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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Aum, and Antisemitism in Japan

By David G. Goodman (University of Illinois)December 27, 2005, , ,

Underestimating the threat posed by such extremist ideologies is a grave error, as evidenced by the devastating impacts of terrorism in events like the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the Aum cult, the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, dozens of books based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion began to appear in Japanese bookstores and sold millions of copies. Jews were described in these books and in the large, gaudy advertisements that appeared for them in mass circulation daily newspapers as a clandestine cabal plotting to destroy Japan and rule the world. The Jewish plot, the books charged, had already succeeded. The United States, Japan’s chief ally and most important trading partner, was controlled by Jews, who formed a “shadow government” and manipulated U.S. policies for their own perfidious ends. Certain ministries within the Japanese government had already been taken over by Jews, it was said, and Japan was doomed unless something could be done. The enemy was ruthless, and the response, it was implied, had to be equally so. [...]

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