Japan's Long Term Plans for World Domination

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Thai_exile, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. There was an interesting and excellent documantary (albeit French) on the History Channel last night about the Japanese "General Ishiwara - The Man Who Started the Second World War".

    From Wikipedia: "Kanji Ishiwara was appointed to the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff in 1935 as Chief of Operations, which gave him primary responsibility for articulating his vision for Japan's future. He was a strong proponent of pan-Asianism and the hokushinron ("strike north") philosophy, as opposed to the nanshin-ron ("strike south") philosophy espoused by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). The strike north view held that Japan should join with Manchukuo (the Japanese puppet state created out of occupied Manchuria in 1932) and China to form an “East Asian League”, which would then prepare for and fight a war with the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union was defeated, Japan could move to the south to free Southeast Asia from European colonial rule. Following this victory, Japan would then be ready to tackle the United States.

    The timescale he was working on was war with the US by 1970 and victory by 1990. It all depended on the premise that all Asian peoples, particularly China, would rally round and support the Japanese as the leader of the Asiatic Peoples. Didn't quite work out!

    Well worth watching if you get the chance.
  2. There was a small problem with their "hearts and minds" campaign in Manchuria and China. The hearts and minds drill: running around screaming banzai and beheading people, didn't work as well as it might!
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  3. Amazing that a country as small as Japan could seriously imagine Dominating The Pacific Rim like that.
    Must have taken tiny Britain as an example of what a small country can do.

    No disrespect, I watch a lot of the Yank TV that we get here in the Land of Smiles and Yank TV is designed for an uneducated 24/7 audience. Big on Style short on substance (Fact or inconvenient truth).
  4. Dunno. The premise is "join" with China (1932) rather than rape Nanking (1937). The timescale seems good (softly, softly, catchee monkey), conquering the US after a 20 year war with the manufacturing assistance and manpower of the South East Asia Alliance. Bear in mind that the US may not have developed the atomic bomb or developed jet aircraft but Japan may have through links with Nazi Germany (having overcome Russia).

    A lot of development results from warfare and the US was neutral until declared war upon by Japan and Germany.

    It's a lot of "what ifs" but it's possible that by 1970, the US may have been good at producing unseaworthy ships very quickly but unable to counter atomic bomb-laden jet bombers. If Britain had folded, a possibility if Germany wasn't considering fighting a second front, they may not even have had radar. Then again, if that had happened, the US wouldn't be producing unseaworthy ships very quickly.

    Too many variables. Britain, Poland, Germany, France and Spain may even have sided with the Russians to push the Japanese back. Or they may have been soundly trounced.
  5. Theres no real comparison with Britain, though. Britain acquired most its Empire almost by accident, under-developed territories being sucked in by Britain's booming maritime trade and enormous technological lead.

    Despite the long anti-colonial rhetoric of the Left and nationalists, Britain's Empire grew and existed mostly peacefully because of the mutual benefits of trade, wealth creation, nation-building and membership of a military and economic club.

    Japan sought expansion in the traditional manner of empires - by conquest. "Modern" Japan itself was simply a slavish copy of British, European and US civil, military and economic advancements, so it had little or nothing to offer prospective possessions over their existing colonial rulers.
  6. Got to admit, though, they did quite well. Three aircraft carriers in November 1941 and things could have been quite different. But that's the southern route. Had they tried the northern route, the threat of force could have been just as effective as trade - or even the threat of disrupting trade as opposed to force... Like Britain, a maritime nation.
  7. I agree with your comments on the general standard of TV programmes here, but there are one or two gems that emerge now and then and this was one of them. As I said, it was a French production and very well discussed and put together. (Incidentally, there was recently a very good series on the French secret service with interviews with senior officials covering the end of WW2 through to the present day. Excellent stuff.)

    PimH, above, makes the very good point that there are now seen to be too many variables. This is correctin the context of what we can see nowadays, but Ishiwara's strategy was exactly what he says, i.e. softly softly etc and Japan would be the leaders of the East Asians, so it wouldn't be a small country against the US but, as we see today, a bloody big one! All the other players, including Britain, France and Germany, would gradually be vanquished by the Russians, with their colonies in the East taken out by the Japanese, and then they would take out the Russians, before confronting the US.

    Ishiwara wanted to "go North" as opposed to the the Imperial Navy's prefernce to take on the colonials immediately by "going South". If this had happened, the US with its strong neutralistic tendancies prevalent at the time may not have been so keen to get involved as Japan would be taking on the hated Bolshies and sorting them out. After all, it took a direct attack to jolt them out of their neutrality. If China had not resisted and turned towards communism, but formed an alliance with Japan, then the odds are that the US would not have got involved but been happy to let them get on with it.

    What I found interesting about this was how long before the official western start of WW2 this was. In fact, the programme was sub-titled "The man who started WW2". To Ishiwara, WW2 started with the invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and a bit early for his liking. It was his timescale which included no war with America until 1970 with vistory by 1990 that intrigued me. Pearl Harbour in his view was at least 25 years too early. Another example of how the Japanese deal in long term strategies - a trait you can see to this day with the large Japanese companies and their 25 year development plans as opposed the West's year-by-year or, in the case of most US corporations, quarter-on-quarter.

    Anyway, a great programme with plenty of "what ifs" for discussion!

  8. There is an interesting economic argument that neither WW2 German or Japanese aspirations for Empire by conquest were sustainable beyond the first couple of years - i.e. the military cost could not be met by the assumed loot/proceeds from occupied territories. Germany and Japan went to war on the back of unsubstantiated bond arrangements with their own manufacturers. By contrast, mature empires such as the British Empire were stable economies with fully funded military resources.
  9. ...and privateers.