Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious Views of History
Posted on August 10th, 2017

By Henry Scott Stokes,

Categories: Greater East Asian Conference ,Greater East Asian War (Pacific War) ,World War II

In 1941, Imperial Japan rapidly brought an end to the British Empire in Asia. Because a non-white race dared to upset the white colonialists’ status quo in Asia, the British resented the Japanese long after the war. Mr. Henry Scott-Stokes states that he held such a view as well before arriving in Japan as a foreign correspondent. Mr. Scott-Stokes writes of his transformation, of uncritical acceptance of the western colonialist’s version of the Greater East Asian War, the so-called Pacific War, to realization of its absolute vacuousness. [The Japanese],” he states, were supposed to simply accept, without any criticism or opposition whatsoever, the noble wisdom of civilization [the verdicts of the Tokyo Trials].”

Mindless parroting of historical fabrications by modern Japanese suggests a loss of national consciousness, of what it means to be Japanese, as Yukio Mishima expressed in his discussions with Mr. Scott-Stokes. Japan lost her independence to America and is merely a protectorate and not a nation with her own culture and history. Japanese people need to take it upon themselves to change this situation. Mr. Stokes’ mother-in-law, however, wryly commented that today’s Japanese are cowards, so it will take another 200 or 300 years.

Henry Scott Stokes

Henry Scott Stokes was born in England in 1938. After earning undergraduate degree from Oxford University in 1961, he joined Financial Times, Inc. He became its first Tokyo branch representative in 1964. He became Tokyo Bureau Chief of The Times in 1967 and became Tokyo Bureau Chief of New York Times in 1978. He is known as the most intimate friend of Mishima Yukio among foreign reporters in Japan. Added to that he has worked extensively in the arts. For almost a decade after leaving The New York Times in 1984, he worked with New York artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude on a joint work of art for Japan and America titled The Umbrellas”. During the l990s he worked for several years for Mary Moore, the daughter of British sculptor Henry Moore. Thereafter in the 2000s and 2010s he served as a writer, editor and lecturer on a range of interests.

Henry Stokes was raised in an atmosphere shaped by his Quaker mother’s pacifism and his father’s eclectic interests as an army officer in two world wars, a scholar of both Winchester College and New College Oxford and a lifelong businessman leading a shoe business. He is married to Akiko Sugiyama and they have one son Harry now entered into tv and radio work in Tokyo.

Table of Contents
Chapter One: US Army Tanks I Saw in My Homeland in England
Chapter Two: Is Japan the Only Country That Committed War Crimes ?
Chapter Three: What did Yukio Mishima want through his death?
Chapter Four: The Press Conference of Osaka City Mayor Toru Hashimoto
and the Comfort Women” issue
Chapter Five: Nanking Massacre”: Denied by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong
Chapter Six: What was The Voice of the Heroic Dead” all about
Chapter Seven: Japan as the Light of Hope for Asia
Chapter Eight: Asian leaders I have met
Chapter Nine: People I remember
Final Chapter: People of Japan, be proud of your own history
Kase Hideaki
Henry Scott Stokes and I have been close friends for many years.
In 1964 Stokes was named the first Tokyo bureau chief of the Financial Times, the UK’s most distinguished British international business daily; he was only 26 at the time.
Known for his skillful journalism, Stokes was persuaded to become the Tokyo bureau chief of another British daily, The Times, in 1967. By 1978 he had moved to The New York Times, which he served not only as Tokyo bureau chief, but also as a reporter covering all of Asia.
His friendship with Mishima Yukio brought him into the international spotlight. Shortly before Mishima committed seppuku, or ritual suicide, he penned a letter to Stokes.
There is an institution in Tokyo called the FCCJ (Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan). Nearly 200 foreign journalists belong to the FCC. Stokes is two years my junior, but he is now the FCCJ’s most senior member.
Readers will, I am certain, find the author’s observations eye-opening. I too learned a great deal from them.
The relationship between England, Stokes’ native land, and the US is a close-knit one. However, readers will surely be surprised by the huge gulf between mainstream Japanese and British perceptions of the US.
Stokes recalls how shocked he was, as a small boy standing at the roadside, at the sight of an American tank unit passing through Glastonbury, his home town.
They treated themselves, these young boys from Idaho, or Utah, or
Arkansas, or wherever they came from, as kings. I still remember the smiles those American kids had on their faces. They were in control. They could do what they well pleased. (Chapter One, P.5)
Meeting with the U.S. military for the first time, I had the very powerful feeling, a strong instinct, that these U.S. forces were taking control of our country, not the Germans whom we were supposed to be fighting. The U.S. was a dominant force in our country, which was deeply uncomfortable. (Chapter One, P.5)
Like me, Stokes is favorably disposed toward the US. But unlike the English, pro-American Japanese are not made viscerally uncomfortable by the presence of American military bases on our soil, because we have entrusted our national security to US military might.
At some point we stopped taking pride in being Japanese.
I was astounded at my realization that it was the illusion of a pacifist Constitution,” which took control of the Japanese during the postwar era, that caused our awareness of Japan as an independent nation to diminish. Japan remains occupied by the Americans, at least psychologically. We are like drug addicts who can’t kick the habit.
March 10, 2013 marked the 67th anniversary of the firebombing of Tokyo.
That night Tokyo Skytree was illuminated with white lights to honor the victims of the air raids. And in Sumida Ward a group of concerned citizens staged a performance intended to draw attention to the terrible tragedy.
Inspired by the group’s conscientiousness, Stokes demonstrated his support by writing an introduction to the performance and distributing it to foreign journalists in Tokyo.
Stokes writes about having seen, at a young age, a dark red glow in the sky” when out
walking one evening in Glastonbury. He was looking at the night sky over Bristol, miles away, which had been bombed by the Germans. In this book, Stokes writes that the sight of the dark, red clouds over Tokyo, on a scale a hundred times greater, stands with me today as a memory of those years. It’s nothing on the scale of the appearance of those tanks, but it was a big deal.”(Chapter One, P.5)
He has also handed down judgment on the Tokyo Trials. He has denounced the tribunal, angrily, calling it the epitome of injustice.
Fairness, virtue, protocol, and principle, which western nations have respected, were ignored in order to continue this performance, which was not worthy of its name (the trials). The spirit of fair play was just degraded. Such deception was consistent. That was the truth of the Tokyo Trials. What western civilization had done was a most uncivilized action. Justice was not practiced. It was a horrible, pathetic, evil event that took place.” (Chapter Three, p.10)
Stokes concludes that it is the victor’s side who must be judged. (Chapter Three, p.10)
Within the precincts of Yasukuni Shrine is a copper bust of Dr. Radhabinod Pal, who is well known in Japan as the only justice of the Tokyo Trials to hand down a dissenting judgment.1 Justice Pal recommended that all defendants be acquitted of all charges. For some reason, both Dr. Pal and his judgment are virtually unknown in the Western world.
Nevertheless, even without Justice Pal, it is likely that the belief that the Tokyo Trials were immensely unjust would have become widespread in Japan.
In his discussion of the Tokyo Trials, Stokes makes no mention of Justice Pal. This causes me to wonder, especially since Stokes is extremely critical of the tribunal.
1 Radhabinod Pal, International Military Tribunal for the Far East: Dissentient Judgement of Justice Pal (Tokyo: Kokusho-Kankokai, 1999); http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/65_S4.pdf
But even in the absence of Dr. Pal’s dissenting judgment, it should be patently obvious that the tribunal was a miscarriage of justice motivated solely by the desire for revenge.
At that kangaroo court Japan was adjudged an aggressor nation. Nevertheless, in the midst of the Tokyo Trials, the armies of Great Britain, France and the Netherlands were engaging in a war of aggression, the intent being to reclaim their former colonies, colonies that Japan had liberated.
Awakened by the example set by Japan, the peoples of Asia rose up and fought valiantly to preserve their independence. This fact alone bears witness to the monumental unfairness of the tribunal.
Stokes argues that the victor nations’ historical view with respect to World War II is a mockery of history, and that Japan was not an aggressor nation. On the contrary, Japan was the light of hope of Asia.”2
Furthermore, he is certain that Japan has been the victim of baseless accusations concerning the alleged Nanking massacre and the coercion of military prostitutes (comfort women).
I am often invited to speak abroad, and have noticed that there is very little accurate information about the Nanking massacre” or the comfort women emanating from Japan. To make matters worse, some of Japan’s textbooks include material that supports the aforementioned accusations. This combination of circumstances compounds the difficulty of persuading foreigners that the accusations are false.
According to Stokes, the historical perspective embraced by the victor nations arises from the conviction on the part of Caucasians that they are superior and that persons of color are, therefore, inferior. He wonders why the majority of Japanese subscribe to
2 http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL02_1/94_S4.pdf
that historical perspective.
The white race looked down on people of color, perceiving them as subhuman, until Japan upset Western supremacy during World War II, paving the way for the liberation of the Asian and African peoples.
That condescension was truly reprehensible. Soon after Truman dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he was quoted as saying to Cabinet members, with a smile on his face, When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast.” This attitude was not peculiar to Truman; it is shared by the great majority of Europeans and Americans.
Stokes indicates that Japan liberated Asia, and the resulting tidal wave swept over the African continent, ultimately engendering the racial equality that we enjoy today. Japan’s involvement in World War II resulted in the dawning of an entirely new era of human history.
After they hear him speak, people who attend Stokes’ lectures, which take him all over Japan, often make comments like I have seen the light!” and My perception of myself as a Japanese has changed.”
It is my hope that the majority of readers will find that their distorted historical perspective, forced on them by the victor nations, will be corrected after they have finished this book. May it receive the wide audience it deserves.
It was 1964, the year the Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo, when I first set foot on Japanese soil as the first Tokyo bureau chief for the Financial Times. I have now been in Japan for 50 years and am the oldest member of the FCCJ (Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan).
Growing up in England, I was told time and time again that the Japanese are a barbaric, cruel race. This sort of propaganda is similar to what the Japanese were hearing then: Death to the kichiku Bei’ei, the American and British monsters!”
World War II ended, but British hostility toward Japan did not diminish. It only grew stronger. After all, Japan was responsible for Great Britain’s losing every one of its Asian colonies. Raised in that environment, I suppose it was only natural that I too should grow up disliking Japan.
When I first arrived in Japan I never doubted for a moment that Japan had committed war crimes, as adjudged by the Tokyo Trials. I was also convinced that the Japanese had perpetrated a massacre in Nanking.
But the longer I stayed in Japan, the more I learned about 20th-century Japanese and Asian history. At some point I found myself analyzing the past century’s events not from an Allied or a Japanese standpoint, but from a third-party perspective. I realized that the opinions I had previously embraced were wrong. My friendship with Mishima Yukio was extremely influential during that process.
In the Greater East Asian War, Japan was fighting for its survival. Gen. Douglas MacArthur said as much in a speech he delivered before the US Congress after the conflict had ended. The Tokyo Trials were a total sham, serving only as a theater for unlawful retribution. And as for the Nanking massacre,” there is not one shred of evidence attesting to it. However, the Chinese are hell-bent on using foreign journalists and corporations to spread their propaganda throughout the world. There is no point in
even debating the comfort-women issue.
I find it very disappointing that so few Japanese attempt to discredit the false accusations and set the record straight. In today’s international community those who maintain that there was no massacre in Nanking are shunned. They are filed in the same pigeonhole as the Holocaust deniers. This is regrettable, but it is the reality we face. Therefore, we must be prudent. But unless the Japanese state their case and restate it, again and again, these false accusations will go down in history as fact. Japanese efforts in this direction have been pitifully inadequate.
There is no need for the Japanese to be overly considerate or adulatory. It is enough for them to state Japan’s position, and let the Americans and the Chinese state their positions. Of course there will be disagreement. There is no way to avoid disagreement; that is the way the world works. If the Japanese adopt an empathetic stance, they will be taken advantage of immediately.
There is one more thing I would like to mention — something that I cannot emphasize enough. That is that most of the instigators are at the root of the thorny issues Japan faces now (Nanking, Yasukuni Shrine, comfort women, etc.) vis-à-vis China and Korea, are Japanese nationals. It is up to the Japanese to decide how to deal with this particular problem.
The Japanese have yet to extricate themselves from the curse of the victor nations’ historical perspective forced on them by the Allies. I will be grateful if this book serves in any way to help them break free.
In closing I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to Fujita Hiroyuki for his tireless work translating and editing my manuscripts and dictation.
Henry Scott Stokes
November 25, 2013


See also

Sri Lanka and the Yellow Races
Posted on August 7th, 2017


5 Responses to “Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious Views of History”

  1. RohanJay Says:

    If not for the Americans in WW2 England would have have fallen to Nazi Germany. Maybe Henry Scott Stokes would have preferred if his native Country of England was over run by the Wermacht and SS and have the same terrible experience the Russians people had. Maybe he would have been less shocked if a Nazi Tank went past him in Glastonbury.
    Shame on you Lankaweb for publishing articles like this. There are many untruths about WW2 but one Truth that is not in dispute is England owe a huge debt of gratitude to the US for Saving Britain in WW2.
    Britain was hanging by a thread. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour saved them.
    Further more if he was shocked just for the good fortune that Roosevelt send most of his military to Britain. Then how shocked should people in the rest of the world are for British Military occupation in the British Colonies.
    The British are an arrogant and Hypocritical bunch. Henry Scott Stokes, would be speaking German if not for American tanks going past him in Glastonbury. What hypocritical British Idiot this Henry Scott Stokes is. A lot of Americans dont many Britishers because they still to this day have no gratitude to the United States for Saving their asses in WW2. Those are the fact lankaweb!
    IF Britain fell because the US did not join the Euroean theatre. Sri Lanka would have been over run by the Japanese. Then Senaka Weeraratne and his ilk could see that Sri Lanka in WW2 would have suffered the same fate as the people of China,Korea, Phillippines, Singapore, Thailand etc.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    It is a well known fact that Allied forces won WW2. The victory saved the world from utter barbarity. An article cannot alter this well established fact.

    If Imperial Japan succeeded in subjugating Sri Lanka after a barbaric bombing campaign worse than LTTE air attacks, what happened to Buddhists in Manchuria would have happened to Buddhists and others in Sri Lanka. That would have wiped out Buddhism from Sri Lanka.

  3. NeelaMahaYoda Says:


    Manchuria is not in Japan. Most of the Japanese are Buddhists and at the same time shintos.i.e they follow both traditions. When they get married they follow shinto traditions and in funerals they follow Buddhist traditions.

    I have been to Japan several occasions and travelled widely in Japan. What I could see is not what you talk about. Under any circumstances Japanese would never destroy Buddhism since their culture is so much interwound with Buddhist traditions.


    Truth is that Americans helped England to withstand and sustain its positions for a long time against Nazi Germany, but main trust came from Russian front. When Germans reached suburbs of Moscow, it was middle of the Russian winter with sub-zero temperatures. Germans were not prepared for that harsh frozen conditions and started losing most of its battalions. That was the beginning of end of Nazi Germany. I have personally interviewed in 1968 some of the Russian officers who captured part of Berlin. They really acknowledge American help Russian received, but Russians says it was Europeans who were in the battle front.

    We should not get so upset about publishing different viewpoints on Lankaweb

  4. samurai Says:

    Neela Maha Yodhaya

    I share exactly the same view as yours.

    Rohan J says “shame on you Lankaweb for publishing article like this.” Why should LW be ashamed? As a news & feature publication it has every right to give space different views. It is for the reader to draw his/her own conclusion.

    Whether RJ or anyone else disagrees should be of no concern to the editor. As long this publication does not promote separatist views or opinions that might contribute to undermining Sri Lanka’s sovereignty in the CURRENT political scenario, the publisher should allow free expression of views by all means. LW in its overall editorial policy has not only defended our national interests but has given space for views that the mainstream English press has not shown any interest in publishing. World War II and Japan’s military defeat is now history. Japan today being a virtual vassal state of the U.S. today has no independent political clout or foreign policy of its own.

    However the irrefutable fact is that (regardless of Tokyo’s motives) the war which began in Europe in 1939 would not have become a world war if not for Japan’s entry in 1941, drawing the U.S. into it and thereby saving the European colonial powers from the brink of defeat. But it could not prevent the draining of their material and financial resources, compelling them to grudgingly give up their Asian colonies, although the Japanese had been brought down to their knees.

    So in the final conclusion it is Japan’s controversial role which eventually hastened the independence of these countries.


    The other point is that although the British bombed German cities killing thousands of civilians – though not to be justified – in retaliation for Nazi bombings of London, neither the Germans nor the Japanese bombed American cities and civilians (Pearl Harbour was away from the U.S. mainland and most of the victims were military personnel).

    But the Americans bombed German and Japanese and culminating the horrific atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds and thousands of civilians. Why is there no punishment for these criminal acts? Why should only Japanese war criminals be punished or is it the Victor’s Justice? Anyone who glosses over these events is either a hypocrite or has a one-track mind, incapable of balanced thinking.

  5. Dilrook Says:


    Manchuria is part of China. Japanese war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against people including Buddhists there is well known. Imperial Japanese war crimes against Buddhists in Thailand and Burma are far worse than all other persecutions there combined.

    Japan’s modernization under Emperoror Meiji (this is what laid the foundation that turned a backward Japan into a technological and economic power) caused enormous destruction of Buddhism. I quote this from Wikipedia which in turn quotes from credible sources.

    The campaign was called Haibutsu kishaku (literally “abolish Buddhism and destroy Shākyamuni”).


    The haibutsu kishaku during the Meiji Restoration, the most famous instance of the phenomenon, was an event triggered by the official policy of separation of Shinto and Buddhism (or shinbutsu bunri) [1] that after 1868 caused great damage to Buddhism in Japan.

    The destruction of Buddhist property took place on a large scale all over the country. For example, Kōfuku-ji in Nara suffered greatly. The temple, which is now a National Treasure, was hit with full force by the movement. The temple’s land was seized, the priests forced to become Shinto priests, walls were torn down, trees were planted, and the area became part of one of the city’s parks.[2] The anti-Buddhist riots caused damage to all large temples of the city.[3] The violence marked permanently every region of the country.

    Between 1872 and 1874, 18 thousand temples were eradicated, and maybe as many again from 1868 to 1872.[4] Japanologist Martin Collcutt believes Japanese Buddhism was on the verge of total eradication.[4]

    The violence had just released pent-up popular anger at the Buddhists which had been brewing for centuries because of their close alliance with the Tokugawa in the danka system,[5] an alliance from which the religion had derived immense benefit. Although the shogunate’s official philosophy was lay Neo-Confucianism,[6] Buddhism had become an integral part of the state as a consequence of the Tokugawa’s anti-Christian policy. To stop the propagation of the Christian religion, they had introduced the danka system, which obliged families to affiliate themselves with a Buddhist temple[7] and, in return, this would certify that they were not Christian. Without this certification a normal life in Tokugawa Japan was impossible.[7] Because of this, temples could and often would blackmail parishioners.[8]

    During the Tokugawa period, under the so-called danka system families had by law several obligations towards Buddhist institutions, among them monetary donations to their temple of affiliation.[7] Because there were some 100,000 temples in a country of 30 million people, on average 300 persons had to support a temple, so the burden was considerable.[8] Buddhism, as an institution, had a vested interest in the shogunate system, and therefore became a target of all the parties working for the downfall of the shogunate.

    There were definite political and economic motivations too, in that the domainal governments wanted to restore public finances at Buddhists’s expense, and the shinbutsu bunri offered a pretext to appropriate Buddhist lands.[1]

    It is estimated that 40,000 Buddhist temples were destroyed in Japan during this disastorous nationwide anti-Buddhist mayhem, and in certain places the percentage of Buddhist temples destroyed reached 80%.[9]

    It is difficult to estimate how many temples were closed during the turmoil, because it seems likely that many disappeared simply because Buddhist authorities, taking advantage of the fall of the Tokugawa, were trying to streamline the system and eliminate redundancies.[10] Under the shogunate, obtaining the permission to open or close a temple had not been easy. However, the complete disappearance of Buddhist temples from domains like Satsuma was indeed due to the haibutsu kishaku.[10]


    Encyclopedia of Shinto – Haibutsu Kishaku accessed on March 15, 2008

    Japan Navigator, Kofukuji, Dream of a Temple accessed on December 6, 2009 Archived February 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.

    Nara City Home Page, History of Nara accessed on March 15, 2008 Archived January 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

    John Breen (July 2000). Mark Teeuwen, ed. Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-8248-2363-4. OCLC 43487317.

    Releasing the Spirit of Kyoto: Historical Background[dead link] accessed on March 15, 2008

    Ronald Loftus, Willamette University – Neoconfucianism, accessed on March 15, 2008

    Paul B. Watt, Review of Nam-Lin Hur, Death and Social Order in Tokugawa Japan: Buddhism, Anti-Christianity, and the Danka System, Internet Archive

    Nam-Lin Hur, Death and social order in Tokugawa Japan: Buddhism, anti-Christianity, and the danka system,

    Harvard University Asia Center, 2007; pp. 1-30 (The Rise of Funerary Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan). Internet archive

    Jørn Borup. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a living religion. p. 21.

    Jason Ānanda Josephson, When Buddhism Became a “Religion”, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 33 (1), 143-168, 2006. Internet archive

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