There is lots of talk about the importance of faith and the use of religious or crusader vocabulary in the US president’s justification of his foreign policy. While reading Louise Young’s Japan’s Total Empire I came across a rather unexpected parallel to this in 1932, when the Japanese delegate to the League of Nations, Matsuoka Yôsuke responded to the Lytton Commission’s report on the Manchurian Incident.
…Humanity crucified Jesus of Nazareth two thousand years ago. And today? Can any of you assure me that the so-called world opinion can make no mistake? We Japanese feel that we are now put on trial. Some of the people in Europe and America may wish even to crucify Japan in the twentieth century. Gentlemen, Japan stands ready to be crucified! But we do believe, and firmly believe, that in a very few years, world opinion will be changed and that we also shall be understood by the world as Jesus of Nazareth was.1
1. Found in Young p. 154. Original apparently from Japanese Delegation to the League of Nations. The Manchurian Question: Japan’s Case in the Sino-Japanese Dispute as Presented before the League of Nations. Geneva: League of Nations, 1933. p. 166.