A controversial and authorative history of the Japanese imperial family reveals for the first time their involvement in the looting of Asia during the Second World War. It also reveals America's collusion with Tokyo to keep this a secret while Japan claimed to be bankrupt and unable to pay reparations at the end of the war.
In The Yamato Dynasty Sterling Seagrave, and his collaborator and wife, Peggy, offer the first collective biography of the Japanese imperial family, both men and women, covering five generations since the Meiji Restoration in the nineteenth century.
Initially, their account was sympathetic, seeing the family as hostages of a corrupt regime that used the sacred to hide the profane. But they soon realised that they were onto something explosive - the secret story of how Hirohito's brothers, uncles and cousins masterminded the looting of Asia as Japan carried out its conquests.
It was always said that Prince Chichibu, eldest brother of Emperor Hirohito, spent the Pacific War as an invalid suffering from tuberculosis. But the truth, according to Japanese sources including members of his wartime retinue, was that he headed a secret programme called Golden Lily, hiding billions of dollars of stolen gold, platinum, silver and gemstones in underground vaults dug by POWs, burying the POWs alive along with hundreds of Japanese soldiers to guard the secret. The objective was that Tokyo could claim to be bankrupt should her military be defeated - unable to pay warreparations to its countless victims.
At the end of the war came the American occupation of Japan, under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. America had long had a stake in Japan; huge loans and business investments dating from before the war now hung in the balance. MacArthur's intentions were simple: to protect American investment and to prevent Japan's fall into communism.
The Seagraves document for the first time that General MacArthur and a group of American financiers rescued Hirohito from prosecution for war crimes by forcing General Tojo and other Japanese officers to perjure themselves by claiming exclusive responsibility for the war.
"While researching the book, we came upon American tracks everywhere," says Seagrave. "While Washington was publicly insisting that postwar Japan really was bankrupt, we discovered that the OSS and CIA were opening up huge vaults of war loot in the Philippines, and secretly recovering billions of dollars in stolen gold bullion. Nobody was told about these recoveries. The loot was earmarked for secret anti-communist operations during the Cold War. What this means is that there is now incontrovertible evidence of collusion between American and Japan, while millions of war victims went without any form of compensation to this day."
About The Author
Sterling Seagrave has made a lifelong avocation of re-investigating the accepted `facts' of East-West history, and overturning them. For the past two decades, he has collaborated with his wife, Peggy.
Sterling Seagrave is the son of legendary `Burma Surgeon' Gordon Seagrave, a medical missionary who built a major hospital on the China-Burma border and was chief medical officer for General Joseph W. Stilwell in World War II. Five generations of his family have been doctors and teachers in Burma. Growing up in Burma on the eve of World War 2, his first memories are of Japanese planes bombing the Flying Tiger airbase at Loiwing near the Burma Road.
Sterling was educated in Britain and the USA and became a journalist during the Castro revolution in Cuba. An investigative reporter and foreign news editor for The Washington Post in the 1960s, he later spent many years back in Asia contributing to major international magazines, newspapers and television.
His first book, Yellow Rain, caused a sensation when it exposed Soviet use of biological poisons in Laos and Afghanistan. The Soong Dynasty revealed for the first time that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (husband of the most popular woman in mid-century America, Madame Chiang) began his career as a Shanghai gangster indicted for armed robbery. This provoked serious death threats from Taiwan, and for ten years Sterling and Peggy went `underground', cruising European waters anonymously in a 42-foot sailboat. The Marcos Dynasty revealed that four American presidents had secretly supported Ferdinand and Imelda's rise to staggering wealth and corruption - in return for a share of the Japanese war loot that Marcos was recovering from wartime burial sights in the Philippines.
Today, Sterling and Peggy Seagrave divide their time between Asia and a 13th century stone farmhouse in the Alps. In Northern Thailand they are building an orphanage for refugee children from Burma's civil war. They have collaborated on two books, Dragon Lady and The Yamato Dynasty.
Notes to Editors:
Sterling and Peggy Seagrave will be in London at the time of publication (Thursday, October 7) and will be available for interview.
Publishing Date: October 7 Price: £17.99
SOURCE Transworld Publishers