Friday, October 20, 2006

Japanese POW in Russia and China

Japan and Central Asia/New EurasiaviaAsia Watch
several thousand Japanese war prisoners were sent to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for forced labor.

Japanese army had never participated in demolition of Soviet cities and villages (it had only fought in the environs of Lake Hasan), but the Japanese POWs were involved as labor force at construction sites throughout Uzbekistan. 20, Yakassarai Street in Tashkent is an address mentioned in all reference books on Central Asia published in Japan. This is a museum dedicated to the presence of Japanese POWs in Uzbekistan in the wake of World War II.

Both in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Japanese laborers were involved in major post-war construction projects. In Uzbekistan, they built the Navoi Theater and Mukini Theater, the textile factory, the telegraph station, building of the Ministry of Culture in Tashkent, and factories in Chirchik. In Kazakhstan, the Japanese who lived in barracks behind Panfilov street in Almaty, built the airport, Turksib house with original towers, the building of the Academy of Sciences, and posh “dachas” for NKVD and MVD workers.

“Studying archives for data on Japanese POWs, I noticed that they have their backs to cameras on most photos,” founder of the museum Jalil Sultanov said. “Officially, all these objects including the dam across the Syrdarja and others were constructed by local personnel and the Japanese were not supposed to be there.”

I was a bit surprised that commenter on the blog did not know Japanese POWs in Russia.

Maybe they don't know Japanese POWs in China?

On 5 April, Moscow told Tokyo it was breaking their Neutrality Pact(page 344)...........................
the Russians secretly transferred tens of thousands of Japanese POWs to the CCP. These troops played a major role in turning the ragtag Communist army into formidable battle machine, and were crucial in training Red forces to use the Japanese arms on which they chiefly depended, as well as for servicing and repairing these weapons. It was Japanese, too, who founded the CCP air force, with Japanese pilots serving as flight instructions, Thousands of well-trained Japanese medical staff brought the Red wounded a new level of professional and much-welcomed treatment. Some Japanese even took part in combat 363

According to Besumiya p202, 550,000 Japanese POW by Russia and 40,000 Japanese POWs by China were detained and forced to work in violation of Potsdam Declaration Russia and China themselves declared("Japanese army would be completely disarmed and allowed to return home
") and against Hague convention.("Article 20 After the conclusion of peace, the repatriation of prisoners of war shall take place as speedily as possible.")
And the story of those detained is not always about corporation.
Yeltsin apologized to Japan for that(---I did not know) but China has never expressed the apology.
Some claim that some of Japanese POW in China has gone through sever brainwashing.

Any examination of Soviet intevention must also come to grips with its horrific cost in deaths noncombatants. The Soviets captured about 2.7 million Japanese nationals. The dead and permanently missing among this group, only one third of whome were members of the armed forces, numberered at least 347.000 and perahaps as many as 376,000. page 356 "DOWNFALL" Richard B. Frank

For servicemen in all theaters, repatriation was often delayed by local Allied authorities who chose to use their prisoners for specific postwar purposes. Until the closing months of 1946, the United States retained almost seventy thousand surrendered Japanese as laborers to help phase out wartime facilities in the Philippines, Okinawa, the Pacific Ocean are, and Hawaii. The British, in charge of the repatriation of approximately three-quarters of a million Japanese from south and southeast Asia, made no bones about their intention to ho on to a large number for projects in areas where the European powers, having ousted the Japanese aggressors, were intent ton reasserting their own colonial authority. In mid-1946, they were announced that they would retain 113,500 POWs for local work until some time in 1947. Of this number, 13,500 POWs were later turned over to the Dutch, engaged in reimposing their rule over the former Netherlands East Indies. The last of the Japanese detained by the British in Malaya and Burma were not repatriated until October 1947.
The total number of Japanese who surrendered to Chinese forces and were forced to work or fight either side in the Chinese civil war is unknown. More than a year after surrender, it was reported that some sixty-eight thousand Japanese taken prisoner in Manchuria were still being employed by Chinese forces, mostly on the communist side. The Kuomintang(Nationalist) government, for its part, delayed the repatriation of over fifty thousand Japanese with useful technical skills for much of 1946. As late as April 1949, on the eve of the communist victory, more than sixty thousand Japanese were still believed held in communist-controlled areas.(page 51)

The Chinese Communists subjected around one thousand Japanese prisoners to intensive "reeducation" during and after the war and brought forty-five to trial for was crimes eleven years after Japan's defeat.(page 449)
By far the most extensive, protracted an abusive treatment of surrendered forces cam at the hands of Soviets.....Japanese authority estimated that between 1,6 and 1,7 million Japanese fell into Soviet hands, and it soon became clear that many were being used to help offset the great manpower losses the Soviet Union had experienced. in the was as well as through the Stalinist purges......In the spring of 1949, ...the USSR announced that only ninety-five thousand prisoners remained.....According to American and Japanese calculations, the actual number should have been around four hundred thousand. Suddenly, more than three hundred thousand Japanese were unaccounted for. Over four decades later, the Soviet Union finally released the names of some forty-six thousand Japanese known to be buried in Siberia. The overall numbers never jibed.(page 52)Embracing Defeat

I am not sure if all the historians agree with the views that Japanese POWs were brainwashed but here are some references.

no specific term emerged until the methodologies of these earlier movements were systematized during the early decades of the People's Republic of China for use in their struggles against internal class enemies and foreign invaders. Until that time, descriptions were limited to concrete descriptions of specific techniques.

The term xǐ năo (洗脑, the Chinese term literally translated as "to wash the brain") was first applied to methodologies of coercive persuasion used in the "reconstruction" (改造 gǎi zào) of the so-called feudal (封建 fēng jiàn) thought patterns of Chinese citizens raised under prerevolutionary regimes. wiki

A small nameplate beside the high, burnished metal gates announces the building inside as "Guangzhou City Law School". But this grimy industrial area on the outskirts of China's great southern commercial metropolis is an unlikely place for an academic institution.

No students are visible. The only signs of life are the black official cars and police vans that come and go through the forbidding gates. Nearby, across the Pearl River, is a grim set of barracks, called Chatou, behind high walls and watchtowers.

According to one woman who has been inside, the school is a front for a state gulag, where police re-educate followers of Falun Dafa...

"It is a brainwashing centre - one of many in China, almost one in every district," says Tang Yiwen, a slight and soft-spoken 37-year-old interpreter who was grabbed off the street by police in February and taken to the Guangzhou institution. "It is said to be one of the most brutal."

Sydney Morning Herald: Inside China's Brainwashing Gulag
(Hamish McDonald 10/20/2004 4:16)


see also Britain’s “Operation Nipoffby Ampontan.
illustraions of Pow camp

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