Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

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T. A. Gardner
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Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Feb 2021 01:12

Some of this the Japanese actually did or started to do, but what if they took it further:

In the late 30's the IJN retains control of the Diet and IJA coups fail with the perpetrators being executed leaving the IJA by the late 30's with no effective radical wing to push war with the US and expansion in China. Instead, Japanese political and military leadership call for consolidation of their gains to date in China and elsewhere with a focus on improving these area's industrial output as well as "Japanizing" them.

That is, they make serious efforts to recruit Nisei from overseas to return home with offers of free land, that sort of thing in areas like Korea or Manchukuo. They encourage Japanese to move there and establish businesses and farms for the same purpose. In addition, they begin to systematically erase Chinese, Korean, etc., culture, language, and customs from these areas. Children are taught Japanese in schools only.

In addition, they deport large numbers of people they deem undesirable or dangerous dumping them in parts of China they occupy but haven't included in their empire (yet).

The objective is to turn Korea and Manchukuo, etc., into new Okinawa's. Sure, there will continue to be some serious racism going on in all this, but the population is being forced to do everything in a "Japanese" way.

Could Japan avoid a war going this route or was one inevitable?

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Cantankerous » 12 Feb 2021 01:28

Long before WW2, people in Korea had been given Japanese names, and were ordered to speak Japanese instead of Korean, while being forced to eat Japanese food rather than Korean food.

If the Japanese had known that the terrain of Tibet was very difficult for Japanese forces to navigate when trying to conquer Tibet, and that the Xinjiang region and Inner Mongolia were too arid, then Japan would have constrained its plans for conquering China.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Futurist » 12 Feb 2021 01:51

T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:12
Could Japan avoid a war going this route or was one inevitable?
Depends--what happens in Europe and the Soviet Union in this scenario?

Also, trying to Japonify the Koreans and Chinese through a mass literacy campaign sounds like a decent idea. I mean, it was Japan's shot at actually doing this, no?

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Feb 2021 03:56

Futurist wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:51
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:12
Could Japan avoid a war going this route or was one inevitable?
Depends--what happens in Europe and the Soviet Union in this scenario?

Also, trying to Japonify the Koreans and Chinese through a mass literacy campaign sounds like a decent idea. I mean, it was Japan's shot at actually doing this, no?
It really doesn't. There can be a Nazi led Germany versus everybody in Europe war without a Pacific War. One isn't dependent on the other.

In Korea sometime after Japan gained control in 1910 the Japanese banned education in Korean. Everything had to be taught in Japanese. Many Korean texts were banned and hundreds of thousands of books in Korean were burned. They then started transplanting Japanese architecture, landscaping, etc., into the country as well as exporting (by force) Korean labor and women to work in brothels etc.
While all of this is obviously repulsive by Western standards, particularly today, at the time it wasn't seen so much that way. That isn't a justification for it but rather just historical observation.

Now, if Japan had avoided going to war in the 1940's Korea would have been a colonial possession today for about a century. With a forced level of Japanification, it would have lost almost the entirety of Korean culture. The complete process taking about 3 to 5 generations or somewhere around 120 to 200 years.
The same could have happened in Manchukuo giving Japan control of roughly say a quarter of what is now China.

The question is, can Japan avoid a Pacific War over resources and maintain and grow their economy in this scenario?

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Futurist » 12 Feb 2021 08:47

T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 03:56
Futurist wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:51
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:12
Could Japan avoid a war going this route or was one inevitable?
Depends--what happens in Europe and the Soviet Union in this scenario?

Also, trying to Japonify the Koreans and Chinese through a mass literacy campaign sounds like a decent idea. I mean, it was Japan's shot at actually doing this, no?
It really doesn't. There can be a Nazi led Germany versus everybody in Europe war without a Pacific War. One isn't dependent on the other.
But how the Soviet Union handles the Nazis in Europe could depend on what happens afterwards in East Asia. If the Nazis conquer the Soviet Union or at least severely cripple it, then the Soviet Union would be less likely to subsequently spark a rematch with Japan in East Asia.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by History Learner » 12 Feb 2021 10:09

Futurist wrote:
12 Feb 2021 08:47
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 03:56
Futurist wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:51
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:12
Could Japan avoid a war going this route or was one inevitable?
Depends--what happens in Europe and the Soviet Union in this scenario?

Also, trying to Japonify the Koreans and Chinese through a mass literacy campaign sounds like a decent idea. I mean, it was Japan's shot at actually doing this, no?
It really doesn't. There can be a Nazi led Germany versus everybody in Europe war without a Pacific War. One isn't dependent on the other.
But how the Soviet Union handles the Nazis in Europe could depend on what happens afterwards in East Asia. If the Nazis conquer the Soviet Union or at least severely cripple it, then the Soviet Union would be less likely to subsequently spark a rematch with Japan in East Asia.
A Japan not embroiled in China and obviously eyeing Western possessions in the South Pacific is a Japan free to join the Germans in destroying the Soviet Union in 1941.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Feb 2021 17:25

History Learner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:09
...

A Japan not embroiled in China and obviously eyeing Western possessions in the South Pacific is a Japan free to join the Germans in destroying the Soviet Union in 1941.
Thats possible, but if the policy is investment in existing possessions its a disincentive to embark on other wars. The China war was sold as a preemptive strike. The slow reestablishment of central government post 1927, by the KMT, threatens Japan with a revanchist war by China for Manchuria & Korea. That could occur as early as 1945 depending on how confident the KMT leadership is. Preparation for that is a disincentive for another war elsewhere. The there is the common sense factor. While dreamers did draw blue or orange arrows on the maps of Asia, the Pacific, or the Soviet Maritime provinces, ect... realistic thinking prevented actual efforts. The Japanese attack on the westerners in Dec 1941 was a act of desperation forced by the embargo.

A disincentive for war with the west can come from another direction. Japan had been a ally of Britain in the Great War. It is not impossible Britain and the US would seek to reduce tensions & enroll Japan s a ally again. At least industrially if not militarily. The Japanese empire of 1936 had a lot of potential and selling war material to the Allies is a good way to gain capitol for speeding industrial development. Even Depression era Britain and the US still had capitol reserves to invest & a nominally democratic Japan as a supporter of a Anglo US coalition could profit from the German war in the west.

Note that without a Japanese/China War nazi Germany remains connected to the KMT, which further discourages any Anglo/US support of cooperation with the KMT leaders.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 12 Feb 2021 21:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Feb 2021 17:25
History Learner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:09
...

A Japan not embroiled in China and obviously eyeing Western possessions in the South Pacific is a Japan free to join the Germans in destroying the Soviet Union in 1941.
Thats possible, but if the policy is investment in existing possessions its a disincentive to embark on other wars. The China war was sold as a preemptive strike. The slow reestablishment of central government post 1927, by the KMT, threatens Japan with a revanchist war by China for Manchuria & Korea. That could occur as early as 1945 depending on how confident the KMT leadership is. Preparation for that is a disincentive for another war elsewhere. The there is the common sense factor. While dreamers did draw blue or orange arrows on the maps of Asia, the Pacific, or the Soviet Maritime provinces, ect... realistic thinking prevented actual efforts. The Japanese attack on the westerners in Dec 1941 was a act of desperation forced by the embargo.

A disincentive for war with the west can come from another direction. Japan had been a ally of Britain in the Great War. It is not impossible Britain and the US would seek to reduce tensions & enroll Japan s a ally again. At least industrially if not militarily. The Japanese empire of 1936 had a lot of potential and selling war material to the Allies is a good way to gain capitol for speeding industrial development. Even Depression era Britain and the US still had capitol reserves to invest & a nominally democratic Japan as a supporter of a Anglo US coalition could profit from the German war in the west.

Note that without a Japanese/China War nazi Germany remains connected to the KMT, which further discourages any Anglo/US support of cooperation with the KMT leaders.
You could go further with this in that a Japan not embroiled in a war in China decides to join the British against Germany as they did in WW 1. That puts them in a position to guarantee access to resources from SE Asia while possibly quietly fomenting revolution there at the same time.

This would let the KMT focus on eradicating the rival Communist Maoist faction and gaining control over China, less Manchukuo and other areas held by Japan.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Feb 2021 22:24

On the contrarian side here. The growing protectionism and trade barriers that got out of hand in the 1920s & 1930s were a major incentive for Japan to grow its own empire. Getting cheap resources from North America or the US was becoming more difficult as import restrictions choked the cash flow tariffs & restrictions on imports from Japan into the US made it tough to pay for petroleum & machine tools or chemicals. The attempts of the European empires to replace the relatively free trade of the 19th Century with imperial restricted systems left the Japanese leaders frustrated. Japans empire of 1936 was not large enough to function on its own and growth was constricted by the growing trade obstacles of the 1920s & 30s. The imperialists were also grabbing the idea of a robust internal economy, little dependent on international trade. The result would a the tension from a faction still pushing policies annoying to the US and established European empires.

Renegotiating trade policies would have to be a part of drawing Japan into a western Alliance and keeping it on the internal development track.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Futurist » 13 Feb 2021 01:33

History Learner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:09
Futurist wrote:
12 Feb 2021 08:47
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 03:56
Futurist wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:51
T. A. Gardner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 01:12
Could Japan avoid a war going this route or was one inevitable?
Depends--what happens in Europe and the Soviet Union in this scenario?

Also, trying to Japonify the Koreans and Chinese through a mass literacy campaign sounds like a decent idea. I mean, it was Japan's shot at actually doing this, no?
It really doesn't. There can be a Nazi led Germany versus everybody in Europe war without a Pacific War. One isn't dependent on the other.
But how the Soviet Union handles the Nazis in Europe could depend on what happens afterwards in East Asia. If the Nazis conquer the Soviet Union or at least severely cripple it, then the Soviet Union would be less likely to subsequently spark a rematch with Japan in East Asia.
A Japan not embroiled in China and obviously eyeing Western possessions in the South Pacific is a Japan free to join the Germans in destroying the Soviet Union in 1941.
That might in part depend on just how badly the Japanese need Russian Far Eastern and Siberian natural resources.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by History Learner » 13 Feb 2021 03:15

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Feb 2021 17:25
History Learner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:09
...

A Japan not embroiled in China and obviously eyeing Western possessions in the South Pacific is a Japan free to join the Germans in destroying the Soviet Union in 1941.
Thats possible, but if the policy is investment in existing possessions its a disincentive to embark on other wars. The China war was sold as a preemptive strike. The slow reestablishment of central government post 1927, by the KMT, threatens Japan with a revanchist war by China for Manchuria & Korea. That could occur as early as 1945 depending on how confident the KMT leadership is. Preparation for that is a disincentive for another war elsewhere. The there is the common sense factor. While dreamers did draw blue or orange arrows on the maps of Asia, the Pacific, or the Soviet Maritime provinces, ect... realistic thinking prevented actual efforts. The Japanese attack on the westerners in Dec 1941 was a act of desperation forced by the embargo.

A disincentive for war with the west can come from another direction. Japan had been a ally of Britain in the Great War. It is not impossible Britain and the US would seek to reduce tensions & enroll Japan s a ally again. At least industrially if not militarily. The Japanese empire of 1936 had a lot of potential and selling war material to the Allies is a good way to gain capitol for speeding industrial development. Even Depression era Britain and the US still had capitol reserves to invest & a nominally democratic Japan as a supporter of a Anglo US coalition could profit from the German war in the west.

Note that without a Japanese/China War nazi Germany remains connected to the KMT, which further discourages any Anglo/US support of cooperation with the KMT leaders.
Japanese-Soviet tensions pre-dated the Second Sino-War; there was, for example, a very notable and large war scare with direct fighting in 1934. If Japan is seeking to reinforce its rule and develop its colonies in Manchuria and Korea, the Soviet threat to the North will always be a going concern, one which the firmly Anti-Communist IJA officer class always desired to take on. Case in point is the fact that offensive planning against the USSR in the Far East continued as late as 1944.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Futurist » 13 Feb 2021 03:23

History Learner wrote:
13 Feb 2021 03:15
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Feb 2021 17:25
History Learner wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:09
...

A Japan not embroiled in China and obviously eyeing Western possessions in the South Pacific is a Japan free to join the Germans in destroying the Soviet Union in 1941.
Thats possible, but if the policy is investment in existing possessions its a disincentive to embark on other wars. The China war was sold as a preemptive strike. The slow reestablishment of central government post 1927, by the KMT, threatens Japan with a revanchist war by China for Manchuria & Korea. That could occur as early as 1945 depending on how confident the KMT leadership is. Preparation for that is a disincentive for another war elsewhere. The there is the common sense factor. While dreamers did draw blue or orange arrows on the maps of Asia, the Pacific, or the Soviet Maritime provinces, ect... realistic thinking prevented actual efforts. The Japanese attack on the westerners in Dec 1941 was a act of desperation forced by the embargo.

A disincentive for war with the west can come from another direction. Japan had been a ally of Britain in the Great War. It is not impossible Britain and the US would seek to reduce tensions & enroll Japan s a ally again. At least industrially if not militarily. The Japanese empire of 1936 had a lot of potential and selling war material to the Allies is a good way to gain capitol for speeding industrial development. Even Depression era Britain and the US still had capitol reserves to invest & a nominally democratic Japan as a supporter of a Anglo US coalition could profit from the German war in the west.

Note that without a Japanese/China War nazi Germany remains connected to the KMT, which further discourages any Anglo/US support of cooperation with the KMT leaders.
Japanese-Soviet tensions pre-dated the Second Sino-War; there was, for example, a very notable and large war scare with direct fighting in 1934. If Japan is seeking to reinforce its rule and develop its colonies in Manchuria and Korea, the Soviet threat to the North will always be a going concern, one which the firmly Anti-Communist IJA officer class always desired to take on. Case in point is the fact that offensive planning against the USSR in the Far East continued as late as 1944.
What exactly happened in 1934?

Also, off-topic, but could you please respond to this specific thread of mine? :

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=254978

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Feb 2021 13:15

History Learner wrote:
13 Feb 2021 03:15
Japanese-Soviet tensions pre-dated the Second Sino-War; there was, for example, a very notable and large war scare with direct fighting in 1934. If Japan is seeking to reinforce its rule and develop its colonies in Manchuria and Korea, the Soviet threat to the North will always be a going concern, one which the firmly Anti-Communist IJA officer class always desired to take on. Case in point is the fact that offensive planning against the USSR in the Far East continued as late as 1944.
Yes the leaders would have to stuff that idea as well. I can't say what the actual threat from the USSR was. For whatever reason Stalin failed to turn border disputes 1929 - 1938 into actual territorial conquests of any significance. The theoretical plans are unknown to me other than there was planning done. On the Chinese side there was a broad desire to recover influence or direct control of Manchuria and Korea. KMT leaders discussed this as a important long term goal, after power was firmly established and long term economic recovery progressed. However realistic the Chinese ideas might have been the Japanese leaders knew the clock was running on this & some time in the 1940s or 1950s they'd be facing a more capable China. This became one of the arguments against the 'Strike North' concept. KMT run China would have to be neutralized first. Of course there was a counter argument the USSR was the larger danger, but that one seems to have been sidelined one way or another.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Feb 2021 13:20

Futurist wrote:
13 Feb 2021 03:23
What exactly happened in 1934?
Another large border fight. In the English language histories of Japan I read back in the 1980s & 90s I found lists of these biannual or annual battles, but near nothing of the details of the political background & less about the battles. One might have to go to Soviet or Japanese sources to find the details.

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Re: Japan curbs expansion in the late 30's.

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Feb 2021 13:47

(If this is a derail please forgive me, hard to track everything on a cell phone in an O2 tent.)

If the Japanese government hadn't been controlled by the military it might have been possible for the country to become the industrial powerhouse it became post-war. The US might have supported it to prevent a war in eastern Asia and this would have reduced the military construction drain on the economy. Japanese goods would have been available to the European colonies for their own growth and defense, and demands would have snowballed with Germany went to war in 1939.

Poorly thought-out, I know. Sorry.
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