1937-1941: Golden Lily, The Second Sino-Japanese War, The Rape of Nanking, and World War II
One of history’s least known yet most infamous individuals is Prince Chichibu (also known as Prince Yasuhito), the brother of then Emperor Hirohito of Japan. It is well known that the English speaking Chichibu went to great lengths to establish good relations between Japan and England; most especially with the British royal family.
Beginning in the late 1920’s Prince Chichibu, along with General Tomoyuki Yamashita (who later became the general of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II), as well as Admiral Yoshio Kodama, were tasked by the Emperor with undertaking an ultra-secret operation known as Golden Lily.
The purpose of this operation was to plunder China and Southeast Asia’s vast treasures and take them under Japanese control. The first step in this vast operation began sometime in the late 1920’s in a devious plot set forth by the Emperor. According to the book Gold Warriors written by Peggy and Sterling Seagrave:
“So, the story of World War 2 loot in the Philippine Islands is no myth *(more on the subject of gold in the Philippines in the next section). As far back as the late 1920s, Emperor Hirohito realized that a new world war was coming. He foresaw that to defeat the United States would require an extraordinary military force backed by unprecedented financing. He organized a special team to confiscate the wealth of Asia. The project (was) entrusted solely to the leadership of the Royal Family (in particular to Prince Chichibu, Hirohito’s younger brother). This team was code named Kin No Yuri, or Golden Lily.
In the decade preceding the war, Japan introduced hundreds of spies into the twelve Asian nations they would eventually conquer. Disguised as civilians from all walks of life, their mission was to locate and map the storehouses of wealth throughout the regions. Targets included museums, treasuries, banks, churches, temples, monasteries, shrines, mining operations and large corporations, as well as wealthy families and organized crime syndicates. Detailed reports were continually sent to the royalty in Tokyo who wanted to have one basic thing, a list of whoever held the keys and combinations to the vaults who would soon become candidates for interrogation and torture.”
Prince Chichibu, brother of Emperor Hirohito and commander of Operation Golden Lily
In the summer of 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese war was underway between Japan and China (this conflict ultimately served as a precursor to World War II). In the years leading up to this war, relations between Japan and China had been shaky at best, and small-scale conflicts had raged for years.
The conflict may have officially begun in the summer of 1937, but it was in December of that same year that a massacre of untold proportions took place: The Rape of Nanking, in which the then Chinese capital city was invaded and laid completely to waste by the Japanese armies. It is said that as part of this conflict, hundreds of thousands of citizens living in Nanking, men, women, and children, were massacred. The Second Sino-Japanese War raged on for years until, in 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor embroiled the Asian world in a full-scale global conflict.
One of the aspects of World War II that often goes unnoticed is that of the wide-scale looting of treasure undertaken by the Nazi regime during the war. It is well documented that the Nazis did in fact plunder vast sums of treasure and wealth from throughout Europe, much of which (it is reported) was recovered by Allied forces after the war, but some of which remains missing to this day. Please see the following clip from the documentary film Gold! Man’s Greatest Obsession.
What has been almost completely brushed aside by history, however, is that of the plunders of the Japanese in China and in Southern Asia (thirteen nations in all) as part of Operation Golden Lily, which continued more aggressively than ever during World War II. The sheer volume of gold and treasure that was stolen from the Chinese and other nations during the war years makes the looting undertaken by the Nazis in Europe look like a common convenience store robbery.
To this very day, it remains common knowledge throughout China that vast wealth was taken from them both before and during the war, but because of the utter secrecy of Operation Golden Lily, as well as the complete control of media outlets in the Western world throughout the entire course of the 20th century, this fact has gone completely unreported in the West. Which begs the question: Knowing full well that treasure more vast than can be imagined was taken as part of the war effort, why has this gone unreported, and where exactly did all of this treasure end up?
The following is a short documentary film on the subject. Note that the man speaking in the film, Rhawn Joseph, claims that the gold and treasures plundered by the Japanese totaled $100 billion dollars. This figure in confirmed in the book Gold Warriors, written by investigative journalists Sterling and Peggy Seagrave (much more on this book to come further on in this report).
As the authors tell us, “…a ranking Japanese officer who was a cousin of Emperor Hirohito…(confirms) that the Japanese had hidden over $100 billion worth of treasure in the Philippines and it would take ‘more than a century’ to recover it all.”
As you will read in the next section of this report, vast amounts of this stolen treasure were hidden by the Japanese throughout the Philippines. It should be noted, however, that based upon additional information provided later in this report, this $100 billion dollar estimate is in fact a grossly underestimated figure.
1941-1945: The Philippine Occupation
Gold bullion recovered from tunnels dug in the Philippines as part of Operation Golden Lily
As World War II raged on throughout Europe and Asia, the treasures amassed by Japan were so vast that they required a place to be stored off the Japanese mainland. Beginning in December of 1941, and immediately following the invasion of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese began a full-scale occupation of the Philippines. The forces of General Douglas Macarthur, supreme commander of the U.S. armed forces of the Far East, were driven out of the country. In January of 1942 Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, was occupied, and then-President Quezon fled the country. The Japanese invasion forces were ruthless in their invasion of the islands, but oddly enough they spared the city of Manila from decimation.
Over the course of the next four years, the Japanese began to secretly transport the hordes of wealth captured from China and the rest of Asia to the Philippines. The idea was that once the war effort was complete, the treasure would be moved back to Japan, to the capital city of Tokyo. However, as the war progressed and the tide of battle began to turn, General Yamashita realized that the effort was lost.
In the summer of 1945, the Japanese military began a massive undertaking to cover the entrances of the many underground caves and tunnels that they had built throughout the Philippines to store the treasure. This was done by detonating dynamite at the entrances of the caves and tunnels. It was decided at the time by the most senior officials of the Japanese military as well as the government that knowledge of the treasure sites should remain with only a small number of ruling elites. Thus, the thousands of civilians, prisoners of war, and even a select number of Japanese soldiers that were used to create the tunnels, caves, and mineshafts would be buried inside along with the treasure. Many were gunned down on the spot and their bodies buried in the tunnels. All told, it is estimated that as many as 175 vast networks of tunnels were created and then sealed over, each one containing vast sums of gold, silver, and ancient treasure that accounted for the majority of the treasures accumulated by China and other nations over thousands of years of trade along the Silk Road.