Discussion:
A Quora - What did Japan think would happen after attacking Pearl Harbor?
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a425couple
2020-10-29 15:28:47 UTC
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(not perfect, but fairly good!)

EDM II·
October 17
What did Japan think would happen after attacking Pearl Harbor?
It boiled down to what two men thought. Not the civilian government
leaders, not Yamamoto and the Navy, and not the general population.

In the 1920’s a Japanese Army officer took a 1 week train ride across
the United States. What he saw during that train ride convinced him that
the average US citizen did NOT want to fight a war. They were only
interested in a life of luxury. If hit hard, the US would fold up and
give the Japanese what they wanted.

That officer’s nickname in the Imperial Army was “The Razor.”

Hideki Tojo.

First of all understand, the Imperial Army was in charge in 1940–45 time
frame. The Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and Foreign Minister had
no control over the military. Both the Imperial Army and Navy appointed
their own ministers who reported to the Emperor for direction.

What the population and civilian ministers believed was NOT relevant. In
all of Japan, outside of the Army, only Hirohito’s personal orders
carried any weight. So if Hirohito decided NOT to say something things
were assumed to be approved by him.

The decision to invade China wasn’t a decision made by the Emperor, the
Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Navy Minister or the Army
Minister. It was a decision made by Senior officers in Manchuria.

The invasion of China put Japan on a collision course with the USA.

When Tojo finally came to power as the Prime Minister he eventually took
over the civilian police, and the Kenpeitai military and secret police.

The Senior leadership of the Navy were very reluctant to go to war with
the US. The senior leadership were sent to the USA to study the nation.
The naval leadership understood Japan wasn’t in the same industrial
league as the US.

The Navy, it turns out, basically followed the Army’s lead. As the
author of Japanese Destroyer Commander Tameichi Hara said. “The Army led
and the Navy followed.”

Once the war started Tojo was confident of final victory. His confidence
remained after the Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal battles. When
Tarawa finally fell he announced in triumph that the heavy losses the US
sustained were going to bring Japan victory.

Then Saipan, Tinian and Guam fell. Tojo remained confident. Then one
morning he phoned the Imperial Palace requesting a meeting with the
Emperor. The response was the Emperor was not interested in talking to Tojo.

Tojo’s government then fell. His job as Prime Minister was taken by a
civilian. But nothing really changed. The Army and Navy did as they
pleased, sometimes in direct opposition to each other. The Army and Navy
quarreled, and neither service was willing to risk accepting the demand
for complete surrender.

That stalemate in the Japanese government held. Past the fall of the
Philippines, past Iwo Jima, and past the fall of Okinawa. All the while
the Army and some of the Navy insisted that Japan only agree to an
armistice IF-

The Home Islands NOT be occupied.
Japan to try its own war criminals.
Japan to disarm its own armed forces.
It held during the US Submarine blockade of Japan, which almost cut
Japan off from it supplies overseas.

That held past March 9–10th 1945, and the firebombing of Tokyo. That was
the single biggest killer of human beings ever in a bombing raid.

That held while Curtiss LeMay began Operation Starvation. He dropped
naval mines in the Japanese ports virtually stopping inter island shipping.

It also held August 6, 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on
Hiroshima.

It also held past the second Atomic Bomb dropped on August 9, 1945, and
the invasion of Manchuria by USSR troops, the same day.

The position held until the very moment Hirohito ordered the Ministers
to accept the Potsdam declaration.

77.5K viewsView UpvotersView Sharers · Answer requested by Bryan Jones
Jim Wilkins
2020-10-29 16:53:14 UTC
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"a425couple" wrote in message news:***@news3.newsguy.com...

(not perfect, but fairly good!)

EDM II·
October 17
What did Japan think would happen after attacking Pearl Harbor?
It boiled down to what two men thought. Not the civilian government
leaders, not Yamamoto and the Navy, and not the general population.

In the 1920’s a Japanese Army officer took a 1 week train ride across
the United States. What he saw during that train ride convinced him that
the average US citizen did NOT want to fight a war. They were only
interested in a life of luxury. If hit hard, the US would fold up and
give the Japanese what they wanted.

That officer’s nickname in the Imperial Army was “The Razor.”

Hideki Tojo.

First of all understand, the Imperial Army was in charge in 1940–45 time
frame. The Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and Foreign Minister had
no control over the military. Both the Imperial Army and Navy appointed
their own ministers who reported to the Emperor for direction.

What the population and civilian ministers believed was NOT relevant. In
all of Japan, outside of the Army, only Hirohito’s personal orders
carried any weight. So if Hirohito decided NOT to say something things
were assumed to be approved by him. .....

=========================

On both sides the war factions prevailed over the peace factions.
https://adst.org/2013/11/the-failed-attempts-to-avert-war-with-japan-1941/

FDR was away in Newfoundland conferring with Churchill when his underlings
took a harder stance than he had intended on Japanese oil purchases. On his
return he decided not to unilaterally back down.
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-10-30 07:09:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Wilkins
On both sides the war factions prevailed over the peace factions.
Except the US did not have a war faction, rather a stop Japan one.
Post by Jim Wilkins
https://adst.org/2013/11/the-failed-attempts-to-avert-war-with-japan-1941/
So a diplomat is on record as saying more diplomacy was needed.

Assistance to China, or at least arms sales was being done by the US and
others before the Panay bombing.

The Konoye-Roosevelt meeting, what exactly does "on the verge" mean,
given it is a value judgement?
Post by Jim Wilkins
FDR was away in Newfoundland conferring with Churchill when his underlings
took a harder stance than he had intended on Japanese oil purchases. On
his return he decided not to unilaterally back down.
Where is this shown?

On 9 April the US received a plan from private individuals for the
negotiations including an FDR Konoye conference. On 17 April
Nomura sent a copy of the plan to Tokyo.

On 22 June 1941 Germany invaded the USSR, giving no warning
to Japan.

Admiral Layton's book, And I Was There, p.118
"On 2 July 1941 the Japanese finally made up their
minds. An imperial conference that Friday took the
momentous decision for a policy of southward
expansion "no matter what obstacle may be
encountered." Konoye's prepared statement of the
cabinet position had rejected Matsuoka's advocacy
of an immediate attack on Russia in favor of advancing
"southward in order to firmly establish a basis for her
self-existence and self-protection."

On 23 July the occupation of Southern French Indo China began
and a few days later Japanese assets were frozen. Up until this
point the negotiations between the US and Japan were classified
as informal in diplomatic speak. No acceptable agreement
was even close. Given the effects of the embargo and the threat
of the new Japanese bases to the European colonies in South East
Asia negotiations became more formal.

Japan moved into South Indo China on 23 July 1941.
The US and UK froze Japanese assets on 25 July 1941.
The Japanese froze American assets on 26 July 1941.

On 7 August came the offer of a Konoye FDR summit, based
on that earlier proposal for a direct conference, text from the
message

"We are firm in our conviction that the only means by which the situation
can be relieved is to have responsible persons representing each country
gather together and hold direct conferences. They shall lay their cards on
the table, express their true feelings, and attempt to determine a way out
of the present situation.

2. In the first proposal made by the United States mention was made of just
such a step. If, therefore, the United States is still agreeable to this
plan, Prime Minister Konoye himself will be willing to meet and converse in
a friendly manner with President Roosevelt."

"The subjects which will be discussed, undoubtedly will depend greatly on
the time it is held. In general, however, the discussion will be conducted
along the lines of the negotiations which were being conducted in an attempt
to bring about better relations between Japan and the United States. In view
of the fact that both the Prime Minister and the President have many uses
for their time, arrangements should be made so that the discussions between
them will last no longer than a few days. With a view to practicalness it is
our hope that the delegations representing Japan and the United States will
consist of the minimum number of persons."

So someone has to put together the background so agreement
can be reached in a few days and in such a way that it will stick.

The meeting at Argentia was August 9 – 12, 1941

"No. 44

FROM: Washington August 18, 1941
TO: Tokyo # 709.

(Part 4 of 5)

"If it is difficult for the Japanese Premier to come to either S.F. or
Seattle, how about Juneau?" (I believe he mentioned Sitka which is in
Alaska, too, but I don't clearly recall.)"

Next comes the text of the statement read out at the 3 September meeting,

"No. 114
FROM: Washington September 3, 1941
TO: Tokyo # 777.

(In 5 parts complete) (a)
Oral statement
Strictly confidential

Reference is made to the proposal of the Japanese Government communicated on
August 28, 1941, by the Japanese Ambassador to the President of the United
States that there be held as soon as possible a meeting between the
responsible heads of the government of Japan and of the government of the
United States to discuss important problems between Japan and the United
States covering the entire Pacific area in an endeavor to save the situation
and to the reply of the President of the United States, in which the
President assured the Prime Minister of the readiness of the government of
the United States to move as rapidly as possible toward the consummation of
arrangements for such a meeting and suggested that there be held preliminary
discussions of important questions that would come up for consideration in
the meeting. In further explanation of the views of the government of the
United States in regard to the suggestion under reference observations are
offered, as follows:

Part 2
On April 16, at the outset of the informal and exploratory conversations
which were entered into by the Secretary of State with the Japanese
Ambassador, the Secretary of State referred to four fundamental principles
which this government regards as the foundation upon which all relations
between nations should properly rest. These four fundamental principles are
as follows:
1. Respect for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each and all
nations.
2. Support of the principles of non interference in the internal affairs of
other countries.
3. Support of the principle of equality, including equality of commercial
opportunity.
4. Non disturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status quo
may be altered by peaceful means.
In the subsequent conversations the Secretary of State endeavored to make it
clear that in the opinion of the government of the United States Japan stood
to gain more from adherence to courses in harmony with these principles than
from any other course, as Japan would thus best be assured access to raw
materials and markets which Japan needs and ways would be opened for
mutually beneficial cooperation with the United States and other countries,
and that only upon the basis of these principles could an agreement be
reached which would be effective in establishing stability and peace in the
Pacific area.
The government of the United States notes with satisfaction that in the
statement marked "Strictly Confidential" which was communicated by the
Japanese Ambassador to the President of the United States on August 28 there
were given specific assurances of Japan's peaceful intentions and assurances
that Japan desires and seeks a program for the Pacific area consistent with
the principles to which the government of the United States has long been
committed and which were set forth in detail in the informal conversations
already referred to. The government of the United States understands that
the assurances which the Japanese Government has given in that statement
exclude any policy which would seek political expansions or the acquisition
of economic rights, advantages or preferences by force.

Part 4
The government of the United States is very desirous of collaborating in
efforts to make effective in practice the principles to which the Japanese
Government has made reference. The government of the United States believes
that it is all important that preliminary precautions be taken to insure the
success of any efforts which the government of Japan and of the United
States might make to collaborate toward a peaceful settlement. It will be
recalled that in the course of the conversation to which reference has
already been made, the Secretary of State on June 21, 1941, handed the
Japanese Ambassador a document marked "Oral, Unofficial and without
commitment" which contained a redraft of the Japanese Government's proposal
of May 10, 1941. It will be recalled further that in oral discussion of this
draft it was found that there were certain fundamental questions with
respect to which there were divergences of view between the two governments,
and which remained unreconciled at the time the conversations were
interrupted in July.

Part 5
The government of the United States desires to facilitate progress toward an
inclusive discussion, but believes that a community of view and a clear
agreement upon the points above mentioned are essential to any satisfactory
settlement of Pacific questions. It therefore seeks an indication of the
present attitude of the Japanese government with regard to the fundamental
questions under reference.

It goes without saying that each government in reaching decisions on policy
must take into account the internal situation in its own country and the
attitude of public opinion therein. The government of Japan will surely
recognize that the government of the United States could not enter into any
agreement which would not be in harmony with the principles in which the
American people --in fact all nations that prefer peaceful methods to
methods of force believe.
The government of the United States would be glad to have the reply of the
Japanese government on the matters above set forth.
________________________________________
(a) Part 3 not indicated.
Trans. 9 6 41"

Then comes the Ambassador's report,

"No. 115
FROM: Washington (Nomura) September 3, 1941
TO: Tokyo # 766.

(In 2 parts complete)
Foreign Office Secret. Chief of Office Routing.

I have read with appreciation Your Excellency's message of August 27, which
was delivered to me by Admiral Nomura.
I have noted with satisfaction the sentiments expressed by you in regard to
the solicitude of Japan for the maintenance of the peace of the Pacific and
Japan's desire to improve Japanese-American relations.
I fully share the desire expressed by you in these regards, and wish to
assure you that the government of the United States, recognizing the swiftly
moving character of world events, is prepared to proceed as rapidly as
possible toward the consummation of arrangements for a meeting at which you
and I can exchange views and endeavor to bring about an adjustment in the
relations between our two countries.
In the statement which accompanied your letter to me reference was made to
the principles to which the government of the United States has long been
committed and it was declared that the Japanese Government "considers these
principles and the practical application thereof, in the friendliest manner
possible, are the prime requisites of a true peace and should be applied not
only in the Pacific area but throughout the entire world" and that "such a
program has long been desired and sought by Japan itself".
Part 2
I am very desirous of collaborating with you in efforts to make these
principles effective in practice. Because of my deep interest in this matter
I find it necessary that I constantly observe and take account of
developments both in my own country and in Japan which have a bearing upon
problems of relations between our two countries. At this particular moment I
cannot avoid taking cognizance of indications of the existence in some
quarters in Japan of concepts which, if widely entertained, would seem
capable of raising obstacles to successful collaboration between you and me
along the line which I am sure we both earnestly desire to follow. Under
these circumstances, I feel constrained to suggest, in the belief that you
will share my view, that it would seem highly desirable that we take
precaution, toward ensuring that our proposed meeting shall prove a success,
by endeavoring to enter immediately upon preliminary discussion of the
fundamental and essential questions on which we seek agreement. The
questions which I have in mind for such preliminary discussions involve
practical application of the principles fundamental to achievement and
maintenance of peace which are mentioned with more of specification in the
statement accompanying your letter. I hope that you will look favorably upon
this suggestion.
Trans. 9 8 41"

The phrase the article attributed to Roosevelt was in fact said by the
Ambassador.

So Konoye announces he has the terms that will solve the problem
but he says the Japanese had cracked the US diplomatic codes and
due to the people in the Foreign Office against such a solution the
diplomats on both sides could not see/send them, the first time the US
could see the proposals was at any conference.

I look forward to the idea Hull/FDR put forward that he had the solution
but told the Japanese Ambassador that given the US was cracking the
Japanese codes and the hawks in the state department he could not
reveal them, only hand them personally to the Japanese Prime Minister
who would then have a few days to decide.

Apparently a diplomatic courier was out of the question.

Also apparently no one to this day has ever seen the proposals, think
of all those anti US people around who would love to find them and
use them as proof the US was at fault.

So what happens to the Tripartite pact, if in fact the US ends up
declaring war on Germany for example?

Furthermore around late August there is an IJN destroyer with steam
up ready to do the transport to the conference. Presumably for days,
presumably that is because Konoye plus complete delegation was
within minutes of the dock, packed and ready to go, and could not
wait for the hour or so for steam to be raised. Then comes the problem
of a destroyer making a fast passage to the conference and having the
fuel to return.

A cruiser standing by makes more sense, it would have the sort
of radio systems able to reliably send messages to Japan for a start
and even that needs to be related to how quickly the US side could
travel to the meeting site.

The scrap embargo was put in place in 1940.

So the people at the US Embassy in Tokyo had the plan to avoid war
but were sabotaged in Washington, this conveyed by a rumour the
anti Japanese Far Eastern advisor had done the deed.

Furthermore the embassy was so right in its judgements, it was
others who made the mistakes.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Jim Wilkins
2020-10-30 11:40:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Wilkins
FDR was away in Newfoundland conferring with Churchill when his underlings
took a harder stance than he had intended on Japanese oil purchases. On
his return he decided not to unilaterally back down.
Where is this shown?

-------------------------
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Acheson

"Acheson implemented the Lend-Lease policy that helped re-arm Great Britain
and the American/British/Dutch oil embargo that cut off 95 percent of
Japanese oil supplies and escalated the crisis with Japan in 1941. Roosevelt
froze all Japanese assets merely to disconcert them. He did not intend the
flow of oil to Japan to cease. The president then departed Washington for
Newfoundland to meet with Churchill. While he was gone Acheson used those
frozen assets to deny Japan oil. Upon the president's return, he decided it
would appear weak and appeasing to reverse the de facto oil embargo."
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-10-30 13:32:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by Jim Wilkins
FDR was away in Newfoundland conferring with Churchill when his
underlings took a harder stance than he had intended on Japanese oil
purchases. On his return he decided not to unilaterally back down.
Where is this shown?
-------------------------
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Acheson
"Acheson implemented the Lend-Lease policy that helped re-arm Great
Britain and the American/British/Dutch oil embargo that cut off 95 percent
of Japanese oil supplies and escalated the crisis with Japan in 1941.
Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets merely to disconcert them. He did not
intend the flow of oil to Japan to cease. The president then departed
Washington for Newfoundland to meet with Churchill. While he was gone
Acheson used those frozen assets to deny Japan oil. Upon the president's
return, he decided it would appear weak and appeasing to reverse the de
facto oil embargo."
Actually it is quoted from The 1941 De Facto Embargo on Oil to Japan: A
Bureaucratic Reflex, Irvine H. Anderson, Jr. Pacific Historical Review
Vol. 44, No. 2 (May, 1975),

Right Japan could not buy *anything* in the US as everything was frozen,
from electricity and water for the embassy to oil but FDR did not intend
the flow of oil to cease, just everything else?

Just what things was Japan able to buy in the last week of July 1941
and the first one of August before FDR departed to Argentia? For
the rest of August?

How about FDR imposed a freeze that he could selectively relax when
it was useful but never did?

And again the freeze orders were done by the British and Dutch as well.

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/trachtenberg/cv/chap4.pdf
Page 97 on for the problems with the junior staff did it ideas.

Also the modus vivendi talked about on page 106, handed to the US
on 20 November

"(1) The Governments of Japan and the United States undertake not to
dispatch armed forces into any of the regions, excepting French Indo-China,
in the Southeastern Asia and the Southern Pacific area.
(2) Both Governments shall cooperate with a view to securing the acquisition
in the Netherlands East Indies of those goods and commodities of which the
two countries are in need.
(3) Both Governments mutually undertake to restore commercial relations to
those prevailing prior to the freezing of assets.
The Government of the United States shall supply Japan the required quantity
of oil.
(4) The Government of the United States undertakes not to resort to measures
and actions prejudicial to the endeavours for the restoration of general
peace between Japan and China.
(5) The Japanese Government undertakes to withdraw troops now stationed in
French Indo-China upon either the restoration of peace between Japan and
China or the establishment of an equitable peace in the Pacific area; and it
is prepared to remove the Japanese troops in the southern part of French
Indo-China to the northern part upon the conclusion of the present
agreement."

It seems the writing is all about arranging counter narratives based on
quotes, breaking down the one dimensional stereotypes and essentially
spending a lot of time counter arguing everything, it is a fun hall of
mirrors.

So lots of Japanese leaders, including General Tojo were well aware of
US strength and wanted peace, and Konoye had the answer, write some
proposals he intended to jettison, sign just about whatever the US put in
front of him at a summit, get the Emperor to issue the agreement to Japan
before the ink was dry, as a form of say an Imperial Order, which would
lock in the military officers at the summit and those at home, and that
would
prevent war with the US and Japan would cope, economically and politically.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
George
2020-10-30 19:05:34 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 30 Oct 2020 18:09:54 +1100
"Geoffrey Sinclair" <***@froggy.com.au> wrote:
Thanks for the history.
A lot of people are unaware of what,why, how and when.
Thank you
--
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus
Jim Wilkins
2020-10-30 10:55:13 UTC
Permalink
"Jim Wilkins" wrote in message news:rnes2v$9po$***@dont-email.me...
....
FDR was away in Newfoundland conferring with Churchill when his underlings
took a harder stance than he had intended on Japanese oil purchases. On his
return he decided not to unilaterally back down.
-----
http://www.theamericancause.org/patwhydidjapan.htm

"When France capitulated in June 1940, Japan moved into northern French
Indochina. And though the United States had no interest there, we imposed an
embargo on steel and scrap metal. After Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941,
Japan moved into southern Indochina. FDR ordered all Japanese assets frozen.

But FDR did not want to cut off oil. As he told his Cabinet on July 18, an
embargo meant war, for that would force oil-starved Japan to seize the oil
fields of the Dutch East Indies. But a State Department lawyer named Dean
Acheson drew up the sanctions in such a way as to block any Japanese
purchases of U.S. oil. By the time FDR found out, in September, he could not
back down."
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-10-30 13:32:52 UTC
Permalink
Does Pat Buchanan still stand by his statement,

"Conclusion: the U.S. Army killed ten times as many Germans in
POW camps as we did on battlefields from Normandy to V.E. day"?

How about the claim of Churchill pushing Britain into war with Germany
in 1914 and 1939? But Churchill was the man who disarmed Britain
in the 1920s?

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was applying the principle of
self-determination?

That it was a great blunder by Chamberlain to declare war on Germany in
1939 and as an even greater blunder by Churchill to refuse Hitler's peace
offer of 1940?

Churchill for insisting the British give in to US pressure to end its
alliance
with Japan?

Drop Buchanan, there are better sources.
Post by Jim Wilkins
....
FDR was away in Newfoundland conferring with Churchill when his underlings
took a harder stance than he had intended on Japanese oil purchases. On his
return he decided not to unilaterally back down.
-----
http://www.theamericancause.org/patwhydidjapan.htm
"Wilson rejected Japan's claim to German concessions in Shantung, home
of Confucius, which Japan had captured at a price in blood"

So 733 dead and 1,282 wounded gives land rights, the British presumably
had some as well, with 12 dead and 53 wounded?

So Wilson was obdurate but Japan gained all it asked for but as a
result of Wilson's actions at the peace conference bad things happened?

How about the Chinese initially agreed with Japan keeping the German
Leased Territory in China but in 1919 wanted the lands back, which
happened as part of the nine power treaty but Japan kept economic control.
Post by Jim Wilkins
"When France capitulated in June 1940, Japan moved into northern French
Indochina. And though the United States had no interest there, we imposed
an embargo on steel and scrap metal. After Hitler invaded Russia in June
1941, Japan moved into southern Indochina. FDR ordered all Japanese assets
frozen.
As Hitler moved into parts of Europe the US moved to base units in
Iceland and Greenland, even though the US had no interest there.

I can see it now, Pig Iron FDR, supplied the metal and fuel the Japanese
used to attack the US.
Post by Jim Wilkins
But FDR did not want to cut off oil. As he told his Cabinet on July 18, an
embargo meant war, for that would force oil-starved Japan to seize the oil
fields of the Dutch East Indies.
An embargo of what, just oil? Everything else was not a problem for the
Japanese economy? So they would continue on without the need to
worry too much?

The freeze orders stopped commerce across the board, including the
ability of the embassies and the like to pay their power etc. bills.
Post by Jim Wilkins
But a State Department lawyer named Dean Acheson
Otherwise known as Secretary of State in the Truman administration.
Post by Jim Wilkins
drew up the sanctions in such a way as to block any Japanese purchases of
U.S. oil. By the time FDR found out, in September, he could not back
down."
How nice, now please explain why the Dutch cut off oil exports to Japan
from the then Dutch East Indies in July 1941, a totally futile gesture if
the
US was going to continue to supply oil to the Japanese. Add the British
embargo as well.

So how did people keep from FDR that there were zero shipments of
oil from the US to Japan for 1 to 2 months?

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/trachtenberg/cv/chap4.pdf
Page 97 on for the problems with the junior staff did it ideas.

And once again the non US people are passive, reacting to US power.

See also the other post.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-10-30 07:09:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by a425couple
(not perfect, but fairly good!)
EDM II·
October 17
What did Japan think would happen after attacking Pearl Harbor?
Roughly similar to the previous wars with Russia and China, though
hopefully without the perceived betrayal in the settlement with Russia
and aftermath.
Post by a425couple
It boiled down to what two men thought. Not the civilian government
leaders, not Yamamoto and the Navy, and not the general population.
This is another manifestation of the big man theory, instead of the
convergence of factors.

It was all Napoleon, not the big population surge in France or the
improvements in communications or the artillery break throughs of
Lieutenant General Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval or the
revolutionary spirit and speed of at least the early troops defending
the new republic, or the ossified command structures of opposing
armies, with nobles only officer corps for example.
Post by a425couple
In the 1920’s a Japanese Army officer took a 1 week train ride across the
United States. What he saw during that train ride convinced him that the
average US citizen did NOT want to fight a war. They were only interested
in a life of luxury. If hit hard, the US would fold up and give the
Japanese what they wanted.
Workaholics tend to think of the rest of the population in those terms,
too interested in pleasure instead of work.
Post by a425couple
That officer’s nickname in the Imperial Army was “The Razor.”
Hideki Tojo.
Except he was not alone. Part of the radicalisation was the belief
1 Japanese was worth several others, rather like the European
style armies had shown during the 18th and 19th century. There
were a succession of moves over years by a military leadership
that was sure it deserved to be in power which ended up with Tojo
as Prime Minister.
Post by a425couple
First of all understand, the Imperial Army was in charge in 1940–45 time
frame. The Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and Foreign Minister had no
control over the military. Both the Imperial Army and Navy appointed their
own ministers who reported to the Emperor for direction.
The military had been exercising veto powers off an on well before 1940,
and in fact while the military and civilian people officially looked to the
Emperor the reality is their direction was set within their own circles,
including how to persuade, misinform or ignore the Emperor as needed.
Post by a425couple
What the population and civilian ministers believed was NOT relevant. In
all of Japan, outside of the Army, only Hirohito’s personal orders carried
any weight.
So the plea for peace, the reading of the poem in his name, in 1941
stopped the war plans? His disapproval of the 1937 attack on China
stopped the operation?
Post by a425couple
So if Hirohito decided NOT to say something things were assumed to be
approved by him.
Does this apply to other world leaders, including today? Silence
equals approval? Say the new constitution for Chile? New Zealand
legalising euthanasia but not cannabis? The changes in Indian Kashmir?
Post by a425couple
The decision to invade China wasn’t a decision made by the Emperor, the
Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Navy Minister or the Army
Minister. It was a decision made by Senior officers in Manchuria.
The invasion of China put Japan on a collision course with the USA.
When Tojo finally came to power as the Prime Minister he eventually took
over the civilian police, and the Kenpeitai military and secret police.
Given the Japanese went to major war shortly after Tojo became
Prime Minister this is not surprising, plus Tojo had been head of
the Kempeitai in Manchuria, helping to put down army rebellions
deemed unacceptable.

In IJA terms he was a moderate, willing to alter the system to bring
about the desired outcomes, not destroy/completely replace the
system in a form of revolution.
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The Senior leadership of the Navy were very reluctant to go to war with
the US. The senior leadership were sent to the USA to study the nation.
The naval leadership understood Japan wasn’t in the same industrial league
as the US.
General Yamashita went to Germany in 1940 and came back with
a do not go to war message.

While the Army was the main driver of the expansion into Asia the
Navy had plenty of supporters of the policy in its ranks. People
remember Yamamoto and tend to generalise it, ignoring things like
the "Osumi purge" in 1933 and 1934 and the gradual radicalisation
of the officer corps. Also the expansion had plenty of civilian support
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The Navy, it turns out, basically followed the Army’s lead. As the author
of Japanese Destroyer Commander Tameichi Hara said. “The Army led and the
Navy followed.”
Yes, it was someone else's fault, as seen by a junior officer.
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Once the war started Tojo was confident of final victory. His confidence
remained after the Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal battles. When Tarawa
finally fell he announced in triumph that the heavy losses the US
sustained were going to bring Japan victory.
Then Saipan, Tinian and Guam fell. Tojo remained confident. Then one
morning he phoned the Imperial Palace requesting a meeting with the
Emperor. The response was the Emperor was not interested in talking to Tojo.
Saipan fell on 9 July, the Tojo government fell on 18 July 1944. The US
landings on Guam started on 21 July, Tinian on 24 July.
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Tojo’s government then fell. His job as Prime Minister was taken by a
civilian.
That would be General Kuniyaki Koiso, who agreed to share authority
with Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai.
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But nothing really changed. The Army and Navy did as they pleased,
sometimes in direct opposition to each other. The Army and Navy quarreled,
and neither service was willing to risk accepting the demand for complete
surrender.
No one was, for the same reasons the 1937 and 1941 attacks
went ahead, the radicals and their willingness to force the issue,
meant in the earlier cases a risk of civil war.
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That stalemate in the Japanese government held. Past the fall of the
Philippines, past Iwo Jima, and past the fall of Okinawa. All the while
the Army and some of the Navy insisted that Japan only agree to an
armistice IF-
The Home Islands NOT be occupied.
Japan to try its own war criminals.
Japan to disarm its own armed forces.
So who were the some in the navy given there were some in the
army as well, just a higher percentage in the navy.
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It held during the US Submarine blockade of Japan, which almost cut Japan
off from it supplies overseas.
That held past March 9–10th 1945, and the firebombing of Tokyo. That was
the single biggest killer of human beings ever in a bombing raid.
That held while Curtiss LeMay began Operation Starvation. He dropped naval
mines in the Japanese ports virtually stopping inter island shipping.
Not quite, but it did cut down imports, but they were declining
thanks to the submarine operations, the USN wrecking train ferries
did a lot to inter island cargo movements.
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It also held August 6, 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on
Hiroshima.
It also held past the second Atomic Bomb dropped on August 9, 1945, and
the invasion of Manchuria by USSR troops, the same day.
Yet in 1941, with no proof of just how powerful the US military could be,
industry maybe but not troop quality, the Japanese leadership could be
talked out of going to war in the Pacific, even as they knew the war in
China was a stalemate at best?
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The position held until the very moment Hirohito ordered the Ministers to
accept the Potsdam declaration.
And after, and it still took a personal broadcast by the Emperor which
some tried to sabotage. Plus trusted people put in places to counter
ideas of Kamikaze attacks on USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Geoffrey Sinclair
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