By Ben Wheeler
A SHOCKING World War Two era anti-Japan propaganda film reveals the blatant racism directed against people from the Far East despite American-Japanese men serving in the US military.
The video, entitled My Japan, was released in 1945 and produced by the United States Office of War Information, seemingly to incite as much hatred as possible towards the Japanese people.
The footage begins with a cringeworthy American voiceover badly impersonating a Japanese narrator sat behind a desk, greeting the viewer by saying: “So you are the enemy,” before chuckling and continuing; “I am not supposed to laugh, you’ve heard the Japanese do not show their feelings,” in what is now an awkward display of racial stereotyping.
Later in the video, designed to stir the emotions of the American public, the supposed Japanese narrator takes several swipes at the United States and its citizens stating that: “we have no soft bellies crying for beef steaks and butter and candy.”
Other inflammatory statements suggest that the Japanese think Americans are stupid before calling them: “a nation of bargain hunters, not willing to pay the price of victory.”
The narrator also proudly boasts of the massacre and slaughter of American troops and Japan’s supposed lack of value on human lives, describing them as “cheap.”
The film was made to spur the sale of war bonds to help the White House fund the Second World War in the years following the Pearl Harbour attacks which was the catalyst for the United States entering the war.
During this period, all American citizens of Japanese descent living on the west coast were placed into internment camps, classified as enemies, and forbidden to serve their country.
However, this decision was reversed by Roosevelt who was under pressure from civil liberties organisations, Japanese Americans formed a segregated infantry outfit – the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team.
Allied forces had planned to invade Japan towards the end of the World War Two in what was known as Operation Downfall, the same year in which My Japan was released, however the Japanese surrendered in the wake of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, effectively ending the war.
The two bombings killed hundreds of thousands and for the time being, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.