Bringing in-depth reporting of crime and corruption in high places
Japanese WW11 Secrets Revealed
history of the war in the Pacific is littered with tales of Japanese
cruelty against British and American servicemen, amongst others.
Not only did Imperial Japanese forces treat Allied POW's as slaves
to build their railway in Burma, but also used them in horrific medical
experiments at Mukden, Manchuria, the headquarters of the secretive
Unit 731 - Japan's chemical and biological warfare weapons facility.
Yet, even while all this was taking place, another more furtive
Japanese force was engaged in work so secret that it has remained concealed,
under the command of a Royal prince of the Imperial household, a highly
secret unit was tasked with the methodical plunder of Southeast Asia.
The project was called "Golden Lily" - named after
a poem written by Emperor Hirohito.
The unit plundered such profoundly large quantities of loot from
China and Southeast Asia that, following the end of the war, the west
determined to keep its activities secret.
A mixture of fear, greed, an impending cold war and a vast complex
of international corruption sat behind this decision.
forgotten were the horrific deaths of Allied POW's who were forced to
build complex tunnel systems and other underground depositories and
then buried alive with the loot.
One reason, perhaps, why history will record this as one of the
most explosive stories of World War Two ever to be told.
author, Sterling Seagrave, has previously received international acclaim
for his penetrating investigative books: "The Soong Dynasty,"
and "The Marcos Dynasty."
Now, in his latest work, The
Yamato Dynasty, Seagrave unveils some of the most enduring secrets
of the war in the Pacific.
The revelations are certain to cause uproar in London, Washington
& Tokyo and will, in all likelihood, contribute to a number of major
class action lawsuits against the US & Japanese governments.
the sub-title: "The Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family,"
Seagrave's book sets out to expose numerous aspects of the Japanese
imperial family and their way of life that, even today, remains eclipsed
from the general Japanese public.
Some of this information came from memoirs written by members
of the imperial family but also includes "fragments" extracted
from Emperor Hirohito's own diaries that the Imperial Household has
tried to suppress.
Other information has been gathered over nearly twenty years
of intense investigation.
What was learned dispels the accepted view of history, replacing
it with a reality that is both shocking and absorbing for the reader.
first myth to be exploded is the claim that the current imperial family
has ruled as part of a single dynasty that has "reined unbroken
since time memorial."
The facts are quite different.
The present Meiji family was installed on the throne in the mid
18th century as part of a coup orchestrated by the powerful
Satsuma, Choshu, Hizen and Tosa clans.
In consolidating the coup, the plotters plundered the vast assets
of the previous imperial family - a fact that should not be overlooked
as this story unfolds.
is the word "rule" at all accurate.
As Sterling and Peggy Seagrave make clear, the ruling family
of Japan has always been governed by others more powerful than themselves.
The emperor and imperial family are figureheads used to conceal
from the public the real power brokers who lurk behind the "black
These are the family owned and managed businesses or Zaibatsu
that include such trans-national corporations as Mitsubishi, Mitsui
and Sumitomo amongst others.
authors say this corporate power has grown stronger, not weaker and
that the "postwar financial cliques share power with nobody.
Not with the emperor, who is only a magic wand, and not with
elected politicians, who are only hand-puppets.
Financial cliques are the most powerful forces in modern Japan."
Moreover, Japan's post-war business structure is unlike any other
modern industrial society for the simple reason that organised crime
are openly factored into it.
Hence the zaibatsu
include not only "financiers, bankers and heads of corporations,
but underworld bosses" - the so-called Yakuza crime clans.
financial elite maintain their positions of power by paying bribes.
In the same way that Japanese society is rigidly structured in
certain key ways, it should come as no surprise that political bribery
and large scale corruption are also disciplined art-forms.
Political bribes are paid in "Bullets" with each shot
amounting to 100 million Yen equivalent to US$800,000.
This enables the most powerful families to govern from a position
of invisibility - a feature that has dominated the thoughts of Japan's
ruling elite throughout recent history.
most powerful man in Japan today is virtually unknown in the west, and
is only rarely mentioned at home because of his connections with international
As head of the Seibu group, Tsutsumi Yoshiaki's power snakes
out to over 100 Japanese corporations and numerous international businesses.
Yet, the authors say that Tsutsumi Yoshiaki is probably the richest
man in the world with declared assets greater than those of Bill Gates
before the American computer whiz-kids bank balance hit $50 billion.
Meanwhile, Tsumtimi's undeclared assets are greater still, the
significant proportion of the current financial power of the zaibatsu and, indeed, that of the imperial family, has its origin
For instance Seagrave reveals that "Most zaibatsu
had participated in the looting of conquered countries and helped in
running the wartime drug trade on the mainland.
An estimated $3 billion was made in the heroin trade alone…"
After the war, the vast wealth that had been accumulated from
the heroin trade and from plundering China and other Southeast Asian
nations magically disappeared.
The result was that Allied military Supremo, General Douglas
MacArthur accepted the position that Japan was technically bankrupt.
This minimised the amount Japan was ordered to pay in war reparations
to a meagre $1 billion.
From this, Allied Prisoners of War were paid trivial amounts
in recompense for the inhumanities inflicted upon them during their
British POW's were paid a miserable £48 each, for example.
part of his duties as Supreme Commander Allied Powers, General Douglas
MacArthur was ordered by Washington, to conduct a meticulous audit of
the imperial family's entire wealth.
MacArthur silently demurred and, instead, instructed Hirohito's
own accountants and advisers to prepare a "self-audit listing only
the emperor's domestic holdings as of late October 1945."
Hirohito's team set about their task with relish, latching on
to numerous, ingenious ploys to minimise the emperor's wealth.
The figure they eventually presented to MacArthur totalled about
This led to the bizarre announcement by Supreme Commander Allied
Powers that the emperor, after paying taxes and other 'penalties"
only possessed the paltry sum of $42,000 in cash.
reality was, as ever, quite different.
Experts who have investigated these matters now conclude that
the emperor's domestic wealth, excluding art treasures, land, palaces
and other items, was closer to $4 billion.
This huge sum had accumulated over many decades and represented
the throne's percentage of zaibatsu
company profits and shareholdings that formed the historical
arrangements to keep the emperor "above" bribes.
this sum was just part of an even greater hoard of wealth that was hidden
at the end of the war.
In January 1944, when it became clear that the Allies would win
the war, Privy Seal Kido called a meeting of Japan's leading investment
bankers to advise the throne on how best to preserve the wealth of the
The authors go on to reveal that in addition to large foreign
investments and shareholdings, the emperor's large portfolio of gold,
silver and platinum was "held under various covers in the vaults
of banks in Switzerland, Sweden, the Vatican, Portugal, Argentina, Spain,
Britain and the United States."
The bullion that could not be laundered in time was trucked to
a vast underground imperial "bunker" where it was stashed
This was at Nagano, north of Tokyo, a backwater town artfully
developed by Tsutsumi Yoshiaki in time for the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Tsutsumi, as head of Japan's Olympic Committee, had earlier courted
Juan Antonio Samaranch, chairman of the International Olympic Committee.
This would later lead to sensational press stories that huge
bribes had changed hands.
Nagona bullion bunker was only one of numerous treasure sites where
loot from all over Asia was buried before the war's end.
On the Philippines alone, there were 172 locations used to stash
booty plundered by the imperial Golden Lily treasure teams.
The author's reproduce one of Prince Chichibu's burial maps showing
a complex tunnel system dug by POW's under the army base at Teresa,
near Rizal, southeast of Manilla.
Here, bullion, platinum diamonds and valuable religious artefacts
- including a golden Buddha figurine weighing one tonne - and collectively
valued by Golden Lily accountants at $190 billion - were buried together
with live Allied POW's that had been forced to dig the tunnels.
of the Teresa site was later recovered by Philippine President Ferdinand
Marcos - lending real weight to tales of "Marcos gold" that
have been treated more as fantasy than fact by the international media.
Press interest has been limited, until now, to the 1971 recovery
of a Burmese Golden Buddha figurine by amateur treasure hunter Rogelio
The figurine had a detachable head that when removed left a small
cavity stuffed full of diamonds.
The figurine was later stolen from Roxas by President Marcos.
Roxas was later murdered before he could give evidence in a US
court in Hawaii that awarded Marcos victims a total of $25 billion in
sheer quantity and value of plunder gathered by the Golden Lily was
The whole of Asia under Japanese control had been combed for
Most of it was shipped to Prince Chichibu's headquarters in the
By 1943, American submarine activity had cut the sea lanes making
gold shipments less certain.
To circumvent Allied air and naval attacks, Prince Chichibu had
a fleet of four vessels painted with a Red Cross.
These continued to ply their way back and forth between Japanese
controlled territories and the Philippines carrying huge amounts of
the war had finished, Japanese led groups began to recover large amounts
treasure hidden in the Philippines.
They were not alone.
Seagrave reveals that American OSS (forerunner of the CIA) agents
watched as Japanese troops buried treasure at Luzon in the Philippines
and began a clandestine recovery operation between 1945 and 1948.
This was headed by a Filipino-American OSS - and later CIA -officer,
Severino Garcia Santa Romana.
Romana, in turn, worked under the watchful eye of the late and
now infamous CIA operative, General Edward Lansdale - who was embroiled
in Operation Mongoose and the abortive CIA invasion of Cuba during the
was no intention on the part of the OSS/CIA to return any of the plunder
to the rightful owners. Instead,
Santa Romana set up numerous front companies to launder the gold bullion
In all OSS/CIA gold bullion was secretly deposited in a total
of 176 bank accounts located in 42 countries.
was this a rogue operation conducted by a knowing few.
The authors reveal that General William Donovan, head of the
OSS, knew of the Lansdale-Romana recoveries, as did General Douglas
MacArthur, and former US President Herbert Hoover.
Knowledge also extended to cold war warrior and later head of
the CIA Allen Dulles.
Seagrave also believes it likely that President Truman was in
the charmed circle of those who were informed.
twice-looted gold became "the basis of the CIA's 'off the books'
operational funds during the immediate postwar years, to create a worldwide
To ensure loyalty to the cause, the CIA distributed Gold Bullion
Certificates to influential and well-known people throughout the world.
The authors hold documents showing that "one of the big
gold bullion accounts set up by Santa Romana was in the name of General
Other documents indicate that gold bullion worth $100 million
was placed in an account in the name of Herbert Hoover, former President
of the United States.
Allied veterans of the war in the Pacific continue to fight for meaningful
compensation for the barbarous treatment they experienced.
The $1 billion reparations paid by Japan, once it had been divided
among the many millions entitled to compensation, amounted to a pittance.
As late as November 1998 a Tokyo court rejected an appeal from
20,000 British, Australian, New Zealand and American former internees
who had asked for compensation of $22,000 each.
In contrast to this miserly sum paid to Allied POW's, leading Japanese zaibatsu submitted their own claims for compensation after the war, arguing that the damage inflicted on their armaments factories by Allied air raids required restitution. These claims totalled $5 billion and many were paid.
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