By Yoichi Shimatsu, Hong Kong
The nighttime attack that killed 20 foreigners in the Gulshan diplomatic district of Dhaka on July 1, in Bangladesh was not simply a random terror attack since it had all the features of a meticulously prepared military-style operation against a selective target and for specific causes.
The attackers identified themselves as ISIS supporters, but their demands to police negotiators included release of members of the local Jamaat-al-Mujaheedin (JM), a widespread and well-connected militant outfit that advocates an Islamic state to replace Bangladesh’s secular party system introduced after the emergence of the country as an independent following a bloody war of liberation against Pakistan.
JM is supported by prominent local clans, allegedly including families of military officers and police chiefs, and has access to classified national intelligence files, including reports on Japan’s military-strategic interest in Bangladesh and the Andaman Sea region. It is claimed that the objective of the attack on the Holey Artisan bakery cafe was to prevent a budding Japanese-Indian-American-Australian alliance called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), which is allegedly establishing an allied naval base in Bangladesh to serve as a “Crusader fortress” against Islamic interests in South Asia-Mideast and to counter China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean-Andaman region. It is also said that the JM counterintelligence operation against the Japanese assets in Bangladesh required months of surveillance and the tracking of movements of Japanese operatives, including visiting delegations, whose elimination was the objective of the military-style strike.
The seven Japanese meeting at the lakeside cafe were not “engineers” with a “construction” project as claimed to the news media by the Shinzo Abe government. Only one man worked for a genuine engineering firm; the other six were with QSD “planning offices” involved in influence-peddling and bribery of Bangladeshi politicians and bureaucrats with the aim of installing a naval base as part of a plan to construct a civilian shipping port.
Prospects of QSD
Sources say, Shinzo Abe’s plan to establish a naval base on the northern Andaman Sea is part of a geopolitical strategy called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) under which the U.S.-Japan (offensive) alliance aims to involve Australia and India in the naval containment of expanding Chinese power. QSD is in essence NATO for the Pacific and Indian Ocean battle theater.
It is also claimed that for the neo-militarist government in Tokyo, QSD is a US-sanctioned revival of the Greater East Co-prosperity Sphere, Japan’s bid to establish a pan-Asian military empire during World War II. Abe’s grandfather, the wartime munitions minister Nobusuke Kishi, was a key architect of the co-prosperity strategy.
Abe, sources say, hailed the legacy of Japan’s “liberation” of South Asia in World War II on his first state visit to India. His revanchist speech was followed up with the sale of Shin Maywa seaplanes to the Indian military to protect its new offshore oil fields in the southern Andaman and to conduct long-distance aerial surveillance on the energy-rich region.
Bangladesh was chosen as the site for a de facto allied naval port for both geographic and political reasons. The economically weak nation provides a third-party platform for military basing and clandestine operations against Chinese influence in the Andaman Sea, without direct and open involvement by regional powers India, Thailand and Myanmar, which are reluctant to get further entangled with US military operations.
After political setbacks in neighboring Myanmar, China has developed closer military ties with Bangladesh, strengthened with the Chinese proposal to build a deep-water port at Sonadia, a construction project estimated at $8 billion.
To counter the Chinese plan, Tokyo actively intervened with a rival bid for another port at nearby Matarbari, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) offering a soft loan of $3 billion for a $4.6-billion project.
Japan’s counter bidding
The Matarbari port project includes four coal-fired power plants with a total 2,400 megawatt electricity-generation capacity along with dredging of shipping channels for LNG tankers – and capable of handling destroyers and submarines. The ostensible civilian port would allegedly be gradually converted to military purposes, initially through “rescue and recovery operations” during Bangladesh’s frequent cyclone catastrophes.
Sumitomo Heavy Industry and the Marubeni Trading Company are involved in the deal, which quickly overshadowed the earlier Chinese project despite being only half the size of Beijing’s package. The difference in scale was allegedly made up in bribery of government officials by the Japanese lobbying network. Significantly, it is also alleged that under the Japanese aid program of JICA and many of its related contractors in Myanmar and Bangladesh are dominated by two cult-like yakuza-allied groups, the Sasakawa organization (which includes the Nippon Foundation) and Soka Gakkai. The Soka Gakkai (SG) sponsors the Komeito (Clean Government Party), which is a member of the ruling coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
SG is allied with the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group, especially in money-laundering allegedly through its overseas religious branches and networks of small businesses (including Japanese-style restaurants). The Sasakawa organization, acting nominally through the Nippon Foundation charity and the Unification Church, is allegedly a crime network that runs gambling operations involving speedboat racing in Japan.
This underworld water-sports enterprise, which is linked with the methamphetamine (shabu) trade, is conducted in cooperation with the Tosei-kai, a Tokyo-based yakuza group run by ethnic Koreans (zai-nichi) mobsters, descendants of soldiers who served the Japanese empire in occupied Korea.
The rightist yakuza boss Yoshio Kodama created Tosei-kai, as paramilitary force hired out to the CIA station in Tokyo to protect US military bases from Japan’s leftist student movement during the Cold War and Vietnam War era. Since then, The Nippon Foundation has sponsored ocean-related projects as a means of promoting Japanese naval expansion overseas, including the Oceans Day holiday, which promotes Japanese naval expansion and the whaling industry.
The Sasakawa organized crime group has a long history of covert cooperation with Italian fascist groups, starting from its late founder’s prewar People’s Party (Kokusai Taishu-to), modeled after Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party.
The cooperation with Italian fascist black operations continued in the postwar era, with Japan serving as a safe haven for the rightwing terrorists, including a suspect named Zorzi, involved in the 1969 false-flag bombing of the Milan headquarters of Banco Agricola. The continuing criminal connection between the Japanese neo-militarists and Italian fascists is a thread that connects to the nine Italians killed in the Holey Bakery attack. Some of the Italians are apparently working in the Bangladesh clothing industry, but textiles also provide convenient cover for any NATO operatives assigned to that region.
How did Tokyo overtake the rival Chinese bid so quickly? The seven contractors dining at the Holely Artisan Bakery represent the underhanded methods used by Japanese to gain favors from the political elites in the developing nations. Only one was a real engineer. Three others, including two women, were visiting employees of Almec, a Shinjuku “design” company with a sketchy role in planning and facilitating projects with typical Japanese practices of wooing clients with junkets, favors and gifts, including briefcases of cash. The three other Japanese contractors at the dinner were with a recently organized spinoff of Oriental Consultants, another “planning” company with a 57 year history of overseas facilitation for JETRO (Japan External Trade Relations Office) and JICA. The newly spun-off affiliate Oriental Consultants Global was created in 2014, a timeline coinciding with Shinzo Abe’s formation of a national intelligence agency modeled after the US National Security Agency, CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency. Oriental Consultants has a satellite mapping division, indicating the Bangladesh team was involved in geospatial surveillance aimed at creating a Japanese defense enclave in the Andaman Sea region to counter Chinese military influence.
Offending militant Islam
The parent company also has a satellite communications division providing secure data transmissions. Aspects of their clandestine mission would include anti-terrorism, putting the Japanese consultants on a collision course with Jamaat-al-Mujaheedin/ISIS. Shinzo Abe’s covert involvement in the Syrian conflict led directly to the ISIS decision to behead Japanese hostages, including the “military otaku (fan)” Haruna Yukawa and journalist Kenji Goto. The transsexual spy Yukawa was a secret agent of retired Air Force general Toshio Tamogami, the founder of Nippon Kaigi, the powerful conservative parliamentary lobby for constitutional revision and the remilitarization of Japan. Tamogami acts as spokesman for politicized neoconservative officers in the Self-Defense Forces, who support offensive military capability for Japanese forces. The Japanese intelligence operations in Syria and Abe’s belligerent stances have triggered repeated threats from ISIS. In a vain attempt to absolve Abe’s jingoism of responsibility, Tokyo has denied this factor in the killing of a Japanese aid worker in Bangladesh and the stalking of other Japanese nationals in that country.
With their international network of supporters, the militant groups affiliated with ISIS can strike at Japanese interests anywhere in the world, including inside Japan. Tokyo is now deeply enmeshed in a global war that it cannot survive, much less win.
Source: Weekly Holiday, September 23, 2016