Fujioka Nobukatsu

Senior researcher

International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)

July , 2022

Inevitability of Japan’s nuclear armament

Japan is located near three nuclear powers, namely China, Russia and North Korea, and has been made a target of possible nuclear attacks. The character of all these countries is authoritarian, autocratic and dictatorial. Russia is slightly different from the other two because its top leadership is chosen by election, but its political culture obviously differs from that of the so-called West.

Unless Japan, in this position, arms itself with its own nuclear weapons, it may eventually be deprived of its national independence and robbed of the lives and property of its people by nuclear attacks or nuclear threats from these three countries. The biggest lesson learned from the Ukraine war is that the US has been confirmed to be reluctant to fight squarely against countries with nuclear weapons. Therefore, nuclear armament is meaningless unless it is acquired and owned by the country that is under threat. This has been pointed out by Emmanuel Todd, a French demographer.

Based on these circumstances, it is self-evident that, for Japan to remain an independent country, the possession of its own nuclear armament is necessary. It is indisputably clear in the same way as one and one makes two. In short, the national defense problem is the issue of Japan’s nuclear armament.

Faced with the harsh realities of the Ukraine war, the Japanese, peace addicts as they are, are apparently waking up to the national defense issue. For example, in an opinion poll taken in a Fuji TV show in June asking the viewers about the pros and cons of the “proposal to raise Japan’s defense budget to 2% of its GNP,” as many as 90% of the respondents agreed to the proposal and 7% said the current level of 1% of the GNP should be maintained, overwhelming the 3% who said it should be reduced.

This gave me the hope that some candidates would possibly appear in the House of Councillors election in July who would raise openly the issue of defense, including nuclear armament. It is because politicians truly willing to take the responsibility for the security of the nation and the people should be bound to reach the conclusion mentioned above. Seeing that the Japanese people have “experienced” the Ukraine war, it was a golden opportunity to awaken the people to the problem. It is politicians’ job to give substance and direction to indefinite “public opinion.” Otherwise, public opinion that has finally risen would eventually lose all its momentum.

Certainly, there were candidates in the election who touched on “the defense budget at 2% of the GNP” but I could not find any candidates who came to grips with the nuclear issue and made all-out appeals. My expectations were betrayed. It is still a taboo for politicians to openly avow Japan’s nuclear armament. The election made me aware anew that the defense issue would not attract votes after all.

Japanese mentality posing the biggest difficulty in national defense

Nuclear armament of Japan involves numerous difficulties. The biggest point is whether the US would permit Japan’s nuclear armament. While it depends on the nature and policies of the administration in power at the moment it is not easy judging from the historical context up to now.

In the first place, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are forced to use US-built weapons as basic equipment, which hinders the development of domestically-produced weapons. Accordingly, these armament policies have been designed by the US armed forces with the intention to make the Japanese Self-Defend Forces dysfunctional. The national leader is required to have the political skills for realizing the country’s goals while adeptly getting around any problems. We need the advent of a politician with strong leadership skills capable of handling all these adversities.

These obstacles alone are no easy matter but let’s say that the problems mentioned above have been solved. Even so, I cannot help but think that the final force to obstruct the nuclear armament of Japan will be the Japanese people themselves. Judging from the disposition, nature and thought process of the Japanese people as a group, securing national consensus as to nuclear armament is a very difficult task.

 Studying the developments of the Tongzhou Massacre, in which Japanese were cruelly and horrifically killed by Chinese, and the behavior of the Japanese regarding this incident, inevitably makes me aware of the difficulties described above. Let me point out two problems. First, the Japanese are unable by nature to look squarely at cruelty. Secondly, the Japanese tend to leniently drop their grudges and refrain from retaliating, no matter how severely they are made to suffer, rather than burning with the desire for revenge.

● Japanese culture tabooing the disclosure of cruelties

Let me start by discussing the first problem. I would like to make it clear in advance that my discussion is about a group attribute of the Japanese people, it is in their nature to avoid contact with cruelties and place them under a taboo. The Japanese cannot withstand those things. This is probably closely linked to the Japanese culture that shuns impurity. It is in the basis of Shinto. The difference between cruel and non-cruel peoples has sometimes been explained by the difference between meat-eating culture based on cattle-raising and plant-eating culture based on agriculture but whether this opinion is well-founded is unknown. Instead, more directly, there seems to be a stronger relation with the fact that the society taboos involve the perception of cruelties.

To the morning edition of the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun dated November 1, 1937  when the Tongzhou massacre occurred, musician Konoe Hidemaro contributed an article entitled “Taigai Senden Shikan (Personal Comments on External Propaganda).” Konoe Hidemaro was a paternal younger brother of Konoe Fumimaro, the then Prime Minister. Konoe Hidemaro, who lived abroad for a long time and was familiar with the Western European affairs, made an issue of “ineptness of propaganda and news coverage on the Japanese side” and commented as follows:

“The Tongzhou mass murder incident must exactly be the biggest material for making known worldwide how reasonable the fury of all Japanese is. The photographs of the real disastrous scenes need not be imported to mainland Japan. None of our fellow countrymen would probably be able to look straight at them and everybody would look away. However, hiding from foreign countries this violence, which is worth being described as fiendish beyond inhuman, would instead make the sacrifice of the many fellow Japanese victims wasteful.”

“In fact, news films on the Chinese side show piles of corpses of coolies allegedly killed by Japanese troops, a close-up of a dead body with its head cracked open using a Chinese falchion and brain fluid oozing out and so on, and make every effort to make themselves look weak despite the fact that they made defensive preparations that extremely troubled the Imperial Army in North China and Shanghai. In contrast, Japanese propaganda only shows marches and banzai cheers with the Rising Sun flag fluttering animatedly on the top of a castle and it is only natural that China automatically attracts sympathy.”

Accordingly, Konoe Hidemaro states, “we should think that, photographing how each and every person subjected to anguish in Tongzhou was killed from a forensic perspective, for example, is not disrespectful to the deceased as long as it can serve as a salvation from a crisis for the nation at any rate” and called for “countering Chinese propaganda” by “dismissing old ideas.”

I perfectly understand how he felt. When I worked to publish Sasaki Ten’s testimonies as an independent reprinted booklet (“Tsushu Jiken - Mokugekisha no Shogen” published by Jiyusha)[1], I greatly hesitated. I made the firm decision on its publication thinking that, after all, the Japanese would forever be kept away from the knowledge of how dreadful the Chinese society is unless the truth is known, which would cause a serious problem from the viewpoint of national defense. It is not that I have a grotesque taste.
At present, a look around publications in Japan shows that fake photos of the Nanking Incident are being spread unchallenged with impunity, exactly as pointed out by Konoe Hidemaro. Iris Chang’s “The Rape of Nanking” was sold at airport kiosks around the world. In contrast, no collection of testimonies, not to mention atrocious photos, of the Tongzhou Massacre has ever been published. “Shimbun ga Tsutaeta Tsushu Jiken [The Tongzhou Massacre Covered by Newspapers] 1937 - 1945” (Shukousha), which has recently been published, is the very first collection of materials about the incident. In these circumstances, there is no way that the true dreadfulness of the incident can be widely known among the Japanese people. This is a major dilemma.

● Leniency to forgive even if made to suffer

The second problem is the leniency of the Japanese, who will forgive no matter how badly they are made to suffer. What is conspicuous about the aftermath of the Tongzhou Masscare is that Japanese attempted no harm on Chinese, whose fellow countrymen committed such outrageous acts. F. Williams, an American journalist, wrote:

 “While this was taking place, and later, some 60,000 Chinese were living

  peacefully in the Japanese Empire… (omitted) I have walked through the

  Chinatowns of Yokohoma (sic) and other Japanese cities and watched the

  Chinese children at play without thought of fear or danger and while in China

 their countrymen were mobbing and hunting down Japanese children like themselves. (omitted) The very Chinese soldiers who perpetrated the massacre

 of the Japanese innocents at Tungchow were fed by the Japanese troops when captured and under the Sumarai (sic) code which condemns the offense but

 forgives the offender they were told to go and kill no more.” (Behind the

 News in China)

 The fact that not one of the 60,000 Chinese became a target of retaliation by Japanese is miraculous from the perspective of the international standard. Even more surprisingly, in Chinatown in Yokohama, a Japanese vigilante group was organized for protecting Chinese. Cooks in Tokyo who were advised to go home by the Chinese Embassy in Japan found it unwelcome because it was safer in Japan.

Should we be proud of a thing like this as a virtue representing the noble spirituality of the Japanese? My answer is “No.” The reason is that it is extremely risky from the viewpoint of national defense. It makes the other party assume that the Japanese will never strike back no matter what cruel treatment they are given. The Chinese are the type of people who, once they have decided that the other party is weaker, attack to any extent. Therefore, an excessive virtue like this is nothing other than a vice, in the sense that it leads to more Japanese victims. In order to suppress the other party’s aggression, you should be armed with fangs. This is the international standard, which the Japanese must meet by making conscious effort to transform themselves. Otherwise, Japanese nuclear armament will not be achieved.

In May, 2022 a play on the theme of the Tongzhou Massacre with Sasaki Ten as the main character was performed in Tokyo for the first time in history. One woman, who gathered her courage to watch it after hesitating to do so because of her psychological unwillingness to see cruelties, commented as follows: “It is unimaginable that the superb humanity of the Japanese would bring them agony. Where should we turn to find the means to protect the Japanese, a people with a kind heart rarely found in the world? Probably, the only means is nuclear armament as a deterrent.” To know the truth of the Tongzhou Massacre is significant in terms of national defense.

[1] English translation edition: Tongzhou Massacre: Testimony of an Eyewitness, Fujioka Nobukatsu,Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, January 2020.


Hifumi Tomoko

Senior researcher

International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH)

October ,2022

  • General situation of Japanese language education

There are currently about 4 million Japanese language learners outside Japan (Japan Foundation 2020). It is an increase of over 30 times in 30 years since 1988. There are 160,000 Japanese language learners in Japan as well, an increase of about three times in 30 years (Agency for Cultural Affairs 2021).

The trend of Japanese language education in Japan has made changes with the change of the times. Until the 1970s, Japanese language learners were limited to only a fraction of foreigners such as researchers on Japan, businessmen and foreign students studying in Japan. However, Japanese language learners have continued to increase and also become diversified, while being influenced by the politics, economy and diplomacy at given times such as Japan’s high economic growth, the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China (1972), the signing of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1981), the 100,000 Foreign Students Plan (1983), the revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (hereinafter “Immigration Control Act”) (1990), the Technical Intern Training Program for Foreigners (1993), the 300,000 Foreign Students Plan (2008), the EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) (2008) and the Specified Skilled Worker system (2019). Nevertheless, Japanese language education, lacking in clear philosophy of itself, has been a history of struggle in the sense of haphazardness, being buffeted by extrinsic factors and completely taken up dealing with problems at hand, and there was no long-term strategy.

  • Lack of a perspective of a national strategy

Growth in the number of Japanese language learners and in popularity of Japanese language education provide a perfect opportunity to make the Japanese language and culture widespread around the world and increase Japanophiles and Japanologists. However, despite the fact that the number of Japanese language learners has increased, it does not seem that Japan has become better understood or the number of Japanophiles and Japanologists has increased. While the number of Japanese language learners has increased, anti-Japan activities of neighboring countries still persist and misunderstandings of and prejudices against Japan are spreading to cause Japan to be exposed to unreasonable criticisms and malicious slanders. One major cause of the failure to win a correct and deeper understanding of Japan is that Japanese language education has been left to chance without any national strategy.

The Japan Foundation is Japan's only institution dedicated to promoting international cultural exchange. Ever since its establishment in 1972, it has carried out programs to support Japanese language education outside Japan. While the programs were initially intended mainly for developing researchers on Japan, the institution has recently been carrying out support programs to meet local demands of occasions or various reasons behind Japanese language learning (such as acquisition of advanced technologies, technical training and interest in pop culture). What it suggests, however, is a passive, halfhearted attitude of giving assistance to the other countries, which are interested in the Japanese language, according to their current conditions and demands and there is no further strategic perspective.

As the objective and philosophy of Japanese language education of the Association for Japanese Language Education and certain universities and Japanese language schools, phrases such as “for multicultural coexistence,” “for learning together and from each other,” “for mutual understanding and respect” and “for international exchange” leap to the eye. This way of Japanese language education, which may eventually contribute to Japan’s national interest, is too devious and as good as no strategy.

 The same applies to the Act on the Promotion of Japanese Language Education promulgated and enforced in 2020. The Basic Philosophy (Article 3) says: “The promotion of Japanese language education must be carried out in a way that ensures to the maximum extent possible the opportunities for foreigners, etc. desiring to receive Japanese language education according to their wish, situation and ability” and “The promotion of Japanese language education must be carried out in a way that deepens foreign countries’ understanding of and interest in Japan through Japanese language education outside Japan to encourage exchanges with foreign countries and that contributes to maintaining and developing friendly relations with foreign countries.” The provisions are acceptable more or less but there is hardly any strategic perspective of positively training Japanophiles and Japanologists who serve Japan’s national interest.

  • Adverse effects caused by lack of philosophy

 As measures against the falling birthrate and aging population and against labor shortage, Japan has brought out one new measure after another from the 1990s to the present, including the revision of the Immigration Control Act, the Technical Intern Training Program for Foreigners, the 300,000 Foreign Students Plan, the EPA and the Specified Skilled Worker system. In reality, however, they function to supply cheap labor that Japanese workers do not perform, which may apparently seem to support Japanese economy but contributes to lowering Japanese wages and should be assessed as making Japanese economy unsound. This is assumed to be due to irresponsible response to economic problems with an absence of philosophy of Japanese language education.

Regarding the issue of education of foreign students and young people, on August 29, 2022, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a conversation with Nagaoka Keiko, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and instructed to review the “300,000 foreign students in Japan” program and formulate a new plan to further increase foreign students. Of the many problems relating to education of foreign students and young people, here are two briefly mentioned as adverse effects caused by lack of philosophy.

1) Issue of education of young people

 Second-generation and third-generation Japanese born outside Japan have rapidly increased in number since the 1990s and are often accompanied by their families when coming to Japan. In recent years, taking families along is permitted even for foreign students and in the Specified Skilled Worker system. Children who have reached school age enter Japanese public schools but they are not only unable to understand classes because of lack of Japanese language proficiency but also fail to acquire sufficient ability in the Japanese language as well as their mother tongue. In the end, they often fail to enroll in compulsory schooling or even take to delinquency.

Meanwhile, the excessive burdens placed on teachers at schools that accept them should not be overlooked. They include special lessons for the pupils concerned (such as supplementary Japanese language lessons), teaching material development (addition of kana readings, English translations, summaries in the pupils’ mother tongues, etc.) and special treatment for examinations (addition of kana readings, permission of use of dictionaries, extension of the time, decreasing the number of questions, padding the scores, etc.). In addition, teachers are required to deal with irregular entrance and changing of schools due to the parents’ work. Yet another problem is to what extent special measures for addressing cultural differences should be permitted in view of fairness with Japanese pupils (pierced earrings, school meals, cleaning after school and participation in extracurricular lessons, etc.). In reality, problems are concealed under the find-sounding phrase “diversity provides richness.”

2) Issue of quality of foreign students

 In the 100,000 and 300,000 Foreign Students Plans, the numerical targets generate their own momentum to drive universities to secure certain numbers of foreign students even if excessive efforts are required.

This results first in the problem of imbalance of countries of the students’ origin. China accounts for 40% of the countries of foreign students’ origin. As a result, even a risk of secret information leaks has been generated. Despite this, Japanese universities have a sense of crisis low enough to think of human nature as fundamentally good and tend to even avoid viewing foreign students with suspicion. This is another result of lack of strategic perspective in Japanese language education in Japan as a whole.

Secondly, there is a problem of unavoidable acceptance of foreign students with low academic and Japanese language ability. Of foreign students whose original purpose is not studying, some devote themselves to part-time jobs without attending classes and even disappear unnoticed. Among universities, under the pretext of “internationalization of universities,” some increase the number of courses that can be taken in English for foreign students with low Japanese language ability or state that students can get a diploma by using English only even though they provide education for foreign students in Japan.

  • Perspective of national strategy required for Japanese language education

China’s Confucius Institutes are organizations for Chinese language and culture education. They are said to engage in propaganda campaigns and espionage based on opinions of the Communist Party of China under the guise of education. Recently in Europe, vigilance against Confucius Institutes has increased and the organizations have been closed at one university after another. Having said that, the positive attitude of the Confucius Institutes toward spreading their own language and culture has points to learn from in terms of Japan’s national strategy. In order to train Japanologists with a deep understanding of the history, culture and sense of value of a country called Japan and Japanophiles with love of and respect for Japanese tradition and culture, rather than providing Japanese language education that simply meets the demands of the other countries or Japanese language education only for personal benefits such as obtaining employment, there is a lot to learn from Confucius Institutes.

As an idea, a system should be established of financing various universities in the world from the Japanese budget to open courses such as a Japanese culture course for learning the Japanese language and culture and dispatching teaching staff from universities and professional schools in Japan as required.

For that purpose, it should be necessary in training Japanese language teachers in Japan to have trainees fully understand what it means to become Japanese language teachers, or to give them a sense of mission to provide Japanese language education and become Japanese language teachers for serving Japan’s national interest. In addition, as a minimal level of grounding, knowledge about Japan should be cultivated after breaking away from a masochistic view of history. There is an endless list of what we can boast to the world, such as the world’s longest history ruled over by an unbroken line of Emperors, the achievement of a peaceful and recycle-based society spanning over 10,000 years called the Jomon period, tolerance toward religion, the spirit of harmony and democracy manifested in the Seventeen-Article Constitution, equality as seen in the Manyoshu and the high status of women symbolized by The Tale of Genji, just to name a few. Things like these are what should be acquired as a grounding first by Japanese language teachers themselves and this content should be adopted as the essentials in the curriculum of Japanese language teacher training and education offered by universities and professional schools.

This is only the author’s impression but those trying to be Japanese language teachers are often superior and full of the volunteer spirit and have lofty ideals such as multicultural coexistence and mutual respect. Therefore, if the content of Japanese language education is improved with national strategy, it is not too difficult to disseminate the Japanese language and culture with a sense of mission and increase the number of Japanologists and Japanophiles.

Japanese Content

December 14, 2022

Nonoda Takahiro, Researcher
International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH)


This paper presents the battle for the market share in Japan between operating systems (OSs) for personal computers (PCs), which broke out due to technologies of OSs for PCs and the budgeting for educational PCs, the trade friction between Japan and the US that occurred concurrently and the accompanying trends in the Japanese computer industry. Through the course of these events, I’ll discuss the protection and advancement of Japanese technologies.


The TRON (The Real-time Operating system Nucleus) Project started in 1984 as a project for developing Japan’s home-grown OSs [1]. The TRON Project produced various results and led to the development of OSs for home appliances control and PCs. Of these, ITRON, a product of the TRON Project, is still in use as an OS architecture for controlling home appliances [2]. The specification of ITRON and its emphasis on stability and instancy are a factor of its adoption. In 1989, the TRON Project released BTRON as an OS architecture for PCs. BTRON provides OSs that use a graphical user interface, which allows operation with a mouse on a graphical screen, as with the current Windows and Mac OS.

Meanwhile, in the US, Microsoft released the first version of MS-DOS in 1981. MS-DOS is an OS that uses a command-line interface, which uses command (character)-based control for PCs. The first version of MS-DOS was developed by purchasing 86-DOS, which was developed and marketed by Seattle Computer Products [3]. In the initial period after the establishment, Microsoft employed a method of purchasing existing products and modifying them to release as their own products.

In 1985, the Ad Hoc Council on Education of Japan formulated the Educational Method Development Special Equipment Grant five-year plan [4] and, for the first time, earmarked budget for introduction of computers into schools. In 1986, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Education established the Center for Educational Computing (CEC) (currently JAPET & CEC after merger with the Japan Association for Promotion of Educational Technology) [4] and started discussing BTRON as the standard OS architecture in Japan’s school education in order to standardize OSs for educational PCs of Japan [5]. It was difficult for US companies to enter because the capability of using the Japanese language was required for using PCs in Japan. Against this backdrop, manufacturers with the capability of the Japanese language other than NEC had very small market shares of PCs. PC manufacturers that joined the CEC attempted to acquire the market for educational PCs, which was secured by government expenditure, by manufacturing PCs conforming to the specification formulated for encroaching on NEC’s market share. By September 1987, of the major home appliance manufacturers with a membership of the CEC, 11 companies except NEC supported the adoption of BTRON [1]. For NEC, which had a considerable market share of PCs including educational ones, it was a period of transition from the PC8801 Series to PC 9801. PC-9801 employed Japanese language MS-DOS. For this reason, NEC was reluctant to adopt BTRON but, after negotiations for over a half year, decided to adopt a dual configuration of BTRON and MS-DOS [6].

Japan-US trade friction

What occurred between Japan and the US coincidentally with the period when the OS specification was beginning to be finalized in Japan was the Japan-US trade friction. Child as I was, I remember a scene aired on the TV where Japanese cars were being smashed.

In the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers released by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in 1989 [7], TRON was listed in the Other Barriers section [8] and named as a candidate for sanctions under the amended section 1302 of the Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act (Super 301) [9]. The TRON Association sent a letter of protest to the USTR, claiming that it was a “misunderstanding,” and the USTR cleared up the misunderstanding to exclude TRON from the items subject to Super 301 at that time [10].

However, NEC took this opportunity to put off the adoption of BTRON. As a result, CEC gave up the idea of standardization by the BTRON specification [11]. Many manufacturers other than NEC had adopted OSs conforming to the BTRON specification but they were no match for NEC, which already had a wealth of data and programs, and ended up withdrawing one after the other. Through the course of these events, for OSs for PCs including educational PCs, the market share of MS-DOS, rather than BTRON, expanded.

Japanese government’s trade and diplomacy succumbed to pressure from overseas

The TRON Project submitted a letter of rebuttal to the USTR [10]. In response, the USTR withdrew the application of Super 301 to TRON. However, to the letter of rebuttal, it gave a response along the lines that “concerning educational PCs in the education market of Japan, it is unfair for the CEC, a Japanese government agency, and not the market itself, to choose the OS to use (thereby virtually keeping out OSs other than BTRON such as MS-DOS)” [1]. The fact that it is specified as an item subject to Super 301, regardless of the comment that the market itself should choose the OS, clearly indicates that a behind-the-scenes framework of protective trade of the US was in place in reality. The TRON Project again expressed its view to the response from the USTR [10], where neither the Japanese government nor the CEC rebutted again. Re-rebuttal by the government, in particular, seems to have been necessary. As a result, BTRON was brought back onto the list in the 1990 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers [1]. In the background of this is assumed to be the threat that the US felt of the degree of completion of the executed specification of BTRON, not to mention the OSs released. BTRON had technological superiority as compared with MS-DOS but virtually standardized OS, rather than the OS with superiority, would secure the market share. The project explored the technical ideal of computers and did not lend itself to use of the data assets of NEC PCs, which had been accumulated in abundance. BTRON never saw the light of day because, while the OS architecture boasted technological quality high enough to give threat to the US, MS-DOS became widespread as the de facto standard.

From the political aspect, on the other hand, I think that the cause was lack of the governments’ attitude of protecting and developing engineering technology of the industry and academia.

Poor treatment of engineers in Japan is another problem. One typical example is Nakamura Shuji, who is the first in the world to succeed in the development of the blue light-emitting diode, which has digitally enabled white color for the first time [12]. However, Nakamura, who was dissatisfied with his treatment by the company he belonged to at the time of the development [13] and seeking sufficient research funds, obtained US citizenship and moved out to get US research funding [14]. In addition, emerging nations keeping an eye on the high technological capabilities of Japan are also headhunting Japanese engineers [15], which has led to deterioration of the technological capabilities of Japan and overtaking by emerging nations.

How support is given to researchers must also be pointed out as a problem. Considering Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, which are part of support for researchers, the amounts of Grants awarded for engineering research are small. While some humanities studies are awarded Grants of a few hundred million yen, Grants on that scale are rarely awarded for engineering studies. The screening system of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science is also assumed to have a problem.


This paper has mentioned the history of OSs in terms of technology and the Japan-US trade friction in terms of politics and discussed how one superior Japanese-made technology deteriorated as a result. It has shown that Japan’s intrinsic technological capabilities are very high but they are not leveraged due to inadequate treatment and support.

After the Great East Asia War, the relationship between Japan and the US seems to be one where Japan particularly tries to avoid displeasing the US and suit the convenience of the US in various ways. Examples include inequality arising from the Japan-US Status-of-Forces Agreement and cases in which Japan implement policies according to what the Annual Reform Recommendations say. In the background is Japan’s dependence on the US for security. In the 1980s, the US made an enemy of Japan in terms of economy in response to Japan’s economic and technological rise and attacked Japan. TRON discussed in this paper is the most conspicuous of the examples. For Japan to be a nation with sovereign independence, change of the mindset of the Japanese people and tenacious negotiations for demanding revision of the Status-of-Forces Agreement are required. For the Annual Reform Recommendations, it is important to show Japan’s decisive intentions in view of Japan’s national interest.

Sometimes specific industries got the raw end of the deal in exchange for political issues, as in the Japan-US Textile Negotiations [16]. The Japanese government is apparently continuing diplomacy that does not use the lesson learned from this experience. We should never let situations occur where the high technological capabilities of Japan flow out to hinder development in Japan. It is necessary to build an environment where technologies are evaluated from a long-term perspective and investments are made in technological development to allow playing in a free market.

One trade issue regarding new computer technologies is the Japan-US Semiconductor Agreement [17]. The second Semiconductor Agreement requires Japan to open up more than 20% of the domestic market share to overseas manufacturers. This caused an increase in the market share in Japan of semiconductors manufactured overseas, leading to the deteriorated production capabilities of Japan. This condition further accelerated and semiconductor production bases moved from Japan to overseas, which does not only pose an issue of outflow of manufacturing technologies but also has led to the present condition where semiconductors can no longer be manufactured in Japan. This impact is now decisive to whether Japan can maintain the design technology for semiconductors used exclusively for the supercomputer field, where Japan currently has an advantage. If technology like this flows out overseas, it is not exaggeration to say that Japanese computer technology has completely deteriorated. To prevent dropping out of the advancement of computer technologies, the Japanese government should give support anew to the development of technologies that provide competitiveness in a free market and improve the ability of diplomatic negotiations.

Cited literature

1. Kurata Keiichi. "Analysis of Success Factors in Standardization of the TRON Project," Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture : Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 2005.

2. TRON Forum. ITRON (online). (Citation date: October 12, 2022)

3. Awano Kunio. What is MS-DOS?, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo: BNN, 1987.

4. Toida Daijiro and Goto Hiroyoshi. The Present Condition of Introduction of Computers into Schools: How Computers Will Change Schools, Teachers and Children. Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute (online). Benesse, 1992. (Citation date: October 31, 2022.)  https://berd.benesse.jp/ict/research/detail1.php?id=3315

5. Kurata Keiichi. Study on the De Facto Standard of the TRON Project (online). (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/randi/16/0/16_193/_pdf.

6. TRON Forum. TRON Project 30th Anniversary. Thirty-year history of TRON Project (online). (Citation date: October 28, 2022.) https://30th.tron.org/tp30-06.html.

7. USTR. 1989 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers. 1989.

8. Gen Tadao. Year 1989: Trade Problem Caused by Japanese-Made OS "BTRON." Nikkei XTECH (online) June 15, 2019. (Citation date: October 28, 2022.) https://xtech.nikkei.com/atcl/nxt/column/18/00215/060300034/

9. Trade Act of 1974 (online). (Citation date: October 12, 2022.)  http://customs.starfree.jp/Trade%20Act%20of%201974j.pdf

10. TRON Association. Background to Trade Issues (online). (Citation date: October 12, 2022.)  https://web.archive.org/web/20100714120633/http://www.assoc.tron.org/jpn/intro/s_301.html

11. Nikkei Computer. 1989.

12. Here's why the blue LED deserves a Nobel Prize. WIRED (online). October 9, 2014. (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://wired.jp/2014/10/09/nobel-prize-blue-leds/.

13. Nakamura Shuji. I Won't Lose!: What the Developer of the Blue Light-Emitting Diode Has to Say. Chuo-ku, Tokyo : Asahi Shimbun Publications, 2004.

14. Nobel Prize Laureate Nakamura Shuji Talks about Why He Obtained the US Citizenship.withnews (online). October 18, 2014 (Citation date: October 31, 2022.) https://withnews.jp/article/f0141018000qq000000000000000G0010401qq000010997A

15. Takahashi Fumitada and Saeki Shinya. Asking Three Japanese Engineers Why They Switched to Korean Companies. Nikkei Electronics (online) November 16, 2012. (Citation date: Octiber 31, 2022.) https://xtech.nikkei.com/dm/article/FEATURE/20121105/249381/

16. Ojimi Yoshihisa, Shiraishi Takashi and Mitsuhashi Tadahiro. Japan-US Textile Negotiations and Vision of the 1970s. Place of publication unknown: MITI Journal, December 1993. 17. Higashi Soichiro. Empirical Research on Capital Investment of Semiconductor Companies: Impact of the Japan-US Semiconductor Agreement. Nishinoiya City, Hyogo Prefecture: Kwansei Gakuin University Shogaku Kenkyu, 2015.


Moteki Hiromichi

Senior researcher

International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)

November , 2022

1. Ukraine war: a war between globalism and nationalism?

As Fujiwara Masahiko says in his book Nihonjin no Shinka (True Value of the Japanese) (Bunshun Shinsho 2020) that “it is hard to believe that aggression as blatant as the Russian invasion of Ukraine takes place in the 21st century Europe,” many are surprised at how history has gone backwards by one century, so to speak.

However, some seem to support the view that this is a war of nationalism against globalism. Apparently, they see it as a confrontation of the Russian nationalism against American globalism led by the DS (deep state) but this raises a question of where Ukraine, the leading player, comes in. Do they mean that Ukraine is a voice of globalism supported by the US?

It is an outrageous idea to make light of the Ukrainians. Are they saying that Ukraine, fighting bravely and squarely against an all-out attack from Russia, which boasts overwhelming military power, are fighting for the US? I feel inclined to wonder if they are thinking of the Ukrainians as fools committing their lives to the US. Certainly, it is thanks to the enormous arms support from the US and other countries of the Western bloc that they have been able to repulse the main forces of the 200,000 Russian troops, protect the capital Kyiv, strike a blow at the Russian troops in the eastern and southern regions and recover lost territory. Who expected a wretched debacle of the Russian tank force of over 1,000 vehicles? No matter how much military aid is offered, fighting such fierce battles would be absolutely impossible without the determination to fight of the people who love and commit their lives to their country. Look at Afghanistan. They got themselves into such a mess despite the US troops that had joined them in addition to the arms support.

If the present war is a heroic war of nationalist Ukraine, what about Russia? Russia expressed as pretexts for invasion of Ukraine what can never suffice as reasons for all-out invasion, such as the “threat of neo-Nazism” and the issue of accession to the NATO but the true reason is Great Russianism: It is an all-out invasion aimed at the realization of Great Russia.

On February 26, in the initial period after the start of the war, RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency, said in an article under the title of “The advent of Russian new world”:

“Russia is restoring its historical fullness, bringing together the Russian world and the Russian people, namely the Great Russians (Russia), White Russians (Belarus) and Little Russians (Ukraine). If we had abandoned this and allowed the temporary division to take hold, we would not only betray the memory of our ancestors, but would also be cursed by our descendants for allowing the disintegration of the Russian land.”

It means that the Russian nationalist sense of mission was at the root of the invasion of Ukraine. However, this nationalism totally ignores the sovereignty of Little Russia, which is a sovereign country, and the will of the Ukrainians and one-sidedly forces Russia’s own nationalism. They do not hesitate to use armed force for that purpose. It is an extremely malicious and dangerous idea.

The “globalism” called the Great Russianism has now begun to claim that Russia has a right of possession even of Japan’s Hokkaido on the grounds of the Ainu issue (Deputy of the State Duma has stated openly that “Russia has all rights to Hokkaido.” The Sankei Shimbun June 11, 2020)

As Yoram Hazony discusses in his book The Virtue of Nationalism (Japanese version translated by Nakano Takeshi and Se Teruhisa, Toyo Keizai 2021), Nazism was not confined to nationalism but “transformed into globalism that takes on the nature of imperialism and forces own principles and culture on other countries.”

Just like this, the Great Russianism should be regarded as globalism clothed in nationalism. That is, the present war is more accurately a war of the Great Russianist globalism, rather than Russian nationalism, versus Ukrainian nationalism.

2. Threat of neo-Nazism: a complete lie

As a reason for starting a war, Russia put the main emphasis on the threat of neo-Nazism such as the Azov Regiment confronting the pro-Russian faction in Ukraine.

From 1932 to 1933 in the Soviet Union era, Ukraine was hit by a great famine. It was a tragic incident that caused starvation of 3.3 or even more millions of people but it was due more to the Communist Party’s self-justified authoritarianism than to the weather, as it was depicted in the famous movie Mr. Jones. This inevitably raised strong anti-Soviet emotions among Ukrainian nationalists and Ukrainian people. Therefore, when the German troops made inroads into Ukraine, many Ukrainians cooperated with the German troops. Against this backdrop, it should be natural that people like the Azov Regiment came into existence. In the present Ukraine, however, neither are the Azov Regiment’s illegal attacks against Russian residents officially approved nor are anti-Russian revanchist policies taken by the Ukrainian government. On the contrary, Russia has sent the Wagner Group’s unit of 8,000 mercenaries to the eastern part of Ukraine since 2014. Russia has long been engaged in acts of aggression. They are absolutely unqualified to mention neo-Nazism. Needless to add, it can never be a pretext for all-out invasion of Ukraine.

As another reason for starting the war, Russia mentions the threat of NATO. They claim that Ukraine’s refusal to give up joining NATO is a threat to Russia.

NATO has expanded and is still expanding. However, NATO has never waged war of aggression against any sovereign nation. The expansion of NATO is an increase of member states for avoiding the threat of an aggressive big power called Russia and not one country intends to join NATO to invade Russia. In response to Russia’s current act of violence reminiscent of the 20th century, Sweden and Finland, which traditionally took a neutrality policy, officially applied for the accession to NATO. This means that the reason for starting the war mentioned by Russia has produced a reverse effect.

That is, the reason for starting the war associated with neo-Nazism or with NATO can never be sufficient for providing justification for Russia’s one-sided all-out invasion.

3. Incorrect allegation over historical perception that the Pearl Harbor attack has something in common with Russia’s all-out invasion

President Zelenskyy of Ukraine spoke along the following lines in his online speech made to the US Congress on March 16:

Remember Pearl Harbor, the terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you.

This is an absurd, incorrect perception. Very regrettably, however, a view that the Pearl Harbor attack is Japan’s one-sided act of aggression is mostly shared around the world in reality. Having said that, the “aggressor Japan” view is a total “fallacy,” as discussed by Henry Stokes, former Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times, in his book Fallacies in the Allied Nations' Historical Perception as Observed by a British Journalist (Hamilton Books, New York, 2017).

What should be confirmed first is the fact that Russia, whose existence was not in a critical situation, waged total aggression against Ukraine, a minor power, resulting in the present Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, they are outrageous enough to declare a nuclear threat.

It is true that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a preemptive strike, but the situation was totally different from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Japan was faced with a genuine life-or-death crisis for the nation.

In July 1939, the US one-sidedly announced its abrogation of the US-Japan Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. It was “all the more serious because the denouncing of a commercial treaty for political reasons is almost unheard of in American diplomatic history,” as an article in the July 28, 1939, edition of The Manchester Guardian stated, and virtually a quasi-declaration of war. It gave the US the power to begin restricting exports to Japan six months later and the US started to restrict the export of scrap iron, alloys, refined steel, steel products, machines, etc., which at last led to the total embargo of oil in August 1941. Japan, whose oil supplies depended 90% on import, lost its sources of oil and was driven to the critical point of survival as a modern state because the Netherlands followed in the footsteps of the US to restrict exports. The situation was just the opposite of how Russia is conversely making use of oil as a strategic material to the West and using its export as a threat.

An economic blockade is warfare, as US Secretary of State Kellogg said on December 8, 1928, in the hearing for the ratification of the Pact of Paris proposed by himself, when he stated that an economic blockade is “An act of war, absolutely!” responding to a question from a senator. That is, the one that first committed an act of war called an economic blockade against Japan was none other than the US.

In addition, the US formulated an operation plan (JB355) to bomb the mainland Japan using long-range bombers, which was signed for approval by President Roosevelt on July 23, 1941. (The signed document has been published in the US National Archives.) It was four and a half months before the Pearl Harbor attack.

The Japanese government had been continuously negotiating to avoid conflict with the US but the Hull note, which was virtually an ultimatum to it, was submitted on November 26. Its content brought the results of negotiations up to then to almost nothing. Hamilton Fish, the Republican leader who approved of the declaration of war, made severe criticism after the war that none of the congress members was informed of the Hull note and said that it was wrong of himself to ask for the declaration without the knowledge of it.

While the US was already engaged in a virtual act of war by the economic blockade, Japan was seeking an avenue to reconciliation. For Japan, the loss of the possibility of reconciliation meant that there was no other way left but to take measures for self-defense. Japan had the right to use self-defense measures. Then, it decided to use self-defense measures, which was the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not a response to a threat to their existence or use of the right of self-defense. President Zelenskyy and other people around the world should know that there is nothing similar about it to the Pearl Harbor attack. Very regrettably, the reality is that the view on the Pearl Harbor attack as Japan’s one-sided act of aggression is still mostly shared around the world. It is a perception that must be corrected.

- China Does Not Have a Legal Right of Possession of Taiwan -



              Kawahara Shoichiro

Senior researcher

International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)

October , 2022

1 “Legal status of Taiwan undetermined” argument

 The question of whether China will invade Taiwan and, if so, when, has recently be raised with a sense of urgency by the mass media. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the question of Taiwan has come under more intense scrutiny, with comparison between Taiwan and Ukraine.

 A forced Chinese absorption of Taiwan, the so-called Taiwan issue, is the most significant issue in East Asia, as it has the potential to have a great impact, in terms of degree and extent, and will inevitably involve Japan as well as the US.

 Did you know that one argument underlying the Taiwan issue is that the legal status of Taiwan has yet to be determined, or “undetermined”, which seems to attracting attention?

 The view that the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined,” simply put, is that Japan renounced its possession of Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores Islands after WWII but only renounced its right of possession and did not specify territorial jurisdiction. Even now, determination of who holds the right of possession of Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands is pending, which necessitates certain procedures, such as holding an international conference to determine who bears the right of possession. That is, the Treaty of Peace with Japan (San Francisco Peace Treaty), which was concluded on September 8, 1951, merely stated that “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores” in Article 2 Section b and other provisions are not mentioned.

 Both China and the Kuomintang (KMT), or the Chinese Nationalist Party of Taiwan, have rejected the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined” view. At one time, during the KMT Ma Ying-jeou administration, the Chief Representative of the Interchange Association Taipei Office in Japan mentioned this “legal status of Taiwan undetermined” view and the relationship between Japan and Taiwan temporarily deteriorated.

However, the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan has not stated its attitude toward the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined” view and, conversely, is presumed to embrace it from the perspective of Taiwanese independence. The US held the view that the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined” up until US-China rapprochement. However, Henry Kissinger, then Special Assistant to President Nixon, promised verbally to then Premier Zhou Enlai that the US would subsequently cease to assert that the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined”. The US has not raised this view ever since.

In Japan, those engaged in Taiwan-related affairs and research are aware of the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined” view and nothing more. This is also true worldwide—awareness with no further discussion. Therefore, the meaning of Article 2 Section b of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, in the context of a special international situation remains unexamined. Accordingly, the current paper intends to revisit this matter and make clear that China has no legal right of possession of Taiwan based on Article 2 Section b of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. I will point out that, after all, this issue boils down to a question of Taiwanese nationhood.


2 The Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Declaration

 In terms of the right of possession of Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands, it is necessary to see how Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands were treated in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration before looking at the provision in the San Francisco Peace Treaty.  

The first instance when the Allies took up the issue of Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands, which were in Japan’s possession, was in the Cairo Declaration, issued on December 1, 1943. The signatories of the Cairo Declaration were the heads of the US, the UK and the Republic of China. The Declaration stated:

“It is their [the Allies’] purpose … that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.”

 This provision in the Cairo Declaration was assumed by the Potsdam Declaration, which was issued jointly by the US, the UK and Republic of China (and later joined by the USSR) on July 26, 1945. In the Potsdam Declaration, Article 8 stated:

“The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.”

 As is well known, Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration. Acceptance obliged Japan to carry out the provisions of the individual Articles in the Potsdam Declaration including the fulfillment of the Cairo Declaration. However, this does not immediately evoke legal transfer of the right of possession of Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands.

 Pro-China parties and scholars argue that the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration evoked transfer of the right of possession of Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands and so there is no basis for a “legal status is undetermined” view—which is obviously not valid. Transfer of a right, based on international law, does not come into effect unless a treaty is signed by government representatives and ratified by its council. Acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration merely obligated Japan to carry out the obligations in it and does not evoke a legal transfer of the right of possession. The obligations in the Potsdam Declaration were in fact fulfilled, in all forms, by Article 2 Section b of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. If acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration induced transfer of the right of possession, the relevant provision in the San Francisco Peace Treaty would have been pointless and the provision should not have been made. The provision is there in the Treaty because Japan still had the right of possession at the time of the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

3 Occupatio

 Now, let’s go back to the discussion about the provision of Article 2 Section b of the Treaty of Peace with Japan. This Section provided that Japan renounces the right of possession of Taiwan and the Pescadores and the land of which the right of possession was renounced becomes terra nullius. The principle of law based on international law concerning terra nullius is occupatio, which means that a nation can acquire ownership of terra nullius as its territory by exercising control over it before other nations do. What “exercising control” means is arguable but let us say that it refers to the state in which sovereignty is peacefully and continuously exercised over terra nullius without objection from other nations.

 Article 2 Section c of the San Francisco Peace Treaty prescribes renouncement of sovereignty over the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin and Article 2 Section f prescribes renouncement of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands. However, there is no provision concerning their territorial jurisdiction. Of these lands, at present, the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin are possessed by Russia and possession of the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands are contested by six nations, a result of application of occupatio. That is, these lands were rendered terra nullius on April 28, 1952, the day that the Treaty of Peace with Japan took effect, but the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin was under control by the USSR at that point, and ever since, and no nation has raised an objection to the USSR possessing the Kurile Islands and Sakhalin. As for the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands, since these lands became terra nullius, no nation has exercised control over these lands without objection from other nations, leading to on-going dispute.

 What about Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands? These lands were occupied by the Republic of China (the Government of Taiwan) when they became terra nullius. However, the People’s Republic of China (the Government of China) claims to possesses the lands. The current situation can hardly be said to be peaceful “exercising of control" and there is doubt of whether the Government of Taiwan possesses Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands.

 At the same time, the Government of China does not even occupy Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands; the Government of China is not “exercising control” over Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands. Based on occupatio, the Government of China has no legal right of possession of Taiwan.

4 Conclusion

 One could comment on my conclusion: This conclusion springs form the view that the Government of Taiwan and the Government of China are treated as separate nations. If there is one, unified China, of both mainland China and Taiwan, and the Government of China and the Government of Taiwan represent local governments of a unified China, then all lands can be regarded as territories of the unified China, which includes land possessed by the Government of Taiwan. That is, the right of possession of Taiwan belongs to a unified China.

At the moment, however, the Government of Taiwan does not accept this view and the international community does not accept this view either. In the US’s One China policy, the US acknowledges that the Government of China maintains there is “one China”, which includes Taiwan, and there is no further debate. Japan has practically taken the same position as the US.

 In the end, it should be clear that the issue boils down to a question of Taiwanese nationhood. If the Government of Taiwan is recognized as a nation, then the Government of Taiwan can claim the right of possession of Taiwan based on occupatio and furthermore, the Government of China has absolutely no right of possession.  However, if Taiwan is not recognized as an individual nation, then there can only be “one China”.

 In the future, with increasingly strained relations between China and Taiwan, the question of Taiwanese nationhood will add even more tension. I hope that the current paper, which raises anew the “legal status of Taiwan is undetermined” view, will be a starting point for discussion concerning future diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.

--The nuclear power balance tilting against the United States and the path to securing a reliable nuclear deterrent --


矢野 義昭

Yano Yoshiaki

Senior researcher

International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)

June 30, 2022

As we have seen during the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is getting more and more difficult to secure completely the international order, maintained through the U.S. nuclear deterrent power, against attempts to change the status quo.

Guarantee of “nuclear umbrella” for Ukraine was not fulfilled

Ukraine used to own approximately 1,400 nuclear warheads and ranked the third “nuclear power” after Russia and the United States at the time when it became independent from the Soviet Union. However, in 1994, the United States, Britain and Russia, fearing nuclear proliferation from Ukraine, made Ukraine agree to the plan to transfer all its nuclear warheads to Russia on the condition that Ukraine be provided security.

However, after the virtual annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, the United States and Britain did not provide protection under their nuclear umbrella for Ukraine’s security as it had been promised. When Ukraine was invaded and threatened with a possible nuclear attack by a nuclear power country, the nuclear umbrella assurance the United States had guaranteed to Ukraine did not work effectively.

As if they anticipated the failure of the “nuclear umbrella” security, China, Russia and the DPRK (North Korea) are strengthening their show of force and nuclear intimidation around Japan.

It is time for us to reexamine the policy of total dependence on the United States with respect to nuclear deterrent, reevaluate the need to keep the Three Non-Nuclear Principles and to seriously discuss the necessity and possibility for Japan to possess its own nuclear deterrent power.

Deterrent power has several levels. The highest level is nuclear weapons and below it come biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Under that level, there are conventional, regular weapons. Below weapons level, there are non-military tools, like diplomacy, economics, scientific technology, intelligence and other means of deterrence.

Deterrent will collapse if at any level, one’s power is weaker than that of the opponent. Even if a conflict occurs and escalates, the possession of a more powerful force at a higher level, makes it possible to prevent the conflict from escalating further.

Namely, if a country owns its own nuclear force, theoretically, it can keep the conflict from escalating any further or refuse to accept the plan to end the conflict as the other side wishes, by employing nuclear intimidation at the time when both sides start using regular weapons and the other side is doing better.

The nominal “Three Non-Nuclear Principles” and the lost U.S. “Nuclear Umbrella” reliance

Following the Sato Cabinet decision on October 9, 1972, Japan has been advocating for the “Three Non-Nuclear Principles.” However, the United States itself has kept an ambiguous stance regarding these principles. The U.S. neither denies nor affirms whether the U.S. nuclear submarines carry nuclear weapons. Japanese officials cannot go aboard U.S. submarines passing through the Japanese territorial waters and verify if the submarines carry nuclear weapons or not. This means that the principle of not allowing the entry of nuclear weapons into the country is not enforced.

In the terms of real politics, Japan has been thoroughly dependent on the United States when it comes to nuclear deterrence. The U.S. assurance that it would provide a nuclear umbrella (Extended nuclear deterrence) is the major reason why Japan does not intend to possess its own nuclear capability.

However, the military nuclear power balance between the United States, China and Russia has already been tilting against the United States. The war in Ukraine further consolidated the ties between Russia and China. It is highly probable that in terms of nuclear strategy, Russia and China secretly agreed to cooperate. A U.S. expert estimates that in the field of strategic nuclear force, if China and Russia join hands and regard the United States as their common enemy, the nuclear power balance will be 2 to 1 in favor of Russia and China.

Regarding Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), China, without being restricted by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, has unilaterally augmented INF and obtained an advantage in the Indo-Pacific region. As of the short-range nuclear forces, Russia considers them very important in defending its long border line, and it is estimated that Russia has more than 1,800 of them, four to five times as many as the U. S. does.

It is not known how many nuclear forces China owns, but at each level, clearly, China and Russia excel the United States in the number of forces. Despite President Biden’s statement during his visit to Japan and on other occasions, in realistic comparison of forces, it seems evident that the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella has lost its reliability.

If so, Japan has only two options left. To acquire nuclear deterrent power at least as strong as that of Britain and France or to try to augment its conventional armament without the possession of nuclear weapons.

High probability of Japan’s possessing nuclear forces and the U.S. change of policy to acquiesce that Japan and South Korea may possess nuclear arms on their own

American and Japanese experts agree that Japan is potentially capable of possessing nuclear arms on its own. Japan could produce nuclear bombs within several days and owns nuclear fission materials that can be used as fuel for nuclear bombs.

Highly sophisticated technology is not needed and it does not cost much money to design and produce a nuclear bomb. Japan can develop nuclear warheads using super computers without conducting a nuclear test.

Japan owns solid-fueled rockets for civilian use, which can be converted to inter-continental ballistic missiles. Japan will be able to develop nuclear submarines, which can carry submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and deploy them within five years. Japan has the ability to develop and manufacture the re-entry part to be used in the ballistic head. This technology, as well as the guidance technology, has been tested successfully by “Hayabusa,” the robotic spacecraft, when exploring the tiny asteroid Itokawa, and others.

The United States has not been successful in deterring North Korea from developing nuclear missiles. In March 2022, North Korea launched successfully an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) named Mars 17, with a range capable of reaching the entire U.S. territory. In addition, North Korea is developing hypersonic weapons which cannot be counterattacked by the current missile defense system and may carry out its seventh nuclear testing.

Against such threat posed by the North Korean nuclear attack capability, the United States has shifted its policy toward allowing the South Korean possession of nuclear arms.

In 2017, President Trump admitted that the U.S. would lift the restraint on South Korea to build nuclear submarines, Korean ballistic missiles’ ranges and weights of ballistic heads. Following this, South Korea introduced a plan to build a nuclear submarine and in September 2021, launched successfully an SLBM from under the water.

The U.S. policy change to allowing the South Korean possession of SLBMs in the future will be probably applied also to Japan. To possess SLBMs means loading of nuclear warheads, possession of nuclear arms and nuclear proliferation, which the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) prohibits. However, allowing Japan’s possession of nuclear forces will be a rational strategy, considering the inferior U.S. position in terms of present and future nuclear strategic balance against China and Russia.

That is because if the U.S. would not permit Japan’s possession of its own nuclear forces, Japan may succumb to the nuclear intimidation on the part of China and Russia. Regular weapons would hardly enable Japan to cope with the several million-fold destructive power of the nuclear weapons. If Japan should succumb, it would become a subordinate to China and be obliged to serve as a place for China’s military bases. Then, the United States would be destined to lose its hegemony over the Western Pacific.

Without allowing Japan’s possession of nuclear forces, if the U.S. tries to avoid Japan’s capitulation to the nuclear intimidation by China and Russia, the United States would be obliged to send its large-scale ground forces to Japan and fight against the Chinese military to defend Japan.

After all, the only reasonable choice for the U.S. would be to let Japan possess SLBMs carried aboard nuclear submarines with the highest survivability as at least possible nuclear deterrent and means of transportation, in order to protect the U.S. national interest on the verge of life or death, minimizing the risk.

The change in the Japanese people’s awareness and the most reliable way for Japan to obtain its own nuclear forces

With looming crises in the Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula, and facing the worsening situation of collaboration among China, North Korea and Russia, the hitherto-held allergy against nuclear forces by the Japanese people and the anti-nuclear sentiment would no longer sound persuasive. Voices calling for effective deterrent measures and military forces capable of fighting against invasions will become louder, especially among the young generations within Japan.

If Japan’s domestic public opinion changes, possession of its own nuclear forces will be discussed as a realistic political matter. Once it is politically decided, Japan will be able to produce within several weeks reliable nuclear weapons without conducting nuclear testing and acquire the most reliable deterrent—possession of nuclear forces of its own.

【日本語版 https://i-rich.org/?p=755 】

International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH)
Sugihara Seishiro

April 1, 2022

Our Statement

The International Research Institute for Controversial Histories (iRICH), which was established on November 1, 2018, became a general incorporated association with the official appellation of “General Incorporated Association International Research Institute for Controversial Histories,” as of April 1, 2022. We would like to make a statement on this occasion.

The aim of our institute was stipulated as “this incorporated association aims to protect the honor and dignity of Japan and the Japanese people through international controversies over historical issues” in Article 3 of our Agreement. The new version of Article 3 of our “Statute” states: “This incorporated association aims mainly to conduct historical research, publish results and disseminate the correct understanding of Japan both domestically and internationally.” Words have changed, but our mission to challenge international controversies, including our activities related to the United Nations, which unfortunately have been insufficient so far, is the same as ever.

As of the historical studies, we must emphasize that presently, historical studies in the world tend to deviate from the scientific methodology and have become something very different.

To argue this point further, we must ask what science is. Science refers to arguments based on objective facts. Natural science, social science and human science are all sciences because they are arguments based on facts.

Study of history belongs to human science and deals with the past, which can be defined as interpretation of what happened in the past. By interpreting it, based on facts, past events can be recognized and understood.

However, in many recent cases emerging around the world, historical studies adhere to low standards or do not meet scientific criteria at all.

A typical example of this trend is the comfort women issue. We have been dealing directly with this issue. The essence of the comfort women issue is that during World War II, there were “military comfort women” used by the Japanese Army who were allegedly abducted by Japanese officials . The issue started with the book My War Crime—Forced Abduction of Koreans (published by San-Ichi Shobo Publishing Inc in 1983.) written by a Japanese man named Yoshida Seiji. In the book, Yoshida created a false story vividly depicting a hunt for comfort women in the Korean island of Jeju. Thus, the book made comfort women a big political issue. With mismanagement on the part of the Japanese Government in dealing with the issue from the very start, the problem led to the present situation of comfort women statues being built all over the world. There were neither “military comfort women” nor “forced abduction.” Those were professional comfort women working without coercion, which has been perfectly proven by both Korean and Japanese scholars. The Japanese leading paper, which had reported extensively on Yoshida Seiji’s fictitious story, admitted that its reporting about the comfort women issue was false and cancelled its related articles in 2014.

Under such scholarly circumstances, Professor Ramseyer of Harvard University posted a scholarly essay, "Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War," on the International Review of Law and Economics’ website, in which he clearly stated that comfort women were engaged in sexual services under contract, definitively proving that there was no “forced abduction.” The summary of this essay appeared in the magazine “Japan Forward” in January 2021. Upon this, many critics from South Korea, the United States, Europe and Japan, calling themselves scholars, issued a statement asking Professor Ramseyer to withdraw his essay. The number of scholars who joined in the statement demanding the removal of Professor Ramseyer’s essay amounted to 3,665 as of May 11, 2021.

This is an act digressing far from the standards of the scientific study and can no longer be called a study. Those self-proclaimed scholars simply asked for withdrawal of the essay, and did not refer to any facts, neither did they try to refute his arguments. This was not a study concerned with facts. It was not a study by any standards.

Historical studies, as science, do not aim to insult or incite hatred toward a specific country or people. The request to withdraw the essay aims to hurl insults and provoke hatred as undercurrent and diverts from the scientific scholarly objectives.

Interpretation matters in the study of history. When it comes to interpreting cases related to a certain country or people, it is necessary to compare them with cases of other countries or people, to demonstrate a fair and conscientious approach to the study.

We, the researchers of the International Research Institute for Controversial Histories, on this occasion of our becoming a general incorporated association, will look far and wide across the world, make further efforts to continue our study as science, based on facts, and contribute to the promotion of world peace and development of the world for the international citizens.

We extend our heart-felt gratitude to those who have supported us and sincerely hope that all of you will continue to encourage us as you did before

National Commissions for UNESCO

Permanent Delegations to UNESCO

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the International Research Institute of Controversial Histories (iRICH), are a Non-Governmental Organization with the principal aim of recognizing true history by tackling historical controversies of international significance based on fair historical research.

On January 28, 2022, the Japanese Government informed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that Japan recommends its “Sado Gold Mine” to be inscribed as World Cultural Heritage. “Sado Gold Mine” is a historical site located in Sadogashima Island in the northern part of Japan and is composed of several gold mines. Sado Gold Mine has a long history and during Japan’s Edo period (from1603 to 1868), the entire process of gold mining and refinery was carried out by traditional manual manufacturing. In the 17th century, the Mine produced over 400 kilograms of gold per year and its production was at a top level in the world. Today, this historical site has preserved the memory of the superb technical level achieved at the time. As such, the Japanese Government recommended this site as worthy of the status of a World Heritage Site.

However, the South Korean Government claimed that Sado Gold Mine was the very place where Koreans were forced to engage in labor during World War II and that therefore it is strongly opposed to Japan’s recommendation of the site, demanding that Japan withdraw the recommendation.

Whether Sado Gold Mine would be inscribed as World Heritage site or not is to be decided finally in June or July 2023 by the World Heritage Committee after the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) fully examines the recommendation for a year. During this period, we anticipate the South Korean Government’s feverish lobbying to prevent Sado Gold Mine from being inscribed.

However, the South Korean Government’s assertion against the prospective inscription is totally untrue. Here, we will point out how absurd and fact-twisting the Korean assertion is.

The focus of Japan’s recommendation is the Edo period.

Japan’s recommendation deals strictly with the Edo period. It highly evaluates the gold production system of manual manufacturing established during the Edo period, which has been rarely seen in the world. This has nothing to do with Korea and Korea is not a party involved in the issue. Therefore, South Korea is not in the position to oppose the inscription in question.

Moreover, the Korean assertion that “there was forced labor in the gold mines, which disqualifies the site for World Heritage Site” is wrong in the first place. If the Korean assertion were right, Athene’s “Parthenon” or Rome’s Colosseum would surely be disqualified because both of them were built by slaves.

There was no forced abduction.

It is true that there were Korean workers in Sado Gold Mine during World War II. However, those Korean workers were not forcibly brought there as the South Korean Government claims. Most of the Korean workers in Sado Gold Mine went to work there of their own volition, looking for high wages. At that time, in order to come to mainland Japan from the Korean Peninsula, various permits were needed. Those who failed to obtain the necessary permits often entered mainland Japan illegally, seeking work for high wages. From 1939 to 1942, 19, 200 illegal immigrants were caught and then were forcibly sent back to the Korean Peninsula. If there had been a need to forcibly bring Korean workers, those illegal immigrants caught upon entry would have never been sent back to Korea.

“Mobilization” of Koreans, who were Japanese nationals at the time, was legal.

There were some Korean workers brought from the Korean Peninsula to mainland Japan through “mobilization.” At that time, Japan and Korea were one country and Koreans were Japanese citizens. Therefore, it was legal to mobilize Koreans who were Japanese nationals. The ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29) [Japan ratified the Convention before the War] Article 2-2-c) states: “The term forced or compulsory labour shall not include any work or service exacted in case of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war....” Thus, the mobilization of Korean people was authorized by the international law. In April 2021, the Japanese Government decided at a cabinet meeting that the wartime mobilization of Korean workers does not constitute forced labor as stated in the Forced Labour Convention. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has confirmed it.

There was no slave labor.

There was no wage system based on ethnic differences applied at Sado Gold Mine. As for payment and treatment, there was no difference between Japanese and Korean workers. A reliable primary source “the Japan Mining Industry’s “Survey Report on Korean Laborers”, December 1940” reveals that with wages being paid according to results, many Korean workers earned more money than the Japanese workers did. South Korea’s assertion that Korean workers were abducted and engaged in forced labor is merely a lie South Korea made up to denigrate Japan.

As pointed out above, South Korea’s assertion distorts historical facts and is totally groundless. South Korea’s aim is to degrade Japan’s past by rewriting history and to hold a diplomatic superiority over Japan. To accomplish this goal, South Korea is deploying “intelligence warfare,” using the United Nations. If various United Nations organizations involved in the World Heritage Inscription were to make a wrong judgment regarding the case of Sado Gold mine, confused by the unilateral lobbying activities conducted by South Korea, not only would be Japan’s national honor deeply harmed, but also the United Nations’ credibility would be enormously damaged.

Hereby, we, as Japanese nationals, ardently ask those who are involved in the case of inscription of the World Heritage Sites to duly evaluate the historical value of Sado Gold Mine in a just and impartial manner and inscribe Sado Gold Mine as World Cultural Heritage, and not be influenced by the South Korea’s political propaganda.

Japanese translation