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July 11: Imperial Japan’s “Jewish Expert”

Lawrence Bush
July 10, 2016

220px-Koreshige_Inuzuka

Captain Koreshige Inuzuka, head of the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Advisory Bureau on Jewish Affairs from 1939-42, was born in Tokyo on this date in 1890. Stationed near Vladivostok to help the attempted overthrow of the Bolsheviks by the White Russian forces following the Russian Revolution, Inuzuka read the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and began to gather a group of Japanese officers who believed, as he did, in the Protocols‘ story of vast international Jewish power. During the early 1930s, as Japan waged war on China, Inuzuka proposed setting up a Jewish settlement in Shanghai, which would attract German Jewish refugees from Nazism and gain for Japan the favor of a people who, he believed, controlled the world economy. To execute this plan, he visited Jewish communities around the world, including Palestine, established a joint Jewish-Japanese Pacific Trading Company, and ultimately facilitated the resettlement in Japanese-occupied China of thousands of Jews who would otherwise have died in the Holocaust. In 1941, Inuzuka’s help in rescuing Jews, and his notable attention to their well-being in China, was acknowledged by a representative of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States, who gave him a silver cigarette case with an inscription of thanks. After the war, that silver case saved Inuzuka from being tried as a war criminal.

“Obviously we should not follow Germany’s example... We should protect them [the Jews] and let them enjoy the benefits of our imperial prestige.... I do not see any reason why we should have them as an enemy.... Through the Jews in the Far East, we can advertise our hospitality to [American Jews]....” --Koreshige Inuzuka

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.