The Second Sino Japanese War – How, and with what purpose in mind, Japan fight?-
Orders for Officers and Men
of the Expeditionary Force
This concerns the true meaning of our crusade, and to provide standards.
April 29, 1940
Itagaki Seishirô, China Expeditionary Army Chief of Staff
Command Headquarters, China Expeditionary Forces
‘Orders for Officers and Men of the Expeditionary Force’
The Second Sino–Japanese War
— How, and with what purpose in mind, did Japan fight? —
Moteki Hiromichi’s “China Caused the Second Sino–Japanese War” explains how the Second Sino–Japanese War was a conflict caused by China, and how Japan was dragged into a war she had not sought. http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/69_S4.pdf
During the war, Japan never made any territorial demands, nor did she make any de-mands on interests in China. This is made clear from the Funatsu Peace Initiative (Aug. 1937), the Trautmann Peace Initiative (Dec. 1937), etc., wherein no such demands are made.
In Jan. 1938, seeing that no Chinese reply to the Trautmann Peace Initiative was forthcoming though the deadline had come, Japanese prime minister Konoe Fumimaro gave up hopes for peace, declaring, “We will no longer deal with the government of Chiang Kai-shek.” Nonetheless, he made many appeals for peace afterward. In November of that year came the second Konoe declaration, wherein he appealed for international justice, joint anti-communism, and economic cooperation between the three countries of Japan, Manchuria, and China. Then in December came Konoe’s third declaration. This was a call for “neighborly friendship, anti-Communist cooperation, and economic coop-eration.” There is nothing in any of these indicating aggressive intentions toward, or de-signs on ruling, China.
Well, then — with what goals and with what manner of policies and spirit did the Japanese military fight? There is a suitable document to show this. There is a booklet dated 29 April, 1940, titled “Orders for Officers and Men of the Expeditionary Force,” issued under the name of Itagaki Seishirô, the China Expeditionary Army’s chief of staff.
This document stresses that the object of the hostilities was not the Chinese people themselves, but rather the administration of Chiang Kai-shek, which had linked up with Britain, America, France, and the Soviet Union. To break down the perception that it was otherwise, this document states that the objective in fighting the war was to establish a cooperative relationship grounded on moral principles with Japan, China, and Manchuria. The document clarifies that the fundamental goal was the rebuilding of East Asia and the establishment of a New Order in East Asia. Itagaki called for respect of Chinese tradi-tions, manners, and customs, and said his forces had to aim for a joining of the two peo-ples with respect, faith, and love. This confirms that there were no thoughts of contempt for China. From this document, we can also infer that Japan was not aimlessly continuing the fight out of sheer momentum for the sake of just prolonging the conflict, even though there is a considerable tendency to criticize Japan for not knowing exactly why she was fighting.
“China Caused the Second Sino–Japanese War” is mainly an analysis of the circum-stances of the outbreak of the war, but “Orders for Officers and Men of the Expeditionary Force” is something intended to clarify that the Japanese army did not have as its goal the subjugation of China in the fighting that went on after that. The latter document, as a supplement to the former, negates the criticism of Japan as an aggressor against China. It is good to read them together.
I. Origins of the outbreak of the Incident ………………………………………………………………… 1
1. Deficiencies in self-awareness concerning the East ………………………………………………………………… 1
2. Aggressive machinations by the West …………………………………………………………………………………… 1
II. What are the objectives of the hostilities? …………………………………………………………… 4
1. Abolishing the misconceptions of China’s anti-Japanese administration ……………………………………. 4
2. The essence of America and European nations’ hostility toward Japan ……………………………………… 4
III. Infer His Majesty’s will ………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
1. The Imperial Rescript and a question from His Majesty on the occasion of Gen. Honjô’s return to Japan from Manchuria at the time of the outbreak of the Incident ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
2. The truth of “universal brotherhood” and rebuilding Asian principles ………………………………………. 6
IV. How should the Incident be resolved? ………………………………………………………………. 8
1. Basic notions for the resolution of the Incident ………………………………………………………………………. 8
2. Does Japan hope for a unification and strengthening of China, or her breaking up and weakening? 8
3. Remember the original intention of the foundation of Manchuria …………………………………………….. 9
4. The formation of a New Order in East Asia and the East Asian alliance ……………………………………. 9
V. How should officers and men of the Expeditionary Force comport themselves? …… 11
1. Be a true Japanese ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11
2. Preserve the essence of the Imperial Army; put morality into practice with your very life …………. 11
3. Join the two peoples together forever with respect, faith, and love ………………………………………….. 12
4. Admonish your delinquent countrymen who profane the spirits of the war dead, correcting their faults and infecting them with virtue ……………………………………… 12
5. Value the traditions and customs of the Chinese people ………………………………………………………… 13
6. Be tolerant toward reasonable people from third-party countries ……………………………………………. 13
VI. Orders for officers and men returning to Japan ………………………………………………….15
I. Origins of the outbreak of the Incident
1. Deficiencies in self-awareness concerning the East
The peoples of China and Japan have had friendly relations for the past 2,000 years and share a tradition of moral culture preeminent in the world; but the root cause of the appearance of the current state of the various unfriendly relations and antagonisms in re-cent times can be blamed on primarily forgetfulness of the self-awareness that we share as Asians and being dazzled by European and American individualistic material culture. That is to say, Chinese statesmen in recent years have been dependent on Europe and America for everything, using those nations’ faculties to check Japan’s development and forming the impetus to create a fraternal quarrel, themselves going so far as to ruin their own colonies’ status. On the other hand, we, who were victors of the First Sino–Japanese War, were, in the position of a victorious nation, confrontational in China and scornful of the Chinese. Toward Westerners, as an advanced people, we were flattering and bent be-fore them knees that should have remained unbent. We forgot the great dream of creating a nation, and our having fallen into the bad habit of scorning China and adoring the West is at the root of us having arrived at our present state. Thus, our goal in these present cir-cumstances, in that we have forgotten that our two peoples are fellow Asians, is devising a fundamental correction of Sino–Japanese relations.
It is possible that Japan, unfortunately being scientifically speaking an undeveloped country at the time, followed the above course of actions as a way of making a dash to becoming a modern state. Even though one might say in truth that there is no way it could have been avoided, it was on the other hand a truly regrettable matter.
Ever since then, the emergence of Japan’s strength has been remarkable. At the time of the Meiji Restoration, we had nothing more than just the force to carry out a deter-mined protection of our own country; but with our skilled efforts in the Russo–Japanese War we were able to trip up Russian aggression in the Far East, and with the Manchurian Incident we were not afraid to take the proper path and so boldly withdrew from the League of Nations. Furthermore, it is under the influence of His Majesty, based on a na-tional self-awareness accompanied by the enrichment of Japan’s strength as left to us by the unswerving loyalty of those who came before, that we have hoisted the great banner of the establishment of a New Order and arisen to action with the ideal of rebuilding East Asia in this present Incident. That is, as we are now surely the pioneers among the Asian peoples, we are confronting a great historical turning point: the rebuilding of East Asia
and Asian self-awareness.
2. Aggressive machinations by the West
Britain began her aggression in Asia some 200 years ago in establishing her rule over India. Unsatisfied just with India and her population of 350 million as a colony, the Brit-ish moved on into China. Britain took Hong Kong and gained concessions in Shanghai and Tianjin in the Opium Wars 100 years ago, gradually gaining control over the Yangtze River. With Japan’s rising to her feet and the awakening of the Chinese people, the Brit-ish modified their blatant style of aggression, giving China a certain degree of assistance in her unification, and seized real financial power as compensation for this, occupying a very real monopolistic position vis-à-vis government and finance. They indicated the strength to oppose Japan’s development, and the perception of these as anti-Japanese pol-icies led to this present Incident.
The Opium Wars were essentially about the purchase of opium made by Indians at low cost and the sale of it at elevated prices to the Chinese, and the profits were monopo-lized by British merchants. As a result, the Chinese became opium addicts. The 1911 Xinhai Revolution was brought about by young men with an awakening awareness of a new China, and accompanying the revolution were attempts to extricate themselves from their colonial-like status and their exploitation by the Great Powers. It was only natural that the first sign of anti-foreign action would be directed at the British, but after that Britain cleverly disguised her oppressive policies and redirected them to lend support to the Chinese actions, changing their objective to anti-Japanese targets and putting a stop to Japanese advancement, leading to this present Incident.
Meanwhile, as a result of the collapse of Imperial Russia, the occurrence of the Man-churian Incident, and the loss of established, vested interests in China (and Manchuria in particular), the Soviet Union undertook aggressive inroads into China from Outer Mon-golia and the province of Xinjiang, scheming to Sovietize the East. As their premier un-dertaking, they send Borodin to participate in secret military consultation with leaders of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, cleverly aiming to expand the influence of the Communist Party. Riding the coat-tails of the Chinese maneuvering, they attempted to hinder the ad-vance onto the continent of Japan, which was the power in the Far East.
Britain held influence within the Guomindang, which was using the Zhenjiang zai-batsu as its base. In opposition to Great Britain, who tried to protect her vested interests by influence over the Guomindang, the Soviet Union controlled the Communist Party and
it is a plain fact that they primarily tried to support peasants and their emerging influence. Consequently, a distinction is made between the agency backing the Communist Party and the agency backing the Guomindang, and a distinction is made in their true natures, so it seems only natural that there would be confrontation and dispute; but because of their shared anti-Japanese objectives, the dogs and cats cooperated — and because of that cooperation between the two parties, we are facing the present Incident.
In the conflict reported recently in the Chongqing interior and Shanxi, Hebei, and other provinces, between the Communist Party and Guomindang, one can see a reflection of the state of affairs in Europe. Viewed from the present confrontational status in the re-lationship between Britain and the Soviet Union, this is a natural inclination.
Immediately following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Japan adhered consistently to a policy of non-expansion; but China’s anti-Japanese administration, incited and urged on by America, Europe, and the Soviet Union, and blind to their own victimization, allowed no flexibility in contemplating ways to settle the situation between our two nations. In the end, it developed into the unprecedented state of hostilities we have today.
That Britain has recently displayed an attitude of compromise toward Japan is the re-sult of calculated self interest, as the greater part of Britain’s vested interests in China are centered in Shanghai and thus are within territory we occupy. It is only a natural attitude, given the nature of the tensions in Europe. In contrast to this, the base of the Communist Party is in China’s north-west, diametrically opposite to the territory occupied by Japan. In addition, the exhaustion of China and Japan brought about by the conflict between the two powers is a condition favorable to the acceleration of China’s Sovietization, so they call for total opposition to Japan and coerce the government in Chongqing to blindly con-tinue the resistance.
II. What are the objectives of the hostilities?
1. Abolishing the misconceptions of China’s anti-Japanese administration
The ambassadors of Britain, America, France, the Soviet Union, etc., are at present assembled in Chongqing planning something. Britain, America, and France are trying in some way or another to help Chongqing and waiting for Japan to make a mistake, while the Soviets are exhausting Japan’s potential to fight against the Soviet Union by continu-ing the Sino–Japanese struggle. Anyone could realize that their policy is a promotion of Sovietization through the ruin of China. In other words, the object of our hostilities is most definitely not the people of China; it is the anti-Japanese administration jumping to respond to British, American, French, and Soviet incitement — and their army, and brig-ands. Consequently, the aim of this Incident is to thoroughly chastise China’s anti-Japanese administration and its army and then brigands who make up its core battle-force. Before we see them change their minds, the war must go on for five or even ten years, but having exhausted all available means they will either fall to us or they will come to us in submission having realized their mistake, and we will have to exercise forbearance. From our hearts we shall thus console innocent, law-abiding people. We shall succor the frail and crush the brute; and under our tradition of bushidô, we impose on the officers and men of the Expeditionary Force a great mission: that no untoward displays be made in this crusade
2. The essence of America and European nations’ hostility toward Japan
The basic purpose for Britain, America, France, and other countries in helping the Chongqing administration (apart from those already mentioned) is that they are afraid of an independent China brought about by Japanese assistance. That is, they want China — if not the Orient itself — to be a perpetual colony. They earnestly wish to preserve Asia as the object of their exploitation, and make the benefit of their own countrymen the foundation of that status. The Soviet Union’s plan is to exhaust both China and Japan’s national powers by prolonging the conflict. Both of these are examples of calculated self-interest at odds with moral principles. Now, they can present an illusory sense of fear of being expelled and shut out of the Far East as the reason they fear us. This is a misappre-hension between rebuilding East Asia and shutting down East Asia. The total independ-
ence of China and the joining of China and Japan as good neighbors does not in any way whatsoever mean the exclusion of any third-party nation. It is instead our wish for their proper and well-intentioned cooperation, for this is the proper function of all nations be-ing in harmony.
As is evident from the Imperial Decree, this crusade’s true meaning is peace in the Orient, a manifestation of moral principles, and urging a reconsideration by anti-Japanese China, so that they cooperate in the establishment of that peace. We will be confidently unashamed before heaven and earth and we shall continue to push forward by means of a conviction that will hold even if millions should oppose us. The attitude of calculated self-interest by these countries is a temporary phenomenon; if we unswervingly tread the path of duty from beginning to end, surely the morality of a world without enemies will shine forth its light.
III. Infer His Majesty’s will
1. The Imperial Rescript and a question from His Majesty
on the occasion of Gen. Honjô’s return to Japan from
Manchuria at the time of the outbreak of the Incident
In the Imperial Rescript presented at the 72nd opening of the Imperial Diet, His Maj-esty said, “From dawn to dusk we do not cease in our hopes to preserve stability in East Asia and thereby establish the reality of a mutual prosperity based upon the cooperation between our empire and the Republic of China. The Republic of China profoundly fails to comprehend our empire’s true intentions, unnecessarily taking an aggressive stance, and has ultimately brought us to this present Incident. We regret this. At present our mili-tary is overcoming all obstacles and are continuing to perform with loyalty and bravery. This is solely to prompt reflection on the part of the Republic of China, and is nothing more than an attempt to establish peace in East Asia quickly.” The true meaning of our crusade is solemnly clear.
When Gen. Honjô, who returned to Japan when there was time to pause during the Manchurian Incident, was granted an audience with His Majesty the Emperor, it came out that the first question His Majesty asked was, essentially, “Is the population of 30 million pleased with the establishment of Manchukuo?”, and next His Majesty enquired, “Have the flood control measures in North Manchuria been completed, and are the officers and men on the front well?” Among our countrymen there were those hoping for an immoral profit to be the harvest from our crusade, but with the graciousness of his boundlessly benevolent Rescript and His Majesty’s words, it is difficult to endure what we owe His Majesty.
2. The truth of “universal brotherhood” and rebuilding Asian principles
The Imperial Rescript of Emperor Jinmu upon ascending to the throne was, “Above, I should then respond to the kindness of the Heavenly Powers in granting me the kingdom, and below, I should extend the line of the imperial descendants and foster rightminded-ness. Thereafter, the capital may be extended so as to embrace all the six cardinal points, and the eight cords may be covered so as to form a roof.” A universal brotherhood in ac-
cord with justice and following the path of righteousness based on the foundation of mo-rality, yielding a reality where all nations are in concert, was the great intent at our na-tion’s founding. Rebuilding East Asia is carrying out the Emperor’s wishes in that Re-script. It is nothing more than putting into practice in East Asia the intent behind the founding of our nation, and we are supporting rightness in Asian self-awareness. That is, it is making as our basis the rehabilitation of Eastern moral principles.
The affectionate heart of His Majesty shines broadly over all — the high and the low, the rich and the poor, regardless of influence —like the light of the sun, eternally bathing with light lands both foreign and domestic, as an unending stretch of sunshine after the rain. That light is strong because it is right, and it is lasting because it is right.
The capitalistic aggression that has been adopted by the West vis-à-vis China, India, Africa, etc., and the class-struggle–based world-wide revolution as planned by the Soviet Union, make victims of other countries and other races as they plan only for prosperity for their own people. Before heaven and earth, this is a shameful path. They will conse-quently probably not be able to endure for long. Being thrown into the current violent maelstrom is just the chaotic situation one would expect to be brought about by such im-moral world policies. We must persist in the true meaning of “universal brotherhood,” and we must first put moral principals into practice ourselves to rescue the Orient from such chaos — and as a result establish the foundation of eternal harmony through the joining of China, Manchuria, and Japan as is in accord with the great will of His Majesty.
IV. How should the Incident be resolved?
1. Basic notions for the resolution of the Incident
The ideal of “all eight corners of the world under one roof” is the establishment of harmony among all nations, and creating peace in the East is the first step in creating harmony among all nations. After saving the Orient, we then must save the rest of the world. Then, for the rebuilding of East Asia — that is, to establish a New Order in East Asia — we must first bring together both physically and spiritually under a moral founda-tion Japan, Manchuria, and China (whose relationships are the basis of that). This is our goal to resolving the present Incident. The Russo–Japanese War, the Manchurian Incident, and now this present Incident, are parts of a process of historical effort. That is, the es-sence of the present Incident is, at its least, an effort toward establishing stability for Ja-pan, Manchukuo, and China, and at its most, the start of rebuilding all of East Asia.
The three general principles of neighborly friendship, cooperative anti-communist measures, and economic cooperation (all of which are already national policies) are being advocated vis-à-vis the coupling of Japanese, Manchurian, and Chinese relations. That is, the three countries will by morality be made into a base of cooperation, and through giv-ing weight to cooperation in national defense and the economy, we will all work together, giving mutual respect to the particular characteristics of the citizens of each nation. We will deepen the amity of cooperative friendship, with neighboring countries defending each other materially against the influx of Sovietization, and long-term mutual compensa-tions with a level economic exchange. We must preserve and expand the original Asian moral culture by achieving mutual cooperation. This relationship is the basis for rehabili-tating East Asia, and it must set the example.
2. Does Japan hope for a unification and strengthening of China, or her breaking up and weakening?
As a sleeping lion, when China had the might of a lion the various powers carrying out aggression in China had to act with some restraint; but since the result of the First Si-no–Japanese War was to expose to the world the weakness of that sleeping lion, the ag-gression by Western countries in China has been historically explicit.
What is menacing China’s independence is the disturbance of the peace in Asia, and this is also a menace to Japan. There have been few who had the idea of controlling the breaking up and weakening of China, which so far has been prone to happen; this idea was the exemplification of the Western countries attempting aggression in China; it was by no means the objective of this crusade.
When Japan made a strong and great resolution to spare no efforts in all manner of cooperation in implementing demands for Chinese unity that were spreading like fire in the Chinese interior, the good-neighbored joining of China and Japan was something we were able to achieve for the first time. If by chance a Chinese should be cheated by a Jap-anese after some undeserved income, or if someone thinks of China as if it were a colony of Japan in the same way foreigners treated China, they stand in opposition to the essence of a moral Japan and they must not hold such a shameful belief.
The patent great objective that is the true meaning behind our crusade is the estab-lishment of a New Order through morality, so we must deal with all policies and sin-cerely live up to our word. If we do not make it our hearts’ desire and our dream to carry out without any regrets or exaggeration, demonstrating through truth, the true meaning of our crusade, with its goal of the abolition of the old order of the materialism and immoral policies of the nations of the West (capitalistic controls and class struggle revolutions), then we cannot perform in accord with the great will of His Majesty.
3. Remember the original intention of the foundation of Manchuria
The Empire of Manchuria, born through the precious sacrifice of many tens of thou-sands of lives in the First Sino–Japanese War, the Russo–Japanese War, and the Manchu-rian Incident, is a moral state in accord with a new principle of racial harmony. The extra-territorial authorities and annexed-territory authorities who set out from Japan some time ago have returned, and how they exhausted all manner of efforts in developing and strengthening Manchuria must surely be known both at home and abroad. Manchuria af-terward displayed prosperous growth, and even within the world’s chaotic maelstrom, the population of 30 million has not felt the ravages of war, and her residents are at ease and her industry is thriving.
If Manchuria is exploited by the Zhang military clique as before, or if it should be-come a dominion of the Soviet Union, her 30 million law-abiding citizens will know mis-ery — or it is also possible that perhaps yet a second Russo–Japanese War could spread across her fields.
4. The formation of a New Order in East Asia and the East Asian alliance
When the countries of the Orient awakened from sweet dreams of Shangri-La, the teeth and claws of the Western nations were already tearing at their innermost parts.
Had China awakened a hundred years ago, she would have been able to check the ag-gression of Western nations under her own power, and she may have been able to avoid the Opium War and the Russo–Japanese War — and perhaps even the present Incident. Historically, the Chinese and Japanese people had 2,000 years of friendship, and before contact with nations of the West there were no cases of rousing the nations to go to war. If Japan, Manchuria, and China contended with each other and split up individually, they would give an opening to the West for aggressive exploitation; but if the three nations truly joined together, there is probably not a country in the world that could even lay a finger on them. In other words, the basis for everlasting peace in the Orient — the forma-tion of an East Asian alliance through a moral union of Japan, Manchuria, and China; the preservation of a neighborly relationship; the assumption of responsibility for mutual de-fense against violent aggression in East Asia; the mutual support and reinforcement of one another and helping each other through reciprocal economics; planning the full de-velopment of the national power of our three countries; and fostering the development of autonomy as the normal state for other races in Asia as well — can contribute to a world peace wherein all nations share that well-being together.
The New Order for East Asia — that is, the rebuilding of East Asia — as it centers (as has been said) on a neighborly joining of Japan, Manchuria, and China, is something intended to advance the whole of East Asia, and what is hoped is that all the peoples of all the nations of East Asia will gain a place to live peacefully, in neighborly amity, pros-pering by cooperation and everyone achieving his own destiny. It is by these means that we intend to rebuild and develop the Asian moral culture, and the main point of that is autonomy of the peoples of every nation, and a bilateral, cooperative relationship in na-tional defense, economics, and so on, on a moral basis.
It is expected that the reciprocal relationships among the nations in the New Order in East Asia ultimately will lead to the development of a combined federation. The true in-tent of this East Asian federation, as mentioned above, is maintaining the stability and development of East Asia on a moral base as something intended to contribute to the re-building of world peace. To start with, its foundation will be made up of the three coun-tries of Japan, Manchuria, and China. Of course, it has been hoped from the beginning
that countries other than these three would join in. In the event any of the nations of the West were to join in as well, that step is something that we would gladly welcome.
V. How should officers and men of the Expeditionary Force comport themselves?
1. Be a true Japanese
Inside Japan even now we cannot overlook the true intent of our crusade. It is regret-table that there are those who are unable to settle notions of seeking personal compensa-tion by the idea of aggression in imitation of the West. The promulgation of the Imperial Way and the establishment of Oriental morality are built upon the bones of the hundred thousand human sacrifices to peace in the Orient whose cries of “Long live His Majesty” were their final words. Peace in the Orient is the goal. Eternal peace can only be pursued by a heart free of desire. Through strength, one can recover things that are wanted with strength; things acquired on the path one follows cannot be lost so long as one does not deviate from the path.
In the previously quoted Imperial Rescript where we saw His Majesty’s words, “The Republic of China profoundly fails to comprehend our empire’s true intentions,” what we were unable to contain our awe at was that before the Incident, we Japanese, as true Japa-nese, transmitted this to the Chinese, carrying out the will of His Majesty; but there was a failure in our great endeavor to get the Chinese people to understand His Majesty’s will.
The principle condition for the resolution of the Incident has to be the 100 million Japanese quickly distancing themselves from Western ideologies, returning to being true Japanese and validating the true Japanese attitude, upholding their own country, and de-ciding to devote their lives to the realization of the great ideal behind the foundation of Japan. Before returning the Orient to the Orient, the Japanese must first return to the Jap-anese.
2. Preserve the essence of the Imperial Army;
put morality into practice with your very life
A special aspect of the Imperial Army is their mission as a moral army to disseminate the Imperial Way. In their daily lives, His Majesty’s soldiers must only put into physical practice the carrying out of His Majesty’s will.
If there is anything done that would be shameful before heaven or man in the behav-ior of the officers and men of the Expeditionary Force who are stood up in the front line of this crusade, it will desecrate His Majesty’s will, and it will be something that will re-main as a source of eternal resentment with the Chinese people. Deviating from human feelings does not signify a crusade. If there are those who are committing outrages, ac-cepting unreasonable parting gifts or banquets from Chinese, riding in rickshaws and not paying for it, or under the pretense of suppression are burning the homes of non-hostile people, even killing or wounding law-abiding citizens, or are stealing others’ property, how hard will it be to stem the propaganda? Far from earning the trust of the Chinese people, it will incur their enmity. Even if one has produced exceptional martial exploits, this will not serve to accomplish the military results of our crusade.
The spirits of our hundred thousand war dead are watching over our behavior. Head-quarters is taking the initiative and self-admonishing self-restraint, usually thinking of the front-line officers and men; and the front line officers and men think of the heroic spi-rits of those who died in battle, and they rectify themselves. This is just naturally the way of those who are left alive.
The basic factor in long-term victory is the growth of determination. We must fight another five or ten years before we accomplish the aims of this crusade. Though the mili-tary expedition should last a long time, high-ranking persons in particular must decide in advance to set an example of self-discipline and self-admonition so as to keep martial discipline from going lax.
3. Join the two peoples together forever with respect, faith, and love
“Helping the weak because they are weak” is a sentiment (love) that is a traditional characteristic of the Japanese people. Our crusade’s starting point is chastising China’s blindly acting anti-Japanese government, which is being directed by the machinations of the Western powers. It is based on an intention to try to assist law-abiding citizenry who are being oppressed, but what we need to establish the anticipated perpetual union of the people of Japan and China post-war is the generosity to put trust within their hearts, mak-ing progress step by step to sincerely view the true nature of the Chinese people and dis-covering and respecting their merits.
If one adopts a guarded attitude that one may be being deceived, then one’s counter-part, too, will embrace a closed attitude. This situation is the same whether it is in private
associations or in relations between nations.
China holds 4,000 years of history and civilization, longer than the West’s, and 2,000 year of friendship with Japan. We see the Chinese threatened by the depredations of ban-dits and natural disasters with no one to rely on, and how they continue their deeply-rooted existence notwithstanding the recent exploitation by the capitalistic aggression of Western nations. We see the Chinese people who have assiduously lived with their vast land, and recognize the merits of their tenacity, their stoicism, and their simplicity. Surely we will be able to attain a spiritual union of our two people if we go forth with a willing-ness to gladly accept being thrown once or twice.
However much we cry, “have faith in Japan, cooperate with the Japanese,” the Chi-nese are by nature singularly unwilling to rely on Japan or to believe in the Japanese.
It is a precondition that we must first ourselves act properly as true Japanese before we call on the Chinese.
4. Admonish your delinquent countrymen who profane the spirits
of the war dead, correcting their faults and infecting them with virtue
There are no few among our countrymen who, following the army (whether in pacifi-cation or in nursing) and pioneering the way to the continent, performing dedicated, self-sacrificing service, sacrificed themselves in the line of duty, or are at present carrying on their duties in the field; but there is a situation that is no small shame to Japanese. It is regrettable, but we have to accept that there are many who have violated laws — and thus there are also a great many incidents where some have come under ethical attacks not-withstanding they had not violated the law.
If one makes the rounds in the evenings in Shanghai, Nanking, Tienjin, Beijing, etc., one can divine what kind of circumstances are they in. Iniquity is not uncommon in the shadows of the merrymaking. There are people who cheat and threaten the Chinese, hun-gering for illicit gain; people who, knowing profiteering on the side of the enemy is going on, either dare to allow it to continue for monetary gain, or who become an underling of the Chinese and behave in a manner disadvantageous to our side; above all, there are people who will lend their names to foreigners to make an unfair profit. Given a situation where there are such people who reject the guidance of general regulations and scheme only for their personal gain, this will leave us unable to achieve success in our crusade no matter how much time passes, and it will even lead to a perpetual conflict between our two peoples.
The officers and men of the Expeditionary Force must first set the example with your own bodies, urging introspection and self-awareness upon your delinquent fellow coun-trymen, and through being prepared to prevent the outcome of profaning the spirits of our hundred thousand war dead, you must endeavor to consecrate your march.
If our hundred thousand dead heroes see that their delinquent countrymen, to feather their own nests, precipitate another conflict between the people of Japan and China, how can they raise a complaint from below the ground? Just presenting flowers and praying is not enough to console the spirits of our dead. Exerting all our efforts to achieve a perpet-ual union between China and Japan built upon their bones is the duty of every surviving officer and man, and that is the greatest memorial we can have for our honored dead.
5. Value the traditions and customs of the Chinese people
In China, there are Chinese traditions, and Chinese people have their own particular customs. It is an absolutely indispensible requirement to respect them, to understand them, and to honor them. Along with Japanese being true Japanese, one also must respect the Chinese for being true Chinese. Friendship requires tolerance and compassion.
With Japanese regulations being strengthened in China, Japanese intervening in Chi-nese domestic affairs, viewing the Chinese as puppets while calling for Sino–Japanese collaboration, disregarding their customs, and so forth, we will not be able to achieve any effective results no matter how original or ingenious a plan may be. When possible we should entrust China to the Chinese, and we must deal with them with generosity and put trust in their hearts.
6. Be tolerant toward people from third-party countries
Defying evil and spreading the truth is the mission of the Imperial Army. What we must do in rousing the state to promulgate the Imperial Way is to protect the helpless and weak. While this is our national conviction, it also a characteristic of our bushidô. As concerns the territory we at present occupy, third-country interests are powerless and make no resistance before our force’s large presence. It is necessary to behave properly toward people from third-party nations who are living far removed from their mother countries, so far as it does not serve the interests of the enemy, treating them with the same forbearance as law-abiding Chinese people and thereby not giving rise to any need-
less misgivings. As the rebuilding of East Asia is one stage in achieving harmony among all nations, impropriety benefitting an enemy must be overcome, but we must not repel reasonable, neutral parties. As concerns their fears as they try to make out as if it were peacetime even though they are living under circumstances demanded during wartime, we must examine the extent of our demands and make them clear, and instruct these peo-ple and guide them so they understand our just intentions. The Imperial Army must not now issue rebukes due to errors of the past, or mete retribution out on innocent individu-als because of the country’s failings. If they misconstrue the true motives of our crusade and if there is anyone who designs unrest for East Asia, this is something that will cause us to take decisive action and with unreserved national determination to defy evil and spread the truth
VI. Orders for officers and men returning to Japan
In accordance with our crusade lasting a long time, it is profoundly necessary to con-sider to what extent the domestic repercussions may be with the speech and conduct of officers and men on relief in Japan or returning home.
The emotional toll of going off to war for three years, enduring every manner of pri-vation, and braving the hail of bullets, disappears upon returning home, and one can not help but be enfolded in the all-powerful materialistic society. The person who did not go off to war comfortably piles up money, or perhaps he has acquired high status or attained some contradictory position, and one must be on guard against those going about in dis-guise and appealing to the returning officers and men for some left-wing activity for the disruption of the national policy. What must be considered by those who have lost com-rades-in-arms, seen their subordinates killed, or had their superiors die, is this: what the heroic dead would ask of them? What they would want is one thing. That is, that the im-age of the Japanese Empire would grow increasingly great and manifest through the world, and that is what they gave their lives for, obeying the Imperial Edict for peace in the Orient, with cries of “Long live the Emperor” as their last words.
If there is a disgraceful state of affairs inside Japan so as to profane these honored dead, if there is an lack of attentiveness by the people, it goes without saying that it is ne-cessary to boldly rise up to assist in the prosperity of the Imperial throne and be ready to show the way at home, moving toward the achievement of our crusade’s goals. The emo-tional toll from exposure to the dangers of a hail of bullets and however many times one has cheated death is something that cannot be compensated for by any means. The duty owed to the honored dead by those who have survived is remaining undefeated by the all-powerful materialistic society after repatriation, and this is the thing that becomes the spi-ritual core of the Japanese people and guides the people in their home towns.
Since last autumn, Europe has been experiencing a second great war, so interference in the Orient by those nations has therefore been somewhat mitigated; but the nations of Europe, who take calculated self-interest as their creed, can not expect to long continue a war where there is no self-interest to be gained. We cannot predict when peace (from the beginning really an armed peace, though) will return. This autumn, they will seek in Asia the things they could not get in Europe, and we have to expect that it will only be natural that third-party countries will again form a sphere of influence to try to interfere with Ja-pan. We expect that second or third national crisis will try Japan both from within and
without. We are making preparations for when volunteering will be difficult, and so de-serving the confidence of His Majesty, our commander-in-chief, will be the best memo-rial service of all for our hundred thousand honored dead.