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How the CIA helped Japan's Yakuza, LDP, and nuclear power

 
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NohopeSeriously



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: The Christian Right-Wing Educational Republic of Korea

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:54 am    Post subject: How the CIA helped Japan's Yakuza, LDP, and nuclear power Reply with quote

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How The CIA Helped The Yakuza & The LDP Get Power & Promote Nuclear Power

I just finished re-reading Tim Weiner’s magnum opus, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA ,which is perhaps the best book ever written on the Central Intelligence Agency, and its general history of dismal failures. On the eve of the LDP’s retaking of power, December 16th 2012, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at the LDP and how they came into being in the first place. It’s like a story out of a John Le Carre novel, but as is often the case, truth is stranger than fiction–and more interesting.

Operations in Japan turned out to be one of the Agency’s rare success stories. Not only did the CIA put their party of choice in power, according the book 原発 正力 CIA-機密文書で読む昭和裏面史 (What Secret Documents Tell Us About The Hidden Showa-Era History of Ties Between the Nuclear Industry, Matustaro Shoriki–the former president of the Yomiuri Shimbun and founder of Nippon Television) published by Shinchosha, but using the Japanese media, they were able to convince Japan to invest in nuclear energy. Of course, US firms reaped the profits. But that’s another very long story.

Legacy of Ashes is a phenomenal book, especially in how it documents the CIA’s many, many failures–but operations in Japan were something else.
Chapter 12: “We Ran It In A Different Way” is a must for anyone interested in the shadow history of Japan. It details how in post-war Japan, the CIA, using large amounts of cash, reinstated former war criminal Kodama Yoshio and hand-picked one of Japan’s Prime Ministers–in order to supress communist/socialist movements. Kodama had extensive yakuza ties and huge amounts of capital made in the black markets in China. ($175 million estimated). The Tokyo CIA station reported on September 10th, 1953, “(Kodama) is a professional liar, gangster, charlatan, and outright thief….and has no interest in anything but the profits.” It still didn’t keep the CIA from doing business with him up to that time and behind the scenes later. The chapter also notes how the CIA was able to ensure that Nobusuke Kishi became Japan’s prime minister and the chief of its ruling party, in order to ensure that Japan didn’t go red. The president himself seemed to have authorized huge cash payments to Kishi and his other lackeys within the LDP.

Kishi’s links to the Yamaguchi-gumi and other organized crime groups are well-known. His former private secretary was instrumental in organizing the deal between former Yamaguchi-gumi Goto-gumi boss, Goto Tadamasa, and the FBI; it was a deal in which Goto shared intelligence on organized crime groups within Japan and information on North Korea in exchange for a visa to the the United States. He received a liver transplant at UCLA, a transaction which the FBI did not set up or was involved in. Some of this is discussed in Tokyo Vice.

According to the excellent book, The Japanese Mafia by Peter Hill, and other sources, Kishi also once put up the bail money for a Yamaguchi-gumi boss accused of a felony. Goto Tadamasa, the ex-yakuza boss (currently a Buddhist priest doing charitable work) in his memoirs Habkarinagra (Pardon me but…) also discusses his close ties to ex-Prime Minister Kishi. Robert Whiting in the seminal Tokyo Underworld also covers US political connections to organized crime in Japan in great depth and quite entertainingly. Whiting-san worked for the National Security Agency at one point in his life and what he says has great credibility as far as I’m concerned. (I’m not outing Robert by writing that he once worked for the NSA; it was mentioned in a Japan Times article several years ago and proved to be correct.) David Kaplan’s groundbreaking Yakuza:Japan’s Criminal Underworld was probably the first book to really examine the shadowy ties between the yakuza, the LDP and the US after the occupation. What makes Tim Weiner’s small chapter so impressive are the extensive notes, documents obtained from the CIA, and that he apparently conducted interviews on the CIA side as well. Impressive work.

Kodama, the right-wing industrialist mentioned above, is notorious for his gangster connections but perhaps what best illustrates the point is that in the early sixties, Kodoma, Taoka Kazuo (田岡 一雄氏), the third generation leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and Machii Hisayuki (町井 久之) head of the once powerful Japanese-Korean mafia, Toseikai(東声会) all served as board members of the Japan Professional Wrestling Association at the same time. They were all good buddies. As noted in Legacy Of Ashes, and in other sources, the Liberal Democratic Party was founded with a mixture of criminal proceeds, yakuza money, and US funds. The days when the US were able to exert control over Japanese politics are long gone but the yakuza have managed to maintain their own ties and connections to politicians across the board. For the Japanese government, they are still a useful entity, at times, and before the APEC summit, calls were sent out to all the major yakuza leaders urging them not to get into any gang wars and to keep an eye on anti-American lefties. After APEC ends, the aftermath of someone lobbing a hand-grenade into the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi Yamaken-gumi headquarters will probably result in a bloody gang war. But for the time being, the yakuza are keeping the peace.

Full Disclosure Memo: In the worst of the Japanese press and blogosphere, I’ve been accused of being an agent of the CIA several times. Or the Mossad. Take your pick. This is untrue. I’m not a Mormon, have been very promiscious, and I am not totally inept, all things which disqualify me off the bat. However, in 2006-2007, as part of a US State Department sponsored study on human trafficking in Japan, I worked with a company which has many retired CIA/NSA employees and has been accused of being a front company for the CIA. I don’t know if they are or aren’t a front company and I don’t really care. The study and the Human Trafficking report that came out of it had a positive impact on Japan’s attitude towards dealing with human trafficking isssues and that’s really all that matters.

If you’re interested in the outsourcing of intelligence, pick up a copy of Spies For Hire: The Secret World Of Intelligence Outsourcing *by Tim Shorrock. The CIA contractor card on the cover has a partial picture of a Jewish looking fellow but I don’t think that’s me. Not unless someone issued me a nifty little card and didn’t tell me about it. It’s an incredibly well-written book which is now back in print. (Thanks to Mr. Shorrock for letting us know.)

* I was contacted by a yakuza fan magazine journalist roughly two months ago who asserted that it was me on the cover of Spies For Hire and tried to shake me down for cash, obliquely. So by writing this post, I’m also saying “f*ck you very much.” Personally, what’s the most insulting thing about being accused of being a former CIA agent, and no offense to anyone working for the agency intended, but they have such a dismal success rate that it’s kind of like being accused of working for post-Bush FEMA. It wounds my pride. Most people who are in “the intelligence community” would argue that actually the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has the best actionable intelligence of any agency.

Anyway, if you’re a serious Japanologist, Legacy of Ashes is worth having on yourself for that chapter alone. (This is a revision of an article originally posted on November 14th, 2010).


http://www.japansubculture.com/how-the-cia-helped-put-the-yakuza-and-the-ldp-in-power/
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NohopeSeriously



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Location: The Christian Right-Wing Educational Republic of Korea

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm kinda surprised. I didn't know that the American government funded Japanese criminal organizations. Confused
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rollo



Joined: 10 May 2006
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course they do. All governments will if it is useful. The Bulgarian underworld cooperated with Russian intelligence. The U.S. used mafia connections to help in the invasion of Sicily in WWII.

I would doubt that many CIA victories would be common knowledge.
But I am always careful when reading this kind of account because they usually ignore the local actors and only look at the behavior of WEstern powers seeing the end result as totally caused by the West.

But this book does sound interesting. I have put it on my list of books to read this year.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CIA is one the main drug traffickers in the world. That they worked with someone like Yoshio Kodama is no surprise at all; it's par for the course. These sorts of relationships have been going on for a very long time (just look at the CIA involvement in the heroine trade in Afghanistan).
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Mix1



Joined: 08 May 2007

PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rollo wrote:

But I am always careful when reading this kind of account because they usually ignore the local actors and only look at the behavior of WEstern powers seeing the end result as totally caused by the West.

+1
And if WEstern powers stay out and do nothing, they are accused of not doing enough. Meanwhile other countries get their hands plenty dirty too, but in that case it's labelled survival.

(Not excusing behavior by the CIA, just making a point)
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CIA isn't really American. It's ultra-national, global and it controls

things (or tries to) all over the world. I read somewhere that the top

directors of the CIA are "jesuits" directly answerable to the vatican.

I have no way to confirm or refute this, just something I read once.


The idea that the CIA is controlled by the US gov't is laughable, it has

been kind of the other way around.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
the CIA are "jesuits" directly answerable to the vatican.

I have no way to confirm or refute this, just something I read once.


So the pope is behind it all. I should have suspected as much. The Italians are as guilty as the Jews. One way or the other...

Then there are those lizards living under the desert sands of New Mexico.
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the pope is a puppet in the hidden power struggles, similar to

the US presidents.
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northway



Joined: 05 Jul 2010

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visitorq wrote:
The CIA is one the main drug traffickers in the world. That they worked with someone like Yoshio Kodama is no surprise at all; it's par for the course. These sorts of relationships have been going on for a very long time (just look at the CIA involvement in the heroine trade in Afghanistan).


Right. This is business as usual, not news.
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

northway wrote:
visitorq wrote:
The CIA is one the main drug traffickers in the world. That they worked with someone like Yoshio Kodama is no surprise at all; it's par for the course. These sorts of relationships have been going on for a very long time (just look at the CIA involvement in the heroine trade in Afghanistan).


Right. This is business as usual, not news.


The CIA manipulated elections, sponsored coups, and installed regimes in El Salvador, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Indonesia; created al Qaeda.

I haven't read about the CIA in Japan, but it would not surprise me that they had done deals with the Yakuza and even help put mafia linked figures into politcal power.

Many Japanese poltiicians, business and yakuza are part of the same groups.

In fact, the Minister of Justice in Japan, Keishu Tanaka, resigned in December because of his ties to the yakuza - the Minister of Justice!
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With You wrote:

The CIA . . . created al Qaeda.


Myth.

Quote:
Even if the CIA wanted to pay “Arab Afghans” -- which agency officials insist they did not -- bin Laden would be a far from obvious choice. Bin Laden himself rarely left the safety of Pakistan’s northwestern cities and commanded few troops of his own. At the time, bin Laden was the Arab Afghan’s quartermaster, providing food and other supplies.

If a CIA officer tried to give money to bin Laden, he probably would not have lived through the experience. The arch-terrorist was known for his violent anti-Americanism. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from California, told me about a trip he took with the mujahideen (search) in 1987. On that trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Laden’s camp. “If he hears an American, he will kill you.”


Yes, Fox News. Some of the other sources for this are offline.

Myth #1 about Bin Laden: Osama was 'created' by the CIA

Quote:
[OBL] did not receive any direct funding or training from the US during the 1980s. Nor did his followers. The Afghan mujahideen, via Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency, received large amounts of both. Some bled to the Arabs fighting the Soviets but nothing significant.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bin Laden was heir to second largest fortune in Saudi Arabia and connected with the elite around the world (including the Bush family, with whom his family were close business associates). The real myth is that he was just hiding out in a cave all those years.

As a made-up bogie man for the US gov't to use an excuse to take away our liberties, however, he was certainly the gift that kept on giving.


Last edited by visitorq on Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visitorq wrote:
The real myth is that he was just hiding out in a cave all those years.


That's #6

Quote:
6. He spent a lot of time in caves

In the late 1990s, for propaganda purposes, Bin Laden invited select journalists to meet him in caves near Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan. However he lived in a much more comfortable compound a short drive away, near the former Soviet collective farm of Hadda owned by a local warlord. By 1999 he had moved to a complex of houses near Kandahar. When he was killed, he was living in a relatively comfortable detached house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In between, there is no evidence that he spent any time living in caves. The rest of al-Qaida's senior militants appear to have lived in the semi-fortified houses that are common in the tribal zones.
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augustine



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Location: México

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, how ironic is it ironic that the Bin Laden Group is now building the tallest tower in the world?
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I'm With You



Joined: 01 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

augustine wrote:
And, how ironic is it ironic that the Bin Laden Group is now building the tallest tower in the world?


America is incredibly close to one of the most extreme and repressive regimes in the World - Saudi Arabia. They have the oil. To many, that's quite ironic.
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