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Old 05-24-2016, 01:34 PM
 
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This is one theory I learned from certain academia in present day China.


Japan's fatal mistake after its economic rise in the late 19th century was not engaging the war against its Asian neighbours, or that it bombed Pearl Harbour, or that it made too many enemies at the same.


Japan's mistake was it wanted to expand land territory in continental Asia at all. The day it invaded Manchuria and kept it to its own, it was doomed, because from that day one, it lost its advantage of being a pure sea power.


As an island country, Japan should really learn from the UK - the two countries share striking similarities in being big islands on both sides of the Eurasia continent - in balancing powers on the continent and seeking the dominate in ocean and exert its influence though trade. Nobody can really conquer Japan due to its unique geographical location, but the price is that it should never seek to be a continental power. It should instead be the United Kingdom of Asia. After the 100 year war, did the UK ever seek to expand territory in Europe? No. It learned its lesson and always worked with the second or third power against the number one. Japan should do the same.


In 1895, Japan obliterated China's naval force and basically dethroned China as the dominant power in Asia - that was quite some history and should be enough. However, this was when Japan lost itself and quickly expanded to Manchuria and the rest of China and Asia, which put itself into a rather awkward position. Owning Taiwan should be sufficient. The reality is even without involvement of the US during WWII, Japan's Asia strategy was doomed to fail from the beginning. It is not about its inability to conquer East Asia, but rather, the cost is too high to warrant such an ambition and there are far smarter ways to be powerful and obtain resources without incurring such costs. The united kingdom knew from the beginning what its advantage is, unfortunately Japan completely lost it.


Now Japan is a strange country, completely under the mercy of the US and largely hated by many of its neighbours (except Taiwan). It is wealthy but so what. It could enjoy the power and prestige the UK has now but it was not smart enough to make the right decision due to blind optimism and nationalism. And there is no way back because nobody in Asia truly trusts Japan.

In the 21 century, rapidly rising China seems to be learning the lesson. It's seeking more power in the sea - therefore all the conflicts in the SCS, yet its relationship with its neighbours are much improved, because it realizes that getting a bit more land is meaningless.
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Old 05-24-2016, 02:50 PM
 
4,695 posts, read 3,619,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
This is one theory I learned from certain academia in present day China.


Japan's fatal mistake after its economic rise in the late 19th century was not engaging the war against its Asian neighbours, or that it bombed Pearl Harbour, or that it made too many enemies at the same.


Japan's mistake was it wanted to expand land territory in continental Asia at all. The day it invaded Manchuria and kept it to its own, it was doomed, because from that day one, it lost its advantage of being a pure sea power.


As an island country, Japan should really learn from the UK - the two countries share striking similarities in being big islands on both sides of the Eurasia continent - in balancing powers on the continent and seeking the dominate in ocean and exert its influence though trade. Nobody can really conquer Japan due to its unique geographical location, but the price is that it should never seek to be a continental power. It should instead be the United Kingdom of Asia. After the 100 year war, did the UK ever seek to expand territory in Europe? No. It learned its lesson and always worked with the second or third power against the number one. Japan should do the same.


In 1895, Japan obliterated China's naval force and basically dethroned China as the dominant power in Asia - that was quite some history and should be enough. However, this was when Japan lost itself and quickly expanded to Manchuria and the rest of China and Asia, which put itself into a rather awkward position. Owning Taiwan should be sufficient. The reality is even without involvement of the US during WWII, Japan's Asia strategy was doomed to fail from the beginning. It is not about its inability to conquer East Asia, but rather, the cost is too high to warrant such an ambition and there are far smarter ways to be powerful and obtain resources without incurring such costs. The united kingdom knew from the beginning what its advantage is, unfortunately Japan completely lost it.


Now Japan is a strange country, completely under the mercy of the US and largely hated by many of its neighbours (except Taiwan). It is wealthy but so what. It could enjoy the power and prestige the UK has now but it was not smart enough to make the right decision due to blind optimism and nationalism. And there is no way back because nobody in Asia truly trusts Japan.

In the 21 century, rapidly rising China seems to be learning the lesson. It's seeking more power in the sea - therefore all the conflicts in the SCS, yet its relationship with its neighbours are much improved, because it realizes that getting a bit more land is meaningless.

You watched that episode with that chubby guy who talked about everything. I saw it too. He has some valid points. Japan made a lot of stupid mistakes, just like China did during the same period. I liked his episode on Germany too.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:27 PM
 
277 posts, read 205,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
This is one theory I learned from certain academia in present day China.


Japan's fatal mistake after its economic rise in the late 19th century was not engaging the war against its Asian neighbours, or that it bombed Pearl Harbour, or that it made too many enemies at the same.


Japan's mistake was it wanted to expand land territory in continental Asia at all. The day it invaded Manchuria and kept it to its own, it was doomed, because from that day one, it lost its advantage of being a pure sea power.


As an island country, Japan should really learn from the UK - the two countries share striking similarities in being big islands on both sides of the Eurasia continent - in balancing powers on the continent and seeking the dominate in ocean and exert its influence though trade. Nobody can really conquer Japan due to its unique geographical location, but the price is that it should never seek to be a continental power. It should instead be the United Kingdom of Asia. After the 100 year war, did the UK ever seek to expand territory in Europe? No. It learned its lesson and always worked with the second or third power against the number one. Japan should do the same.


In 1895, Japan obliterated China's naval force and basically dethroned China as the dominant power in Asia - that was quite some history and should be enough. However, this was when Japan lost itself and quickly expanded to Manchuria and the rest of China and Asia, which put itself into a rather awkward position. Owning Taiwan should be sufficient. The reality is even without involvement of the US during WWII, Japan's Asia strategy was doomed to fail from the beginning. It is not about its inability to conquer East Asia, but rather, the cost is too high to warrant such an ambition and there are far smarter ways to be powerful and obtain resources without incurring such costs. The united kingdom knew from the beginning what its advantage is, unfortunately Japan completely lost it.


Now Japan is a strange country, completely under the mercy of the US and largely hated by many of its neighbours (except Taiwan). It is wealthy but so what. It could enjoy the power and prestige the UK has now but it was not smart enough to make the right decision due to blind optimism and nationalism. And there is no way back because nobody in Asia truly trusts Japan.

In the 21 century, rapidly rising China seems to be learning the lesson. It's seeking more power in the sea - therefore all the conflicts in the SCS, yet its relationship with its neighbours are much improved, because it realizes that getting a bit more land is meaningless.

The English/UK expanded on new vast lands and sought to build an empire in those lands with a indigenous race who was less developed than them. The US/Australia/NZ/Canada are basically the new tentacles of the UK itself. Make no mistake, the UK were into conquering lands too just better ones with less competition!


I agree though that conquering Manchuria was a mistake as by then it was already populated by the Han Chinese, had it been during the 1700s then it was a different story. I'd always though a union between Manchuria (with Outer Manchuria), Korea, Japan (with Sakhalin) would have made sense, at least during the 1700s with somewhat shared common roots. I would have thought the most logical expansion Japan would have made that made any material difference was owning Sakhalin, the whole island which probably could have been achieved if they didn't dump resources into expanding elsewhere.


Sahkalin makes sense because it was sparsely populated, has a lot of natural resources and gives them another 100,000km2 in area of so and close to the main island Honshu itself - much easier to govern than even say Taiwan. Owning Taiwan long term would have been troublesome given how close it is to Mainland China and a population full of Han Chinese - you'll get a few groups wanting to revolt against you.


Does any country truly trust another, except for say the UK based countries trusting one another?


Present day China probably learnt the lessons of colonialism through their own experience - major issues in Xinjiang, Tibet and the very rare occasion in Inner Mongolia. China has a lot of land, albeit most of it being useless.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Is OP claiming if Japan never invaded China they would be a superpower today owning all islands in the Eastern half of Asia?
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
Is OP claiming if Japan never invaded China they would be a superpower today owning all islands in the Eastern half of Asia?
No, the theory is Japan shouldn't aspire to be a land power by conquering its neighbours in Asia, but rather should learn from what the UK always does. It has UK's advantage but didn't utilize it. Rather it wanted to conquer the entire Asia and ended up being a loser and suffers till today.


I think he has a valid point. It was impossible for Japan to conquer China, not even half of it, so its whole war plan was a mistake from the beginning. If it were smarter, it didn't need to antagonize all its neighbours, didn't have to become enemy of UK and the US, and still would be able to expand its influence significantly. The cost of conquering China is simply too high to be worth it, just like after WWII Britain willingly gave up India, because the cost of keeping it become increasingly high.


Another unexpected consequence is that the War made China stronger than ever. Before the Japanese invasion, China was actually never under the threat of being completely conquered - those western powers only wanted some regional economic interest and none of them wanted to take China to itself, so the nationwide invasion actually gave rise to strong Chinese nationalism, or probably for the first time in a long time, the sense of belonging to a "country" called "China" and the need to unify and . Prior to the 1930s, China was a chaotic mess during the 1910s and 1920s with small regional military power all around the country - which means a rather weak China. It serves Japan's interest better than trying to devour it, because once the ambition is clear, it is not just a war between China and Japan any more. More forces would definitely come into play.


In today's world, what's point of owning more land? The UK is a perfect example of this. Even resources aren't as important as they appear (sometimes harmful).
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pennyone View Post
You watched that episode with that chubby guy who talked about everything. I saw it too. He has some valid points. Japan made a lot of stupid mistakes, just like China did during the same period. I liked his episode on Germany too.
Yes, I find a lot of his points fascinating, although I don't agree with all.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:28 AM
 
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The British Empire was one of the largest in world history. If Japan was trying to emulate the UK, then its invasion of Manchuria was similar to UK's colonization of India. After UK lost Calais, it still had numerous colonies: India, Malaysia/Singapore, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. Having India and Canada, it can be argued that the UK was not purely a "sea power" only. With Gibraltar, it can be argued that the UK did not exactly lost all interest in having territories in continental Europe.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
The British Empire was one of the largest in world history. If Japan was trying to emulate the UK, then its invasion of Manchuria was similar to UK's colonization of India. After UK lost Calais, it still had numerous colonies: India, Malaysia/Singapore, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. Having India and Canada, it can be argued that the UK was not purely a "sea power" only. With Gibraltar, it can be argued that the UK did not exactly lost all interest in having territories in continental Europe.
true, but conquering overseas colonies is different from conquering a continental country next door, because you are challenging the existing geopolitics and disturb the balance of power in trying to be "the only boss". And practically speaking, China was much larger than India in 1930s while Japan was way smaller than the UK.


Owning Canada doesn't make UK an land power. Canada is an sea country from the very beginning too, not a land based one like Germany or China. Canada was established based on trade, not on farming, and that's the difference.
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
And practically speaking, China was much larger than India in 1930s while Japan was way smaller than the UK.
Japan had 15-18 million more people than the UK in 1930.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:52 PM
 
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The book that got me interested in geo-politics was The Coming War With Japan by George Friedman. The author listed geo-political goals that the Japanese must achieve. Domination of the seas in east Asian waters. There is also one continental country that Japan must seek to dominate-Korea.
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