Transcribe your podcast

From the early 30s, arguably, Japan expects to have to go to war with the United States and by 1939, Tojo is convinced that war is unavoidable. He now accepts the inevitability.


If you look at the total number of deaths in all factors caused by Japan, in China, in the Second World War, the figure could easily be between 20 and 30 million.


They held on site thousands of people, men, women and children. There are many parallels to what the Germans are doing in Auschwitz. Nobody's ever made a film about it. It would be the worst horror film you could ever imagine. They really plumb the absolute depths of human cruelty in the name of science. It's 1935, and Hideki Tojo's rise to power in Japan is picking up a head of steam. He's been tasked with identifying those behind a gruesome military assassination, the Izawa incident, and bringing the conspirators to justice.


The assassin, a young lieutenant colonel, is promptly arrested and put to death by firing squad. Any prospect of mutiny has been nipped in the bud. But Tojo is not going to let such a golden opportunity slide. He wants to use his newfound prominence to remake the Japanese army in his own image. My name is Paul McGann and welcome to Real Dictators, the series that explores the hidden lives of tyrants such as Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao and Kim Jong Il.


We'll take you behind the curtain, beyond the propaganda and mythmaking to hear the real stories of their totalitarian regimes. In this episode, we return to Japan to pick up the story of the man they called the razor, the workaholic Army bureaucrat who initiated total war with America and in so doing, change the course of global history. This is the story of General Tojo, and this is real dictator's. After dealing with the Izawa incident, Tojo's stock has never been higher.


He decides to take the bull by the horns. Mark Felton is a military historian and author of multiple books on Japan and World War Two, including Japan's Gestapo. At this stage, Tojo really comes out of the woodwork and he basically expresses his political opinions very strongly. At this point. He's very much siding with the emperor. He's siding with what is called the control party. He then basically eradicates the opposing faction from the Rwandan army.


With his opponents out of the picture, Tojo penned an essay arguing that Japan should become a totalitarian military state. That's how we unite our country, he argues. That's how we beat our enemies once and for all by mobilizing the entire nation in a state of total war. The one hundred and twenty fourth emperor of Japan, Hirohito, is very impressed by this up and coming officer, Emperor Hirohito is very pleased Tojo is promoted to major general. He's well on his way now to become a very, very serious power player.


And he's got the eyes and ears of the emperor upon him, which is very, very important.


Along with his promotion and rank, Tojo is rewarded with command of Japan's military police that called the Kempeitai. The already infamous if you hear their heavy black leather boots approaching or C, their trademark white armbands and cavalry sabers, you know, you're in trouble. But under Hideki Tojo, they'll become even worse. The Kempeitai will be the reservoir at Tojo's strength as he rises to become the most powerful man in the land, taking Japan into the inferno of conflict.


The Kempeitai in Japanese means law soldiers, so it gives you a clue immediately there are kind of political legal soldier, very special units. These were created in the late 19th century and the modernisation of Japan's armed forces. And they fulfill a role somewhat similar, perhaps to the Gestapo and Germany and also to the state that the security police are kind of mixture of the two with also the traditional military police aspects, like our own red caps mixed in as well.


So it's a highly complex organization with many, many different branches from espionage all the way to basic military police duties. Francis Pike is an historian, an expert on Japan and author of Hirohito's War The KMT Originally but little more and military police. And we're all familiar with those American movies where there's a brawl in a bar between the Navy and the Army and the police come in and settled the brawl and clear things up. I think that was sort of their initial role at the end of the 19th century, the Kempeitai were originally modelled on the French gendarmerie.


The idea was to create a military unit that could help out in places where civilian police forces were stretched. But when you give the military jurisdiction in civilian life, you're opening the door for the abuse of power, and that's exactly what happens in the case of Japan. Things changed when Japan's such become an imperial country, particularly after 1910 with the effective acquisition of Korea, then the Kempeitai, when they went Korea, the military police to be used in a civilian control role.


They didn't want uprising's. They didn't want the native population to get hold of arms or to start making threats against Japanese rule.


And so they built up networks of local informants and they started to become a repressive civilian control organization. I think that's when the change really began to start. Torture is a coldly efficient bureaucrat, the man they call the razor has a laser eyed focus on furthering the interests of Japan, the emperor and himself. He's not content to just lead the Kempeitai. He wants to expand their operations beyond mere army matters and into every part of Japanese society.


General Tojo became an important part in building that network of civilian repression, information gathering and so on, as democracy began to collapse in Japan itself, its oversized role of civilian control, the Gestapo type role, if you like, that started also to develop as Japan became less democratic and more passive and more totalitarian in its structures in the 1930s under the general.


What began as a police force mutates into something more sinister. The Kempeitai become some of the most sadistic paramilitary enforcers in human history. Their primary role is the enforcement of this extremely nationalist agenda, and that is rooting out anti Japanese elements amongst the civilian populations in their own country and also in obviously the occupied countries. I would say the Kempeitai were probably the most paranoid military unit that ever existed. They basically suspected everybody and they gain a horrendous reputation for brutality because their standard operating procedure is torturing people in order to obtain information.


So the first thing that would happen to you if you were hauled in by the Kempeitai for questioning was they would beat you very, very, very severely before they even asked you any questions. The idea being to frighten you, obviously, into loosening your tongue. They are masters of all forms of foul and horrible torture and were greatly feared also by the ordinary Japanese people as well. In Europe, the far right has always held Japan in high regard.


It's a country that's relatively mono ethnic with historically low levels of immigration. It's a proud nation state headed by an imperial family cloaked in myth and legend. That admiration flows both ways, while the Nazis admired Japan, Tojo has always had half an eye on Germany. He reveres their proud military tradition, their flourishing patriotism. Now, is Kempeitai starting to look a lot like the Nazi secret police? So a highly immoral organization run by extremely questionable people whose loyalty is only to the central military authorities, they become a law unto themselves and the civilians can't control them, which is another problem.


Drawing analogies with the Gestapo, perhaps, but a little bit more than that, it's very difficult to adequately quantify them in a Western kind of concept.


One nutty idea of particular strikes a chord with Jojo. It's the idea of the territorial expansion can be justified by racial superiority. In other words, countries populated by so-called inferior races are fair game for invasion by imperial powerhouses like Japan and Germany. These overseas colonies are called Lebensraum in Germany, literally living space. For Hitler, this territory lies in Eastern Europe. For Japan, they're zone for expansion is China, the control faction have basically taken over, so the imperial wave faction have been shoved to one side.


Many of the officers have either been assassinated, imprisoned or sidelined. So Tojo and his friends are now really in the control of the ideological push, which is, of course, to take on the Chinese. Now, this isn't too much of a push for them to make because there's been a long period of racial abuse towards the Chinese. The idea that we should expand from Manchuria and the rest of China and knock away Chiang Kai shek and his corrupt Chinese nationalist government.


Japan is seen as overcrowded. They can move a lot of their population into China. They see the Chinese as being subhumans the same way as the Nazis view the Slavic peoples as untermenschen. There's a very similar kind of idea, like the German Lebens room living space, that somehow the Japanese have a right to expand into China and to use the Chinese as cheap labor, slave labor and and also steal all the mineral resources that are there. The arguments have been laid out in print and on the airwaves.


The ground has been readied. Now it's time for action. Since the early 30s, the two nations have engaged in various skirmishes. In 1937, Japan takes things up a gear and invades China. The Japanese are imbued with a powerful self belief, and they are about to embark on a truly horrific campaign of terror to show the Chinese who's boss.


So by 1937, the situation is that the Japanese control all of Manchuria, which is now part of modern day China. They have installed the last emperor of China purely as a puppet of rename the place Manchukuo. And everything's going very well. So the coal is coming out and everything else is going extremely well for the Japanese. But now they want to expand. So they need to engineer an incident with the Chinese. They need some kind of trigger. Now, the Guandong Army, which is occupying Manchuria, is really pushing policy rather than Tokyo at this point.


So people like Tojo and his friends, they are engineering incidents deliberately to force the central government into supporting them and in prosecuting this war in China. So in 1937, famous years of Marco Polo Bridge incident. Marco Polo Bridge is a famous bridge just outside Beijing. There's a Wall City there called One Ping, which was garrisoned by Chinese troops. The local Japanese garrison claim that one of their soldiers had gone missing. They demanded access to this town to search it.


The Chinese commander refuses, which is well within his rights to do so. And the Japanese open fire. We end up with a very small battle occurring and then several more of these small battles kick off. And then before, you know, the Japanese have occupied Beijing, Tianjin and have started the process of moving now into mainland China very, very quickly. Once the first shots are fired, events quickly gaining momentum all of their own. The Chinese army, led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai shek, is defeated in battle after battle.


After laying waste to the city of Shanghai, Japanese troops advanced 185 miles up the Yangtze River to Nanjing, troops from Japan's Chiba Corps build a makeshift bridge of stones and wooden plants over the river, bearing the rising sun flag as soldiers scurry across the world watches on as the soldiers breached the 600 year old city walls over 20 metres high and 14 metres thick. This structure has stood since the thirteen hundreds. Now it's been reduced to rubble, picking their way through the debris.


Japanese infantry fired into the city through a great gate. It's known as the Gate of China. It's a monument to Chinese national pride. But now, on December the 13th, 1937, it's been taken. General David Tojo is delighted by Japan's succession of victories in China. To him, this is proof of the awesome might of the Japanese military machine and confirmation of Japan's racial superiority over its larger, inferior neighbor. The city of Nanjing doesn't know what hit it as the invaders pour in, life is changed irrevocably for the inhabitants.


This six week descent into hell will become known as the rape of Nanjing Doctor Michael Lynch, author and historian from the University of Leicester. It's one of the great excesses of 20th century warfare and within a three week period. Three hundred thousand Chinese butchered, not merely killed, but killed in the most brutal way. Some disemboweled. Some have petrol poured over them and set fire. Some are buried alive. Some are beheaded. Some are simply shot. The lucky ones are shot.


And with that bestial treatment of civilians, serial rape of twenty thousand women over a three week period and bayoneting of the rape woman following the serial butchery, it beggars belief. It beggars description. We know that the actual process of murder took place over several weeks. This was an organized assault not only on the people, but also the city itself, the burning, destruction, looting, everything. They're trying to make a point to the Chinese, to Chiang Kai-Shek to give up.


The obvious question is why did Japanese troops do this? Why do they behave in this extreme way? Now, fascinatingly, they are aware the army, what their troops had done and it was never reported back, no attempt to justify it. This is fascinating. Then to Nanjing. It's what you do to those who defy you. It was hushed up, the excessive hushed up any real detail of what they had done to the civilian population. Is it which suggests that within Japan there must be some residual sensitivity, compassion, you might say, which cannot be offended, albeit they're fighting an enemy whom they condemned, of course, as a racial inferior.


One of the remarkable things about Japan, it has this very strong sense of racial superiority, not dissimilar, one has to say, if it's contemporary Germany and Naziism. The Chinese were described as bacteria. One of the generals in Shanghai, he said to a Western correspondent, We don't treat them as you would treat them. We see them as bacteria. It's like the Slavs in the Nazi sense. Now, where did that come from? That may be resentment welling up because, well, up to the nineteenth century, the Chinese have had a reverse view.


They look down on the Japanese now. The Japanese are top dog. They've taken over in that sense. It's inverted, full of racism that been there among Chinese. For Tojo, Nanjing is just what Japan should be doing. And the more of it, the better. Imperial expansion must be without mercy, it must strike terror into the hearts of enemy populations.


Dr. Anthony Best from the London School of Economics, is an expert in Japanese history and politics.


The history of the Japanese army is in the modern era is interesting. The first war that it for the first modern war, the war between 1894 1895. The Army was accused of perpetrating a massacre at Port Arthur in China, and this reached the Western media and compromised Japan's image in front of the world. And it's noticeable that they seem to have learnt very much from that experience. So the next two wars, both against Europeans, firstly the Russians, then the Germans during the First World War, there are no accounts of massacres that I'm aware of.


And in addition, extremely good behaviour given to the prisoners of war. And in a way, that's because they're aware that if they should be seen as engaging in massacres against Europeans, they would unite the Western world against them. So when we're getting on to the Second World War, what's interesting is that element of conscious restraint seems to have gone gone as early as 1937, when still would you would imagine that in some ways Japan would be concerned about world opinion, at least to a degree.


But from the Nanjing massacre in December 1937 onwards, the behaviour of the Japanese army is brutal, both in the field and in terms of the way in which it deals with prisoners of war.


Tojo and his circle start banging the drum for Japan to bring vast swathes of the Asian continent under its boot. The Emperor is impressed and promotes Tojo to minister for war. Now he's the Army's man in the Cabinet and the most politically influential soldier in the country. He holds both military and political offices and controls the secret police, putting him in a unique position of authority. He was not a field general. He spent almost his entire career as a staff officer dealing with problems which are not really military problems.


I think it's one of the reasons why he was looked down upon by some other field generals is also why I think he was jealous of other field generals. He was a political operator, as in all totalitarian societies, the head of the secret police is always one of the major, most important people and the rise of Vladimir Putin. I think you can see that as part of the pattern. As soon as he's in the cabinet as minister of war, he then has a platform now.


He was very articulate, very loudly spoken, gave strong opinions at meetings of the cabinet. Tojo did all the talking. It's been a tough year for all of us when things get too heavy. It's important to feel able to reach out and seek help from professionals. Well, this podcast is brought to you by better help. It's an online counselling service that's professional, convenient and affordable. Whatever you're struggling with, better help will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist.


You can access better help on your computer, tablet or smartphone in your home or on the go. It couldn't be easier. You can choose when to schedule your weekly video of phone sessions. Plus you can contact your counsellor any time and you'll always receive a thoughtful response. As a listener, you get 10 percent off your first month by visiting our sponsor at better help dotcom slash dictators join over one million people taking charge of their mental health once more.


That better help dotcom slash dictators now. To the podcast. As minister for war, Tojo means to consolidate Japan's control over the Chinese by crushing all resistance. Japan initially made quick progress in invading China, but now their advance is actually slowing, guerrilla attacks by communist rebels have proved highly successful in stopping the Imperial Japanese Army. The local general proposes a radical policy to deal with the problem, and Tojo signs it off.


It's in particular aimed at the areas that were under Chinese communist control.


This isn't a war for territory because the Chinese Communist Party is fighting a guerrilla warfare, highly mobile campaign in which they rely on the support of the local population to provide them labor, should that be necessary to provide them with food, to provide them with refuge. And the reaction of the Japanese authorities is, as you see many times in the 20th century, you try to defeat guerrilla warfare by attacking those who support the guerrillas. You terrorize the peasantry. This new approach is called a three Ole's, it's a scorched earth policy designed to destroy Chinese infrastructure for generations to come.


A three year old means burn all loot or kill or. And this is what the thrill's policy involves. So the burning of the property of those who are suspected of supporting the Chinese forces, the seizing of their food, the seizing of their property and the killing of them and their families. So it's a policy of terror and assault. And there are large numbers of people who die, large numbers of people who lose their property.


What they faced was what all armies face when having to control a population which is largely agricultural in a modern developed society. You control the cities, you control everything. But in China, 95 percent of the people live on the land. So how do you control the people? Well, actually, the Japanese did more or less what the British did in Malaya after the Second World War. What the Americans did in Vietnam, which is they said, well, let's gather the peasants of the farmers together in protected hamlets where we can control them and they can't be attacked by the enemy.


And that's more or less what the Japanese army did. The big difference was they did it with a brutality, which is on a completely different Kontum to anything that the British did or the Americans did. And in so doing, they effectively cause death of many millions of people. The three of US policy supposedly killed up to three million people. But if you look at the total number of deaths in all factors caused by Japan, in China, in the Second World War, the figure could easily be between 20 and 30 million.


Already has no exact way of no. For Tojo, China is just the beginning. He's promised Japan a mighty empire and he means to deliver. Japan is a country where it's relatively difficult to grow crops. Two thirds of the country are covered by forest and only 20 percent of the land is suitable for cultivation. Tojo argues that Japan's lack of natural resources, its inability to expand agricultural production is a crisis waiting to happen. Military victories alone are not enough if they're not careful.


The country's economy will soon come to a grinding halt. In the West, we often overlook this Japanese thought they were becoming overpopulated, they wouldn't have to feed themselves within a generation and that their oil and rubber supplies in particular were so vital and they couldn't provide them unless they took them from areas in Asia if they weren't provided willingly by the local population, they have to be taken. Toto identifies the European colonial holdings in Southeast Asia as the best suppliers of oil and rubber.


British, India, French, Indo-China, Malaya, the Philippines, the Dutch, East Indies, New Guinea, these territories on Tojo's radar. Once again, the general has Hitler to thank. The German Führer has helped weaken these allied outposts by sapping their military resources. Thanks to Nazi subversion, the foreign jewels of the allied powers are now extremely vulnerable.


They're now in a situation where France has been defeated. The British look as if they're going to be defeated, and the Dutch are also on the way out from reliance on the British. Those are the countries that control Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia contains all the raw materials that are needed to make the Japanese empire autarchic. So in essence, all they need to do is to reach out their hand and grab it. But it's easier said than done. There's one gigantic obstacle left in Tojo's way, the United States of America.


America will never accept a Japanese empire that would mean the US relinquishing control over the Pacific. Tojo and his advisers know this. But he set a course and he won't deviate. If war with America is on the cards, so be it. In war lies, honor and glory. America and Japan, these two great powers are all set to duke it out. The world waits with bated breath to see who will come out on top. From the early 30s, arguably, Japan expects to have to go to war with the United States, Tojo.


Now the challenge is that it's a view from the Hawks. We know this from some of his writings. He did believe that at some point they would have to be a settlement with the United States over oil supplies. Many in the political system argue that the sooner the war comes, the better, because the longer we wait, the more America will be ready. We had to be prepared to go to war. That is pressed to the 30s. And by 1939, Tojo is convinced that war is unavoidable.


So he's moved from what might say a moderate position in the early 30s. He now accepts the inevitability. Not everyone in Japan agrees. Opposing the war is the civilian prime minister for mineral, Carnoy. He wants more diplomacy. But Carnoy is fighting a losing battle. Emperor Hirohito used to have a reputation as something of a pacifist, slowly but surely, he's been won over to the virtues of conflict. Looking back, the obvious question is the one that Carnoy himself asks, what is Japan thinking, gearing up for war with America?


Surely it's suicide. First thing I like to say about this is that we look back on this period and we think, how on earth could Japan consider going to war with an economy so much bigger, more powerful? Wasn't this surely suicidal? But I don't think this is clear as such. We have to remember that what Japan could see was an America that since the First World War had turned its back on the world, had become an isolationist country, which simply wanted no part of any international entanglement in these Erde.


But America had let its armed forces fade into nothing. In 1939, it was said that America was not even prepared to be prepared to fight a war. If I was at the time in 1939, Germany had one hundred and sixty divisions in the field. America would probably not have been able to put one division in the field. America had an army the same size as Belgium or Holland. It didn't have enough bullets for three days. Fighting its entire infrastructure of munitions manufacture had completely collapsed.


Because we have this historic imagination, because of our knowledge of post-war history, that America is this great military superpower. But in 1939, it was a pygmy. And so for the Japanese, they thought, well, is America really going to cross 6000 miles across the Pacific to actually come and Congress and beat us up? They didn't think in those terms. Japan thought, well, look, if we can win a single major knock out victory, basically the Americans are going to give up.


And the idea that if you touch an American in 1938, 1939, in five years time, you, America, are going to have a knave with 22 fleet carriers, that you're going to send one and a half million soldiers to Asia 6000 miles away to conquer another country. I think most Americans would have said you're out of your mind. And that is the extraordinary thing, is what America did.


It showed a willingness to fight, which I think was beyond the comprehension, only the Japanese, but also the Americans, because you just have to realize how entrenched in the 1930s was the idea that America should not involve itself in foreign entanglements, that it should stay completely out of it, and that it should not reward merchants of death who become famous in the First World War.


So I think the Japanese are sort of realistic in the sense. Not only that, Japan's push towards war with America is being driven by the most self-confident proponents. Hideki Tojo is so popular in cabinet and by now so close to the emperor that his position becomes untenable, he resigns. Conway's departure does nothing to delay war. If anything, it speeds up the process because now there's a vacancy for prime minister of Japan. On October the 18th, 1941, the inevitable happens.


Hideki Tojo takes Conaway's place as premier. Many who might once have been skeptical about Tojo have been turned over to his way of doing things. I think they all felt well, at least Tojo seems to be the spokesman for the army. And if you can't keep under control, then nobody can. So they may not have liked Tojo, but he was the figure seemingly who control the army. And he was also absolutely loyal to the idea of the emperor.


So they thought, well, he's going to respect the emperor. He won't be a threat to the throne and he'll keep the army under control. So I think that in the end, why he comes to the fore, as always, it's the right man at the right time. Tojo is now not just the emperor's favorite minister, nor merely the most powerful soldier in the country. He's the most senior politician in the land. At last, he has the broad sweep of powers he needs to make his vision a reality.


Throughout 1941, Prime Minister Tojo makes a great show of seeking a peaceful solution with the US. But it's all a facade, secretly in meticulous detail, his generals are rehearsing a sneak attack that he believes will cripple the U.S. in the Pacific. Toto is desperate for anything that will give Japan the edge in the coming war. To this end, he starts investigating ways of killing people more efficiently. His secret police, the Kempeitai, set up a research lab that will go down in history as responsible for some of the most depraved experiments ever witnessed.


The project is called Unit three one. Mark Felt and explains Unit 731 begins in the mid 1930s in Manchuria. It's a Japanese chemical or biological weapons institution. It moves around several times, but in its final form, this is vast, several square mile facility in China. Its primary goal is human experimentation. So it uses a lot of Chinese people, some allied prisoners of war later on and Russians as well. The idea is to develop really unpleasant chemical and biological warfare agents that can be used very effectively against the Chinese and perhaps later against the Western allies as well.


Unit 731 will directly cause the excruciating deaths of some 12000 innocent people. The scientists carry out experiments of unimaginable cruelty as they systematically investigate the extremes of human suffering. The prime minister is regularly updated and his ministers ensure the unit has a steady supply of live victims, Chinese civilians, Mongul Russian and Korean captives, the elderly, the disabled, or a prime targets for Unit 731. They held on site thousands of people, men, women and children. There were vivisection experiments to discover disease patterns and things like this.


So people were vivisected, alive without anesthetic because the anesthetic would interfere with the final results. Some of the other dreadful experiments, for example, freezing experiments, largely what we know today about frostbite comes from Unit 731 because they're able to experiment on humans. So freezing of limbs in various forms and seeing how frostbite spreads. And you can imagine the appalling suffering of people who experimented on in this manner. There are many parallels to what the Germans are doing in Auschwitz and Dachau and places like this, these very similar kind of human experiments, jet aircraft, experiments, pressure, what the human body can stand.


Basically, anything you can think of, they tried. They're taking men, women and children, tying them to posts outside ranges, which they then bombing with aircraft or they're testing flame throwers on human beings and things like this. Nobody's ever made a film about it. It would be the worst horror film you could ever imagine, seriously, beyond comprehension. And even today, there are things emerging that we didn't know about this place. They really plumb the absolute depths of human cruelty in the name of science outside of the lab and the prisons in the Chinese towns and villages, equally horrendous scenes are playing out.


Unit 731 starts breeding fleas purposely infected with plague, smallpox or cholera. These vermin are then sprayed out of low flying aircraft cruising above Chinese cities.


They always have this dreadful biological weapons capability, bubonic plague, airborne plagues dropped from planes and things like this. So there's always the fear that these weapons might be used against the Western allies at some point. And indeed, there are plans later in the war to indeed drop them on the United States over the coming years. Unit 731 will have carte blanche to experiment as they see fit right up to nineteen forty five. Disturbingly, after the war, some of their scientific finds will find their way to the West.


The officer in charge was well known to Tojo. General Shiraishi and Ishi unfortunately got off scot free at the end of World War Two. He was given immunity from prosecution by the Americans in return for turning over all of this valuable human experimentation data to the United States for use in the Cold War. So that's a really appalling end to a very disturbing chapter in human history. By the end of 1941, the Second World War is well underway on the western front and in the east, General Tojo's preparations for war with the USA are all but complete.


The coming conflict will be fought largely at sea, Japan's navy has been vastly built up, multiple air and land units have been placed under naval command. Tojo's plan is to launch a swift series of devastating attacks. This will allow Japan to establish a wide perimeter of influence around the Pacific, which can then be bolstered with reinforcements and defend it from counterattacks. At that point, the Americans will surely realize that the empire of Japan isn't going anywhere. By December, preparations are finished.


The time has come to end the pretense of negotiations. It's time for a day that will forever live in infamy. Next time, when real dictators Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, kicking off the war in the Pacific. President Franklin D. Roosevelt responds by expanding America's armed forces at an unprecedented rate. Already, Prime Minister Hideki Tojo moves to take every significant government post for himself. The Japanese sweep through Southeast Asia, ransacking an allied hospital in Singapore. And thousands of allied troops are interned in prisoner of war camps where they suffer conditions horrendous beyond belief.


That's next time real dictators. Real dictators, as presented by me, Paul McGann. The show was created by Pascal Hughes, produced by Joel Daddle, edited by Katrina Hughes. The music was composed and assembled by Oliver Baines from Flight Brigade. The strings were recorded by Dorie McCallie. The sound mixer is Tom Pink. Real Dictators is a noisy and world media writes co-production. If you haven't already, we'd love you to follow us wherever you listen to your favorite shows or check us out.


But real dictators. Com. My name is John Cuban, I'm the host of a new podcast series called Real Narcos. It follows the stories of the world's most dangerous drug lords and the American special agents who hunted them down.


When you work undercover, you have to play the role because you stand to lose more than just an Oscar.


We didn't have sophisticated software that didn't exist. The software was a pen and paper. You are a doorway away from the most wanted man in the world. You're not expecting him to go down without a fight.


Follow real narcos wherever you listen to podcast.