Henry Stokes and Kase Hideaki Talk
Special interview with Mr. Henry Stokes and Mr. Kase Hideaki
It was utterly stupid to accept
the Tokyo Trials’ Views of History
Kokumin Shimbun (The People’s Newspaper), September 25
The book entitled Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious Views of History, as Seen by a British Journalist (Shodensha, New Books) has now become a best seller. The author is Mr. Henry Scott Stokes, former Tokyo Bureau Chief of The New York Times, who was close to Mishima Yukio. The book was translated by Fujita Hiroyuki, a member of this paper’s discoursing committee. In May this year, the Kyodo News distributed a fabricated article claiming that the translator “added lines to deny the Nanking Massacre without the author’s consultation,” in order to disgrace this book. Mr. Stokes talks with Mr. Kase Hideaki, who co-authored Why did the United States Wage a War against Japan with Mr. Stokes (published by Shodensha). They are interviewed by Fujita of the Discoursing Committee.
Fujita: The book Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious Views of History, as Seen
by a British Journalist has now become a best seller, selling over one hundred thousand copies and being much talked about.
Stokes: Probably, I am the first person among Europeans and Americans to publish this kind of book. My book positively supports the view asserted by the Japanese regarding the Tokyo Trials, the Nanking Incident, the Comfort Women and other issues.
Kase: It must be utterly shocking to read a book which says “As a historical fact, ‘Nanking Massacre’ never existed”. The Kyodo News distributed an article claiming that lines were added to deny the Nanking Massacre without the author’s consultation worldwide, trying to impede the publication of this book.
Stokes: The Kyodo News asked the publisher whether they would stop publishing the book and recall copies.
Kase: On the very next day following the distribution of the article, the publisher put in its homepage the author’s view both in Japanese and English with the author’s signature.
Stokes: The contents are as follows. 1) Various reports based on Kyodo News are wrong and they do not reflect the author’s opinion, 2) The cross-head of Kyodo News which says “Best-seller translator added lines to deny Nanking Massacre without author’s consultation” is not true, 3) The report which says the author and the translator, Hiroyuki Fujita, lacked communication regarding book contents is wrong and far from the truth, 4) It was reported by the Kyodo News that the last 2 lines of the Japanese translation of Chapter 5 regarding what happened in Nanking on December 1937 did not reflect the author’s view. The Kyodo News made a big deal out of it. The author’s opinion is: The so-called “Nanking Massacre” never took place. The word “Massacre” is not right to indicate what happened. It was originally a propaganda tool of the KMT government, and 5) The above statements are all based on my opinion. The publisher, Shodensha, and the author agreed that we have no need to make any corrections for the 2 lines in question at this stage.
Kase: With the prompt response taken, even notably anti-Japanese Japan Times put Mr. Stokes and translator Fujita’s opinions against reports based on Kyodo News.
Stokes: The Wall Street Journal substantially put refutation against the Kyodo News reports. The Times also printed Mr. Fujita’s opposite opinion even though in a package report entitled Japan heading for the Right”.
Fujita: Mr. Stokes, what do you think of the fall of Nanking?
Stokes: When I wrote this book, I evolved my argument based on English-version books by Professor Kitamura Minoru and Professor Higashinakano Shudo (www.sdh-fact.com Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact). Now, I feel what
late Mr. Tanaka Masaaki( What Really Happened in Nanking: The Refutation of a Common Myth http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/7_S4.pdf ) claimed is most realistically appealing. As I myself, too, did experience covering on the spot the Vietnam War and the Kwangju Incident in South Korea, I feel what Tanaka-sensei says is truly realistic. One other person I feel realistic sympathy with is Mr. Ara Kenichi ( The Nanking Hoax: A Historian Analyzes the Event of 1937 http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/67_S4.pdf ). He, too, makes us feel as if we were witnessing actual scenes.
Kase: Mr. Ara directly interviewed officers who actually fought in Nanking and reporters who were actually there, which makes us believe their remarks are true. Mr. Masaaki Tanaka served as secretary for General Matsui Iwane, who was commander of the battle over the capture of Nanking.
Stokes: In commanding in the battle in which the Emperor’s Army tried to capture the enemy’s capital, with the world intently watching, General Matsui Iwane thoroughly carried out rigid administrative discipline. Even under such circumstances, General Matsui shed tears on receiving reports from the military police that there were acts committed violating the military discipline in some parts.
Kase: Mr. Stoke, what do you think actually took place in Nanking?
Stokes: The so-called “Nanking Massacre” is a propaganda plot, not a historical fact. As I mentioned during the interview by the Kyodo News, there was no massacre in Nanking. What happened in Nanking should not be described in terms of a massacre. There were some violent acts committed here and there. Fact is that by the Japanese Army’s capture of Nanking, peace and order were restored in Nanking and the then estimated population of 200,000 increased to 250,000 in a month.
Kase: Mr. Stokes said “there were not many combats actually taking place in Nanking” in a report article printed in Yukan Fuji (Evening Paper Fuji), which must have surprised many people.
Fujita: Fierce battles were fought until the Japanese Army actually entered the Nanking Castle. There were nearly 1,600 killed in action on the Japanese side.
Kase: Mr. Stokes refers to the fact that Chiang Kai-shek of the Kuomintang government and Tang, military commander, ran in the face of the enemy, which led Chinese officers to quit fighting and run away, discarding their military uniforms. Compared to heroic battles fought in Palau and Iwo-jima Island by the Japanese Army, it must have seemed to Mr. Stokes that in spite of the valiant words spoken by Chiang Kai-shek that they would defend the capital to the death, very few fierce battles were fought.
Stokes: I think the major reason lay there why Nanking was treated in such a special
manner, unlike other battlefields. Chinese soldiers took off their uniforms and turned into ordinary-clothed soldiers. The Japanese Army was obliged to deal with them. It is recorded that the number of executed ordinary-clothed soldiers and irregular prisoners of war amounted to more than 6,800.
Kase: The execution of these prisoners of war was carried out duly following international law. At that time neither the Kuomintang government nor the League of Nations nor any countries criticized the execution at all.
Stokes: Certainly, the execution was carried out according to international law, but still the number was extraordinarily large. I feel that was a tremendously sad fact. However, as I explained during the interview with the Kyodo News and also with the Examining Organization of Japanese Press, in the background of what brought about such terrible circumstances were involved not only the Japanese Army but also the KMT government and the Chinese Communist Party, and the primary responsibility rested upon Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government.
Fujita: Mr. Stokes, you have often and voluminously referred to the Tokyo Trials.
Stokes: I have been to the former court of the Tokyo Trials for many times. I also visited the place with Mr. Fujita when I was writing this book. I heard from many people concerned with the Trials that the atmosphere at the court in Ichigaya when the trials were in progress was so wicked and filled with poisonous air. The Tokyo Trials was a revenge play produced by MacArthur.
Kase: Mr. Stokes says, “MacArthur was a self-centered narcissist and produced himself in a manner of a film producer.” His production policy of teaching civilization to the savage Japanese was full of conceit and deception.
Stokes: In the Tokyo Trials, what took place was completely different from American values which hold such virtues as justice and fairness. Proof materials which the Japanese side had submitted were almost totally rejected, while whenever a testimonial statement favorable to Japan was made, the simultaneous interpretation was stopped and the part was deleted from the court records. In the first place, MacArthur had no jurisdiction to open the Tokyo Trials at all. “Crimes against peace” had never existed before the Tokyo Trials and clearly such a law was made after the event. In such a court hardly worthy of the name, seven war-time leaders of the defeated country were sentenced to death by hanging as the so-called Class A war criminals. After the War, Japan has accepted historical views based on the Tokyo Trials, which is utterly absurd.
Kase: The Tokyo Trials came to be criticized later by MacArthur himself, who issued the very court decree, and by Chief Justice Webb and all the judges and U.S. government authorities at that time. As Mr. Stokes writes, Japan accepted “judgments”,
but not the “trial” or “justice”. Nevertheless, it is a most deplorable situation that Japan continues to maintain political and diplomatic stance as if Japan has consistently accepted the historical views presented at the Tokyo Trials ever since right after the War to this day.
Stokes: Since the Tokyo Trials was a totally absurd and unjustified event, the historical views based on the Tokyo Trials were nothing more than propaganda, contrary to historical facts. Having written Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious Views of History, as Seen by a British Journalist, I feel all the more confidently that my conviction is right. We must get rid of the Tokyo Trials’ historical views by all means. I am ready to do whatever little I can contribute in order to sweep out the Tokyo Trials’ historical views, from the standpoint of a British journalist.
Kase: We, the Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, will further appeal Japan’s position to the world, continuing to substantially send more information in English. We feel really encouraged and happy that the world’s topflight journalist like Mr. Henry Stokes will join us in the task of disseminating the truth to the world. We sincerely hope that Mr. Stokes will continue to use his pen to the full.
Fujita: Lastly, let us know what you are planning to publish.
Stokes: At present, works are simultaneously under way to publish several talk books including ones with Mr. Ueda Takehiko, formerly of the Hochi Newspaper and with Mr. Fujii Iwaki. A talk book with Mr. Kase is also well progressing for publication.
Kase: I am planning to publish a talk book with Mr. Stokes by the end of this year. The main topic is that Japanese culture is the greatest in the world.
Fujita: Thank you very much for having shared your busy time with us today.
(Photo: Mr. Henry Stokes on the right and Mr. Kase Hideaki on the left)