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bhchao

Former IJA officers in the ROC army during the 1950-60's

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bhchao

Many of the early political and military leaders during the ROC period on the mainland had studied in Japan, such as Sun Yatsen, Hu Hanmin, Zhou Enlai, Chiang Kai shek, Dai Jitao, and Chen Qimei. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, many former IJA officers stayed behind and participated in the Chinese civil war, most notably in Shaanxi province under the warlord Yan Xishan against the communists.

Both PRC and ROC historians concur that Chiang Kaishek showed magnanimity toward Japanese officers and troops in China after the surrender. There were incidents of revenge by Chinese civilians against Japanese civilians and surrendered troops in China. But the ROC government urged the Chinese to treat the defeated with dignity and not to seek revenge.

Eventually this stance showed dividends after the war. Many former IJA army officers showed deep gratitude and appreciation, and even silent regret, toward Chiang for treating them with dignity despite the crimes they committed during the war. Many of them as a result felt bound by loyalty to Chiang, and reciprocated by agreeing to Chiang's request to help train officers and soldiers in Taiwan during the Cold War.

The US was very disappointed with this policy of employing former Japanese militarists to train the ROC army in Taiwan. Particularly controversial was allowing Yasuji Okamura, the implementor of the "Three Kill Alls" policy in communist territories, to travel to Taiwan to train the army. However, Okamura's role in training KMT soldiers in Taiwan was minimal compared to the role played by other former IJA officers.

Regardless of US idealism and opposition, Chiang continued this pragmatic policy. Different cultural values between the US and China was one reason. Loyalty ties and reciprocity, and former relationship connections (in this case, the KMT and Chiang's early roots in Japan) far outweighed the unattractiveness of employing former Japanese militarists.

In 1972 the Japanese government was very reluctant to switch diplomatic relations to the PRC mainly because of the dignified treatment Chiang showed their officers and troops after the surrender. Yet they had no choice but to follow Nixon's lead in reapproachment with the PRC.

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YuehanHao

I recently read a book that touched upon this topic (especially the use of Japanese officers in a troop training / advisorial capacity on Taiwan), a recent biography of Jiang Jieshi, entitled The Generalissimo.

Based on this reading, in addition to some of the noted reasons, the pragmatic aspect of avoiding overreliance on a single foreign nation that Jiang felt he could not fully trust was doubtlessly a consideration (a major theme of the latter part of the book). If I understood correctly, the decision to use Three-Alls officers such as Okamura was viewed negatively, not only by the U.S., but also by a great many on Taiwan.

It is also interesting to note that, although Japan's recognition followed Nixon's visit, it preceded by seven years official recognition by the United States. The book noted above, which is well worth reading, obviously passes through these events as well. Notably, the book severely lights into Kissinger (whose On China has been mentioned on this forum), referring to his having been "ritually emasculated" during his earlier secret trip and negotiations with Zhou Enlai.

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bhchao

Yes, many top KMT officers in Taiwan opposed the presence of not only Okamura, but also Japanese officers in general.

The relationship between KMT and Japan has always been complex, reflecting a love-hate relationship. Many KMT officers from the Sino-Japanese war received their military training in Japan. One of them was Tang Enbo, who defeated the IJA at Taierzhuang.

Chiang admired many aspects of Japanese society, such as the orderliness, cleanliness, and efficiency. But he also disliked the military culture, and was willing to fight against it when war came. Nevertheless he was a pragmatist who was willing to cast aside ideology when the need arose. He realized the importance of maintaining good relations with Japan and the US. Although he disliked the US and purged politically dangerous subordinates who were too close with Americans, he promoted civilian technocrats educated abroad.

The Japanese showed great respect and admiration to those Chinese generals who fought tenaciously. One of them was KMT general Fang Xianjue (方先覺), who repelled wave after wave of Japanese assaults at Hunan in 1944. When Fang died in Taipei 40 years later, the former Japanese war veterans who fought against him traveled to Taiwan to pay respects to him at his funeral.

It is also interesting to note that, although Japan's recognition followed Nixon's visit, it preceded by seven years official recognition by the United States. The book noted above, which is well worth reading, obviously passes through these events as well. Notably, the book severely lights into Kissinger (whose On China has been mentioned on this forum), referring to his having been "ritually emasculated" during his earlier secret trip and negotiations with Zhou Enlai.

What's ironic is that John Foster Dulles, who served in the same administration as Nixon, snubbed Zhou Enlai when Zhou tried to shake his hand at Geneva. I think that snub was on everyone's minds at the time of Kissinger's visit.HELPFUL?

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