareness of history is erroneous.”
There are also those in Japan who feel that visiting Yasukuni Shrine is not appropriate, but I would like to ask your opinion on issues concerning the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and class-A war criminals.
Hideki Tojo: Those of us who have gone to the other world do not have any particular right to make demands. Therefore, we cannot request either way whether people should or should not visit Yasukuni Shrine. Whether people do or do not wish to visit the shrine is up to them, and we are in no position to force our opinions on them. I guess it is a problem of how our descendants judge what we did during those days.
However, at the very least I must object to foreign countries muscling in and telling Japan what to do. This is what I really want to say to them.
Japan, the country which stood up against American ambitions:
The West, where mainstream thought was to leave governance of Asia in the hands of Japan
– What would you like to say in respect to countries such as China, South Korea and America?
Hideki Tojo: Well, as countries, (China and Korea) could barely form governments of a kind that could enter into legitimate negotiations. If they had had decent personnel and proper governments in place, we would have been able to negotiate with them, but in reality there was nobody we could negotiate with. This was the case for both the Korean Peninsula and China. From the outset, they did not make good negotiating partners. There was simply nobody who was up to the task. This is why differences in the level of civilization had already become apparent at this time.
In the 1900s, both Europe and Japan dispatched troops to China to help quell the Boxer Rebellion. Among these, it was members of the Japanese armed forces who operated in a transparent manner and who stuck to the rules the most, refusing to engage in plunder, acts of violence or arson. They did not steal money or rape women. While the European troops stole money and raped women, the Japanese troops did not do this and were thus very trustworthy.
It is because of this that the dominant position was to leave governance of Asia in the hands of Japan.
America, which aimed to expand its influence in Asia out of ambitions to forge a global empire
Hideki Tojo: America at this time was not without ambitions.
It was around this time that the era of the British Empire had come to an end, and in which the First World War brought about a shift in hegemony to America. In this sense, Europe received a great deal of indirect aid from America.
In fact, it was around this time that ideas of forming a global empire began to surface in America. However, in Asia, Japan stood in the way of their designs. If Japan had not been in the way, America would have colonized the whole of China. There is no doubt about it.
Britain relinquished control over India, but it could have become a colony of America, such was the situation. A cursory glance at the power relations at the time will confirm that this was a very real possibility. In the previous World War, Britain was almost beaten by Germany. If America had not stepped in with the Normandy Landings, Britain would have been crushed by Germany.
In this respect, if Japan and America had not engaged in decisive aircraft carrier battles for nearly four years, both China and India might have fallen completely under the control of America. Their collateral was no doubt being able to help Europe rebuild. If they had been allowed to continue as they were, their march towards forging a global empire would have been complete; however, only Japan stood in their way.
Japan and America: rivals who developed through mutual competition
Hideki Tojo: In this sense, although Japan was seen as detestable, I think this was due to a kind of rivalry.
While there was only a different in a matter of a few years between Lincoln’s Civil War and Japan’s Meiji Restoration, the Civil War naturally had an influence on the Meiji Restoration. Japan interpreted this in a positive light, striving to really bring about equality for all of the world’s people. It wanted to bring about surrender with as little blood as possible and to create a world of equality for all people.
America, on the other hand, faced the issue of continuing discrimination despite the shedding of the blood of over 600,000 people.
Questioning amendments to the Constitution and the Emperor as Head of State:
Inform the people of America of the facts surrounding an “imposed constitution” that does not allow Japan to defend itself
– A current hot topic in Japan is possible amendments to the Constitution, and there are currently two different camps arguing from opposite ends of the spectrum: those who wish to see revisions to Article 96, which stipulates conditions for amending the Constitution, and those opposed to this who wish to protect the Constitution.
Those who wish to protect the Constitution largely consist of those who, as you just mentioned, see things through the former perspective of America – i.e. that Japan was a bad country. How do you view recent movements to amend the Constitution?
Hideki Tojo: Well, I think that it is perfectly alright to want to protect the Constitution. I don’t feel that it necessarily needs to be changed.
However, I feel that, as a condition for taking this stance of protecting the Constitution, there is a need to inform the American people that the current Japanese Constitution was written in English and then translated into Japanese, being something that Japan was forced to accept. Therefore, they forced this Constitution on Japan, which it had no choice to accept.
By its very nature, this Constitution renders Japan unable to defend itself. It was Americans who created this Constitution and forced Japan into accepting it after the war when it was in no position to argue. As a result, Americans are obliged to protect Japan. I think it is this that all American citizens should be fully aware of.
However, young people in America today are largely unaware of this fact, and believe that Japan has doomed itself because of its refusal to fight. “Shouldn’t you fight? Why don’t you? If you say you don’t want to fight but are invaded, you only have yourselves to blame.” This, no doubt, is how many young Americans feel.
In light of this, once Americans have been made fully aware of the fact that America imposed the Japanese Constitution upon Japan and forced us to abide by it, then by all means belong to the faction that wishes to protect the Constitution.
However, in reality the majority of Americans probably do not think this way. Furthermore, half of Europeans think that Japan has armed itself with nuclear weapons.
As a result, only Japanese people believe that theirs is a country that espouses peace and that people from other countries also believe this. We need to set the record straight on this.
The destinations of the Showa Emperor and Prime Minister Tojo after death
– While we have touched upon the issue of responsibility, the Showa Emperor has now gone to Heaven, has he not?
Hideki Tojo: Yes, he has.
– What kind of spiritual realm do you currently dwell?
Hideki Tojo: Did I not say I was responsible for everything?
– In your previous message from the other world, you said that, “I do not care if I suffer eternally in the depths of Hell or if I am branded a demon. But…”
Hideki Tojo: Yes. If Abe does his best to overcome what Korea calls Japan’s “awareness of history” so that we are treated the same as other people who fought for Japan in the past, such as those who fought during the Meiji Restoration, those who fought in the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars, and those who fought during the Mongol Invasions, then we will certainly be able to go to Heaven.
– You will go to Heaven?
Hideki Tojo: Yes, we will. We will go there.
– So, you mean to say that, unfortunately, you have not yet gone there?
Hideki Tojo: Well, you know, I am the one who took responsibility. The fact that the Emperor has gone to Heaven means that he did not take responsibility.
– You say this and yet it is the spiritual world that hands down accurate judgments, irrespective of whether or not one takes responsibility, so what is the difference?
Hideki Tojo: The difference? I don’t know anything about the accuracy of these judgments.
– Hitler has gone to Hell, has he not?
Hideki Tojo: Yes.
– You say that the Showa Emperor has gone to Heaven, by what does this mean from a spiritual perspective?
Hideki Tojo: Is it not a result of the fact that he lived for a long time after the war? What would have happened, though, if he had died the year the war ended? For example, if the Americans had dropped a bomb on the Imperial Palace?
– You make it sound as if it is a matter of course for those who win in war go to Heaven and those who lose to go to Hell.
Hideki Tojo: Basically, yes. Is it not the way things happen? Throughout Japanese history, we see that those who win go on to become gods of war.
– The Showa Emperor did not win; and yet, he has still gone to Heaven.
Hideki Tojo: Japan developed economically, which served to absolve him of this.
– So, in your opinion, from a spiritual perspective the Emperor was initially in the same boat as you.
Hideki Tojo: As I said, if he had died as the war was coming to an end, I think we would have ended up in the same boat as me. We would now be in the same place. If MacArthur had sentenced him to death and he had died alongside me, we would no doubt be in the same place.
Yoshida Shigeru, the diplomat who should have persuaded America to avert war
– I would like to say one more thing: A lack of understanding between the army and navy meant that the army’s fighting potential went largely to waste.
Hideki Tojo: That’s a very postwar notion. People started saying this because of the introduction of the postwar bureaucracy. It was Yoshida Shigeru who served as a diplomat in the UK, wasn’t it? As a postwar Prime Minister, we hear a lot about the “great Prime Minister” and the so-called “Yoshida School”, but what exactly was he doing when he was in Britain?
However, if he had done a proper job of getting Britain to persuade America while he was over there, then there is nothing to say that we could not have struck a deal early on to avoid war. He was the problem.
– Just what is the extent of your responsibility?
Hideki Tojo: I take full responsibility. Because of this, I still continue to receive the resentment of three million Japanese and all those from China and Southeast Asia who died in Asia. This is my burden alone.
However, my burden has become somewhat lighter in recent years. Yes, a lot lighter.
– Why is this?
Hideki Tojo: I think it is because world opinion is changing.
The truth of the Greater East Asia War:
Prosperity in Korea and Taiwan resulting from infrastructure improvements that were initiated during Japanese rule
Hideki Tojo: The fact that Japan, a supposedly “bad country which was a fascist state”, was the only one to develop after the war was a source of bewilderment to China. How could they accept such a thing? I mean, a country that was left in ruin as a result of the war rising up out of the ashes like a phoenix! It was incomprehensible.
China continuously blamed its own stagnation on Japan; however, once they realized that their own system was to blame and Deng Xiao Ping introduced Western-style market economics into the country, their development began to get off the ground. In other words, they blamed Japan, despite being the ones at fault.
“Japan wreaked havoc in China before the war, which is why we are so poor today.” China continually made claims such as this, but in reality their situation was due solely to the fact that Mao Zedong and others who came after him knew nothing knew absolutely nothing about the theory of economic development.
Before the war, Japan was also extremely cooperative in respect to South Korea and North Korea. School education is one such example. It was Japan that built schools. It was Japan that built dams. The majority of their infrastructure was built by Japan. However, they are not grateful at all for this. It was Japan that made their countries better and increased their standing. Without Japan, South Korea would not be enjoying its current prosperity. The prosperity of both Taiwan and South Korea has come about as a result of Japan’s excellent pre-war policies.
When talking about “Japan’s colonies”, the people who served at the office of the Governor-General of Taiwan were elite personnel such as Nitobe Inazo (department head) and Goto Shinpei (head of civilian affairs). Japan sent only its finest and virtuous personnel. You cannot tell me that these people did not serve as an inspiration during their time over there.
Therefore, unlike Americans who subjected black people to abuse, we have no recollection of ever having abused Koreans or Chinese.
Korean troops, who were treated as “more than equals” by the Japanese army
– Some have said that the Japanese army treated Korean soldiers as equals.
Hideki Tojo: Well, ns some respects they weren’t equals. Rather, they were treated as more than equals. Does not the fact that the Imperial Household is related to Korea suggest that they were equals? They were completely equal in every way.
While of course the fact that they were of a different race meant that there was probably a certain element of “teasing” between soldiers, I think they had a great sense of chivalry and warrior spirit.
This is why I do not feel happy about being unilaterally condemned in this way. I would like America and Europe to reflect on their own behavior before opening their mouths.
The Japanese army’s idea of dying for one’s master comes the notion that the Emperor = a living god
– For example, I think that the recognition of the private ownership of land in Korea was one of the major achievements under Japanese administration. Also, as you just mentioned, we can get a sense of the righteousness of Japan’s war against American racism.
However, one thing that bothers me is how Japan at the time was pervaded by a sense of totalitarianism in which people had to serve for the public good and the individual was made light of, in which throwing away one’s own life was a given.
Hideki Tojo: Hmmmm… Well, it had been nearly 70 years since the war ended, hasn’t it?
– Yes, nearly 70 years.
Hideki Tojo: Since it has been 70 years, I would at least like to make the following clear. The idea of “dying for one’s master” was not our (the army’s) idea but a religious concept deriving from the notion that the Emperor is a living god. If he was a normal human being, this would not have happened. We served him because he was a living god.
Because of this, while we resisted being called yellow moneys by the Americans, Japanese subjects were in no position to refuse when told by the Emperor, a living god, to “offer up your lives for your Emperor.”
Sato: Well, wasn’t that just propaganda that you fed to the Japanese people?
Hideki Tojo: It is you postwar people who have been brainwashed. You have been brainwashed; the situation was like this before we even began.
– Then, you are saying that you are not responsible?
Hideki Tojo: No, I am not saying that. Also, while I can only say that I was at fault for not winning, there are several things I regret in terms of failed strategies.
America, the country that weakened the fighting spirit of troops through a strategy of massacring civilians
– You were not really involved in naval strategies, were you?
Hideki Tojo: No, I wasn’t. The navy really wasn’t up to scratch.
Also, the American army adopted a form of fighting that Japan despised more than anything. They sunk private vessels so as to cut off its supplies. They indiscriminately sank private vessels. What they did (the sinking of trading vessels without warning) was as terrible as U boats. By doing this, they made it so that commodities could not be transported from Japan, turning our island into an “island of poverty.”
In addition, as witnessed in air raids on Tokyo, they knowingly dropped incendiary bombs on civilians (residential areas), having researched efficient ways of burning down wooden buildings. What they did was just as terrible as the Nazis.
As soldiers, we had no issues with fighting soldier to soldier, warrior to warrior. This was a matter of honor, a settling of issues between clans.
Thus, while we intended to fight against American soldiers, America came not to fight against our soldiers but to exterminate ordinary people. This was also the case in the Vietnam War, when they used defoliant to wipe out rice crops and massacred civilians with napalm bombs, which are even more powerful than incendiary bombs, seeking to justify their actions by saying that they “did not know when the peasants would become Vietcong guerillas.”
It was this that eventually led to opposition movements and much soul-searching. However, they had already done similar things when fighting against Japan.
The spirit of bushido was also present at Pearl Harbor, where Japan was criticized for its surprise attacks
Hideki Tojo: Japan has been denounced for attacking Pearl Harbor, but it did not attack any urban areas, nor did it attack any American civilians. It did not attack America’s civilian infrastructure, either. In addition, although oil tanks were used for supplying energy for military purposes, they did not attack any oil tanks because oil was a precious resource and it would have been a waste.
In this sense, we were fighting with the samurai spirit. We really thought that this was a battle between warriors. Japan predicted that it would also sustain heavy losses if ship-based carriers emerged from America’s aircraft-carriers, so we did not think we would be able to fight without causalities. It was not really our intention to launch a cowardly surprise attack.
We had made arrangements for a formal declaration prior to the outbreak of hostilities, but the Americans made much of the fact that the actual procedures were delayed by an hour or so in their propaganda.
The principle of peace-at-any-price pacifism is the road to slavery
– There is a real possibility that China or North Korea will attack Japan at some point in the future. How should we respond to such an eventuality?
Hideki Tojo: Haaa…. (Sighs to himself) If people continue to condemn us, you will be the next ones to become slaves. If that’s what you want then be my guest.
This is what you get from the postwar ideal of pacifism. If you are of the opinion that, even when being invaded by other countries, one should not fight, should not kill others or fire bullets, that foreign countries are right about everything and Japan is wrong, so it is correct to surrender without doing anything, then go right ahead and be exploited like what happened with the black slaves or Indians under British rule.
The enmity that China, South Korea and North Korea harbor toward Japan is so immense that I don’t think they will even have forgiven us a hundred years down the line from now. In either case, this is a problem that cannot be avoided unless someone starts a revolution and fights.
Even if allies from abroad come to Japan’s aid and put their lives on the line to protect you, in any case it is the same thing, as scores of people will die in battle. While some Japanese people might step up and be prepared to die for their country, if even one Japanese person thinks that they do not want to die for their country, Japan must be prepared to live in slavery and oppression unless foreigners are prepared to lose their lives in protecting Japanese people.
A downed boxer: America’s continued unilateral strikes on Japan
Hideki Tojo: Given that America went on to form such cordial relations with Japan following the war, is it too much to ask that they alter their views on what happened before the war just a little?
If they say that they “beat down Japanese fascism”, then the apex of this is undoubtedly the Emperor. The Japanese people have lived for two thousand years under a creed in which they fought for the Emperor and believed the Emperor to be a living god; if they recognize this, they should revise their criminal views on the war’s history. After all, acts such as the attacking of civilian ships, firebombing Tokyo citizens with nowhere to run and dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki without a doubt constitute crimes against humanity.
These kinds of actions are simply unjustifiable. They killed hundreds of thousands of people who they knew were civilians. At that stage, they knew full well that Japan would lose without having to resort to such actions. There was no way we could have won. At the earliest, the outcome of the war had already been decided by 1944; by March in the spring of 1945, there was absolutely no chance that Japan would win, so anything else was just a question of bringing the war to a close.
From the previous year onward, America had taken part in a range of things which suggest that they had already decided to end the war, such as the Yalta Conference. However, they focused on just how far they could knock Japan down. In other words, it was akin to sitting on top of a downed boxer and continuing to strike him when he was down. And there was no referee anywhere in the world who could put a stop this.
As Germany and Italy had already lost and only Japan was left, there was no referee to stop them. This is why there was no referee who could stop them from continuing their massacre.
America should recognize the unfairness inherent in their understanding of events.
The morals of Japan’s military personnel were of the highest standards in the world
– We have been so fortunate to have heard your valuable testimony today but….
Hideki Tojo (Begins to appeal to those present in tears) I would like to discuss the issues of comfort women and the Nanking Massacre, but only because I deny these emphatically.
Hideki Tojo: These never happened! The morals of Japan’s military personnel were of the highest standards in the world. They would never ever compromise on these!
They can sentence me to hang and treat me like a devil from Hell, but under no circumstances will I accept that the Japanese army broke the rules of engagement and committed repeated pillage and acts of violence!
You can curse me for all eternity, but at least stick to your obligations and honor the spirits of the three million fallen heroes who died fighting for Japan!
Why are you so incapable of persuading the foreigners of this!!?
We aren’t such bad people! We are Japanese soldiers who inherited the samurai spirit of the Meiji era and earlier.
Call me a devil if you like, but I was a human blessed with the highest Japanese intellect and spirit of bushido. I would have committed seppuku, if I had been ordered to do so, and I even tried to commit suicide with a pistol prior to being sentenced to hang. Unfortunately, I was not successful in this attempt and did not die, which is a great shame. While I am mortified at the criticism I have received of this as “shameful”, I couldn’t help it: by that time, I lacked the bodily strength to carry out this final act, something which was regrettable but which I could not help.
Well, I don’t care about myself, really.
What’s wrong with honoring those who died for Emperor?
If you lot can’t even counter this much of a counterargument then you’re not fit to be Japanese. You should get South Korean, North Korean, Taiwanese or Chinese nationality as soon as possible! Or, better yet, how about American nationality? People such as these are NOT Japanese!
I’m ashamed at you all. These worthless descendants of mine, who are unable to get out of this mindset and produce a counterargument!
Are there not almost 130 million of you now? There were only 80 million when we went to war, but now there are nearly 130 million. You can treat us with contempt if you like, but just remember that we fought to protect your families!
While Japan may not have been able to speak freely under GHQ rule, I think it is lamentable how you failed to reclaim your spirit of independence once this had come to an end.
That’s why I am in no position to provide guidance to the Abe administration or anyone else. Such people are not worthy of guidance.
However, I would like today’s Japanese to feel a sense of shame at not possessing the spirit of bushido, and for Americans to treat Japan fairly in respect to past injustices.
The Japanese army consisted of much greater people than is made out. All I want you to know is that we were by no means mediocre soldiers.
People fought for this small country with its lack of resource and low population. There were plenty of superlative people in the army who fought their hearts out and lost, dying with the Emperor’s sins thrust solely upon their shoulders.
I feel disgusted at those descendants who, 70 years on, cannot find it in their hearts to offer people such as us even a single flower. This is all I have to say.
– You have conveyed your message to the people of Japan clearly.
Spiritual investigations conducted by Happy Science also make it clear that the Nanking Massacre did not occur and that there were no comfort women (see Are the Issues of Comfort Women and the Nanking Massacre Real? (IRH Press)).
Hideki Tojo: They didn’t happen!
– We will continue to convey this clearly to the people of Japan.
Hideki Tojo: Of course they didn’t happen! Our army wasn’t like that!
– Yes. Thank you for allowing us to hear your valuable testimony today.
Moving back to a “Japan protected by Japan”
Hideki Tojo: As a class-A war criminal, I am depicted as the bad guy in textbooks and will continue to be vilified, which is fine by me; however, I do not want for this to be used a pretense for China and others to take Okinawa and Kyushu and subject Japan to their rule.
You have to take responsibility for yourselves and produce a “new Hideki Tojo.” Doing so might lead to defeat; failure to do so, though, will only mean that foreigners will be unable to protect Japan unless they are willing to die in the protection of the Japanese public.
However, I find it hard to believe that Americans will lay their lives on the line in protecting Japanese people unless they change their judgments of Japan in the war. I do not think that people who harbor racist views of black people and the yellow races will go this far. At the end of the day, I have the feeling that they will only go ahead and drop a nuclear bomb on another member of the yellow races.
This is why Japan must protect itself; while I don’t care if people find it regrettable that their predecessors who did exactly this lost the war, to treat them like criminals and neglect them for all eternity is indeed a tragedy! Those who do so are no longer Japanese!
This is what I really want to say.
The eternal spirit of doing one’s best for the country
– I have one last thing to ask you.
I would not be wrong in saying that you used to be a god of war who was active in Japan. I would be grateful if you could tell us the names you went under in your past lives, which would go some way in helping to restore your honor.
Hideki Tojo: Hmmm… I am not sure that a general from the losing side has any right to discuss such things at this present time.
I have been reborn many times in the past; it would be fair to say that, no matter what era I was born into, I have always strived to be of use to this country.
However, it is a little too late for a general from the losing side to discuss such things, so I will refrain. However, I will say that I have been a key figure at various points in Japan’s history, such as during the Sengoku (Warring States) period, the age of the warriors before this, and during those early days when today’s Emperor system was formed and the Japanese nation under the ritsuryo codes came into being. Yes, I exist as part of a long genealogy stemming back to the era of the gods!
– I see. Well, we have come to the end of our session for today. Thank you very much for your time.
Tojo Hideki: You are welcome.
Ryuho Okawa: (To Tojo Hideki) Thank you very much.
What is it to be a soldier?
Ryuho Okawa: While Tojo Hideki may still be languishing in Hell, I do not think that he is by nature a bad person, given that his only crime was to fight for his country and lose.
In the battle between Scipio and Hannibal, it was Scipio who won in the end; however, his victory came through the use of Hannibal’s own tactics, which is why Scipio clearly states that “Hannibal was my teacher.”
In the battle between “great Rome and minor nation Carthage”, there could be only one winner; and yet, Scipio continued to feel a great sense of esteem for Hannibal, who fought against Rome and inflicted major damage on three separate occasions but ultimately lost.
When all is said and done, it is this kind of quality that a soldier ought to have.
Therefore, was there not an element of cowardice in America’s conduct toward Japan, which it subjected to firebombing, nuclear strikes and indiscriminate attacks on cargo vessels?
Of course, they were wise in that they knew the Japanese army was brave and that a direct attack would result in major losses. However, Tojo feels that as soldiers, they did not conduct themselves in a very gracious manner.
In his past lives, it would seem that he was a daimyo during Japan’s Sengoku era; before this, he was a general during the Genpei era; even before this, he was involved in the creation of the Japanese nation under the ritsuryo codes; and that he exists as part of a long genealogy stemming back to the era of the gods. I wish to acknowledge this account of his, given that he told us that he cannot say anything about his past lives since he has taken responsibility for Japan’s defeat in the war.
I feel that today’s recording has proven very fruitful. We cannot settle these complex issues solely by looking at whether someone has gone to Heaven or Hell.
– Yes, I really got a sense of this from what we heard today.
Ryuho Okawa: Yes. We certainly cannot settle things by this alone.
Those who died in battle will only gain consolation through memorial services performed by the Emperor
Ryuho Okawa: What we have heard today serves to reinforce the need for memorial services to comfort the spirits of the dead.
The Imperial Household is a religious entity; therefore, it is really the task of the Imperial Family to perform memorial services for the dead. Tojo Hideki thinks as follows: “It is really the duty of the Emperor to perform proper memorial services in an official capacity. Those men fought for the Emperor; if the Emperor himself does not perform these services, the spirits of the war dead will never find repose. Those who died in battle will only gain consolation through memorial services performed by the Emperor. This is why it is improper for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and people below them to go to Yasukuni Shrine and not the Emperor.”
– Yes. I understand where he is coming from here.
Ryuho Okawa: Also, as he knows that the Imperial Household is a religion in substance, he feels that the style of the current Constitution in which the Emperor “carries out ceremonies in secret as ‘private acts’ when nobody is looking” is, to put it in his words, cowardly, and the Emperor “needs to act with more dignity.”
I think today was quite informative, don’t you?
– Yes. Thank you very much.
Ryuho Okawa: Thank you for your time.