Because Japan could not successfully fight a long war, planners assumed it would be short—in accordance with the decisive battle doctrine. The conventional view, going back to the initial press coverage in 1945, was that the use of atomic weapons was justified as it ended a long and very costly war. However, they did not think through what a longer war would take to win. The remaining 200 or so divisions and division equivalents could claim only unsatisfactory to non-existent training. For over 2 centuries Japan had been an isolationist country, the only contact with the Western world being through the Dutch enclave in Nagasaki. To understand what has to be done to prevent another Pearl Harbor we need to know something of the motives which led the Japanese to stake everything on this greatest gamble in their history. The Japanese had not adequately studied the American or British armies and therefore could not fathom their latent aviation airfield engineering capabilities. Historians agree Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 for two main reasons: ideology and natural resources. Why study history? In order to execute this ideology and grow its military, Japan needed more natural resources to increase its industrial productivity and strength. Can Japan Pay Damages? On that basis, they started a war they could not fail to lose, and the same process delayed them finally grasping that they had lost. Nonetheless, in the fall of 1941 Japan was at the peak of its military and naval strength. Wilson rejected Japan's claim to German concessions in Shantung, home of Confucius, which Japan had captured at a price in blood. The so-called “liberals” of Japan who came to the fore after 1920 were not liberal in our sense of the word. From 1937 to 1941 the Chinese war had cost Japan many billions of dollars and at least a million casualties. Before the rise of modem Japan, the nobles and their fighting men (samurai) formed the ruling class. There is a cabinet, headed by the prime minister, and a parliament consisting of the House of Peers and the House of Representatives, the latter elected by the people. They do not protest against military actions or interfere with those who choose to serve in the armed forces. However, the Soviets launched their victorious campaign 600 kilometers from the nearest major supply base. The government of Japan during the ten years before Pearl Harbor has been aptly described as “government by assassination.”. He is worshiped, but he does not originate either policy or action. The Japanese assumed away their enemy’s capabilities and underestimated their enemy’s quality, quantity, bravery, and strategic grasp, partly and no doubt subconsciously because Japan realized it could not defeat strong enemies. It had allies in this fight--most importantly Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By the end of World War Two, Japan had endured 14 years of war, and lay in ruins - with over three million dead. Universal schooling and cheap printing made the task easier, as did also the docility of the people and their ingrained respect for authority. The working classes had a low standard of living, and big business demanded more raw materials and more markets which could be exploited without meeting European and American competition. From EM 15: What Shall Be Done about Japan after Victory? The majority of them are poor, proud of their service, and fanatically devoted to the emperor. According to historian Rana Mitter, historians in China are unhappy with the blanket revision, and (despite sustained tensions) the Republic of China did not consider itself to be continuously at war with Japan over these six years. The Japanese were dissatisfied with their economic condition. Shall We Destroy Japanese Trade and Industry? In February 1933, Japan quit the League of Nations, burning its most important bridge with the outside world. The state, which had always exercised strong controls over industry, trade, education, religion, and the press, tightened its grip. The successful war with China in 1894–95 added Formosa and the nearby Pescadores islands to the Japanese Empire. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the port of Weihaiwei, the Qing government sued for peace in February 1895. The fascist-minded young officers were not in rebellion against their military superiors, but against the government. Concurrently, the Japanese woefully underestimated the length of time it would take the Allies to launch counteroffensives. The Boshin War (戊辰 戦争, Boshin Sensō, lit. Another two or three officers addressed air intelligence. Why Did Japan Choose War? Although the collection of intelligence was good, its dissemination to tactical elements was poor. The keynote of the Japanese character is loyalty rather than freedom and individuality. Along with … By 1930 there was serious discontent in the armed forces. The truth of the matter seems to be that the government did not create a new faith or loyalty. Its officers regard themselves as heirs of the old samurai. Could the United States Have Avoided a Showdown? This could have been written yesterday. In recent years Japanese education and propaganda have featured a phrase supposed to have been used by the first emperor—eight corners of the world under one roof. There is nothing to be gained by reproaching ourselves for not having read the future correctly. But we must never forget that all Japanese children are instructed in these beliefs from the cradle and that many of the strongest of Japanese emotions are centered in them. Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)--Japan launched an all-out invasion of China after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident on July 7, 1937. A valuable ally during World War I, the European powers and the U.S. recognized Japan as a colonial power after the war. We know that the Japanese will be defeated. The Japanese knew what they did not know. During the 1940s, Sundays still held religious significance for many. What Sort of Government for Postwar Japan? Why did the war in Japan cost so … Because attrition would rule, U.S. planners assumed that a decisive battle, if one occurred, would be the outcome of years of attrition and would result in a U.S. victory. 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This challenging opportunity, the equal of which might not occur again in centuries, was the final temptation which led Japan’s war lords to make their fatal choice. Three hundred and fifty years ago their combination Julius Caesar and Napoleon, Hideyoshi, wrote: “All military leaders who shall render successful vanguard service in the coming campaign in China will be liberally rewarded with grants of extensive states near India, with the privilege of conquering India and extending their domains in that vast empire.”. Of course, textbooks in Japan leave it out. This has been interpreted to mean, in plain English, that Japan must dominate about a billion people in Asia and the Pacific area, and eventually rule the world. There were, in 1937, a total of 10 fairly well-trained Chinese divisions. By 1894 it was strong enough to challenge the weak and aging Chinese Empire. In February 1936, after two years of deceptive quiet, the army volcano erupted again, this time in a mutiny almost within the shadow of the imperial palace. Key point: Tokyo's warplanners mistakenly thought that Washington would demoralized and sue for peace. For the next fifty years Japan’s conquest and absorption of Asia and the Pacific islands has continued, step by step, with time out to consolidate the gains and gather strength for the next move. In 1910, Korea was annexed by the Empire of Japan after years of war, intimidation and political machinations; the country would be considered a part of Japan until 1945. Japan After World War I . Why Japan chose a Sunday of all days actually coincides with why many businesses were closed on the seventh day of the week. What Should We Do When Japan Has Been Defeated? The events which led to Japanese entry in WWII happened before the start of the 20th century. 9 years ago. Anonymous. Their own rather vague political philosophy was not unlike Hitler’s National Socialism. But that was not the starting point of Japanese aggression. Japan started in business as a land-grabbing power in a small way. The United States objected to the Second Sino-Japanese War and the occupation of part of China by Japanese troops. One big naval battle with the U.S. Pacific Fleet, early in the war, and Japan would emerge victorious. Britain and Russia faced victorious Axis armies in Europe and Africa, and the British navy was fighting the Battle of the Atlantic. By the beginning of 1941, for all practical purposes the army and the state were one. Like the Nazis, the Japanese military fascists claimed to be friends of the common man. Accordingly, it is not possible for [us] to look at things objectively.”. Great Britain, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary all ruled empires. The mingling of emperor worship with the glorification of war, plus continued victories over half a century, have given the army and navy a popular prestige that will be hard to destroy. France and Holland were in no position to come to the rescue of their Eastern possessions. This was done without the consent of the cabinet then in office, which resigned as a result. Dangerously ignorant of the world outside Japan, they dislike foreigners and regard prosperous Japanese businessmen and politicians who have absorbed Western culture with a mixture of envy and suspicion. The Army ignored its own counter-intelligence practices, from its peacetime organization through training and into combat. Their estimates of U.S. naval air strength in 1941 and increases into July 1942 were excellent. But the big landowners and industrialists were not prepared to accept changes which threatened their interests. Planning a war requires assumptions. Repeated Underestimating of the Enemy’s Strength, Faulty estimates of enemy strength originated during fighting in China. Could the United States Have Avoided a Showdown? They estimated British forces in Singapore at 30,000 when there were 85,000. During the Second World War, the United States, Britain, Germany and the U.S.S.R. were all engaged in scientific research to develop the atomic bomb. In addition to trained manpower and modern weapons, Japan had in the mandated islands a string of naval and air bases ideally located for an advance to the south. The army’s consolidation of the home front proceeded during the years 1937–41. Jesus commanded his disciples to “love one another.” (John 13:34, 35) They would thus form an international brotherhood in which no one would ever wage war against his brother or sister.—1 John 3:10-12. However, there should be as few assumptions as possible, otherwise one can assume away all one’s problems. EM 15: What Shall Be Done about Japan after Victory? There seemed no need for an elaborate operational intelligence system because the Japanese easily obtained intelligence from the Chinese themselves. The all too human desire to possess their neighbors’ property was thus elevated to a patriotic and religious duty. The speeches and writings of Japanese statesmen and superpatriots in modern times reveal dozens of similar warnings of their intentions. In Japan, this led to the rise of ultra-right wing and nationalist leaders, such as Fumimaro Konoe and Sadao Araki, who advocated uniting Asia under the rule of the emperor. Doing nothing is a viable strategic option, and oftentimes a good one. 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The Japanese learned their warrior trade and exercised their logistics by fighting the Chinese, an army described by an American as a “… medieval mob.”. Underestimating the enemy continued in the Philippines where Japanese army officers estimated the strength of General Douglas MacArthur’s 1942 Bataan army at 25,000 men when there were actually 80,000 on the peninsula. Japan Before World War I: Until the late 1860s, the Japanese were a backward and isolated country, and as they watched China fall to outside forces, several in Japan began to fear a similar fate. Who were the men behind this drive? The Japanese were having great difficulties themselves in supplying their own forces at 220 kilometers from a major base. The Japanese estimated that there were two or three infantry companies at Milne Bay on New Guinea, so they landed 1,500 men against 9,458 Australians and Americans. Settled by migrants from the Asian mainland back in the mists of prehistory, Japan has seen the rise and fall of emperors, rule by samurai warriors, isolation from the outside world, expansion over most of Asia, defeat, and rebirth.One of the most war-like of nations in the early 20th century, Japan today often serves as a voice of pacifism and restraint on the international stage. A movement was on foot, however, which in the end swept away the weak machinery of representative government and launched Japan on its biggest gamble for empire. Japan to this day mostly denies their war crimes. Japan was less rich in resources than the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR. Japan used this battle as an excuse to invade China, beginning a war which would kill millions, draw in the United States, Great Britain and other nations, and end with the defeat of Japan in 1945. A strategic operation such as the early 1942 invasion of Burma, with an objective of cutting the Burma-to-China line of communications, failed to achieve its purpose when the West opened an airlift over the Himalayas. Japan Counted Planes and Ships Correctly, but Overlooked the Intangibles. They did stumble badly on merchant tonnage, estimating U.S. construction capacity in 1943 at five million tons versus the actual 19.2 million tons. They underestimated the effectiveness of the U.S. Navy itself. Commanders of troops guarding the South Manchurian Railway faked a piece of railway sabotage as an excuse to occupy the chief Manchurian cities. What Should We Do When Japan Has Been Defeated? Japan - Japan - History: It is not known when humans first settled on the Japanese archipelago. No Other Choice: Why Truman Dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan "Truman and his advisers made the only decision they could have made; indeed, considered in the context of World War II, it … Japanese estimates of U.S. warship production through December 1945 were close enough for any staff to plan a war. Why did Japan invade Asia ? This category has the following 6 subcategories, out of 6 total. By the end of its occupation of Korea, Japan had even waged war on people’s family names. Should we trace it back to the 1940s when President Harry Truman authorized U.S. financial support of the French war in Indochina? As an example, they did not understand the breadth of the U.S. educational infrastructure and did not believe that the U.S. could train the officers, noncommissioned officers, and specialists needed to take back Japan’s conquests. These fantastic ideas are based on what they call “history,” in reality a patchwork of fact, legend, and wishful thinking. As a result, they underestimated its considerable impact, both on field forces and on logistics. It merely made use of beliefs that the Japanese have held in a rather passive way for centuries. Because Japan did not understand war, they could not accurately predict the ability of the U.S. to mobilize its resources. But there is good reason to suspect that some of the highest ranking generals were in sympathy with the mutineers. The modern Japanese army admired and imitated the German. By a combination of bluff and bloodshed Japan’s warlords, in less than half a century, had increased their holdings from 147,669 square miles to more than 1,000,000. How Can We Keep the Japanese from Future Aggression? Japanese logisticians had assumed that the Soviets could not launch a major offensive any farther than 200-250 kilometers from a major supply base. In fact, as War Minister Hajime Sugiyama had assured the Emperor in 1937, Japan could crush China in a month. They missed the timing and underestimated the strength of the August 1945 Soviet invasion of Manchuria. The Japanese, however, blinkered their approach to war with a plethora of unknown unknowns. In Japan the armed forces have won almost complete control of the government and the nation. The victims were leading statesmen, bankers, industrialists, and even generals and admirals who advocated a moderate policy. The declaration passed with just one dissenting vote. A known known was the extent America’s 1941 aviation strength. They had prepared a long death list of prominent men whose principles and actions they disapproved. They underestimated the deadly effect terrain and weather would have on their own soldiers. The Japanese armed forces enjoy a special position that gives them practical control of the government. The most serious short-term strategic failure in estimating the enemy concerned the Allies’ ability to recuperate after the first Japanese blows. 7 Answers. The “New Order in Greater East Asia,” to include not only China but the rich territories in southern Asiatic waters, became the official foreign policy. Their period of influence reached its high point with the signing of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. The USSR did essentially zilch in the war against Japan, and could not have been expected to have much time to do much once the US started its atomic annihilation. The Japanese completely missed the timing of the Guadalcanal landing. On December 8, President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war against Japan. The army had another sort of program in mind—expansion by force in China to overcome Japan’s dependence on foreign trade, plus a military dictatorship with the emperor as figurehead, and a wartime “controlled economy” on the home front. Americans have never before gone to war with a nation about which they knew so little. Relevance. It looks like Tokyo ignored its own many military and strategic short comings. By mid-1945, however, only the United States had succeeded, and it used two atomic weapons on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring a rapid and conclusive end to the war with Japan. To us the very ideas are absurd. This is a question historians continue to debate. The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894 – 17 April 1895) was a conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea. If Japan is ever to have democracy in the future there must be fundamental reforms in the system by which the country is governed. Could the United States Have Avoided a Showdown? However, Japan did make a financial contribution of $10 billion and sent military hardware. In 1941, a known unknown for the Japanese was certainly a realistic estimate of America’s projected aircraft production for 1942. To understand why Japan lashed out, we must go back to World War I. Japan had been our ally. Most of the killers were given light sentences when brought to trial and were regarded as heroes by millions of Japanese because of the “purity” and “sincerity” of their motives.
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