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Terrorism brouhaha, then and now

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NEW YORK – For a talk at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I was searching the internet to see what I could find about Shimpei Fukue, one of the Japanese generals who were sentenced to death for war crimes after World War II. Lt. Gen. Fukue had left a couple of remarkable “farewell-to-the-world” haiku before facing a firing squad on April 27, 1946.

Among the several items I readily found on him was a Straits Times article, “Jap General Executed in Singapore,” that began with “A red patch of sand on Changi beach early yesterday morning marked the spot where a Japanese General met his death as a war criminal.” But just below it was a one-paragraph dispatch with the headline, “Dutch-Indonesian Clash.”

“Batavia, Apr. 27 — Referring to the reported clash of Dutch and Indonesians outside Batavia, an official Dutch report today stated that Allied troops attacked a concentration of terrorists near Tjiteureup, south of Batavia, yesterday killing 19 and taking 150 prisoners. — Reuters”

“Terrorists”? My father, an officer of the Special Higher Police, was stationed in Java during the war, so he, like many of his fellow officers, was detained on suspicions of war crimes when the Dutch came back on the heels of Japan’s defeat in August 1945.

He was released by the following summer. However, the Dutch revanchism was not just to “deal with all of the ‘war criminals’ who had collaborated........

© The Japan Times