There Was No Need to Fight With Japan
An Interview with Jason Morgan, Ph.D. Candidate, Japan Studies (Part 2)


Q: Have you ever heard MacArthur’s testimony after WWII at the Senate Foreign Committee? He testified that Japan fought in the war largely for security reasons. Have you ever heard of that?

A: Yeah, I think MacArthur is an interesting man, isn’t he? He’s a very interesting man. MacArthur and Roosevelt were completely different. I think MacArthur hated Roosevelt’s politics actually, I’m sure of it. I’m sure. I also think MacArthur had a great deal of respect for Japan and especially he’s in a tough position, I mean, he’s the top soldier in the United States, so his job is to do what the president tells him to do. So the president says, “Go win this war for me.” And MacArthur does that. He does it very well, but then when he gets to Japan, I think he begins to see that probably the propaganda was different from the reality, I think so.

But something interesting, I have a book here that I recently, someone loaned me this one book, you may be familiar with it. It’s, do you know this book? (Sekino on WGIP) So, it’s quite interesting because it’s sort of laying out what’s happening in the American occupational bureaucracy. MacArthur, I think, it’s hard to understand the man because he, on the one hand he comes to Japan and he acts like a New Dealer. He tries to implement, he exports the New Deal to Japan in 1946 and 1947.

And then he, there’s the reverse course, right? So then says, “Too much with the New Deal.” But on the one hand, he acts, he out Roosevelts Roosevelt. He’s even more of a New Dealer than Roosevelt himself. But then I think he begins to see, “Wait a minute, this is not the way that it’s supposed to be. I don’t know if he ever… He was a good soldier to the end, and a good soldier doesn’t disagree with his commander in public, even though he did with Truman in the Korean War.

So, I think he might not have been able to say everything that he wanted to say, but I think he had a great deal of respect for Japan, and he could see that the Japanese were doing something completely different in Asia than the American propaganda had been saying that they were. It’s just my interpretation.

And I’m very grateful to him for sparing the Emperor. I think that was the best thing that MacArthur did was sparing the Emperor.

Q: Was his testimony known in the United States?

A: Not, not, not too much actually, I think, um, my grandfather loved MacArthur, actually, he thought he was a wonderful man. I agree, I think MacArthur is, what do they call him, the blue eyed shogun? Right? I’ve heard him called this before. There’s a good book, it’s 2 books, it’s called Nippon wo Tsukutta 12 nin (the people who created Japan , written by Sakaiya Taichi) , and the last one is MacArthur. Yeah, it’s a very good book. Of course, everyone else is Japanese. Yeah, but those remarks are not very widely known in the United States.

Q: Is it hidden for some reason?

A: I don’t think it’s hidden so much I think it’s just sort of … well now the war is, it’s 70 years ago that it ended. I don’t know that too many people spend much time thinking about the war. Right? It’s probably mostly lack of interest, I think.

Q: We see sort of regrets over his conduct in his remarks because he created some causes for the Cold War. We wonder if the time will come in the future when all of America regrets that it created some causes for Cold War era.

A: Something strange is happening in the United States right now. I think it might in the end, well I don’t know, in the end it might change the way that we view the Second World War. I grew up during the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was president, and I love Ronald Reagan, I think Reagan was truly a heroic president, I think the work that he did also with John Paul the Great and with Margaret Thatcher, the 3 of them together understood the threat of communism, and they stood against it in quite a heroic way.

Reagan, he was criticized to no end in the United States for being strong against communism, but thank God he held the line. At that time, the conception in the United States was that we were the good guys, and I think we were actually. I think in the 1980s the United States was largely good, and the policies that we pursued at least against the Soviet Union were good policies.

Now when I look at the White House, at politics in general, I think the United States is no longer the good guys. If you look at the domestic policy of the United States, they’re obsessed, they’re completely obsessed, it’s a mania with the same-sex marriage. It’s taken over everything, everything is about same-sex marriage. It’s some sort of a mass hysteria in the United States, and many people, many Christians, including myself are looking at our government and saying, “This is not the government that we used to know.

The government we used to know was firm against communism, most of the people in the government had some sort of Christian or Jewish faith, they were able to see the difference between right and wrong, and even if they didn’t, they always made the right choice, and of course, there were bad decisions that were made. The 1860s and the 1930s are both proof that the US government has been rotten before. Still, American society in the 1980s largely knew the difference between right and wrong, but now I think we don’t so much, and so there are a lot of people now including myself who are beginning to wonder whether the American government is worth fighting for anymore.

What exactly are we doing now? What is our purpose? Are we even the good guys anymore, I think the answer is no, I think we are not the good guys anymore. And as that happens, it becomes easier for Americans, especially those who are more sort of traditional pro-American as myself to take a step back and say, “It’s possible to say that the government has made mistakes even if the American people have tried to do their best.”

I mean in the Pacific War the American people fought very bravely, and they were fighting for freedom, or at least they believed they were, and I have a great deal of respect for the men who fought in that war, in Germany and in Japan. But if you can look at your government now, today, and say, “The government is no longer good.” You can also say, “Perhaps in the 1930s the government was not really good either.” And it becomes easier to take a critical stance towards Roosevelt and Truman.

So perhaps the day will come, but I don’t hold out much hope for the United States at this point. If you … The United States as a country I think is in very bad shape. There’s, the national debt is out of control, and the, sort of the social situation is getting worse I think. The thing about same-sex marriage is it’s some sort of it’s craziness. It’s all people think and talk about. There must be something else in the world beside same-sex marriage, but it’s just it’s… and if you think about it, they are big problems in the world, same-sex marriage is a very, very small problem. There are people who are starving, right? China is trying to start a war…

Q: Yes.

A: With Japan and Vietnam and the Philippines.

Q: That is why we would like to have a more truthful relationship with the United States based on trust.

A: But you know I … Japan is right to be skeptical because if there was a war with China, I don’t know whether Barack Obama would fight China. I think he’s quite a coward actually. The next president whoever it might be may be more willing to help Japan, but if there was a war with China today, I think Barack Obama would not help.

Q: As he did for Syria?

A: Well, what did he do in Syria? I mean he … in Syria he actually made the situation worse, he kept drawing these lines, and then backing up and drawing another line, and then backing up and so he just added confusion, he didn’t actually do anything. And if you look at Syria, why are we helping Syria anyway? They’ve got al-Qaeda on one side, and Bashar al-Assad on the other side. I don’t really care actually which one wins and loses. I think we should help the people in Syria, especially the Christian population which is being slaughtered by the Muslims. I think we should help them, but if the choice is help al-Qaeda or help Bashar al-Assad, well maybe we’ll wait for the next …

Anyway, Japan is right to be skeptical, and I actually like (Happiness Realization Party in Japanese) 01:10:59. I like their policy of repealing Article 9, is that the same policy today? I think that is important. It’s insanity actually to have a country so close to North Korea and China, and have no military. It’s completely insane, it’s like walking into a lion’s den with steaks hanging from your neck or something, it’s complete … there is no protection from people.

The Chinese government is going to try to reassume its position as the hegemon of East Asia. They want to go back to being the Qing dynasty, the Tang dynasty. This is what the Chinese government wants, it’s beyond a doubt. Japan can’t just close its eyes and say, “I hope, I hope, I hope.” They have to be open, right?

Q: I think it’s awful not to revise Article 9. It was forced by the occupational army.

A: It was forced. It’s in this book, yeah. I mean it was forced. It’s so bizarre to me when I see the peace protestors. I have a, he’s not a friend but he’s a scholar whom I admire, he’s a Mongolian professor. He speaks Japanese perfectly. He’s wonderful. He gave a speech recently in which he talked about Heiwa-kun (平和君). And he said, “That when you see Peace-chan and Heiwa-kun in their parade down the streets of Tokyo…” He wants to ask Heiwa-kun and Peace-chan where did that constitution come from that you’re protecting?

It was forced upon you by an occupation authority, right? Who had just fought … the irony is that they had just fought a bloody war and firebombed Tokyo and then dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to give your peace constitution. The price of that peace constitution was the incineration of hundreds of thousands of women and children in the streets of Japan, and that’s what you want to protect? Is that Article 9?

It doesn’t make any logical sense to me.

Q: There are so many left wing people who still believe Article 9 has been protecting Japan for many years.

A: You know I think it was Trotsky, I think it was Leon Trotsky who said, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” You can have your Article 9, and you can have your Heiwa-kun and Peace-chan parade, and be wonderful, but when China starts to shoot, or North Korea starts to shoot missiles at you, Article 9 doesn’t do anything, nothing, nothing at all. It’s better to have some way to protect yourself.

Q: Now Abe-san is trying to revise Article 9.

A: Do you think it will succeed? What do you think of the chances?

Q: It’s going to be extremely difficult to revise Article 9, to get the support at least. In order to revise Article 9, Abe needs the support of many seats, which is going to be extremely difficult. So he’s tried to change collective self-defense substantially by changing the rules. He might obtain the same result that way without getting the politicians to agree to revisions of Article 9.

A: Yeah, Abe-san, I really like Abe-san. He’s the best prime minister. I used to like Koizumi Junichiro-san, too, I liked him, but now I think Abe-san is better than Koizumi Sensei, I think so. Abe-san is quite good. He’s very smart, and he’s very thorough and he thinks about things before he acts. He’s very deliberate and he takes his time. He gave that speech to the American Congress, which was just splendid. It was probably the best speech by foreign head of state that I can remember.

We had the President of Mexico come a few years ago, and he gave us a lecture about how we should be nicer to Mexico, that was a bad speech. But Abe-san gave a very good speech. I thought it was brilliant, it was brilliant. He … the speechwriter, I don’t know if he wrote it himself or not, but he hit all the right notes. It was really a historical speech, and I think Abe-san was saying the war is over, and the post-war is over. It’s time to look at the challenges we face in Asia together. It’s time to end the Pacific War and put it behind us.

There’s this thing about the Comfort Women that was talked about, and everyone was wondering is Abe-san going to say something about the Comfort Women. He handled it perfectly, I think, perfectly.

Q: Was it perfect?

A: I think it was perfect. I think the speech was … I wouldn’t have changed anything. I mean I’m just an observer, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t have changed anything. It’s nonsense about the Comfort Women, you know that … as you know the Comfort Women has nothing to do with the Comfort Women.

The fact of the wartime prostitution was a very regrettable, I think, it’s a horrible thing that happened to these women, to have been prostitutes, it’s pitiful and it made me want to … my heart goes out to these women because they … being a prostitute I think in any circumstance is deleterious to your human dignity. So, when we talk about the Comfort Women, I want to know the truth about what happened about these Comfort Women if only for their sake so that their memory can be sort of brought back in a way that’s consistent what actually happened.

But I realized with this Comfort Women issue that it actually has nothing to do with the Comfort Women, it’s all political, I think, it’s all political and it’s drummed up by South Korea and China. It has nothing at all to do with history. It’s completely separate from it, so I hope … Abe-san handled it perfectly, and I hope that he will keep doing that.

Q: What’s your take on Yasukuni? It’s almost synonymous to Arlington Cemetery, but sometimes American officials oppose visiting Yasukuni Shrine.

A: Yeah, the thing about Yasukuni is … it’s always a circular argument. You hear that we shouldn’t visit Yasukuni because they’re Class-A war criminals enshrined there, and the Class-A war criminals are enshrined there because they were declared guilty by the American government in the Tokyo Trial. And so the same American government now says we can’t go to Yasukuni, so that makes a big circle.

You know, Class-A war criminals, I mean, if you accept the Trial as fact, then it makes perfect sense you wouldn’t go to Yasukuni, maybe, but there are more people there than just those Class-A war crinimals. Right? I mean there are thousands of young men who died for the sake of their country. Professor Hirakawa, he makes a very good argument, he says that if you go to Arlington, you’ll find that there are people there at Arlington that are not necessarily good people. There are people there who have done awful things in war, right? And there are people there who … there are people buried there who have probably done things that the government would not want to be known.

Right? And yet, you go there because as Professor Hirakawa says, “The war dead are beyond politics. The dead are beyond politics.” If someone has died, it’s … you have an obligation as a human being to pray for their soul, for their eternal rest. That’s being a human being.

So if you go to Yasukuni, you don’t go there and congratulate these men for their political views. You go there and you pray that their souls will be comforted and that they will be able to see the face of God. Yasukuni I think is … if you’re against that, then you’re against civilization itself cause that is the essence of civilization is praying for other people.

I think that Abe-san should go to Yasukuni every day. I think he should go before he goes to work, I think he should go for 5 minutes every day, and I think if he can’t go every day, he should go on Mao Tse-tung ‘s birthday, and he should go on the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and he should go on Kim Jong-il’s birthday, and Kim il-Sung’s birthday, and he should go when it’s most inconvenient to North Korea and China. And he should remind them that Japan sacrificed a lot of men for the well-being of China and that Japan kept the communists out of Manchuria at least and out of a great deal of China, too, for quite some time. So, I think Koh Bunyu Sensei is right that China should be grateful. They should go to Yasukuni, and say thank you for helping us.

If you go to Taiwan, it’s totally different. The Taiwanese they like Japan quite a bit. I think they’re grateful to Japan for what they did. I mean it was a colony of Japan. A lot of Japanese people went there to help Taiwan, the Korean peninsula, too. I mean, there was a great deal of violence, but the Korean peninsula was also developed quite a bit by the Japanese.

Have you heard this thing? It was in Sankei Shimbun, actually it was about this, where was it, it was a, yeah, this, just from a few days ago, they’re putting up the sign about the man who assassinated Ito Hirobumi. What in the world is going on here? Why is this man a hero? He’s an assassin; he’s not a hero.

Q: Do you have any take on the Nanking Massacre?

A: I agree I think with … on I think my take is probably different than Okawa Sensei. I remember translating his speeches about Nanking, and I disagree with him in that sense very much. There’s a very good book about … this forced abduction and sex slaves is just not true. It’s simply not true. But there’s a really good book, I’m sure you know of it, it’s … I agree with Hata Ikuhiko Sensei largely. I read this book by Higashinakano, and so I think I have to make a distinction here. The book, The Rape of Nanking, the book itself I think is deeply flawed and many of the photographs that appear in that book I think are probably not from Nanking even though they are gruesome photographs, they’re just awful, I mean the pictures like this of all the people it’s awful.

I agree with Hata Ikuhiko Sensei that something bad happened in Nanking. The number that the Chinese have come up with 300,000 I think is completely off, there is no way 300,000 is just impossible, 300,000 people is just impossible. There are testimonies by a German missionary who was on the scene, something bad happened in Nanking, I don’t dispute that, and I don’t dispute that the Japanese military, some of the members of the Japanese military did awful things, but there are 2 points to make, I think.

First is that the Chinese tendency to make political, to have … to gain political benefits from the Nanking Massacre is just disgusting. I wish they would stop trying. It’s an insult to the people who died to use them for your own personal political gains, and it really, really disgusts me, I think the Chinese government should be ashamed of itself. If there was something bad that happened I want to know it, too. And I’m prepared to admit it, I think there’s evidence to show that something bad happened. I’m with Hata Sensei. That’s the first point.

The 2nd point is that it’s important to keep in mind that whatever happened, the bad things that happened, whatever happened, it wasn’t ordered by the commanders in Nanking. The general did not issue a direct order saying, “Go out and kill as many people as can.” That’s the difference. You know in war, it’s actually not uncommon for troops to go berserk. They go a little crazy. And it happened in Vietnam with the My Lai Massacre, right, I’ve got some pictures … I’m sorry for so many bad, some of these pictures are quite disturbing actually, but there was an article that someone gave me in a magazine that’s about the Korean troops who massacred the … during the Vietnam war, I mean it’s really, it’s really awful stuff.

Anyway, this kind of thing happens. I’m sorry that it happens, but it’s different when it happens because troops go crazy, and when it happens because commanders say go out and kill people, those are the 2 points that I’d like to make about Nanking.

But in that sense, I know that I differ from Okawa Sensei and others, too. There are other people who hold that, people whom I respect quite a bit actually, who hold that the Nanking Massacre did not happen. I can think of 3 people at least, but I’m going with the Hata Sensei interpretation.

I’m glad you’re doing that with China because China, again, China doesn’t care about the Nanking Massacre. They care about what they can get at the United Nations. It’s really despicable what they’re doing actually.

Q: Do American people usually think like you?

A: God help us if they did.

Q: Because I sometimes feel American people side with the Chinese communists, like the Clinton administration, especially Democrats, not Republicans.

A: Well, now it’s both because now everybody owes China money. I think a lot of our understanding of China comes from the missionary period in China, in which a lot of the foreign missionaries saw China as sort of an impoverished and perhaps a benighted younger brother. There are … what was the Good Earth, right by Pearl S. Buck? She was a missionary in China. That largely informs our understanding, the famines that occurred in China, I think we see the Chinese as being a people that have suffered very much, and they have, they have.

But I think we don’t see is that a lot of this suffering I’m sorry to say was self-created, self-inflicted. The Chinese did not have to have a famine in the 1950s. If they had gotten rid of Mao a lot earlier, they would not have had to experience the famine. The Cultural Revolution, if they had gotten rid of Mao, they chose to go down the Communist path, I’m sorry that they’ve suffered for it, I wish no one had suffered.

If you cannot see that communism brings suffering, even when everyone around you is dying, I don’t know what can be done for you. That’s my take on China, but you’re right, in the United States, people see the Chinese are kind of pity, but I think and I do, I feel sympathy for the Chinese people, but there are so many times when they could have prevented the suffering that they encountered.

That’s my understanding but I think most Americans see it differently. I think they believe that in general just as a very nebulous concept, they believe that left is good and right is bad. And they’ve heard that the Chinese government is probably left, and the Japanese government was probably and is probably right and so their general sort of feeling is that the Chinese government is probably the best government in Asia, even though it’s a communist dictatorship, right?

That’s responsible for disappearing journalists, and I have to mention I think if I remember correctly that Okawa Sensei was quite pro-life and I liked that about him. The policy in China, the one child policy and the forced abortion policy I think is just satanic. They have pictures of women in their 9th month of pregnancy who have been forced to have abortions and then they put the child in a bucket next to them, and put the dead child in the hospital bed and take a picture with …

Have you seen these pictures? I can send you these pictures. With the woman, the message is we told you not to have another baby and this is what happens if you do. It’s satanic to kill a child first of all and then to put the dead child next to the mother and take a picture of the child and the mother together is a cruelty beyond comprehension. That is the Chinese government. They do it all the time.

If the American government is interested in being the good guy again, we should cut off all relations with China immediately. It is a satanic regime.

We have 1 friend in Asia, and that’s Japan. South Korea I don’t understand what they’re doing, I think they’re playing a game that’s sort of above their boxing grade, above their weight. They’re doing something that’s just sort of silliness, but I sorely hope the American people will take another look at China, the government, and see what is going on in that continent, it’s really, really disturbing. But you’re right most people think China is some sort of panda bear, right?

Q: Recently American people are realizing how terrible China is. Do you think that’s true?

A: I hope so, but I don’t really know for sure because my, I mean I try to read articles from the left, like the Washington Post and the New York Times, I try to if I can get through it without holding my nose or feeling sick. I try to, so I don’t really know exactly what’s happening on the left.

On the right I can tell you that there are organizations like the Population Research Institution, which has been pointing out the horrors of the 1 child policy now for decades. They’re a really good organization. And there are men like Chén Guāngchéng, well, he’s the blind lawyer, he was speaking out against the Chinese policy of forced abortions, he at the United States, he’s at the Witherspoon Institute now I think he might have an appointment in New York or Princeton or something like that.

So on the right people are beginning to see, I think on the right people could always see that China is a communist dictatorship, period. There is no good communist dictatorship. China is a communist dictatorship, period. On the left, if you go to universities in the United States, you’ll find a lot of people who not only like Mao Zedong, but describe themselves as Maoists. They adhere to his policies, they think that he had a lot of good ideas, they like the fact that Maoism was exported for example to Latin America or to Southeast Asia, like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and also in places like Peru and Argentina and Chile and Central America.

The American left is still quite enamored of Mao, which to me is like saying, it’s the equivalent of saying of standing up at a conference and saying I like Hitler. I mean if you stood up at a conference and said I actually think that the Nazis had some good ideas, you would rightly be ridiculed. And you would be ostracized, which is I think the right thing, if someone stands up and says, maybe Hitler had some good ideas, I think you should be subjected to deep suspicion. Right, but you can stand up and say you know what I think Mao had some good ideas, I think we should try to learn from these ideas about Mao, especially this, this, this … What exactly about Maoism is good?

Q: Why? Do they know that so many people died?

A: I think they know, I think they know, but still they hate capitalism so much that they’re willing to, and they hate … I don’t know they hate the west so much perhaps that they’re willing to divorce what Mao did from what Mao said, and I think they also like the tactics so they see that in for example the Pinochet regime in Chile. Pinochet regime was a rightist regime and so I think they can see that Maoism was somehow anti-Pinochet or it was associated with the leftist movements in Central America in the 1970s and 80s. And they like that.

And so somehow they can separate that from the tens of millions of people that Mao killed. I don’t think you can. I don’t think you can say you know maybe the Nazis killed a lot of people but Hitler was a really good cook. So, let’s learn Hitler’s cooking techniques, you know, I think you can’t separate any of that, you have to say look all of it is bad, rejected completely with regard to Hitler, with regard to Mao, with regard to Stalin, I can’t say you know Stalin he had some really bad ideas, but he was also really, he was a really good gardener or something you know. So, let’s read Stalin’s gardening techniques or something like that, you reject the whole thing. It’s all rotten in my opinion.

Q: But even afterwards, America still provided weapons to …

A: It’s unbelievable, unbelievable. I mean if you’re a democracy, stop helping China, stop helping China, you’re not helping anyone by helping China. They roll tanks out into Tiananmen Square, then they tried to run over their own people. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not pro-democracy by any means, but I’m certainly not pro-communist dictatorship.

Q: Are you Christian?

A: Yes, I’m a Catholic.

Q: We really wonder why there are many American people so sided with China and to provide weapons …

A: I don’t know.

Q: And prohibit us from re-arming.

A: I don’t know. I suspect it’s a lingering WWII legacy that China was our ally in some kind of way, but that ended in 1949. The founding of the People’s Republic of China was the end of that friendship, and then there was sort of the Nixon shock, right? When he went to meet with Mao and Zhou Enlai. China’s not our friend. they haven’t been our friends since 1949. It’s time to re-assess the relationship with China.

Q: How do you feel about Nixon’s diplomacy?

A: Bad, Nixon, I used to like Nixon because he was a Republican, but I think Nixon was not a conservative at all. He was anti-communist, but he was mostly pro-Nixon, I think, and his trip to China was a betrayal of the Japanese trust, and he didn’t consult with Japan at all. Japan had been backing him up in his anti-communism, and without telling anyone, he flies to Beijing, I think in that sense you can say Nixonian diplomacy is Kissinger diplomacy.

I mean Nixon was a strange man, he was sort of a tortured soul, wasn’t he, I mean I think it probably disgusted him to have to go to a communist country and shake hands with a communist dictator. I think in his heart he knew it was wrong, but Kissinger has no heart. Kissinger is sort of a frightening man, I think for Kissinger there is no morality and there is no good and evil, and there is no justice, and there is no right and wrong, there is only power. And if America can exercise power, then they should. If they can increase their power, they should do that, too.

Kissinger in that sort of neo-liberalism of Kissinger remains the strategy of the United States and may God help us for it because Kissinger is not a good man and Nixon should not have listened to what Kissinger told him.

Q: From that time on, Japan was regarded as a potential foe of the United States. Was it Kissinger’s policy?

A: Definitely Kissinger’s policy, Kissinger was … I mean he made a rational choice, if you see China as a bigger country with more potential for military might, then it makes sense in that regard, but in no other regard does that make sense, from a strictly power based consideration.

There Was No Need to Fight With Japan
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