Japanese perspective

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by VBF-13, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    This might be rather interesting, if not, somewhat challenging. We’re accustomed to conceiving of the start of the Pacific War as the Japanese aggression in the Pacific, most notoriously, on December 7, 1941. What was the U.S. doing at that time to the Japanese to precipitate that aggression? Let me try and direct the replies, somewhat. Natural resources and the U.S. embargoes were at the heart, at least, per my historical accounts. Maybe we can go into those more specifically. Maybe there are other precipitating causes, as well, we can identify and go over.

    In short, let’s hear it from the Japanese perspective. Again, per my understanding, the Japanese were being crowded out. This was their neck of the woods. Just look at who was there trying to control everything from the oil, rubber, lumber, ore, to the spices. Economically, Japan buckled under, their political autonomy was the next to go. That entire group of islands could have easily been starved out. This much, I think, I can say. I’d have been a little pissed off, too.

    So, without further adieu; let’s get at it.
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    "The World and Japan" Database Project
    Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
    Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo

    [Title] Imperial Rescript, December 8, 1941
    [Place]
    [Date] December 8, 1941
    [Source] Japan Times Advertiser, December 8, 1941, p. 1., Released by the Board of Information, December 8, 1941
    [Notes]
    [Full text]

    We, by grace of heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the Throne of a line unbroken for ages eternal, enjoin upon ye, Our loyal and brave subjects:

    We hereby declare war on the United States of America and the British Empire. The men and officers of Our army and navy shall do their utmost in prosecuting the war, Our public servants of various departments shall perform faithfully and diligently their appointed tasks, and all other subjects of Ours shall pursue their respective duties; the entire nation with a united will shall mobilize their total strength so that nothing will miscarry in the attainment of our war aims.

    To insure the stability of East Asia and to contribute to world peace is the far-sighted policy which was formulated by our Great illustrious Imperial Grandsire and Our Great Imperial sire succeeding Him, and which We lay constantly to heart. To cultivate friendship among nations and to enjoy prosperity in common with all nations has always been the guiding principle of Our Empire's foreign policy. It has been truly unavoidable and far from Our wishes that Our Empire has now been brought to cross swords with America and Britain. More than four years have passed since China, failing to comprehend the true intentions of Our Empire, and recklessly courting trouble, disturbed the peace of East Asia and compelled Our Empire to take up arms. Although there has been re-established the National Government of China, with which Japan has effected neighborly intercourse and cooperation, the regime which has survived at Chungking, relying upon American and British protection, still continues its fratricidal opposition. Eager for the realization of their inordinate ambition to dominate the Orient, both America and Britain, giving support to the Chungking regime, have aggravated the disturbances in East Asia. Moreover, these two Powers, inducing other countries to follow suit, increased military preparations on all sides of Our Empire to challenge us. They have obstructed by every means our peaceful commerce, and finally resorted to a direct severance of economic relations, menacing gravely the existence of Our Empire. Patiently have We waited and long have We endured, in the hope that Our Government might retrieve the situation in peace. But our adversaries, showing not the least spirit of conciliation, have unduly delayed a settlement; and in the meantime, they have intensified the economic and political pressure to compel thereby Our Empire to submission. This trend of affairs would, if left unchecked, not only nullify Our Empire's efforts of many years for the sake of the stabilization of East Asia, but also endanger the very existence of Our nation. The situation being such as it is, Our Empire for its existence and self-defense has no other recourse but to appeal to arms and to crush every obstacle in its path.

    The hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors guarding Us from above, We rely upon the loyalty and courage of Our subjects in Our confident expectation that the task bequeathed by Our forefathers will be carried forward, and that the sources of evil will be speedily eradicated and an enduring peace immutably established in East Asia, preserving thereby the glory of Our Empire.

    Data source
     
  3. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what youre after.
    But the Invasion of Manchuria was 1931.
    Its an Americanism to think war started 7 December 1941.
     
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  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    United States Army Forces in the Far East - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    We formed USAFFE for the purpose of threatening Japan with military force. 29 modern long range submarines were based on Luzon. Four heavy bomber groups were enroute to the Philippines. Plus some additional military units and a massive amount of equipment to upgrade the American controlled Philippine Army. 1941 Japan appreciated the military threat about as much as 1962 USA appreciated Soviet nuclear armed missiles in Cuba.

    Diplomatic brinksmanship is a danger game. During 1962 diplomats barely managed to avert an American military attack on Cuba to remove the Soviet missiles. During 1941 the diplomats failed.
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm going to read this with interest, but I'm staying out of it for now because I'll just piss some people off.
     
  6. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I didn't even think of the parallels. This is the kind of thing I was trying to get out, the heat the Japanese were feeling, and the sources thereof. This shouldn't be controversial. Khrushchev was looking down the nuclear barrel in Turkey, and that's just a fact.

    Let's hear more on this. If you got it, go for it.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think At Dawn We Slept did a pretty good job of showing both sides of the conflict though I am always interested in learning more from the Japanese perspective.
     
  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    LIFE dated May 9, 1938
    "Horrors beyond human imagination took place in Nanking between Dec. 10 and 18, 1937. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, despite expert advices, had left some of his best troops to make a last stand inside the city. When the walls were breached, Chinese soldiers stripped to their underclothes and ran around looking for civilian clothes to disguise themselves. Japanese shot down everyone seen running or caught in a dark alley. Soldiers and civilians were tied in groups of 50 and executed in cold blood!"

    Data source

    LIFE_May9_1938.JPG
     
  9. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    How could stationing B-17s in the Philippines threaten Japan ? Even the later B-29 couldn't fly from any of the Philippines islands, to Japan and back.

    B-17s in the Philippines could however be a threat to Japan's ambitions to take the Dutch East Indies, and take over the oilfields.

    The build up wasn't a threat to Japan, it was a threat to their ambitions.
     
  10. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    That would pin the aggression on that deep-seated, almost irreconcilable conflict, which would basically mean there was no turning the aggression back. Is that the way you're seeing it?
     
  11. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    #11 buffnut453, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
    Agree with you Tyrodtom. The concept of the invincible bomber ("the bomber will always get through") had not been entirely vanquished by this stage of the war. The USAAF saw the B-17 as a strategic deterrent - the big stick that would help cow Japan into acceding to America's demands. In reality, the actual destructive potential of strategic bombing was much less than had been anticpated during the 1930s.

    Regarding the threat of the Philippines to Japan, you need only look at a map - it wasn't the threat to the Japanese homeland, it was the threat to Japanese aspirations. In order to get oil from the Dutch East Indies, you have to sail pretty close to the Philippines. As an island nation, Japan depended heavily on maritime transport for supplies and trade. The American presence in the Philippines was also a direct threat to Japanese forces in Formosa and on the Chinese mainland.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #12 vikingBerserker, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
    I believe Formosa and parts of occupied China were within range of the B-17s as an attack was launched on Formosa but later recalled early on. You are also forgetting that the Japanese might not have been aware the B-17's loaded with bombs could not reach Japan
     
  13. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    I'm seeing that, Buff. We had to get to Okinawa for anything serious off the land to the Japanese homeland. The Philippines held a different strategic threat to Japan than that.
     
  14. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The Pacific Fleet was based at San Diego. The basing at Pearl was deliberately provocative and a direct warning to Tokyo.
    And that angered the Japanese lots.
    But be clear on one point. Japan chose war. They wanted it.
    They wanted imperial expansion and this meant they would eventually come into conflict with European powers and USA and the USSR.
    They had a choice. Go hard or go home.
    They must have had an inflated sense of invinciblity if attacking US makes perfect sense.
    And such hubris is never a good thing.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Then the Japanese intelligence must have been terribly behind the times...

    Pearl Harbor has been a strategic U.S. Naval base since 1899
     
  16. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, VBF-13, if I may have put you in any anger or annoyance.

    I am not necessarily standing on the Japanese nationalists' side and the Chinese communists' side either but their arguments are not only in parallel but harsher day by day. This is my anxiety. Books, evidences, testimonies and opinions about the issue made public in the both sides after the war ended are much different with exaggeration with political intention and emotion like the John Rabe for example but I thought fresh reports introduced soon after the incident happened in Dec 1937 could be telling us "What actually happened" very closely to the fact.

    I know LIFE reporters were clearly standing on the Chinese side but see the article I have introduced in above. Doesn't it look quite fair for both sides? I have posted wishing such a 'fact' as this to be a common perspective among Japan, China and the old Allies.
     
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  17. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Wrong. San Diego was the home port. It moved to Pearl May 1940 as a forward position.

    Against the wishes of the Navy.
     
  18. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That does not change the fact it was a strategic port.
     
  19. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Threat = Capability + Intent.

    Having a strategic port at Pearl Harbor provided the capability but forward-deploying the Fleet to Pearl Harbor demonstrated the intent.
     
  20. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #20 Shinpachi, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
    Those B-17 and B-24 were a flying fortress which Japanese fighters did not know how to attack.
    Even after captured some B-17s in the Philippines and Indonesia, Japanese experts were unable to understand its design conception soon well, especially the Norden bomb sight and the turbo charger.

    Army fighter pilots anyway studied tactics flying together with them and taught the navy Zero pilots how to make effective Approaching Attack.

    A book says like above :)
     
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