Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Scary Spider

As I was auditing I came across this book, A decade of Japanese underground activities in the Netherland East Indies

the picture on the cover made me stop and look at it.
It was issued for the Netherland Government Information Bureau by HMSO in 1942.
This is about the history of the war with Japan and the Netherlands East Indies why it started, the Japanese aggression, the propaganda that was used for the preparation of an invasion, the economic assault and the espionage involved.
I was particularly struck by the quote on the inside page.
“Time was when the ancient and noble rule of Bushido (the Road of the Warrior) withheld Japan from dishonourable action….Japan has branded herself among the nations as a country that knows only one law : the law of the jungle.”
On leafing through the book I came across the heading the Inclusion of Japanese Residents in the Espionage System. It mentions that the greater part of the Japanese community in the Netherlands Indies were hard-working and quiet immigrants. They held themselves away from the subversive and spying activities and gave the police little trouble. That is until after the Manchurian expedition and the subsequent disapproving vote of the League of Nations in 1933, when Japan became isolated and took a hostile attitude towards the Western Powers.
The Japanese abroad were asked to put themselves and their jobs at the disposal of Japan’s military aspirations.
This booklet is a fascinating insight to written propaganda in the Second World War.

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