Friday, September 5, 2008

Scandals in Japanese Army

Serious scandals among officers in the Japanese Army are being disclosed according to the Tokyo correspondent of the "Herald".
Captain Kawakita was recently killed by a Japanese gendarme at Peking while resisting arrest on suspicion of selling military secrets to Russia, and it is now disclosed that there have been recently a number of removals and retirements of junior army officers for misconduct, and other officers are under investigation for alleged betrayal of military secrets.
Coincidentaly many instances of ill-treatment of soldiers by officers are reported, several soldiers having committed suicide.
The details have been withheld from the public, but the Kawakita case as a climax has forced revelations. Leading newspapers vehemently attack the army, charging that since the war the officers have become demoralised, living extravagantly and dishonourably, and that corruption is the natural result. They suggest that the nation is investing immense sums on an army which may prove worthless in a crisis.
General Nogi joins the critics, and says the trouble is higher up and that until the senior officers set a better example the juniors cannot be expected to walk straight. Official concern over the betrayal of military secrets is illustrated by the court-martial sentence of six years given to Yokosuka, a clerk at a naval station, who furnished to a Japanese newspaper insignificant forbidden information. The Editor is under arrest.
Eastern Province Herald - September 4, 1908.

Wow, so you think corruption is new? Spying, Press harassment, suicides, ill treatment of soldiers, misconduct. Sounds like the plot for a movie. Interesting to note the Japanese were investing huge sums on their army. Your thoughts?

"With the revision of the Unequal Treaties, acknowledgement by the West of Japan’s great power status, and its acquisition of a colonial empire, Japan’s wars against the Chinese and Russians seemed to represent the realization of the Meiji dream. Instead, Japan’s leaders recognized early just how fragile their new great power status was abroad and how precarious popular support for their government was at home." -

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