Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

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Li Tsung Jen
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Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by Li Tsung Jen » 15 May 2008 20:44

Hello,

I've read that there were significant numbers of former Japanese troops fighting for both the KMT and CCP during the Chinese Civil war 1945-1949.

Does anyone know if:

1. They had significant effect in the fighting?

2. Which side utilized them more?

3. How were they utilized by both sides?(as frontline troops etc.)

A few info I picked up about them:

General Okamura(Commander in Chief of the China Expeditionary army in 1945) was important in buidling the Matsu and Quemoy island defenses for Jiang Jie Shi and Okamura was one of his personal military advisors even past 1949.

Many Japanese troops did not return to Japan instead remained in China and raised their own families there. These Chinese-Japanese famlies are now asking for immigration to Japan.

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Patzinak
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Re: Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by Patzinak » 16 May 2008 00:15

Li Tsung Jen wrote:[…] I've read that there were significant numbers of former Japanese troops fighting for both the KMT and CCP during the Chinese Civil war 1945-1949 […]
You can find some details in Gillin and Etter (1983). Here's the abstract:
Gillin and Etter, 1983, wrote:Abstract: The authors examine the actions and motivations of the Japanese who remained in China following Japan's surrender in August 1945. A large part of the Japanese Army in China became involved in the civil war there, and it appears that both sides, but especially the Nationalists, benefited from Japanese assistance. Although frequently the victims of circumstance, the Japanese also deliberately intervened in the fighting in the hope of continuing to influence the course of events in China. Such involvement may have significantly affected Japan's subsequent relationship with both the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan.
I haven't kept up for a good number of years, so you're likely to find more recent stuff on the subject. However, I'd make one caveat. The notion that KMT used Japanese troops more extensively may be correct -- or it may be due to the fact that sources from the Communist side are far fewer and less reliable.

Source:
  • Gillin, DG; Etter, C (1983) Staying On: Japanese Soldiers and Civilians in China, 1945–1949. JASt 42(3): 497–518.
--Patzinak

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Peter H
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Re: Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by Peter H » 16 May 2008 01:08


South
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Re: Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by South » 17 May 2008 06:59

Chozen Li Tsung Jen, (My Cantonese for "Good morning")

An issue to this is the argument of whether they were "former" Japanese troops and thus discharged volunteer veterans participating in the fighting in China or soldiers of the Japanese Army.

If they were Japanese soldiers, Tokyo was in violation of the Potsdam Declaration which required Japan's unconditional surrender and complete military disarmament.

There is a recent documentary (in Japanese language) titled "The Ants" . I tried to get a copy but failed. Like the equipment and insigna collectors wish lists, this is on my list of things to get.


Warm regards,

Bob

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Peter H
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Re: Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by Peter H » 18 May 2008 06:47

According to Jung Chang's Mao:
In addition the Russians secretly transferred tens of thousands of Japanese POWs to the CCP.These troops played a major role in turning the ragtag Communist army into a formidable battle machine and were crucial in training Red forces to use the Japanese arms on which they chiefly depended,as well as for servicing and repairing these weapons.it was Japanese too,who founded the CCP air force,with Japanese pilots serving as flight instructors.Thousands of well trained Japanese medical staff brought the Red wounded a new level of professional and much welcomed treatment..
Ex Japanese arms given to the CCP by the Soviets is given as follows--900 aircraft,700 tanks,3700 artillery and mortars,12,000 MGs,the Sungari River Flotilla as "well as numerous armoured cars and anti-aircraft guns,and hundreds of thousands of rifles..."

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ralphrepo
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Re: Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by ralphrepo » 14 Feb 2009 20:13

South wrote:Chozen Li Tsung Jen, (My Cantonese for "Good morning") An issue to this is the argument of whether they were "former" Japanese troops and thus discharged volunteer veterans participating in the fighting in China or soldiers of the Japanese Army. If they were Japanese soldiers, Tokyo was in violation of the Potsdam Declaration which required Japan's unconditional surrender and complete military disarmament...
Warm regards,
Bob
They were Japanese soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army; however, once the war ended, they effectively became prisoners of war and were no longer under the command of the IJA (or Tokyo). As prisoners of war, if they were forced by their captors to participate in armed conflict, then it's not a violation of Potsdam but of the Geneva accords provisions against using POWs to fight for your side. Also, if they were enticed or recruited to participate in action for their former enemies of their own free will (while still on active duty, even though they were POW status), then they are considered traitors to the Japanese empire. Additionally, many captured, disarmed, and then subsequently released POWs couldn't find their way back to Japan, and instead deserted and became free agents for a meal. Many others were taken as slave labor by the Russians. Hence, either way, Tokyo couldn't be in violation of Potsdam since they no longer had any troops under their command and control in China. If the Chinese or Russians chose to arm and use, or abuse them, that's an entirely different picture, and considered a war crime.

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Kim Sung
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Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by Kim Sung » 15 Feb 2009 04:10

A movie on Japanese troops that, alongside with the KMF forces, fought against the Chinese communists was made in 2006.

'The Army of Ants' (蟻の兵隊)



In this film, a former Japanese soldier Okumura Waichi (奧村和一), who fought as a boy soldier in China, confesses that he once murdered a Chinese civilian with a bayonet for training.

Mystery of Lost Soldiers

August 1945, the monstrous clouds flashed away the two Japan's cities and Japan signed away her empire under the Potsdam Declaration accepting unconditional surrender and complete disarmament. In occupied Japan, the people welcomed the peace, while 2600 of units from the 1st Imperial Army remained armed in China, joined the Nationalist, and fought against Mao. Bleaching the Potsdam, they have pursued a divine secret mission-- to preserve Japanese military and build a free - independent Japan in Shanxi, a China's province with affluent natural resources. During 1945-48, 550 of the remained soldiers died in the post war action, and over 700, including injured Okumura, became hostages of the Communist.

Okumura had luck to return his home but only 9 years after the World War II ended.
Returning home did not mean a relief however. Like his fellow soldiers who made it home, new born Japan called supposed-to-be heroes “fugitives”, and dined any possibility of military order or national will to keep them armed and stayed in China, any reparation to them, and even their honors. To the worse in back home, young Okumura was knocked down with the fact that he had been locally discharged from the military register, while he was still fighting in the imperial operation in China.

http://www.arinoheitai.com

A book on Japanese troops that fought against the Chinese communists in the Shanxi Prefacture

'The Army of Ants-Truth of 2600 Japanese Soldiers who remained in the Shanxi Prefecture' ('蟻の兵隊―日本兵2600人山西省残留の真相') by Ikeya Kaoru (池谷薫)

Image
Image

http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASI ... ex-book-22

kkfj1
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Re: Japanese troops fighting for the KMT and the CCP 1945-1949

Post by kkfj1 » 11 Apr 2009 11:32

There is a very old Chinese book(first published in 1960), have a wonderful artical about this topic. The artical was written by Zhao Rei, a former officer in Shanxi. This artical has details about the Japanese actions in Shanxi, including both WWIIand Chinese Civil War period.
Just like the title of the Japanese book, the idea of have some Japanese troops to fight for KMT was called "残留运动"(How can I translate it?). According to the Chinese artical, this special idea was thought out by Yan Xishan himself. At the very beginning, it was called "Japan leave some force in China"(日本寄存武力于中国).
The Japanese troops in Shanxi did take part in the Chinese Civil War(of course, fought againest PLA). A Japanese officer, whose Chinese name is Yuan Quanfu(元全福), was killed when fighting againest PLA. And Yan's best troops were all trained by Japanese officers. Yan's "Blockhouses Building Bureau"(碉堡建设局) also had more than 200 Japanese engineers. So if you visit Taiyuan and see some blockhouses built during Chinese Civil War, you will find they are similar to the Japanese blockhouses.
Most of the Japanese officers in Shanxi were captured by PLA during Chinese Civil War. Some of them died in Chinese prison in 1950s.

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