The Secret WWII Gold Hoard That Changed the World
During World War II, Japan conquered a large swath of the globe, including most of the Pacific islands and all of eastern Asia. Emperor Hirohito, portrayed as an innocent “marine biologist,” in reality directed the looting of the national treasures found throughout this large chunk of the world. These include the wealth of Britain, Netherlands and France, which had moved their gold to Asia “for safety’s sake,” and the national treasures of 13 Asian nations invaded by Japan.
Why they call it Yamashita’s gold is anyone’s guess. In reality, it was the treasure of Hirohito. Yamashita merely worked for Hirohito.
The royal family was put in charge of supervising the whole process, and as much booty as possible was taken to Japan. Many treasure ships were scuttled in Tokyo Bay, with an eye to salvaging the loot when the war was over.
Some of the treasure was first taken to the Philippines. But the Americans began sinking Japanese ships left and right, so the emperor and his family decided to hide much of the treasure in caves in the Philippines, expecting and hoping that the islands would remain in Japanese hands at the end of the war and the loot could then be recovered.
The routine was to select a good cave, fill it with treasure, and then blowup the entrance to the cave, with the workers sealed inside where they would soon die.
After the war, many secret deals were made by the United States government to let Japanese war criminals, especially the top criminal, the emperor, and the royal family, off the hook. In exchange, much of the stolen gold, silver, gems, antiquities etc was secretly taken by U.S. government insiders, particularly the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)/Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and various generals in the military. This is where the secret agency got its first big financing—under the table of course. This secret dealing was itself one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century.
Noted historians and respected investigative journalists Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, in their book Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold, documented the multibillion dollar World War II loot, valued at perhaps over 120 billion 1945 dollars.
In December 1937, Japan declared war on China and surrounded the capital city, which at that time was Nanking. Prince Chichibu, younger brother of Hirohito, had been chosen to direct the ultra-secret treasure-looting team. This team was given a code name of “the Golden Lily” after a poem the emperor had written, and 6,600 tons of gold were recovered from Nanking alone, plus silver and precious stones. That was just the beginning of the emperor’s loot-the-world operation.
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor suffered a “surprise” attack from the empire of Japan, delivering a crippling blow to U.S. military forces.
The “island fortress” of Singapore soon fell to General Tomoyuki Yamashita (February 1942), and with General Douglas MacArthur pulling out of the Philippines, abandoning his men, the last American and Filipino troops surrendered to Japan’s General Masaharu Homma. The infamous Death March began.
Japanese victories on all fronts were heady. Burma was in Japanese hands by March, 1942. Plans had been drawn up to invade Australia. Southeast Asia and most of the islands in the Pacific were as good as Japan’s.
Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu of Japan’s royal family, in Singapore, was very pleased when his men found the treasures of Britain stored in Asian banks. Another pleasant surprise experienced by Prince Chichibu was the discovery that the Dutch had moved their treasures to the East Indies. Not only did Japan have the wealth of the Asian continent, but they were now rewarded with much of the European treasures as well.
Collection of wealth throughout the conquered lands continued. With over 5,000 years of Asia’s antiquity to pillage, the amounts collected were astronomical. With Shanghai in their hands, the Golden Lily team found themselves stretched to the limit keeping up with the collection and melting down of precious metals.
Japan’s luck, however, started to run out by May, 1942. Their first setback was the Battle of the Coral Sea, where the Allies had forced Japan to turn back her invasion fleet, which Hirohito had planned to land in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The following month they suffered another big setback with the Battle of Midway, where Japan lost four carriers and the cream of her aviators. These were the very ships and pilots that had attacked Pearl Harbor five months earlier. In August, the U.S. landed an invasion force on Guadalcanal. Japan tried for months to dislodge the American Marines but eventually had to concede this island base. After that, Japan was unable to launch another major offensive anywhere.
The war would drag on for three years, while the Japanese gradually lost the lands that they had conquered. Hirohito’s dream was ending, and his nightmare had begun.
By mid-1942 Prince Chichibu was faced with the challenge of where and how to hide the treasures so that they could not be discovered after the war. He decided the loot would have to be hidden in caves and tunnel systems.
As the Seagraves explain, a pivotal event in the recovery of the Golden Lily caches was the torture of General Yamashita’s driver, who eventually confessed the whereabouts of some of the repositories.
After the war, much of the hidden gold and treasure was gathered up by Severino Diaz Garcia Santa Romana, an OSS and CIA agent, known as Santy. Santy worked with U.S. General Edward Lansdale and other corrupt U.S. generals and politicians, to secrete the gold in foreign bank accounts. The stolen loot was utilized for a variety of purposes, in particular the financing of U.S. cloak-and-dagger operations.
The booty was combined with more treasure stolen from the Nazis to create a vast slush fund called the Black Eagle Trust, which ultimately became a source of enormous corruption, luring many individuals into temptation and, sometimes, death.
This bloody gold gave the Truman administration access to virtually limitless unvouchered funds for secret, and usually unconstitutional, operations.
It also provided an asset base that was used by Washington to beef up the treasuries of its allies, to bribe politicians and to manipulate elections.
It is a vast story and in this space we can only point out some highlights. But the purpose of Gold Warriors, by the Seagraves, is to reveal why so little is known of the massive Japanese looting of the world, and the devious and unconstitutional role Washington politicians and bureaucrats played in the taking over of much of this booty and glossing over horrible Japanese atrocities, especially by the emperor and royal family, and the cover-up of all of this, which continues to this day. They have backed up their book with extensive research, and it is a very important contribution to the field of authentic, Revisionist history.