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Japan customs trying to return seized wartime assets

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© 2012 AFP

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The government has been trying to return this stuff since 1953. Those grumbling that this is a tad late are missing the point of the article. Even after almost 60 years of trying to return stuff there is STILL 870,000 items that have yet to be claimed by their owners.

I am no economist, but I completely do not understand why people bringing their money home would cause an economic disaster.

The answer is two-fold. First, the Japanese economy had been decimated even before the war was lost. Inflation was already slamming families due to the scarcity of basic necessities. Families had resorted to the black market to feed themselves and were deeply in debt to the black marketers. A large influx of assets would have weakened the yen even farther, pushing inflation even higher. Second, when the war was lost, the American government's stance for the first few years of occupation was to let Japan suffer economically. A large influx of assets from abroad would have hindered their ability to "punish" Japan for starting the war.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gogogo

you may have misread the article. The gov HAS the stuff. They took it off incoming jpns post war. This isn't about stuff they want returned, it's about missing owners they are looking for.

Therefore they are under no obligation to return anything to Korea or any other country. (this last=sarcasm)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many Japanese people must be shocked for what they were told by their parents,grandfather, teachers....etc. that the japanese army has done a wide range of 'good deeds' helping asians out of western colonialisms and hegamony during WW2

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

How about Japan return some of the thousands of Korean stuff it took? Japan was returned some of it but it needs to set an example if they want their stuff returned.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

timing is more than a little off me thinks!

Alternate, Japan was a mess in 1945 on, they probably were so gung ho filing stuff, just taking it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am no economist, but I completely do not understand why people bringing their money home would cause an economic disaster.

I also don't understand why these items were not carefully filed with names and addresses if the intent was to return them. Almost a million items not returned? All told it sounds like a complete sham to me. Nobody seems to be trying too hard to return anything.

Would it have not been possible to simply forbid banks and other companies from purchasing and selling certain liquid assets for a while?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Legal owners"? Much of what they brought back was plunder. "Wartime thieves" is probably more appropriate.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nice gesture on the part of Customs but a trifle late.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No interest? I still have paper stock certificates from a company my family owned (stock in) located in Havana Cuba pre 1960. I want reparations. Plus interest. Plus prosecution of the communist officials. And, no, I'm not holding my breath on this one. Just holding my worthless stock certificates from a non communist republic of cuba. Ps-company was called Polo del Norte and made ice, supplying all the fabulous restaurants and casinos in pre castro cuba.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Where is my Yamashita suit case?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Make a museum out of it all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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