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Beware insidious effects of our darker side, not only in football

20 3 11

Ryozo Watabe's book is titled "Chiisana Teiko" (Small resistance). But the resistance the author describes must have been anything but "small" at the time.

A student soldier during World War II, Watabe was seconded to an Imperial Japanese Army unit in China. At breakfast one day, a senior officer told the troops to the effect, "I am letting you kill POWs today."

A command in actuality, and in outright violation of international laws, its purpose was to toughen up soldiers by letting them spear Chinese prisoners of war.

The officer continued, "Do not humiliate your squad leader by being timid."

Everyone obeyed, except Watabe, a Christian. Days of painful........

© The Asahi Shimbun