First in a 2-part series, this investigative report exposes a high-level intrigue by pro-militarist Japanese diplomats in rigging “Philippines vs. China”, a law case in The International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which will soon render its decision on the maritime dispute over the Spratly Archipelago (Nansha in Mandarin). The second part to come will uncover the Tribunal’s political bias in favor of Manila’s marine environmental complaints against China in blatant disregard of the Philippines’ worst-offender record on ecology.
This investigative report is an open call to the UN Committee on the Law of the Sea and the Secretary General to launch an internal investigation into the political influence-peddling and corruption at the International Tribunal for The Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which has compromised the impartiality of the judicial panel for Philippines versus China.
The evidence so far indicates that the Hon. Shunji Yanai, the President of Court of Arbitration/ITLOS, encouraged and facilitated the Philippines case on orders from the office of Shinzo Abe and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conspirators’ objective was to promote intentional bias and prejudicial tactics in the court proceedings in favor of the Philippine government in its dispute with the People’s Republic of China over sovereignty in the Spratly Islands (Nansha group) in whole as an archipelago or in part as separate sub-groups.
The evidence so far indicates that the ICA-ITLOS President, Shunji Yanai [柳井俊二], unlawfully and unethically promoted acceptance of Philippines vs. China into the Tribunal schedule at the behest of the Government of Japan. The tactical plan in the conspiracy involves judicial misconduct with the aim of influencing the United Nations and world public opinion to categorically reject without fair consideration all of China’s claims to the Spratly region. These illegal activities include a disguised effort to usurp jurisdiction from the International Court of Justice on principles of sovereignty as applied to maritime boundaries.
Since the predictable outcome for this one-sided case, throughout which only the Philippines side has been represented, will be to inflame regional tensions in East Asia and the Pacific to the military-strategic advantage of the Government of Japan, along with its pro-militarism supporters and criminal associates.
The principle suspects in this conspiracy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and their chief strategist Shunji Yanai, should be investigated for tampering with the court with the intent of launching neocolonialist aggression in violation of the UN Charter and Constitution of Japan.
The UN, and especially the courts at The Hague, must not accept their own subversion and corruption toward the goal of war-making. The concerns related to covert agendas of intervention is drawn also from the many worldwide calls for investigation and judicial review related to similar deliberate falsehoods that led to the two Gulf Wars against the Republic of Iraq.
Behind the Mask
The author of this report has met His Excellency Shunji Yanai on several occasions during his stint at the Consulate of Japan in San Francisco. His courteous demeanor and caring attitude are charming and nearly convincing, yet in truth quite disturbing, being a mask donned by a master of Orwellian doublespeak.
Philippines vs. China may appear to be a mild-mannered legal exercise, ostensibly to promote a peaceful resolution to the maritime dispute. In essence and in the flow of events, however, the court case stands as a primary justification for war in Asia and the Pacific.
The Spratlys case was conceived and designed from the start as a propaganda stunt to create a veneer of legality for a coming naval confrontation. The deception is similar to how wars of aggression by the Western Powers were contrived under the “responsibility to protect” against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other raging battlefronts.
A military conflict in East Asia could rapidly lead to a global conflagration by nuclear weapons that can annihilate human civilization worldwide. The prospect of apocalyptic destruction is not based on idle speculation but firmly rooted in the shocking experiences of World War II, which demonstrated the superhuman will of a militarized Japanese society ready to accept any sacrifice for the goal of world domination.
The unthinkable suffering for the majority of Asians during those dark years from the 1930s to 1945 is now idealized as a beautiful dream by Japan’s prime minister, who is enamored with the sanitized legacy of his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, a top-level perpetrator of sinister aggression as wartime Minister of Munitions and paymaster in the military-occupied pseudo-nation called Manchukuo [満州国].
The lessons of history matter, especially now when Japan pushes toward national remilitarization through rearmament and imposition of a draconian internal security regime. The upcoming court decision on Philippines vs. China will be the legal steppingstone into the next bloodbath, and as such a life-and-death existential test for the UN, just like the Second Sino-Japanese War was for the League of Nations.
A Belligerent Provocateur
Even his colleagues at the UN probably know very little about Mr. Yanai, other than his diplomatic career that culminated with an appointment as Ambassador to the United States, much later followed by his advisory role at the UN University.
A graduate of Tokyo University’s faculty of law, he is a supreme expert on bypassing constitutional constraints related to overseas deployment of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. His mastery of law, and the subversion of law, has focused on warping Article 9 of the Constitution, which in no uncertain terms forbids war as an instrument of national policy, bans troop deployments overseas, and excludes offensive armaments.
So how does Yanai get away with subverting the peace clause? His artfulness is based on softening the strictest language forbidding warfare under a haze of ambiguity by massaging steel into a malleable fabric and quietly gnawing like the termites into the stout foundations of the halls of justice.
In contrast to the about-face statements from Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, Yanai’s koans focus on the half-empty glass. There is still space for Peace. Never mind the waters that our noble-minded peacekeepers must cross to bring peace to unfortunate victims in foreign lands like Cambodia and Iraq.
Never mind the bullets and the weapons we brandish, for those are not to be fired in anger but are necessary for the protection of mothers and children from . . . not from ourselves . . . but from those dastardly terrorists. Can anyone conceive of any greater evil than cloaking aggression under the veil of kindness?
In 2007, during his first term as prime minister, Shinzo Abe addressed the opening plenary of the Advisory Panel for the Reconstruction of National Security on a Legal Foundation. The historic gathering of law scholars devised the legal strategy for “normalization” of Japan’s nonviolent foreign policy into a juggernaut of war.
The chairman of that illustrious group was Shunji Yanai, an honor reflected in the informal title of the published proceedings released in June 2008:: Yanai Report to the Diet of Japan. In the foreword, he explained:
“Faced with such a drastically changing security environment, Japan is now pushed to return to the very basics of security and must deliberate seriously about how to protect the irreplaceable lives, assets, land and other such basic values of Japanese citizens as human rights and democratic principles. As for interpretation of Article 9, it is also important not to swerve from the original purpose of security, or fall into the impediments of adhering to precedent, or halting the thinking process. Rather, it is essential to review open-mindedly the stipulations of the Constitution.”
His silky smooth persuasion follows the same logic toward the Constitution as that memorable axiom from the Vietnam War: “It became necessary to destroy the village to save the village.” To rephrase in light of the paragraph above: “To ensure peace in these times of unprecedented threats against the peace, constitutional guarantees for peace must be subdued, silenced and transformed into the very opposite.”
Yanai’s theory is based on evasive terms aimed at nullifying constitutional prohibitions against war and aggression, with the same talking points repeated over again like the chanting of a mantra:
– the security-threat in the Pacific theater surrounding Japan has fundamentally worsened since the Cold War (an unspoken reference to North Korean development of nuclear-tipped missiles and the rapid modernization of Chinese naval forces);
– the need to adopt a “collective security” doctrine enabling Japanese defense forces to come to the armed support of the American military, whenever it comes under fire, anywhere in the world;
– provision of rather vague “logistical support” by the self-defense forces in overseas emergencies, presumably allowing armed escort of those supplies, which may include weapons and ammunition;
– procurement of long-range weapons-delivery systems necessary for protection of US forces on overseas deployments (as if American forces are lacking sufficient weaponry); and
– any whatever other yet-to-be defined actions are needed to restore the peace of mind to the Japanese public.
The Yanai doctrine is a carte blanche for rearmament and intervention, much like Hitler’s crash weapons program and Anchluss policy in the interbellum years. In a nutshell, if just one American soldier finds himself at risk, Japan can launch an all-out invasion to protect this lone ally against entire armies and navies of that unnamed threat from somewhere across the Japan Sea.
With twisted logic that puts Machiavelli to shame, Yanai was the perfect choice to head the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), which supervises the Law of Sea tribunal. To arbitrate, after all, is not to wield the swift sword of stern justice; it is compromise, a gray market of ethical commerce where principles are traded in for pragmatic profit. Arbitration is law for sale, according to the consummate diplomat and middleman who is consummating the purchase of the pretext for war on China.
Yanai is not just a peddler of linguistic mush and diplomatic flowers. His 2008 report gained real muscle and sinews of steel with the return of Shinzo Abe for his second term as prime minister. His legal arguments provided the gameplan for Nippon Kaigi [日本会議, Japan Conference], the newly formed pro-militarist parliamentary bloc.
With their majority in the Lower House, only one small hurdle is waiting to be removed before radical surgery can begin on cutting out the cancer known as Article 9. That’s the House of Councillors elections to be held on the day of publication of this report, July 10, 2016.
The ducks are lined up in a row. Two days later, Yanai’s kangeroo court at The Hague will deliver the green light for war in the South China Sea. The timing is impeccable, a classic example of Clauswitz’s maxim on war being an extension of politics. For those narcissists who can’t be distracted from social media and taking selfies, none of this matters because who cares if millions of naive innocents perish in the nuclear exchanges of ballistic missiles and atomic torpedoes. Go home to watch the Desperate Housewives of Osaka. Those brave few who are willing to try to stop Armageddon, read on.
Ugly Face of Diplomacy
Any mastermind equal to Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis Professor Moriarty deserves more than 15 minutes of notoriety. Yanai’s biography shows how amid total defeat, a young lad can dedicate his life to the revival of national glory. Yanai inherited his diplomatic post from his father, who worked for the ministry’s Treaty Bureau during the rather undiplomatic attack on Pearl Harbor. Under international law, a signatory nation was supposed to give prior warning to adversaries of its declaration of war. Such ungentlemanly conduct is something to watch for during the anxious months and years ahead.
Following his halcyon consular sojourn in San Francisco, glowing in the halo of Napa wine and Dungeness crab generously served at consular receptions, Yanai returned to Tokyo where his legal training powered a rapid rise up the ranks of the diplomatic corps, primarily due to outbreak of the First Gulf War.
During George Bush the Elder’s long drawn-out preparation for the liberation of Kuwai from Saddam Hussein’s Republic Guards, Tokyo was flummoxed by the Pentagon demands for Japan to either dispatch a battalion of troops for the invasion or pony up millions of dollars in support for the US military. Finance Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was outraged by this bold act of extortion, until he was confronted at the Plaza Hotel with photographic evidence of an extramarital tryst in a Tokyo love hotel with the wife of a diplomat, let’s say, from a nearby Asian country.
The impending scandal was suppressed with brute official censorship on the Tokyo news media. Foreign Ministry bureaucrats recognized that its is much better to send Japanese youths to die in the desert than open the national treasury to the avaricious and much-despised Yankee barbarians.
Thus, Yanai was put in charge of the Gaimusho (Foreign Ministry) Bureau for Peace Cooperation, the key body that could raise troops for future suicide mission. The searing experience provided the impulse to get rid of Article 9. By the time of his appointment as Ambassador to Washington, which coincided with the 911 attack on the World Trade Center and supposedly the Pentagon, Yanai had crafted all the rationales and omissions needed to dispatch the Ground Self-Defense Force to Iraq in the Second Gulf War.
His carreer path can be charted through his Constitution-subverting legislative bills: UN Peace Mission Cooperation Law during the First Persian Gulf War, which was blocked in the Diet; the Counter-Terrorism Law in the wake of the 911 incident; and finally the Iraq Mission Law, which led to the deployment of Self-Defense Forces to Iraq in the Second Gulf War. Yanai has proven himself to be a despicable lackey of both Bush presidents, a father and son duo much like his own relationship with Yanai Senior.
Beneath his appearance of abject servility to the Pentagon, Yanai’s ulterior motive is the revival of Japanese militarism and de facto colonialist domination of Asia and the developing world.
After serving as envoy to Washington, Yanai moved from being a Foreign Ministry bureaucrat to advance his legal research as a law professor and then legal adviser to Prime Minister Abe drive to transform peace-loving Japan into a “normal country” armed to the teeth for overseas interventions and ideally situated for the final battle to rid the universe of “rising Chinese power.” Whipping a country of 1.5 billion people is a tall order for a small nation like Japan, even though it’s been done before. The “Japanese spirit” with a little help from innovative weapons of mass destruction can eliminate any threat. It just requires lots of money.
Dark Side of the Force
Toward those goals, Yanai has received financial support from the Sasakawa underworld organization and its public face, the Nippon Foundation, [日本財団 , Nipponzaidan]. The revenues of this highly politicized “charity” derive from speedboat racing [競艇, kyotei], a venue for gambling, and the related methamphetamine trade (drugs are transported aboard fast boats).
The Nippon Foundation was the funding donor behind the contrived national holiday called Oceans Day [海の日], which celebrates the Japanese whaling industry’s phony “scientific research” and rallies public support for worldwide naval operations by the Self-Defense Forces and Maritime Safety Agency. This year’s festivities on July 18 will be extra-special, coming on the heels of Law of Sea Tribunal’s verdicts in favor of naval ally Philippines and after the ruling Liberal Democrats achieve an unstoppable majority with an electoral victory in the Upper House elections, which is key to constitutional revision.
On that happy day, every rightist in Japan will feel in their hearts a phoenix rising from the ashes of defeat on new wings toward future victories. Yanai’s mentor and financial supporter, the late Ryoichi Sasakawa [笹川 良一], was a prewar admirer and copycat of the founder of fascism, the Italian demagogue Benito Mussolini. As a Diet member, Sasakawa collaborated with Japan’s version of the Gestapo called the Kempeitai [憲兵隊], involving his supporters in the drug trade and property confiscations across Japanese-occupied Asia.
After the 1945 defeat, Sasakawa was confined as a war criminal in Sugamo Prison [巢鴨拘置所] with Yoshio Kodama[児玉 誉士夫] , the gangster boss associated with the Tosei-kai [東声会 / 東亜会] , since renamed the Toa-kai or East Asia group, a violent yakuza gang on the payroll of the CIA. Since then gangland has flourished with rightist terrorism, extortion, drug trafficking and the global sex trade.
Thanks to officials like Yanai and IAEA chief Yukio Amano [天野 之弥] , rivers of black money have flowed into pockets at the United Nations, where Japanese bribery is eagerly although silently welcomed. Foreign Ministry officials, with their secret slush fund harvested from the Postal Savings Bank and bolstered with donations from underworld figures and maniacal cult leaders, has corrupted the international community like termites gnawing at the foundations of the halls of justice, as recently exposed in the massive bribery related to Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics bid.
Tribune of Seas
Moving from a part-time appointment as advisor to the UN University, Yanai wormed his way into the Tribunal of the Law of the Sea as a judge in 2005 and has served at ITLOS president since 2011. The Japanese diplomat personally appointed the pro-UK British-Ghanaian judge Thomas Mensah in June 2015 to head the 5-jurist panel for Philippines vs. China. Mensah’s unashamed bias was immediately expressed in media coverage that referred to the disputed maritime region as the “West Philippine Sea” instead of the geographically accepted descriptor South China Sea.
The political intrigue that hatched the Spratlys lawsuit was launched in February 2013 with Yanai’s “courtesy call” on Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida [岸田 文雄] , who is a kobun [子分, “foster child”] or underling in Abe’s Liberal Democrat faction. Their highly unusual private meeting was focused on the ITLOS split decision over the Southern Bluefin Tuna case, submitted by New Zealand and Australia to protect wild fish stocks devastated by the global appetite for maguro at sushi bars. Sabotaged by the Japanese-controlled ITLOS under the category of a “contentious case”, Bluefin is effectively dead in the water.
According to the abbreviated meeting notes from the Foreign Ministry, Kishida urged Yanai to advance “the development of a legal order over the oceans”, a catch phrase for Abe’s intrusion into the Spratly dispute with the provision of naval vessels and legal aid, via Yanai, to the Aquino regime against China’s claims. (For those unfamiliar with wartime events, the Aquino family was among the leading collaborators under the Japanese military occupation of the Philippines.)
Yanai soon followed up on his orders from Foreign Minister Kishida by appointing His Honarable Chris Pinto to head the panel Philippines vs. China. In May, the judge from Sri Lanka, however, was forced to resign for conflict of interest when it was discovered that his wife is a Pinay (Filipina). Amid the red faces at the Court of Arbitration, Judge Mensah was called to step into the breech. This first misstep was followed by other shady moves at Yanai’s nest of corruption, for example, with the ITLOS acceptance of funding for a training program from the Nippon Foundation.
Once again, as in the two Sino-Japanese Wars, Tokyo has relied on suppression of popular protest in Japan, heavy-handed media censorship, bold lies to the world community, collaboration with gangsters and industrialists, ceaseless subversion of international law and if the history of Manchuria (Northeast China) serves as any indication, soon-to-come false-flag operations followed by gunship diplomacy and outright invasions. History not only repeats, it outdoes itself with greater brutality. Asia and the world is again on the brink, and just as before nobody seems to notice the dangerous waters of a rising tsunami.
The momentous events over the coming week in July are an fast-approaching super-typhoon. Whether the momentum of neo-militarist aggression can be maintained with an electoral victory by the hawkish Hillary Clinton is the last uncertainty along the sealane toward World War III.
Yoichi Shimatsu, a former editor with The Japan Times group, former 4th Media Editor-in-Charge At Large, an investigative reporter based in Hong Kong. The opinions stated are his own.
The Yanai Report 2008: www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/anzenhosyou/report.pdf
Pinto resignation, Mensah appointment to Philippines vs. China: https://www.itlos.org/fileadmin/itlos/documents/press_releases_english/PR_197_E.pdf
Fascism and Philanthropy: “Sasakawa, a respected war criminal” by Dennis Boneau http://www.voltairenet.org/article30028.html
Nippon Foundation funding for ITLOS: https://www.itlos.org/en/the-registry/training/itlos-nippon-programme/