To continue this bleak historical discursion, here’s some notes on the U.S. employment of their Asian foes. General Charles Willoughby – the Chief of Intelligence who bragged about the “invaluable” research his men had bought off Unit 731’s killers – was a fanatical anti-communist, happy to recruit Japanese war criminals if they’d oppose the Soviets. Thus, as on the Western front, old enemies became new friends if they could fight against old friends who’d now become new enemies.

It seems Charles Willoughby was more inclined to embrace fascists than he’d been to work with Commies. It’s claimed[1] that he lauded Mussolini for “re-establishing the…military supremacy of the white race” and he later made a pilgramage to Spain to offer his respects to an object of his regard, General Francisco Franco[2]. Closer to home, he wrote[3] for the newspaper of the eccentric John Bircher and “Red Conspiracy” opponent Billy James Hargis.

In Japan, Willoughby became close to Lt. General Arisue Seizo, an important figure of the Imperial Japanese Army. He asked him to set up a secret communications group within G-2, Doug MacArthur’s intelligence arm. This, historian Michael Petersen has written, was intended to “target communist elements in Japan“. Arisue employed several criminals to the group, including Kodama Yoshio, a gangster, opiate smuggler and profiteer, and Colonel Tsuji Masanobu, a fanatical killer who organised the notorious Bataan Death March[4].

In Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld, David Kaplan and Alex Dubro write of how this ragbag assortment of fascistic gangsters and war criminals went on to form and foster Japan’s criminal far-right. Kodama particularly “created a powerful rightist bloc inside and outside…government“, and “tried to foment internal strife” with the aid of ultranationalist yakuza gangs. The G-2 – and, later, the CIA’s – employees “sp[ied] on and disrupt[ed] the left in Japan“, and it’s even speculated that they might have played a role in false flag attacks aimed at discrediting socialists. The extent of their activities under Willoughby’s command, however, are unknown. Kaplan and Dubro report an official saying that – like his ass-covering offspring – “Willoughby was a burner[5].

[1] Textor, Robert, Success in Japan (pg.16)

[2] Klukhohn, Frank, “Heidelberg to Madrid — The Story of General Willoughby“, The New York Journal, 19.8.52

[3] Wilkerson, Keith, “Founder Dr. Billy James Hargis dead at age 79″, Christian Crusade Newspaper, January – February 2005

[4] Petersen, Michael, “The Intelligence That Wasn’t”, Researching Japanese War Crimes: Introductory Essays.

[5] Kaplan, David and Dubro, Alex, “The Kodama Years”, Yakuza: Japan’s criminal underworld

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