Desperate War of Japan in the Pacific
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It is incredible why Japan began the Pacific War in December 1941 against the United States now. The Japanese GNP was Spanish one nowdays compared with the US in those days. The ratio was 1/20. How did Japanese leaders plan to challage giant US? In fact, IJA did not study war against the US at all before the Pacific War though US Marines had studied amphibious operation in the Pacific for a long time. Desperate sentiment flew in Japanese mind. Government educated Minatogawa Spirit. Mikado ordered Kusunoki Masashige desperate operation in 1336. Masashige opposed the operation at first, however he agreed with Mikado and fought to death at the battle of Minatogawa for Mikado. Mito Han began to respect Mikado than Shogun in Edo era. Samurais of Choshu and Satsuma and nationalistic rich farmers among Japan won at the civil war in the End of Edo era.

Japanese commanders never surrendered in the Pacific War. many Japanese soldiers had to be starved to death without permission of commander's order of surrender because all the nations' armies do not allow to surrender among soldiers in the world. Why did Japanese military commanders get worse in the Pacific War? While old IJA soldiers became POWs at Japanese-Russo War and Government treated POWs under international law in WWI.

We live in a global village of internet now. I am a Japanese and speak Japanese only. How did Japan determine desperate war with China and the US at the same time? I want to think and talk about desperate war of Japan in the Pacific for mutual understanding across the Pacific with my additional view. An American schloar advocated collision of civilization. I suppose that Japanese leaders did not understand the US in 1930s better than Meiji era. Every nation has her own culture. Japanese media often shows the US news now, but do Japanese commons understand American mind well? Why did the US insist on 'principle' and 'fair'? Otherwise Japan does not have concept of principle, does she?

Comparing with the difference of weapon and spirit including Japanese thought and culture, I tell a war history of Japan in English. For example, our fathers walked and fought wearing a kind of thongs in the battle field. We call it jikatabi. Takahashi Sanbou and his accompanied soldier of 1st Divison got two pairs of jikatabi and two kanmenpou. They walked to war front in Leyte.[2] The illustration of IJA soldier shows it. Our ancestors fought wearing Ashinaka to intercept Korean and Chinese army on coast in 14th century. The Pacific Ocean meant peaceful. Japanese commons love baseball game. Some professional baseball clubs established a new league and name the Pacific League in 1950. I have a concern that Japanese media have too much interest in China as before the Pacific War.

Background
UK had built the comunication line, Calcutta (1690) - Penan (1786) - Singapore (1824) - HongKong (1842). US advanced to Hawaii, Guam and Phillipines in the Pacific in 1898 instead of Spain. And US connected the Atlantic and the Pacific via Panama in 1903. When Japan challanged Russia under international law in 1904, UK and US bought Japan's bond that Japan could pay money to buy expensive warships from UK and France etc. As a result of the Japanese-Russo war, Japan could tie equal treaties among powers at last longing for a long time since black ships (USS warships) came in the end of Edo era.

Russian decline in China and Japanese economic denpendence on the US
UK declined the power of her money and the US was the only nation to invest dollars freely in Asia after WWI. Japan was one of 5 powers. Japan would like to build a state in Manchuria like India of UK. Actually UK could not control India well in the 20th century. Russia retreated Manchuria because of domestic policy. Japan did not understand that other powers changed the rule, international law. Major newspapers of Japan did not understand Chinese hearts and fueled wars. Without US aid, Army leaders thought China would not continue the war. But US invested China as well as Japan in 1930s. In fact Japan had rooms to boot domestic demands of telephone, electric appliance and automobile like China now. However, Japan challanged US to have control of market in the north of China and resources of the south east Asia (US, UK, France, Netherlands) in the Pacific War. Though US could grow without Japan, Japan could grow and innovate with money and technology of US at moderate speed. I do not think Japan grew with resources of the East Asia only. A lot of nations innovated industries and the industries grew wealth like Japan, Korea and China. They depended on US market. US did not allow Japan to control Shanghai market. Therefore US did not buy Japan's bond this time and did not sell oil Japan. Japan had exported silk to US and imported cotton, oil and machinery from US. US invented nylon for silk and could product synthetic rubber. Plants of rubber material was grown in Malaya. Japan also depended on resources of the British Empire. And worse the transportaion was dependent on allied nations merchant ships.

Military bureaucrats wanted more budget and wanted to govern people than war itself
Human damage of Japan[1] KIA including illness and starvation
Military personnelsKIA1,858,811
Crippled94,515
Civil or
Official personnels
KIA658,595
CrippledUnknown
Total2,611,921
We can hardly imagine why Japan broke the Pacific War now. And 46 naitions declared war on Japan. Our nationalism happened to work well against old China and Russia. We did not look into ourselves and did not think that rule of power politics changed after WWI. Our leaders and newspapers missed the global change since 1930s. While military bureaucrats always seeked their rights or budgets, and had no mentality to serve Japanese people. They never agreed with withdraw of their troops in China in spite of no hope with her colonization. Chinese people did not trust Japanese money much.

Click the list in more detail
Japan had governed 1400 islands in the Pacific since Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Were the islands useful for Japan to defend against the US? The left listshows episodes interested to me in the category of armament, efficiency and thinking. I edit my concernig incidents in a time-line list since 1800. The right table shows how many people Japan lost or were crippled at the Greater East Asia War.

[1] Maesaka, p23-24
[2] Ouoka, p388-289, vol9

I came not to send peace, but a sword. -Matthew 10:34- Put up your sword. All who take the sword die by the sword. -Matthew 26:53-


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