Welcome to Saturday's Potluck

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Several unresolved tensions points exist from the World War II creating undercurrents in today's relationships. Sorting through many of the the twist and turns was author Sterling Seagrave. His work is referenced by many other authors on Asia.

He categorized the Chinese population of the world into various groups influencing world events. The communist Chinese of the Peoples Republic of China, the Nationalist Chinese of the Republic of China, historical dynastic China and global networks of super-rich Overseas Chinese who keep their wealth offshore and manipulate governments in the countries that enrich them. I have additional categories when reading and viewing videos on the subject. Does the author have an understanding of historical China from a Western or Eastern perspective. Yes it is complex, but it is a large multi-ethnic country with long history.

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Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold by Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave.

It may be pointless to try to establish which World War Two Axis aggressor, Germany or Japan, was the more brutal to the peoples it victimised. The Germans killed six million Jews and 20 million Russians; the Japanese slaughtered as many as 30 million Filipinos, Malays, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Indonesians and Burmese, at least 23 million of them ethnic Chinese.
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The real differences between the two nations, however, developed in the years and decades after 1945. Survivors and relatives of victims of the Holocaust have worked for almost six decades to win compensation from German corporations for slave labour and to regain possession of works of art stolen from their homes and offices
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It has so far paid more than $45 billion in compensation and reparations. Japan, on the other hand, has given its victims a mere $3 billion, while giving its own nationals around $400 billion in compensation for war losses.
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Most important, John Foster Dulles, President Truman’s special envoy to Japan charged with ending the occupation, wrote the peace treaty of 1951 in such a way that most former POWs and civilian victims of Japan are prevented from obtaining any form of compensation from either the Japanese Government or private Japanese corporations who profited from their slave labour. He did so in perfect secrecy and forced the other Allies to accept his draft (except for China and Russia, which did not sign). Article 14(b) of the treaty, signed at San Francisco on 8 September 1951, specifies: ‘Except as otherwise provided in the present Treaty, the Allied Powers waive all reparations claims of the Allied Powers, other claims of the Allied Powers and their nationals arising out of any actions taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war, and claims of the Allied Powers for direct military costs of occupation.’
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Why do these attitudes protecting and excusing Japan persist? Why has the US pursued such divergent policies towards postwar Germany and Japan? Why was the peace treaty written in the way it was? Many reasons have been offered over the years, including that Japan was too poor to pay, that these policies were necessary to keep postwar Japan from ‘going Communist’, and that the Emperor and Japanese people had been misled into war by a cabal of insane militarists, all of whom the occupation had eliminated from positions of responsibility. The explanation offered in the Seagraves’ book is considerably more sinister. It concerns what the United States did with Japan’s loot once it discovered how much of it there was, the form it took, and how little influence its original owners had.
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Back in Washington, it was decided at the highest levels, presumably by Truman, to keep these discoveries secret and to funnel the money into various off-the-books slush funds to finance the clandestine activities of the CIA.
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Twenty years after Santa Romana stopped searching in 1947, a secondary – and quite violent – hunt for gold began, carried out by Ferdinand Marcos. Marcos recovered at least $14 billion in gold – $6 billion from the sunken Japanese cruiser Nachi in Manila Bay, and $8 billion from the tunnel known as ‘Teresa 2’, 38 miles south of Manila in Rizal province. During 2001, Philippine politics were rocked when the former solicitor-general Francisco Chavez alleged that Irene Marcos-Araneta, Marcos’s youngest daughter, maintained an account worth $13.2 billion in Switzerland. Its existence apparently came to light when she tried to move it from the Union Bank of Switzerland to Deutsche Bank in Düsseldorf.
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The Seagraves’ narrative is comprehensive, but they are not fully reliable as historians. They have a tendency to overreach, exaggerating the roles of Japanese gangsters and ex-military American bit-players when the bankers, politicians and CIA operatives are scary enough. They know the Philippines well, but are unreliable on Japan and do not read Japanese. The book is full of errors that could easily be corrected by a second-year student of the language – the ship they repeatedly call the Huzi is accurately romanised Fuji; the important Japan Sea port is Maizuru, not Maisaru; tairiki is not a Japanese word: they mean tairiku ronin (a ‘Continental adventurer’ or a ‘China carpetbagger’); and their mysterious

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Another reading recommendation.

Servitors of Empire: Studies in the Dark Side of Asian America
by Darrell Y. Hamamoto

Forcing a fundamental rethinking of the Asian American elite, many of whom have attained top positions in business, government, academia, sciences, and the arts, this book will be certain to generate a good deal of controversy and honest discussion regarding the role Asian Americans will play in the new century as China and India loom ever larger in the world economic system. Not since the large-scale infusion of scientists and engineers fleeing Nazi Germany has there been such a mass importation of intellectual labor from U.S. client states in Asia.

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What is on your mind today? (Responses to Covid questions and dialog to be conducted at The Dose diary)

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QMS's picture

and to funnel the money into various off-the-books slush funds to finance the clandestine activities of the CIA.

Where have we heard this before?

Thanks for the thought provoking OT!

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studentofearth's picture

@QMS World War II generated activities are diminished. Their children, students and followers are relying on Defense and National Security budgets to fund a higher percentage of the costs of their pet projects. Seems reasonable they would aslo migrate into commercial sectors with high profit margins and forced purchases protected by government regulations.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Lookout's picture

A shower and then a cold front arrived today....mid-60's for highs and 40 degree low tonight. Feels like fall for sure.

I wonder if Japan will fall for the US war on China...so far they are going along, but I don't really think it is in their interest. Building stronger ties with China would be a better strategy for them in my view.

Too bad they are building their military...with US urging.

Long pacifist, Japan has decided to accelerate its military spending and effectively begin to gear up. It should hardly come as a surprise. Though Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long sought to shift Japan from pacifism to what he calls a “normal country,” North Korea’s missiles and China’s aggressiveness in the Pacific would have left Tokyo little choice anyway. Spending has stepped up dramatically, as has planning. The nature of the buildup responds to other pressures from its great ally, the United States, which wants Japan to buy more U.S. equipment, as well as from the demographic and technological imperatives facing that nation.

Oh well. Hope all is good on the homestead. Thanks for the OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout Government leaders would find it difficult to push too hard against US policy.

Grant Newsham featured in the Australian 60's Minute segment on War with China believes Japan is not moving fast enough to increase military capabilities.

Japan’s defense awakening is not woke enough

Japanese defense budgets have been woefully underfunded for decades. Japanese officials make much of “consecutive annual increases” during the Abe administration and during the Suga administration.

However, those increases have been tiny — and illusory. Japan in fact cut its defense budget every year for the decade before Abe took over. So he was just trying to dig Japanese defense spending out of a hole.
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There doesn’t even appear to be a joint operational plan to coordinate US-Japanese operations – and there certainly is no joint headquarters anywhere where the two nations’ forces will conduct a joint defense of anything.

This is an astonishing failure on the part of leaders – civilian and military – on both sides. So, unfortunately, it’s so far mostly talk – even if it is good talk.

Snow expected mid-week. High 60's today need to get outside and do a few more preparations for winter. Easier to do without a heavy coat and gloves.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@Lookout @Lookout

I have some, as I live within a few miles of what would have to be in the top twenty
targets in Japan for a Chinese strike.

Don't see why Japan shouldn't have a military - China is constantly testing maritime boundaries down near Taiwan. When nearly 200 Chinese red coral poaching boats showed up in the Ogasawara Islands (far out in the Pacific) in 2014 they operated with impunity, Japanese Maritime Self Defense forces were unable to respond.

The problem is what *kind* of military and under whose control. There is no draft or mandatory national service in Japan, unlike S. Korea or Taiwan, it is all professional military and descended from the pre-WWII military - and we know how that turned out. Japan's civil and military defense capabilities are less than adequate for major natural disasters, much less a serious war.

IMHO - while Japan needs to keep their air defense and naval capabilities largely professional, for the rest, to the extent possible, they should become Switzerland - with broad and decentralized defense capabilities. Local organization, military and civil defense capabilities. Military arms in every neighborhood with the will, training and organization to employ them effectively if need be.

There should potentially be, as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said of the US: "A rifle behind every blade of grass".

As for being friends with China, that's a bit like being friends with Israel - essentially delusional - since Israel does not have friends. It has enemies, either current or potential, and useful idiots. Non-Han Chinese are regarded by them as some gradation or other of barbarians and inferior.

While in America, according to Wokeness and CRT we are indoctrinating ourselves to believe in our own inferiority. Dovetails nicely with China's view of things - probably just coincidental...

Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality In World War II by Stephen Halbrook

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USA & Greece have "strengthend their ties." Translation: US Military presence will intensify along Greece's border with Turkey.

Analysis: Once again we are joining the losing side in a battle with Russia, China, Turkey,Iran, Afghanistan, Syria---add in as many as you have patience to type. Evidently, we are going to promote the charade of American primacy for as long as we can keep a straight face while doing so.

As Lookout has said for AL, Fall will be arriving tonight in NYC. We are expecting temperatures to drop to the sixties, even fifties over night. As Robert Frost wrote, "Nothing gold can stay," and autumn will fade inexorably into winter. Be ready.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost - 1874-1963

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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NYCVG

enhydra lutris's picture

interesting column. Speaking of Asia, and indirectly of gold, I thought I'd drop this here : https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-irvine-led-study-finds-me....

It's funny, they tested a plant extract long used as an analgesic in Asia along with "opiods" and seem to have discovered that the combo eliminates pain and reduces opiod addiction and deaths by somehow preventing one from acquiring a tolerance and hence a need for ever increasing doses of the opiod.

One line is far from clear:

When used in animals, the Corydalis extract prevents pain and the negative effects of opiate use.

. That seems to imply that the extract alone prevents pain, so why co-administer it with opiods, which would be redundant. I suspect they mean that the combo does and not the extract alone. That leaves the open question of whether or not they tested the extract alone and, if so, whether it was efficacious.

Short read.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

CB's picture

@enhydra lutris
The drug companies have been making a fortune from the sales of opiates. They have no motive to test the efficacy of the Chinese Traditional Medicine, Corydalis yanhusuo for pain control. But they will market as an adjunct to their painkillers due to getting nailed by their indiscriminate application while knowingly hiding the fact that these were highly addictive and led to increased use sales of their products. It's same-old, same-old $$$$$$$$ - just like ivermectin's efficacy in curbing COVID-19 in initial stages of disease.

Four drug firms agree to pay $26 bn in proposed US opioid settlement
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Under the proposed agreement, three drug distributors -- McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen -- along with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, would pay to resolve some 4,000 claims as well as finance prevention and treatment programs, said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The proposed settlement is the largest unveiled in the multi-year legal effort to hold the industry accountable for the opioids crisis, which has caused more than 500,000 deaths in the United States in the last 20 years.

"The numerous companies that manufactured and distributed opioids across the nation did so without regard to life or even the national crisis they were helping to fuel," James said in a statement.
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to see.

I doubt that Politico is the only one with this type of mandate.

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zed2's picture

The Nazi and Japanese loot was funneled to fascists around the world, I read a few years ago. Also lots of Nazis were aided in escaping justice by a global network. They were mostly resettled in South American countries and most were never prosecuted. Possibly including Hitler and Eva Braun. (In Strossner's Paraguay)

But the core of the story is how the Nazi elites largely got away with murder and never paid the price they should have.

Lots of families who made huge amounts off of slave labor ended up very rich at the end of the war in both countries. Basically the richest families in both Germany and Japan remained so.

How can this have been allowed?

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Maybe Blinken will blink.

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@humphrey the tune will not change.

The circumstances have already changed.

It is difficult to imagine a humble caring country. One that cuts its military to the bone and uses the funds to support our people.

laughable, right?

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NYCVG

CB's picture

The reason I discovered this was because I was looking for her piece on the Uighur "genocide" as was discussed on the following:

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was a really good interview with Professor Hamamoto, thanks so much for posting it.

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Gold Warriors and also the Seagraves' other work on Japan: Yamato Dynasty.

They are not without their flaws, but overall comprehensive and eye-opening. The Philippines 'Yamashita Gold' had little to do with General Yamashita - it was the result of systematic looting of occupied countries and its transfer back to Japan and elaborate measures to store and conceal it in the Philippines were a large-scale program carried out over several years.

Yamashita had led the invasion of Malaya and capture of Singapore early in the war (greatest military defeat ever suffered by the British) but was in a rival faction from Tojo (commander of the army, then prime minister) and was more or less exiled to Manchuria for most of the war until, only ten days before the US invaded at Leyte, was placed in command of the defense of the Philippines. Nominal command, anyway, as he was being interfered with by superiors who had fled to Saigon and anyway did not have effective command of the 20,000 or so naval troops in Manila, whose commander disobeyed Yamashita's directive to not defend the city. In retaking the city, more than 1000 US Army and Philippine guerrillas were killed and from 100-250,000 civilians.

Instead, the Navy troops fought to the last man, but not before raping and killing large numbers of civilians - for which Yamashita was subsequently prosecuted even though he had tried to prevent it.

In any case, it's not clear what happened to the treasure that made it back to Japan. The OSS/CIA got their hands on a good chunk of it, a lot supposedly went into something called the Black Eagle Fund which was used to finance off-the book covert operations.

MacArthur prosecuted Yamashita in kangaroo court proceedings in Manila and Yamashita was subsequently executed by hanging. At the same time, MacArthur worked to protect the Japanese royal family members of which a number of other allies such as Australia wanted to prosecute. Dulles concealed war crimes and lied to the Allies saying that Japan was not capable of paying reparations and got them off the hook when the 1951 San Francisco peace treaty was concluded. (Ordinary Japanese people were poor, but the elite were sitting on a huge amount of stolen loot and Dulles knew it.)

MacArthur got real Class A war criminals sprung from Sugamo Prison without having to face trial and the CIA assisted some of them in founding the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, where their literal descendants continue to hold power to the present day.

Recommended:

The Case of General Yamashita by A. Frank Reel (one of Yamashita's US Army defense lawyers) 1949

Good, but very length review of the above.

Dissent of Justice Murphy - IN RE: YAMASHITA (1946)

Fiction:

The Emperor's General by James 'Last of the Blue Dogs' Webb (1999)
Check the reviews on Goodreads

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