14. Report of the Japanese Commission on the Complicity of Japan


In November 1959, the Japanese Government committed an illegal act by concluding a reparations agreement with the puppet regime of South Vietnam, as though it represented the whole of the Vietnamese people. By so doing, the Japanese Government violated the Geneva Agreements and gave support to the US policy of dividing Vietnam, which was an infringement of the national sovereignty of the Vietnamese.
     At the time this reparations agreement was concluded, the resistance struggle of the South Vietnamese people against the US and Ngo Dinh Diem was beginning to expand throughout the South. The resistance had hardened as a result of the massacre of the Phou Loi concentration camp in December 1958 and the promulgation of Law No. 10 in 1959. By concluding the {317} reparations agreement with the Ngo Dinh Diem regime, the Japanese government and monopoly capitalists paid war reparations that should have gone to all the Vietnamese people to only South Vietnam. The conclusion of this reparations agreement also meant Japan's active participation in US neo-colonialism and denied the existence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, even though it had been internationally recognized as a sovereign state by the Geneva Conference. Japan's action contributed to perpetuating the provisional military demarcation line as a permanent border line. After the agreement, Japan cooperated in the construction of military bases of an offensive nature directed against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and even built electric power stations to supply electricity to US military bases in South Vietnam. For this, the Japanese government spent the Japanese people's taxes amounting to twenty billion yen (approximately $55 million).

     Granting of military bases for aggression in Vietnam

US military bases in Japan have been established in 264 places; made up from 147 in mainland Japan and 117 in Okinawa. With regard to functions, these bases can be classified into four types. The first are combat bases, the second logistic, supply and repair bases, the third are recuperation and recreation bases, and the fourth are intelligence and training bases. Some bases have dual functions and some cannot be classified into any of these types.
     Combat bases are such direct striking bases as Kadena base in Okinawa, Yokota base in Tokyo, Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture (the largest attack base in western Japan) and Yokosuka and Sasebo bases of the 7th Fleet. Communications bases can also be classified with these combat bases, and include Wakkanai radar base in Hokkaido, RORAN C base at Tokachi in Hokkaido, the US Navy Signal Corps Station at Kamiseya in Yokohama, and the US Navy Signal Corps at Isami in Aichi Prefecture.
     The second type, logistic, supply and repair bases, include Tachikawa base which is a terminal for US war planes in Asia and the Pacific; Yokosuka naval base; the US Army General Supply Depot at Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture; military {318} facilities at Yokohama and Kobe (ports for loading and unloading of war materials) and fuelling depots and explosive magazines at Azumashima in Yokosuka port, Akizuki in Hiroshima, Yamada in Fukuoka and Zushi-Ikego in Kanagawa Prefecture.
     Recreation and recuperation bases include US army field hospitals at Asaka in Saitama Prefecture, Kamijujo in Tokyo, Kishine in Yokohama, Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture and the US Naval Hospital at Yokosuka base. In addition there are other medical treatment facilities, hotels and other facilities for recreation of the US forces scattered throughout Tokyo, Atami and other places in Japan.
     The fourth type, intelligence and training bases, include the US Army Bureau for Study and Development of the Far East in Sagamihara city and the US Army Printing Office at Kawasaki city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Mito shooting and bombing range, Misawa anti-surface missile and bombing range, Kita Fuji practice range, US training centre at Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture, anti-surface missile and bombing range in Torishima island. Attention should also be given to the fact that, in order to create naval practice grounds, wide areas of the open sea have been closed to normal trade and shipping.

Okinawa - the largest base of aggression against Vietnam

Okinawa, which is now ruled by the US forces, was one of the more than forty Prefectures of pre-war Japan. It consists of a chain of small islands, situated at the southern tip of the Japanese archipelago, about 600 kilometres from Kagoshima, Kyushu Island, in mainland Japan. Its capital city is Naha, with a population of 230,000, where the High Commissioner of the US `Civil Government' (actually military government) is stationed. The total population of Okinawa is about 960,000 Japanese people from ancient times. They have been, for the more than twenty years since the Second World War, under the rule of the US military administration. The US government has stated that Okinawa is the most important keystone in the US strategic bridge in the Far East. The distance from Okinawa to Hanoi is 2,418 kilometres; {319} to Peking 1,793 kilometres; to Pyongyang, Korea, 1,334; to Khavarovsk and Vladivostok of the Soviet Union 2,502 and 1,876 kilometres respectively.
     Okinawa is an advantageous base, an `unsinkable aircraft carrier', as it were, as a supply, sortie and nuclear base for the US aggression against Vietnam, and a place from which to dominate Asian countries of the Far East. It was in Okinawa waters that warships of Japan's maritime `Self-Defence' Forces several times carried out joint exercises with the US forces. Here, also, troops of Thailand, the Philippines, the `Republic of Korea', and the South Vietnam regime are conducting military training under command of the US forces.
     Below are quotations from the testimonies given by US government officials in regard to the military role of Okinawa:
     Admiral Sharp, Commander of the US Pacific Joint Forces, writing in the Morning Star, official organ of the US Forces, dated 10 December 1965, said (retranslated): `Without Okinawa, we cannot carry on the Vietnam war.' In an interview with a correspondent of Japan's Asahi Shimbun, 20 July 1967, he said:

Preservation of the US military facilities in Okinawa will be indispensable for the future security of the free world, including Japan.... To provide for any unexpected state of affairs in south-east Asia, Okinawa remains a very important transit and logistic base, and an important communication centre for the US army and air force.
     Assistant Under Secretary of the Army Holt said (retranslated): `Unanimity of opinion is reached among broad circles that, from its strategic position, Okinawa is the most important base for the defence of the free world. The sole reason for the US retaining administrative rights over Okinawa is to be found in the military importance of Okinawa and in the fact that tensions still persist in the Far East.' (Testimony at the 3rd Subcommittee Hearing of the US House Military Affairs Committee on 13 April 1967.)

     Manpower supplied by the Japanese government

Of all the LST ships (landing ships tanks) participating in military transport for the US war of aggression in Vietnam, twenty-eight {320} are operated by Japanese; all crew members, including captains, are Japanese.
     Transport for the war in Vietnam is accomplished by both air and marine transport units. The LST ships manned by Japanese are incorporated into the US Military Sea Transport Service - or MSTS-Far East.
     As of 31 January 1967, the number of Japanese crew members on MSTS LSTs was 1,368. The US classifies these vessels as `naval', indicating that LST crews are members of a kind of US military, in this case forming a kind of `foreign legion'. There have already been cases of deaths and wounds, which should obviously be called `war deaths and war wounds', among these Japanese crews. Continuation of such action against Vietnam on board LSTs flying the Stars and Stripes should be regarded precisely as the `dispatch of troops' by Japan. Such transportation by maritime units constitutes a part of the overall war action, by any definition.

Economic cooperation in the war by the Japanese government

Economic journalists point out that to grasp the real extent of special procurement in Japan is extremely difficult because the Japanese government is not empowered even to survey the full picture. The only information available is from data provided by courtesy of the US Embassy. Because the capitalists are trying not to publicize the facts for fear of being criticized as `merchants of death', all such contracts are semi-clandestine.
     Up to 1959 the US Embassy provided the Japanese government with data on ordering of goods and services under direct special procurement. This data included products, names of companies and amounts of money involved, details which the Japanese government then released to the public. But since 1960, the year of public outcry against the Japan-US Security Treaty, even this has not been done. Although, under the Japan-US Security Treaty and the agreement on the status of the US forces in Japan, the Japanese government is not empowered to make a survey of such matters, the Minister of International Trade and Industry {321} (MITI) has this to say in explanation: `The Japanese government is trying to obtain as accurate statistics as possible by asking for reports from trade companies, summing them up and by making contact with the US.' In reality, however, the Japanese government is cooperating with US imperialism, and will not make known to the Japanese people the nature and full extent of special procurement for Vietnam.
     Nonetheless, from the very limited data officially approved by the US Embassy and published by MITI, we can obtain the following information on special procurement. It testifies to the cooperation and participation in the Vietnam war by the Japanese government and monopoly capitalists.
     Special procurements in the first half of 1967 increased fourteen per cent compared with the same period of 1966. Exports to the countries related to the Vietnam war in the first half of 1967 increased by forty-one per cent, i.e. $550 million more compared with the same period of the previous year.
     Japan's exports to the US increased by 19.8 per cent in 1965, but increased by 34.5 per cent in 1966. This figure represents an 80 per cent increase in Japan's exports in 1966. The situation is such that even MITI cannot neglect the relationship between these figures and the Vietnam war. MITI estimates that direct and indirect procurements resulting from the Vietnam war have reached about $600 million, while the estimate by the Foreign Ministry comes to a far greater amount - $900 or $1,100 million. Even the minimum estimation confirms that this quantity of goods and services from Japan for the US is being used for killing and wounding the people of Vietnam and for building US rule in south-east Asia. Japanese sales to the military procurement arms of the US indicate a tendency to increase with the escalation of the war, and Japanese capitalists are competing with each other for more orders.
     Names of products admitted by the Japanese government to be supplied to the US military include sandbags to be used in combat (produced by Japan Jute Bags and Tokyo Rayon), jungle boots (Kokoku Chemicals, Tsukiboshi Rubber, Nihon Rubber), military caps, helmets and parachutes.
     Materials for the construction of positions and bases include barbed wire, timber, steel road and landing mats, cement, steel for {322} construction, generators, insect netting, cranes, water purification apparatus, etc. Cement is supplied to the US forces by Sumitomo Cement, Aso Industry, Mitsubishi Cement; road mats by Yahata Iron Manufacturing and Yahata Metal Manufacturing, and generators by Nishishiba Electric Co.
     Materials for communication and transport supplied include wireless and telephone facilities, military trucks, jeeps, automobile parts, vehicles and diesel engines for small vessels. Military trucks are produced by Toyota, Fuji Vehicles, jeeps by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, automobile parts by Toyota and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
     Japan also furnishes materials and techniques for the construction of harbours. The Vietnam war is a war of supplies, and ports and harbours are decisive for the aggression. Bottlenecks of ports and harbours in Vietnam were disastrous to the US forces. The availability of Japanese materials and techniques, as in the construction of Cam Ranh Bay, is a major support to the war.
     Services of Japanese origin include repairs to planes, helicopters, warships and vessels, including LSTs. Nihon Aircraft, Shinmeiwa Industry, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Aircraft are all taking increased repair contracts including carrier-based planes and helicopters of the US 7th Fleet. Contracts for repair in 1966 were 1.46 times greater than in 1965; since 1966, plane parts are furnished by these makers. Repair of warships, cargo vessels and LSTs have been undertaken by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ishikawajima Harima Shipbuilding Co., Hitachi Shipbuilding, and Uraga Heavy Industry. Their repair contracts with the US forces in 1966 were 3.78 times greater than in 1965. Chairman Stennis of the Armed Services Sub-Committee of the Senate Military Committee made a statement highly valuing the role played by Japan's shipbuilding industry in the aggressive war. He said (retranslated): `The US navy sailing for the Vietnam war is relying greatly on the repair facilities for warships and other vessels in Japan and Taiwan. Without Yokosuka and Sasebo in particular, operations in south-east Asia would encounter serious difficulties.' In repair of aeroplanes for dropping napalm bombs, spraying poisons and killing Vietnamese, servicing of warships for bombardment and of LSTS for transporting weapons, is nothing if {323} not cooperation in the aggression and intervention in the war. We add that oil for the 7th Fleet is sold to the Americans by the petroleum capitalists.
     More brutally, chemical gas and high pressure gas are Japanese-supplied. These include nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which is manufactured by the iron and chemical industries. There are really too many items to enumerate them all. Specialists have revealed that production of the oil raw material for napalm by Nihon Oils and Fats is an open secret.
     The Itohchu Co. tendered a sub-contract proposal for the manufacture of fins for napalm bombs to the Mikajiri Industry, but it was turned down as a result of an opposition struggle by the trade union. It is ominous that napalm used to be manufactured in Japan at the time of the Korean war. Apart from the components of napalm, a rapid increase is seen in the export to the US of methanol, an explosive raw material, of benzene, which is raw material for napalm, and polystyrene, used in super napalm.
     It is undeniable that Japanese monopoly capitalists are cooperating in the production of weapons of mass destruction to be used against the Vietnamese people. The offer of ammunition and services has been made with the approval of the Japanese government to one side only in the conflict, while at the request of the US government, the Japanese government has prohibited the export of 20,000 kilometres of vinyl-covered copper wire to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. We can conclude, therefore, from an economic standpoint, that the Japanese government and Japan's financial circles are the greatest cooperators with and participants in the US aggression in Vietnam.

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