Anti Militarist Resistance in Japan – 1926 to 1945

By way of an introduction

References to pacifist and radical actions within Japan during the period 1919 to 1945 are not well covered within any English language publications.

It would be really good if this was not so.

Thus this is not a definitive study of just what happened during this period, but a starting point for anyone who wishes to know more about the subject.

Please note that the dates referred to below are those of publication, and not unless specificity stated the dates when the events occurred.

War Resistance

The following reports were published in War Resisters International [WRI ] periodical War Resistance.

– July 1926

Japanese Students Resist Military Training

At Meiji Gakuin College in Tokyo, 117 students voted against the introduction of military training at the university against 82 votes in favour of it. The result was that military training was not established at this university. In other colleges where it exists,it is becoming increasingly unpopular.’

— December 1926

Japan Message to Youth.

Sent by The World Peace Society,

with an address in Tokyo.

– 1931

The WRI sections include the:-

‘Group within the General Workers’ Union of Japanese

– June 1931

In a letter the Japanese General Workers Union [ Kanto Jppan Rodosha Kumiai ] of Tokyo expresses solidarity with WRI.

– Autumn 1932

There is a short report Women of Japan.

‘ Difficult as has been the situation in Japan, there have not been lacking brave souls who are prepared to run great risks on behalf of peace and anti-militarism.’

– Autumn 1932

&

– Spring 1934

There were reports about Dr Toyoshiko Kagawa, who is referred to as the ‘Gandhi of Japan’.

– Summer 1937

A letter is published from Tokyo under the heading: –

Difficult Work in Japan.

In it there are references as to the problems faced by pacifists.

‘It is not really practicable for us to form a group of WRI members at present for under present frenzied inspection by police a definitely illegal group could not exist, or at least, could not be active.’

– Summer [ July ] 1938

Under the Heading Japan – A few Letters get through there Is a brief report of the situation in the country.

The letter quoted states that: ‘ six university professors are under arrest for their anti-war attitude’.

– Autumn 1942

The Children’s League of Peace and Goodwill carried on steady work up to Japan entering the war.

– Summer 1946

A report two page report was published under the title:-

Japan before the war, 1939.

– 1958

The Anarchist Federation of Japan published various pacifist articles.

At their 5th annual congress they read out a letter by WRI co founder Harold Bing.

Peace News

– May 14th 1938

Under the heading – Japanese Refuse War Service.

In a letter from Japanese Anarchists:-

‘ Since the War broke out mare than three hundred of our comrades have been arrested in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and other cities on that they translated and printed the publication of the International Anti-militarist Bureau, and distributed them.’

Other Examples

From the Japan Times – March 4th 1996

‘Pacifist Documents from 1932 Found.

Documents sent from pacifist groups and activists in china and Britain protesting the Japanese military provocation in Shanghai in early 1932 were discovered among items left by the late lawmaker Tomi Kora. ‘

Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomatic vice-consul Lithuania. During the World War Two. He helped about 6,000 Jews flee Europe by issuing transit visas to them so that they could travel through Japanese territory.

Further Reading

Hane, Mikpso

Japan

A Short History

Oneworld publication

London 2013

See in Particular these sections with chapter Six: –

Socialist-Communist Movements

&

Women Activists

Crump, John

The anarchist movement in Japan

2nd edition

Anarchist Communist Editions

London October 2008

Chapter two covers the period 1912 – 1936

Greenpeace [ London ] Protests During The 1970s

Anti Nukiller Protests During the 1970s

This is not a definitive history of the Greenpeace [ London ] group, but just small part of it.

French Nukiller Bomb Protests

During 1973 Greenpeace [ London ] organised the London to Paris march against the French nukiller bomb tests at Mururoa in the Pacific.

The march was attacked by the French CRS [ riot police ] at the boarder between Belgium and France.

Though some people did manage to cross over the boarder at other points, and took part in the Paris Protest which followed this event.

During both 1973 & 1974 the group organised many protests outside the French Embassy, and a number of die-ins too.

The group organised a number of protest marches about the French Nukiller Bomb tests during 1973 and 1974.

I spent a lot of my time upon these various protests, leafleting sessions, and organising the Greenpeace [London ] protest marches which took place during 1974.

On August the 4th 1974 the group organised a march from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square where a rally was held. It was the one and only time I ever spoke in the square.

Starting to campaign upon nukiller power

During 1974 and 1975 the group started looking at the issue of Nukiller power. which took a while to do so, as at that stage there were very few books or articles upon the dangers they pose.

It was because of the follow up work upon the import of uranium [Yellowcake] to be processed Capenhurst and Springfields that the group become of interest to the SDS spycops.

Now follow this on by looking at the spycop public inquiry.

The Brexitland Dictionary

Word Changing

As the world changes so does the definition of words and expressions.

Sometimes this happens in the most alarming ways.

Living within Brexitland one gets to read a few words or expressions on a very regular basis which need to be listed in the New Brexitland Dictionary. These especially refers to ones used by the Rabid Right Wing Tory party, who supposedly run the country.

Various Examples

Here are a few examples which illustrate what they keep repeating time and time again, and their real meaning.

– World class or world class technology.

It does not work.

– Historical Important figure or individual.

Someone who was an imperialist, militarist, jingoist or who repressed & exploited people.

– Military leader.

Militarist.

– The ‘need to protect our coastal fishing waters after Brexit’.

Uncaring about ecology or our fellow creatures.

– Investing in the future.

Making huge short term profits at the expense of long term social, economic, and ecological Improvements.

– Housing Market.

Making even larger profits by the buying and selling of homes, while ignoring the basic human right to have a secure place to live in, and giving more individuals the chance to become rough sleepers.

– Rough Sleeper.

An individual of no worth as they can not fill the coffers of those who run the Rabid Right Wing Tory party or any of their mates.

– Prime Ministerial Advisor.

Dominic Cummings.

– Government Spokesman

Dominic Cummings.

– Government Chief Scientific Advisor

Dominic Cummings.

– Government Chief Medical Advisor

Dominic Cummings.

– Government Policy.

Anything Dominic Cummings says it should be.

– Social Reform.

Any set of actions which will give the upper hand to the multinationals and Rabid Right Wing state.

– Legal Reform.

see: – Social Reform.

– Employment Law Reform.

Taking away workers rights in order to make yet larger profits.

– Economic Reform.

See: – Employment Law Reform.

News Media

– The Daily Torygraph.

A front piece for the Rabid Right Wing Tory Government.

– The Dully Mail or Excess.

A totally uninformed view of the world.

Fake News.

– Anything which is critical of government policy.

How we describe it all.

Shambolic, Uncaring, Unthinking, Manipulative, Dystopia, and making it all up as they go along.

Not a solution

The only good thing about living in Brexitland is that nobody expects anything to ever work properly, and so there is no shock when it does not do so.

For more information see: –

Gaffer tape, WD40, and Super glue.

Proactive & Reactive Campaigning

There are two kinds of political action : proactive and reactive.

Much in the same way as many protests are reactive, they should not be mistaken as the only form of campaigning, which is long term long term in nature.

That’s why we always need to focus upon a wide number of immediate issues which are at a crucial stage or critical crisis point.

That’s why most of my attention is focused upon stopping the Nukiller power industry, pedestrianising our cities, reversing the brexit disaster, antimilitarism, and pushing for proper recycling schemes.

For many of these issues our time to solve them is very short indeed.

Long term or short term, it is consistent hard slog campaigning work that’s needed.

Supporting Campaigns & Campaigning Projects.

Just as a reminder

If you want to give money to a campaigning organisation, then state if you want it to go on running costs and more particularly staff funding.

This is because most funders will only give grants to project work.

Will it Away

If you wish to give money in your will to a registered charity, then that money will be taken out of the estate and not count towards the amount pay in death duties. For some estates this will bring the residue down to an amount below the death duty threshold.

Thus it is a very tax efficient way of giving support to those working up issues you feel very strongly about.

It’s not something which most activists think much about, but it’s something we should all keep in mind, as money could be very difficult to raise over the next few years.

In Times Gone By And In Times Present

In Times Past

Much of the current social and political debate is about how society is changing for the worst, while others might argue how some things are much better now than in decades or centuries ago.

Yet nothing is said about how this really compares to the past.

Here are two examples how things have changed for the better over the last 100 to 150 years: –

The School leaving age

and

Life Expenctency

Henry Mayhew

I wonder just how many of the younger generation realise just what the reality of life was like in an earlier age as described by Henry Mayhew.

Or

How many of the younger generation would know about, of ever come upon a Tosher or Mud Lark did?

Now that might seem like ancient history many people, but some of the descriptions within the Road to Wigan Pier are still within the living memory of many of the older generation.

Housing

It’s not so long ago that a very high percentage of the population lived in bedsits or HMOs as they are now classed as being.

Remember the expression ‘A shilling for the gas’ ?

Or

How it was normal to sleep in the same room as a gas cooker before that become illegal.

Yes things have improved a lot over the years.

Yet they have not.

– We now have a lot more rough sleepers than in many decades.

– Adult education in terms of evening classes is now almost a thing of the past.

– While one in seven of UK adults are functionally illiterate to a greater or lesser extent.

In Times Now

Margaret Thatcher said that:- “there is no such thing as society”.

While many of her supporters said “Greed is Good!”.

To which there was a response which went:-

The family is dead! Long live the family !

All of which are totally wrong, but they are attitudes which still prevail to this day.

In times to come

Social Change or Social Revolution ?

If history and all the recent events have taught us anything, then we must care for both society and the individual.

That’s something which compliments the concept of: –

Think Global Act Local.

What Ever Next ?

Observation

There are three aspects about lockdown which have become a constant for us all.

They are: –

– Constant Speculation.

– Constantly having to get news updates,

&

– Constantly finding that events outstrip any of the speculative opinions about what next might happen next.

All that can really be said for sure is that we are starting to experience less pollution right now, and this gives us a vision of what might be achieved if we all set our minds to it.

Thus

I seem to of been reading less in print about what has been happening of late, as it is way out of date by the time it is published.

A good example of this being the company reports in the Investors Chronicle.

Though I am keeping a close eye upon a lot of current statistical data.

On the good side.

Energy use and air pollution are reduced.

Most of the rough sleepers are now being sheltered.

There is a lot more community initiatives to help the vulnerable, or should I say mutual aid.

&

There is a lot of people saying we can not / must not go back to how things used to be.

So What Next to do ?

If the present crisis results in just one lesson, then it must be that we make a lot of social changes.

What Comes Next ?

Introduction From 85 Years Ago

This is the introduction to the H.G.Wells book.

What Are We to Do with Our Lives?

Published: Watts & Co    1935

‘ The world is undertaking immense changes. Never before have the conditions of life changed so swiftly and enormously as they have changed for mankind in the last fifty year.’

Though in environmental terms it is more like the last 15 month to 5 years.

While in many ways we are now going through a major set of changes which will impact upon us all over the next 50 day and thus in to the future.

What next ?

Over the last 15 days it has been the case of us all asking: –

What Next?

In many ways we have all been very surprised upon how things are changing.

Yet for all the observations we make about just what is happening to us all right now, many of the pundits predictions upon economic, political, social, and ecological issues, are still based upon what has happened in the past.

Never the less there are a number of key indicators which worth looking at:-

– Changes in Housing provision,

– The stock Market and Wider Economy

– Changes in Food Production and Provision.

– An ending to the use of Nukiller Power and Extreme Energy,

– Public and Private Transport.

&

– How we all socialise from now onwards.

Rough Sleepers, Self Isolation, & What Needs Doing Now

There is something which I just don’t understand, and that is how two major issues are Not being linked up together.

If any rough sleepers were to catch the Corona virus, then they would not be able to self isolate themselves.

With so many rough sleepers on the streets, we really might then have a major epidemic to deal with.

The same might also be said about all other forms air born diseases, but I’ve still to see any rough sleepers being offered face masks.

Yet politicians and the health care authorities, seem not to of woken up to this issue.

Thus we do need to ask some urgent questions, and address this problem: –

Before it is too late!

Spycops – A Set of Continuing Emotional & Other Issues

Living in the past.

There is something I’ve observed many a time, and which I engage upon once in a while.

The old comrades getting together, and talking about our previous campaigns:

– What went wrong with them

– What went right with them

– Who was involved in them

and

 – All the funny things which happened while they were going on.

These discussions can be very enjoyable to participant in, but only once in a while.

There are just too many new projects / new campaigns which I want to spend my life engaged upon.

& yet

& yet

An exercise in secrecy.

As many of you will know I am a Core Participant [ CP ] in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.  At the end of January the following piece about the Undercover Policing Inquiry was published on the Campaign Against Police Surveillance website.  

UCPI FAQ: The Spycops Public Inquiry

What really gets me is that so much information is being withheld on what the spycops did to me and many other activists.

The inquiry is withholding as much information about the various spycops as it can get away with.

At the same time the inquiry has put a legal restriction order on revealing both the cover and real names of most of these spycops.

Then eventually when we will get our individual SDS files, a very high percentage of what is in them will be redacted.

Many more years.

A lot of my old friends & comrades are now dead.

Thus it is going to be very difficult to know the extent they were spied upon.

Then there are all those individuals who I worked with in various groups or organisations over the years, and which I’ve now lost contact with.

That’s something which happens to us all.

While I am still in regular contact with others who live a long way from me,

but am unable to see on a regular basis.

Shock.

Discovering about the activities of the SDS goes way beyond shocking.

This is no surprise when you consider the feelings of surprise, anger, betrayal, and emotional distress which comes with the discovery of becoming a spycop victim.

Thus in many ways the whole process leaves me feeling very isolated,

and with little energy spare for more high stress activities.

Come the year 2026

I’ll be around 76 by the time the inquiry report is published.

Is it any wonder the whole thing leaves me with a great feeling of sadness?

Though I also feel it to be a process of mourning without mourning.

Other Complications.

There is another aspect to this which also complicates this for me.

Working to stop the nukiller power issue does take a lot of my time,

and involves a lot of effort.

If I were to disengage from this work for a while it might give me a rest,

but with so few activists, and so much which needs to be done, this is not the time to ease off for a while.

Thus I am going to keep working on this issue.

What ever else, most of the inquiry hearings dealing with the aspects of the time frame which concerns me the most will be completed by some time next year,

and I should of received the redacted SDS files about my activities.

Until that is over I’m going to be very over-stretched indeed.

Living in the past.

I knew Bob Robinson as a supposed friend and comrade in the mid 1980s.

This summer it will be nine years since I learnt he was a spycop with the real name of Dr Robert Lambert.

That is why I am a CP in the spycops public inquiry.

I Don’t want to spend my twilight years trying to discover just what political and emotional damage Bob and the rest of the SDS did while undercover.

& Yet

& Yet

It is important to know just what the various spycops got up to. Not knowing is emotionally distressing to everyone who is a spycop victim.

For me it is very important to state all of the above, and keep working away on these various issues.

& Yet

& Yet

It does come with a high emotional cost.