Imperial Japan: Usury, Banking Reform & The Path To War


Today, Japan is a world superpower. They are the most powerful democratic state in their region of influence, they have the third largest GDP in the world after the USA and China, and they are one of the most, if not the most technologically advanced societies in the world. However, in terms of industrialisation and empire building, the Japanese arrived relatively late. In 1871, two years after the Boshin Civil war resulted in the restoration of the Emperor’s full power, the Iwakura Mission was dispatched in order to

renegotiate treaties with foreign powers that the Japanese deemed to be unfair. However, a secondary (but more important) aspect to this mission was the research conducted by the leading statesman and scholars of the nation, who went to Europe and the Americas to study western industry and economic systems. The purpose of this was to take what they learnt back to Japan in order to modernise their country, as they had seen the British empire grow in the east and of course desired to emulate our success in trade and economic power.

Their rise was meteoric. They modernised their society, dropped customs that they deemed to be outdated, brought everything from armaments to the legal system into line with western standards and even began to acquire imperial territories beginning in 1875, when they signed the Territorial Delimitation Treaty with Russia, gaining all of the Kuril Islands in doing so. However, the real empire-building began in the 1890s, from which time they took control of vast swathes of foreign land, including Taiwan (1895), Korea (1910) and Manchukuo (1931, today part of China & Mongolia). This information is relevant to Japan’s path to war, for it is difficult for the allies to claim that it was Japan’s imperial claims were a threat to peace considering most of these territorial acquisitions occurred prior to WWI, a war during which Japan was an ally of both the British and the Americans.

Furthermore, it cannot be said that Japan’s conduct in administering these territories was a factor, as some claim to do. The Japanese are portrayed as a cruel people, but in fact they brought democracy to Taiwan after it came under their rule and they were much more progressive in terms of colonial political representation than any of the European powers at the time. In 1932, Park Chun-Kum became the first colonial subject to be elected to the House of Representatives and by 1942, 38 colonial politicians had been directly elected to assemblies on the Japanese homeland. In fact, the Japanese had always acted in the spirit of racial equality. The Americans rejected a clause proposed by the Japanese in the League of Nations Charter after WWI which would have enshrined racial equality within it, and in 1938 upon signing the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, refused to take any legal measures against Jews residing in the Japanese homeland or her overseas territories, despite strong pressure.

In actual fact, the allies’ (America in particular) hostility towards Japan more likely stems from a different source, that of economic deviation. Prior to the 1930s, the Bank of Japan had acted like every other central bank in the developed world (modelled on the Bank of England), by printing money to sell to the government with interest (usury) in order to reward private shareholders for essentially doing nothing except operating a mint. The Imperial Japanese Household was in theory the largest shareholder in the bank itself, but this meant about as much as the nationalisation of the Bank of England, as the profits from this usurious organisation still flow to the pockets of shareholders.

In 1929, British engineer and economist Major Cliff Hugh Douglas went on a lecture tour of Japan during which he advocated what he called social credit, a process whereby the central bank under the control government created money debt-free to serve the national interest. He also was an advocate of paying a national dividend or basic income to each citizen to increase general purchasing power, which would stimulate the economy in such a way that it would not become inflationary. The social credit theory in particular was well received by the Japanese and Douglas’ pamphlets and books sold more there than in any other country across the globe.

In 1932, Japan began the reorganisation of the central bank, a process which culminated in the Bank of Japan Law 1942 (modelled on Germany’s Reichsbank Act 1939). From 1932 onward, the bank operated in the following manner:

  “It declared that the Bank was a special corporation of a strongly national nature. The Bank was ‘to assume the task of controlling currency and finance and supporting and promoting the credit system in conformity with policies of the state to ensure the full use of the nation’s potential.’ Further, it was ‘to be managed with the accomplishment of national aims as its sole guiding principle.

“The law also authorised the Bank to make unlimited advances to the government without security, and to subscribe for and absorb government bonds. In respect of the non-issues the law made permanent the system of the maximum issues limit; thus, the bank could make unlimited issues to meet the requirements of munitions industries and of the government.

The results of this banking reform during the period 1931-41 were astounding. Manufacturing output increased by 140%, industrial production by 136%, national income 241% and Gross National Product was up by 259%. Furthermore, unemployment decreased from 5.5% in 1930 to 3% in 1938, whilst industrial disputes decreased with the number of stoppages down from 998 in 1931 to 159 in 1941. Towards the end of the 1930s, Japan had become ‘the leading economic power in East Asia’, with her exports gradually replacing those from America. The Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere was established by Japan in 1940, adding fuel to the fears that other nations would adopt Japan’s new banking system which threatened the position of the usurpers at the Federal Reserve & their friends around the globe.

As the prosperity grew, so did resistance from the USA. In 1939, the Americans unilaterally tore up the 1911 Treat of Commerce between the two nations, restricting Japan’s ability to import raw materials. In June 1940, an aviation fuel embargo followed and then later that same year, a ban on exporting iron or steel to Japan. England, The Netherlands and the USA then froze all of Japan’s assets in their respective countries by July 1941, using the excuse that Japan had invaded French Indochina (Vichy France had given permission for the occupation, which was peaceful in any event). All trade between America and Japan was then summarily terminated and President Roosevelt ordered the Panama Canal closed to Japanese shipping, as well as enforcing an oil and rubber embargo. The latter measure resulted in an 88% loss of all supplies of these materials and without oil, Japan could not survive. She was backed into a corner.

According to General Hideki Tojo (Japanese PM, October 1941 – July 1944), it was not just through economic measures that America was strangling his nation. In his diary he recorded first hand the events that were taking place, of which the the military build up in the pacific is of particular interest. Allied naval forces were being strengthened all the time at bases in Singapore, the Philippines and Malaya, whilst the American navy were flexing their muscles in the seas surrounding Japan. American admirals were publicly boasting that the Japanese fleet could be ‘sunk within a couple of weeks’, whilst Churchill, ever the warmonger, declared that England would join ‘America’s side within 24 hours’, should hostilities break out with Japan.

General Tojo wrote: “Japan attempted to circumvent these dangerous circumstances through diplomatic negotiation, and although Japan heaped concession upon concession, in the hope of finding a solution through mutual compromise, there was no progress because the United States would not retreat from its original position. Finally, in the end, the United States repeated demands that, under the circumstances, Japan could not accept: complete withdrawal of troops from China, repudiation of the Nanking government, withdrawal from the Tripartite Pact.”

Japan even offered to convene a summit in August 1941 with a view to resolving tensions with America, but this offer was rejected out of hand.

In his book A History of Central Banking, S.M. Goodson notes the dire situation that Japan found herself in by December 1941. She had been cut off from 75% of her normal trade by allied economic sanctions and coupled with the military build ups all around her, and the unreasonable demands being made by the Americans, what choice did she have but to strike? Japan spent two years trying to peacefully resolve tensions in the face of oil sanctions in particular that made her survival as a nation practically impossible. The Americans would not back down and the Europeans followed like dutiful pups in what was essentially a provocation akin to a war of aggression.

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws” — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

As we know, when they speak of democracy in the west, they mean usurious financial democracy in which money is all powerful. It is not the politicians that conceive and enact the ideas that shape our nations, it is the people who control the money supply, the central banks and their shareholders. So when the shareholders at the Federal Reserve get itchy about a new financial system that is taking hold in the far-east, is it not too great a coincidence that American policy suddenly becomes unreasonably aggressive towards the nation promoting said policy? Is it not all too convenient that the only variable in Japan’s behaviour prior to and then post American aggression, was their expulsion of usury from the banking system? For any sane mind that rightly does not believe in coincidence, it is a question of intellectual integrity to seriously consider if the official history of Japan’s path to war is in fact the correct one.



S.M. Goodson, A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind, 137-142. (Dates only)


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