US Secret documents About Tojo’s Ashes Secret Spreading After World War II – Secret documents say they deliberately spread the ashes of Prime Minister Hideki Tojo’s World War II era into the sea.
The decision to distribute Tojo’s remains was based on concerns by US officials that Tojo’s supporters would try to find his body and treat him as a martyr. Tojo was one of the men behind the Japanese attack on the US military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941.
He also led Japan to occupy a number of countries in Southeast Asia, including the Dutch East Indies which is now Indonesia. Tojo visited Java in 1943. Tojo was executed along with six others in 1948, after being found guilty of war crimes.
After the execution, their bodies were cremated. Tojo’s ashes were then scattered in the sea. This fact is contained in a secret US document that has just been opened to the public. This file was found in the US National Archives in Washington DC and investigated by Hiroaki Takazawa, a lecturer at Tokyo’s Nihon University.
US Secret documents About Tojo’s Ashes Secret Spreading After World War II
In the file dated December 23, 1948, there is a statement from Major Luther Frierson that Tojo and six other people were executed. “I certify that I received bodies, supervised cremation, and scattered the ashes of the following executed war criminals at sea from an 8th Army liaison aircraft,” Frierson wrote.
At the bottom of the document are the names of seven men who were executed, including Hideki Tojo. Major Frierson wrote that he witnessed the execution. He then boarded the plane, with the ashes placed in a separate urn. They flew for 48 kilometers towards the Pacific Ocean, on the east side of Yokohama. It was at that point, Frierson said, that he scattered the ashes.
Frierson also said in the document that the cremation equipment used was then thoroughly cleaned of the remains of the ashes. Special care is taken to prevent the smallest particles of the ashes from being left in the cremation equipment.
The academic who researched the file, Hiroaki Takazawa, said US officials at the time were determined to stop people from finding Tojo’s ashes. “Apart from preventing Tojo’s body from being glorified, in my opinion, the US military is adamant not to allow the body to return to Japan to insult the country,” Takazawa told the Associated Press news agency.
While their bodies cannot be buried, those executed are enshrined at Japan’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine. The shrine is dedicated to the approximately 2.5 million Japanese men, women and children who have died for their country since its founding in 1869.
There are 14 convicted Class A war criminals, including Tojo, who is remembered at the shrine. Right-wing politicians regard this temple as a symbol of patriotism. But left-wing politicians and victims of the Japanese occupation, including Chinese and South Koreans, accuse the shrine of glorifying Japan’s past militarism.
Tojo is a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. He served as prime minister of Japan from 1941 to 1944. Tojo vocally supported Japanese expansion and preemptive strikes against US and European colonial powers.
As prime minister, Tojo led the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The incident is said to have pushed the US into World War II. Tojo also led Japan to colonize a number of countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, one of which was Indonesia.
Tojo lost the support of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito in 1944 when Japan became a major target in World War II. As a result, he resigned. Tojo had attempted suicide when US troops surrounded his home. At that time Japan had just surrendered unconditionally in September 1945, after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But the suicide attempt failed. Tojo was convicted of war crimes at an international military tribunal in 1948. He was found guilty, among other things, of waging a war of aggression and ordering the inhumane treatment of prisoners of war. Tojo was sentenced to death in November 1948 and executed by hanging one month later.