U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-16-2013, 11:53 PM
 
31,371 posts, read 33,730,916 times
Reputation: 14928

Advertisements

One of the little discussed issues about WWII was Japan's concept of Pan-Asianism as one rationale for Japan's expansionist policies that led up to WWII. Here in the U.S. we give greater emphasis to Japan's desire to control the natural resources of east Asia, but there was also a racial component appears to have driven Japan, the belief that Japan's racial superiority should drive out European colonial power to be replaced by an Asian power, i.e., Japan. Yet, Japan's treatment of other Asian people makes the concept of Asia for Asians more than a little perverse.

The floor is open.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-17-2013, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
13,131 posts, read 8,126,853 times
Reputation: 7904
I think as early as the early 20th century, there was a theme of true pan-Asianism thought in Japan to resist European hegemony, as you've mentioned. But over time, the idealism of pan-Asianism was co-opted or folded into Japanese rationales to expand into Asia, under Japanese supremacy, which lead to the Japanese invasion of China and its clash with the colonial powers in Asia.

This manifested itself into Japanese propaganda towards other Asian peoples, the idea of the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, which first attracted other Asian countries who chafted under colonial administration, but got very disillusioned when they found Japanese rule no better, and often worse.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2013, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,861,887 times
Reputation: 32438
I agree with both Ovcatto and Silverkris. The extreme contrast between Japanese rhetoric and the reality of Japanese colonial rule is hard to exaggerate. The Burmese, who disliked being under British rule, welcomed the Japanese as liberators but quickly learned the folly of that attitude. About a million people starved to death in French Indochina as a consequence of Japan feeding its own armies as well as the homeland with rice from there. And it is hard to exaggerate the vile and brutal nature of the Japanese occupation of the portions of China which were occupied.

The Japanese were eager to have Asians throw off the colonial rule of the European powers and directly worked toward that goal by conquering and occupying large parts of Asia. Well, they were quite successful, especially in the long run, in throwing off the European yoke, but the ultimate outcome was quite different than what the Japanese had in mind.

Especially in China and Korea, anti-Japanese sentiment remains strong to this day, and for damn good reason.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2013, 06:32 AM
 
4,128 posts, read 4,057,662 times
Reputation: 5301
Just a thought but if it was phrased in the form of a Japanese 'Monroe Doctrine' would it have been any more acceptable?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2013, 08:04 AM
 
11,004 posts, read 10,601,480 times
Reputation: 35311
Perhaps, the "high point" of Japan's efforts to win over Asian peoples by claiming to be liberating Asia from European colonialists was the Greater East Asian Conference of 1943. Japan gathered a group of "Asian leaders" together in Tokyo in late 1943 for a conference. In reality, all Japan was trying to do was elicit some support for its already declining Empire. By the time the conference took place, Japan was less than two years away from surrendering.

Leaders attended the conference from the Philippines, Burma, Malaya, and "Manchuko" which was a fictional state created out of the Chinese province of Manchuria. Also, in attendance were men who claimed to represent India (under British occupation and colonial rule) and China. Not in attendance were any representatives of the Dutch East Indies (or modern day Indonesia), nor Korea. The Japanese viewed these territories as simply property they had "annexed" to the Japanese Empire. Nor, were any representatives of French Indochina invited to the conference either.

Japan's occupation of the former colonies was brutal and relentless. For example, its estimated that twenty million Chinese died during their occupation of the country. American historians talk about the number of soldiers killed during the Bataan Death March and subsequently in POW camps. What we forget is that the Japanese slaughtered Filipinos by the thousands. If their soldiers felt some prohibition against a total massacre of all Europeans, they didn't feel that way about Filipinos. Things were even worse in the French colony of Indochina, where the Japanese simply viewed the country as a "rice bowl" for feeding Japan. Its estimated over a 1 million Vietnamese starved during World War II because the Japanese simply stole the rice they depended on for their diet.

Perhaps, there were actually some "enlightened leaders" in Japan who believed in Pan Asianism and liberating Asian people from colonial powers. Whatever the case, these leaders were overwhelmed and silenced by a military that saw these places in Asia as simply a place to seize the raw materials and labor necessary to fight the war with America. The Greater East Asian Conference was nothing, but rhetoric.

Last edited by markg91359; 12-17-2013 at 09:16 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,861,887 times
Reputation: 32438
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidValleyDad View Post
Just a thought but if it was phrased in the form of a Japanese 'Monroe Doctrine' would it have been any more acceptable?
No. It doesn't matter how it's phrased or what one calls it. Only the reality behind the words matters, and enough serious historians have documented that reality for us to be able to condemn it utterly.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2013, 10:38 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,461,538 times
Reputation: 14496
Others have hit the nail on the head several times. Pan-Asianism originally started as a concept popular among liberal Japanese intellectuals. It was then co-opted as the "cover story" for Japanese imperial aggression. The concept went from being, "Asia united against Western colonialism for the benefit of all Asians" to "Asia united against Western colonialism under the enlightened, imperial rule of Japan primarily for the benefit of Japan." All of it stems from the concept of Sangoku which is a modern era Japanese conceit that saw India, China and Japan as the three great civilizations of Asia.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-17-2013, 01:59 PM
 
31,371 posts, read 33,730,916 times
Reputation: 14928
Very good contributions all around.

I find it interesting that the Japanese perception of racial superiority as at least, if not more nefarious than the Nazis but for reasons perhaps related to post war geo politics, the absence of organized genocide, to say nothing of a developed media campaign to highlight Japanese atrocities, seem to have been given a by.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2013, 01:45 AM
 
1,392 posts, read 1,926,333 times
Reputation: 982
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Very good contributions all around.

I find it interesting that the Japanese perception of racial superiority as at least, if not more nefarious than the Nazis but for reasons perhaps related to post war geo politics, the absence of organized genocide, to say nothing of a developed media campaign to highlight Japanese atrocities, seem to have been given a by.
The rise of China is also certainly a factor in this. Ironically enough, China may eventually accomplish Japan's goal of expelling the US from the Western Pacific, which means the last vestige of Western influence will finally be gone from the Western Pacific, of course it will probably be bloodless and mostly due to domestic factors in America that lead to this and not due to overt Chinese aggression or war.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,522 posts, read 10,801,796 times
Reputation: 7154
Default The Reality of Japanese Pan-Asianism And WWII

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
One of the little discussed issues about WWII was Japan's concept of Pan-Asianism as one rationale for Japan's expansionist policies that led up to WWII. Here in the U.S. we give greater emphasis to Japan's desire to control the natural resources of east Asia, but there was also a racial component appears to have driven Japan, the belief that Japan's racial superiority should drive out European colonial power to be replaced by an Asian power, i.e., Japan. Yet, Japan's treatment of other Asian people makes the concept of Asia for Asians more than a little perverse.

The floor is open.
I have tended to see the "Pan Asianism" of Japan as more of an excuse for expanding the Japanese Empire with colonies and satellite-buffer states. After all, before the war Japan hardly showed any friendly "Pan Asianism" toward Korea or Taiwan. And they certainly did not show any toward China who they attacked at least 3 times (that I know of) in less then fifty years.

Having said that, I am sure there were individual Japanese who may have really believed in the policy of Pan Asianism. But for the Japanese government and military - NO. It was just an excuse.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:33 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top