Discuss the Motivations, Successes & Failures of Imperial Japan During the Second World War
The Japanese army governed Manchuria indirectly through the "puppet" state of Manchukuo and developed heavy industry there under its favorite agencies, disliking and distrusting the zaibatsu (large Japanese corporations). But the Soviet army's resistance to Japanese attacks was sufficient to discourage northern expansion.
However, China was incapable to fight against the invasion due to national political and economic conflict, the allied countries were also practically helpless. Historian Robert Thompson states that America was not prepared to offer military backing to intervene, it however issued ‘The Stimson Doctrine’ which reinforced the allied interest in China. Thompson states that “by asserting the right to guarantee China’s survival in the face of Japanese aggression, America acknowledged itself as a major player in the East Asian power game”. It is obvious that many foundations were in place for the Second World War almost decade before the conflict had begun.
On the one hand, the Japanese argued that their expansion into other parts of Asia was for the greater good of their “Asian brothers” and justified their actions by distancing themselves from Europeans. At the same time, the Japanese invoked ideas of racial and cultural superiority that had justified Western imperialism in Asia in a previous era.
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Blakeslee, George H. “THE JAPANESE MONROE DOCTRINE.” Foreign Affairs 11, no. 4 (July 1933): 671-681.
Chang, Iris. The Rape Of Nanking. New York: BasicBooks, 1997
Crozier, Andrew J. The Causes Of The Second World War. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997
Laurie Barber and Ken Henshall, The Last War of Empires: Japan and the Pacific War, Auckland: David Batement Ltd, 1999