To mark the 75th anniversary of the December 7/8 (depending on the time zones), 1941 Imperial Japan's simultaneous attacks against British and American colonies and bases throughout the Asia-Pacific, which started the 3 years and 8 months of Japanese war against Allied Nations, Peace Philosophy Centre presents an English version of the talk by Professor Nobuyoshi Takashima, Emeritus Professor of the University of Ryukyus, which was held in Vancouver, BC, Canada on October 17, 2015, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Japanese wars of the Asia-Pacific. Professor Takashima has spent the last four decades trying to teach the public that the nature of the Japanese war against Allied nations that started on December 7/8, 1941 was Japan's invasion into Southeast Asian countries for their rich resources, such as the oil of Indonesia (then Dutch East Indies) and iron ores of Malay Peninsula (then British Malaya) in order to continue their invasaion and war against China that had been going on since 1931. He has been leading study tours to Malaysia and Singapore to learn and teach about the massacres of people of Chinese decent by the Japanese Army during the war.
We all know Japanese Navy's attack of US Navy base at Pearl Harbor, but how many of us know that Japanese Army's attack on Kota Bharu, Malaysia against the British Army happened more than an hour before Pearl Harbor? Here is the timeline of the day (December 8, by the Japanese time zone).
Kota Bahru, Malaysia: 02:15
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: 03:20
Landing of 5th Division into Thai territory of Malay Peninsula: 04:12
Bombing of Seletar Military Port, Singapore: 05:38
Bombing of Hong Kong: 08:00
Bombing of Guam: 08:30
Bombing of Wake Island: 10:10
Bombing of Clark Airfield, the Philippines: 13:32
(Source: Kihata Yoichi, Sasaki Ryuji, Takashima Nobuyoshi, Fukazawa
Yasuhiro, Yamazaki Gen, Yamada Akira, Document: Shinju wan no hi (Document: The Day of Pearl Harbor), Otsuki Shoten, 1991)
Overemphasis on the memory of Pearl Harbor obscures the true nature and significance of Japanese wars of the Asia-Pacific. It was not a Japan-U.S. war. It was not just the United States that won the war. It was the anti-imperialist resistance and resilience of people of China and all the other Asia-Pacific countries that were colonized and invaded by Japan and the military forces of the Allied Nations that defeated the Japanese Empire.
Later this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to visit Pearl Harbor to stage another political performance with the U.S. President Barack Obama to show off the U.S.-Japan military alliance, just as they did when Mr. Obama came to Hiroshima on May 27 this year. We should not let the two leaders, particularly Mr. Abe who is known for denial of Japan's aggressive past, get away with preying on the memory of the war in which hundreds of millions of people of Asia and hundreds of thousands of Allies' POWs were victimized by the Japanese Empire's colonial rule and military aggression, for their political advantage.
Here is Professor Nobuyoshi Takashima’s talk.
Satoko Oka Norimatsu, December 8, 2016
|Nobuyoshi Takashima and Satoko Oka Norimatsu as|
his interpreter. October 17, 2015. Photo by BC ALPHA
|Nanyang Siang Pau, March 4,1999|
|Lianhe Zaobao, May 25, 1990|
|Japanese Army's invasion routes through Malay Peninsula,|
December 8, 1941 to February 15, 1942
|A high school history textbook from 1980s|
|Recent junior high school textbooks in Japan|
|Jinchu-Nisshi by 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Division of|
Japanese Army, March 1942
|Jinchu-Nisshi where facts of massacre are recorded|
|Shashin zusetsu: Nihon no Shinryaku, Otsuki Shoten, 1992. This map shows|
memorials to remember Japanese Army's killings of people with Chinese descent
|Memorial in Sungai Lui right after it was discovered|
|Chinese and Malay mayors attend the memorial|
|Sungai Lui memorial, after the improvement|
|From right, Mayor Lim, Mr. Hashimoto, |
his wife and son
|Prime Minister dedicating flowers to the victims of Japanese Army's massacre|
of people with Chinese descent in Singapore. This was reported in a newspaper
in Singapore on August 28, 1994
|A newspaper article that reports Singapore lending items related to|
the war-time massacre. July 1990
|Takashima at the time of his textbook lawsuit|
|The first high school textbook with photos of a massacre memorial in Malaysia|