1. The Jewish State that never came to be –concerning the Project "Fugu"–
Copylight (Jun.22,2000) by TAKESHITA Yoshirō


In the novel "The Deep blue fleet" (Japanese title of book) by ALAMAKI Yoshio (), there is a passage where Japan, during the World War II, attempts to construct a state, in Southern Sakhalin, for the Jewish victims of Nazi anti-Semitic persecution, which was to be called "Republic of Eastern Jerusalem". This fictional republic had a real model. The Japanese Government had actually tried to construct a state for the Jews, not in Southern Sakhalin but in Manchuria. This essay will clarify the intent, extent and content of this attempt that failed.

In 1917, due to the Russian Revolution, the Imperial Russian regime that had driven Japan in two wars (Sino-Japanese, Russo-Japanese War) collapsed, and was replaced by a Communist regime. As this revolutionary force was lead by a Jewish Russian, Lenin, and consisted of many Jewish Russian members, many Europeans felt that "The Protocols of Elders of Zion" (* a propaganda document made by the imperial Russian secret police, aiming to drive the Russians against Jews by making them believe that the Jews were planning to gradually take over the world) had been proven right. This fear of the 'Jewish Threat', and the resulting anti-Semitic atmosphere was exploited by the Nazi, and was developed into an anti-Semitic fever and persecution.

The Russian Revolution had not just collapsed the imperial regime but also driven many Russians out of Russia for various reasons. Amongst these Russians were Jewish Russians. One of their destinations was Manchuria. Eventually, as the inclusion of Manchuria into the Japanese sphere of influence and defense against the Communist completed, and as the Nazi anti-Semitic persecution intensified, Japan faced the need to determine how they were to deal with the Jewish refugees. The Japanese Government had refused to apply the Nazi anti-Semitic policy because their national policy supported racial equality. So how was Japan to deal with the Jewish refugees in Manchuria?

The Manchurian Incident (1931) had turned many of the influential countries further against Japan. Japan had to find a way to withstand the anti-Japanese pressure, maintain its independence and sovereignty, defend its territory and survive. The combination of this need to survive and the need to deal with the Jewish refugees in Manchuria produced the plan to give these Jews a state of their own in Manchuria. Project "Fugu" (globefish) was its code name.

The Project "Fugu" consisted of establishing in Manchuria a Special Autonomous Province for the Jews. The Jewish Province would be given very high autonomy, high enough to be considered as an autonomous country. This project aimed to solve the Jewish refugee problem, to obtain Jewish investment into Manchuria, and to get Jewish help in ameliorating the Japanese relationship with influential countries, especially with the USA. The USA procured Japan with many essential resources including oil. In order for Japan to maintain its national health, to withstand the conflict with China and to maintain its defense against the Russian threat, Japan depended on the resources provided by the USA and nations under Anglo-Saxon control. By aiding the Jews in Manchuria, they sought to get the aid of the Jewish lobby in the USA, and especially of Rabbi Steven WISE in softening the American anti-Japanese position and to avoid a possible war against the USA. WISE was the president of the World Jewish Conference, and was an advisor of President F.ROOSEVELT. He was known to be an anti-Japanese but the Japanese thought that the project would be convincing enough to persuade WISE to change his mind.

The project was driven forth by Army colonel YASUEH Norihiro (  1888-1950 Chief of the Special Duty Agency in Talien) and by Navy captain INUDSUKA Koreshige (  Chief of the "INUDSUKA" Special Duty Agency in Shanghai).

In September 27th 1940, the Triple Alliance was concluded. The next day, colonel YASUEH was discharged from his position as chief of the special duty agency in Talien, and was enlisted into the reserve men. With this, colonel YASUEH's and his Jewish collaborator KINDERMAN's effort to realize a direct negotiation between Japan and the USA for an amelioration of their relationship came to a halt. On December 9th 1940, Japan declared war against the USA and the UK. This made the successful realization of the Project "Fugu" an impossibility. The entire project was doomed to failure.

The Project "Fugu" failed but the Zionist dream for a Jewish homeland remained. So where they going to construct their state? The Zionists had several candidates in mind, out of which Palestine was chosen for its historic link with the "Jewish people". Many Jews were already established in Palestine, and the Zionists were increasingly buying Palestinian land and pressuring the British in favor for a Jewish Palestine. The British promised both the Palestinians and the Zionists, for Palestine as their homeland. To avoid the division of Palestinian land, the Israelis and the Arabo-Palestinian force fought four wars. The Israeli State survived all four wars and remains today. But the "Palestinian Problem" also remains.

If the Project "Fugu" had succeeded, or if the British had not made the double promise for independence, maybe there would have been neither Middle Eastern Wars nor the Palestinian Problem. It is somewhat regretful that the Project "Fugu" did not succeed, for it could of maybe prevented the Pacific War, the Middle Eastern War and many other wars and problems that came out of them. But on the other hand, its success may have brought other misfortunes. if only we could know better...