Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Japan's War Reparations:The Mythbuster

Hantu Laut

Nizar, the fallen angel of PAS compromise candidate for Perak MB, has he gone bonkers, or he is just another Pakatan's typical liar? 

It was rumoured that PAS Kelantan had given the DAP head honcho in Perak a joint-venture logging operation in Kelantan as reward and compromise for Nizar to be MB, which makes no sense  at all, as the 'State Constitution' is very clear on a Malay Muslim mandatory appointment  as MB of the state. 

It goes to show that DAP is very clever at arm-twisting. In Penang DAP's Lim Guan Eng hold a tight rein over the state and has little tolerance for opposing views, in Selangor DAP is the fiddler that plays the tune and Khalid Ibrahim dance to it. 

Where did Nizar gets the figure of RM207 billion as Japan's war reparation for Malaysia? Did he not do any homework before he opens his big mouth and embarrass himself and the whole Pakatan's clowns with his piece of fiction.

With today's technology one can research, with caution, any subject matter with just a click of the computer's keyboard. One needs certain amount of intelligence to separate the "wheat from the chaff" or come out looking like an idiot. The Internet is a jungle of worthy and worthless information and a quagmire for the uninitiated. 

Common sense do not prevail in people driven by emotion, they can't make logical progression of things. Nizar, a sore loser fits the bill.

The sum of RM207 billion given by Nizar as compensation agreed upon in 1967 between Japan and Malaysia would have bankrupted Japan before it can even rise from the ashes, which saw the country thoroughly vanquished after World War II.

Malaysia issued its first currency in 1967, replacing the Malaya and British Borneo dollar. The Malaysian dollar, as it was called then, was pegged at exchange rate of 8.57 to the British pound. At the historical exchange rate the RM207 billion would have worth 24 billion Pound Sterling. At current exchange rate it is worth 42 billion Pound. A mind boggling figure for any nation after going through the ravages of war in less than two decades. As victor or the vanquish, the toll on the economy and its peoples would be the same.

It is not possible for Japan to agree on such huge amount as Malaysia was not the only country it has to pay war reparations. The reparations came in the form of grants, write-offs, donations and cash compensations. The amounts are not paid in single payment but over a period.

Below is a chart that shows a more plausible figure of Japan war reparations paid to various countries including Malaysia.

Japan's Records on War Reparations
by Noguchi Hikaru
Japan has not dodged any responsibility for peaceful relations. The general public seems to be ignorant of the fact that Japan has faithfully met, negotiated, and fulfilled rigorous demands on all war-time reparations. Negotiations for post-war reparations started in 1951 and continued until 1977. In all, 54 treaties and agreements were concluded.

It is difficult to simplify the whole picture, but the following table will give you an idea:

Indemnity & grants (in yen, at the time of payment)
Loans (in yen, at the time of payment)
18 billion donated

1955, 1963
72 billion indemnity
50.4 billion grant
18 billion
10.8 billion
198 billion indemnity
90 billion
80.3 billion indemnity(+63.7 billion credit write-off)
144 billion
1 billion grant

1.5 billion grant

14 billion indemnity
6 billion
108 billion
72 billion
2.9 billion grant

15 billion

58 billion

2.9 billion grant

3.6 billion compensation

1.1 billion compensation

3 billion compensation
4.23 billion compensation

5 billion compensation

Britain & Holland used Japanese assets in neutral countries & funds in Thailand for compensation to POs (but not confiscated Japanese assets in their respective countries)
USA 50 million dollars Japanese assets in USA confiscated Occupation era food and medical aid (GAROIA) and (EROA) paid back, with interest: 580 million dollars 7-year occupation costs paid by Japan
Construction of such economic and social infrastructure in Asia would not have been possible without Japan's ODA. Why was there such a focusing of aid to Asia? It was shaped from an unspoken consensus and desire among the Japanese public, even though our legal obligations had been met, to re-build friendship with our Asian neighbors.The negotiations and implementation of agreements were carried out with sincerity. Payments of reparations, which sometimes exceeded national welfare expenditure, started in 1955, lasted for 23 years, and ended in 1977. The amounts were huge for Japan, compared to the national economy of this period, but they were paid out in good faith. It should be emphasized that how all the money were spent were up to the discretion of the individual governments, beyond the dictates of Japan. Very often the governments chose not to use the funds to compensate individual losses, but instead to improve the general national economy or welfare.
The first country with which Japan concluded an agreement was Myanmar (Burma). A total of about 90 billion yen of indemnity and semi-indemnity were paid out to Myanmar, which was about 9 per cent of Japan's budget. When agreements were concluded with the Philippines, in 1956, Japan's national budget was a little over one trillion yen. Indemnity and semi-indemnity promised to the Philippines totaled 27% of that budget. Similarly, when Korea and Japan reached an agreement in 1965, Japan agreed to pay 180 billion yen (500 million dollars) indemnity and aid. Looking from Korea's point of view, this amount was 1.45 times Korea's national budget, and 3.8 times its foreign reserves. Most of this money was used by the Korean government for the nation's modernization. Korea says that it contributed to 20 per cent of its economic growth between 1966 and 1975, and 8 per cent annually to cover its trade deficit. From 1975, Korea also started compensations to individual citizens for personal losses during the war. However, on the whole, the Korean government chose to use the resources for national prosperity over compensation to private citizens.

Figures are from:
"Sengo Hoshoron wa Machigatte Iru" ( Mistaken Beliefs in Demands for Post-War Reparations)
By OKADA Kunihiro / Published by Japan Policy Institute (Tokyo)

Sankei Newspaper Sept.12th 1994 issue
Spa Magazines Date unknown, 1996 issue
"Kotonaru Higeki Nihon to Doitsu" (Dissimilar Tragedies: Japan & Germany)
By NISHIO Kanji (1994) / Published by Bungei Shunju (Tokyo)


There is no need to write prolix article to address this issue, it has be chronicled in the history books .

I rest my case.


Y1 said...

Agree that RM207 billion is mind boggling. Maybe it is 207 billion yen?

Nizar and PR must do more research or show the official letters.

Anonymous said...

I knew the people involved in the 1967 reparations negotiations with Japan as published here. We do not think in billions then, only millions.

Anonymous said...

Although trained as engineer, Nizar has repeatedly demonstrated that he IS really an idiot many times over

Anonymous said...

I read in another Blog that the DAP Elections could be illegal because of the absence of qualified auditors, lawyers and other professionals to monitor, supervise and scrutinize.Only the Registrar of Societies can quell such rumours of an illegal election which seemed to be treated like a grandfather's election ! DAP could be our rulers !

Anonymous said...

Well I thought there is only one clown in PAS and one stupid Whistleblower in PR,but with this episode,it looks like we have to add another one to PR collections.I am not surprise too,if more to join amongst the PRs goons.Always not detail and do homework in presenting cases.How to govern like this.Hancus Negara.

Anonymous said...

For the sake of fairness and transparency, the DAP should invite the Registrar of Societies to review the whole Elections to give DAP a clean bill of health.