Pushing for the Historic End to Racial Discrimination: Japan’s Thwarted Proposal for Racial Equality at Versailles
"Some Views of Western Experts Who Thought Japan’s War Was Justified" (Part 1)


An Old Moral Judgment: Wartime Japan Was an “Evil Nation”
A Statement of Fact: The Japanese Were Trying to Realize the Ideal of Racial Equality

Japan is often blamed for historical issues, based on the assumption that “wartime Japan was an evil nation.” However, at the root of this criticism is the “history” that was propped up by the Allied Powers to impose a victor’s justice during the Tokyo Trials. In fact, without such falsehoods, the Allied Powers would have been called “evil”, for Japan fought for a noble cause. We asked American historian, Mr. David Williams, who states that underlying the “Great East Asian War” was the idealism of racial equality, about the meaning of Japan’s war in the context of world history.

Interview with Dr. David Williams recorded on March 22, 2014
Interviewer: Hanako Cho


David Williams

One of Europe’s leading thinkers on modern Japan. Born in Los Angeles, he was educated in Japan and at UCLA, and has contributed for many years to the opinion section of the Los Angeles Times. He has taught at Oxford, where he took his doctorate, Sheffield and Cardiff Universities. During twelve of his twenty-five years in Japan, he was an editorial writer for The Japan Times. He is the author of Japan: Beyond the End of History, Japan and the Enemies of Open Political Science and Defending Japan’s Pacific War, all published by Routledge.

Pushing for the Historic End to Racial Discrimination: Japan’s Thwarted Proposal for Racial Equality at Versailles

Q: In your book Defending Japan’s Pacific War, you said that the Greater East Asia War was waged as part of a global effort to create a post-white world. It was an attempt to create a new world order based on regional autonomy. Also, in your correspondence with me, you said there was a kind of moral crusade to resist this Japanese effort. I’d really like to know in what sense did you use the word “moral”, and also what do you see as the significance of the Greater East Asia War?


Resurrecting the “Greater East Asian War”

A: You’re correct, and that’s how I discuss it in my book.

What is interesting about the Greater East Asian War is its suggestiveness as an idea for interpreting history. For instance, the Kyoto School of philosophy, both during and after 1945, does not refer to “World War 2” or the “Pacific War” and does not even use the “Fifteen Year War”. It uses the term “Greater East Asian War”.

When I was a student in Japan, this term was taboo. It took me a long time before I was ready to think seriously about what this expression meant. However, next month I am lecturing in Britain at Sandhurst, the Royal Military Academy. When I give my paper, I’m going to try to encourage my listeners to use the expression “Greater East Asian War” because it explains the outlook of the Kyoto School. It certainly makes it much easier to understand Japan’s wartime grand strategy.


The Naval War Was Not the Primary Theater of the Greater East Asian War

American and British historians and their reading publics tend to think the naval war was the war. This is a mistake. The Greater East Asian War was the War. Without having any particular view of Tojo Hideki or whatever, it’s very useful for American and British military historians to exploit this expression to understand better what actually happened. This is my attitude now.


The Allied War Effort as a Moral Crusade

When I wrote the book, the moral crusades you were talking about dominated American and British approaches to the conflict. They thought they were waging a moral crusade.

This mixture of patriotism and morality is very strong. — “My side is right”. During the war, many people died. That was a big sacrifice. The survivors and families want to feel their war was moral. I understand that.

But for historians, morality is another game entirely. Historians must understand what happens objectively and scientifically. That means no patriotism, no morality, just the facts. That’s why “moral crusades” as an interpretive framework do not help to explain the war, to fight it perhaps, but not to understand it. My job, as a historian, is to understand, not to make moral judgments.


Japan’s Naval Strategy Was an Adjunct to the Imperial Army’s Land Strategy

Japan’s naval power compared to that of the United States and the British Empire was never going to be great enough to win the war. Every naval expert knew this, the Americans, the British, and the Japanese.

The Japanese naval strategy, at best, was an adjunct to its army strategy. The army’s strategic focus was on Continental Asia, where Japan could create a secure base to enhance war production, to create the wealth, and to build the Co-Prosperity Sphere. That was the central thing.


The Army Was Successful, the Navy Was Not

America’s war effort in the Pacific theater was very important, but the Pacific War was not the war. In the Greater East Asia War, if you think about it in those terms, the army was – and this fact is much neglected by orthodox historians – the army was successful in a way that the navy was not. In the end, of course Japan lost, but if you want to understand the last two years of the war, that is 1944 and 1945, better, you need to concentrate on the army and their grand strategy as part of “The Greater East Asian War”. That’s how I see it.


Imperial Japan and the Birth of a Post-White World

Q: Japan proposed the international rejection of racial discrimination at the Versailles Conference in 1919. How do you view Japan’s proposal at the Versailles Conference?

Woodrow Wilson Was a White Southerner Who Defeated the Historic Opportunity for Racial Equality

A: The defeat of the Japanese proposal at Versailles was poison. The Australian government is often blamed for blocking this initiative but the stance of Woodrow Wilson, the American President, may have been decisive. He was a Southerner by birth and is sometimes accused of having Southern racial attitudes. At Versailles, he favored European allies over their colonies. They were often white governments ruling over non-white peoples.

It’s very important to see that, although the racial discrimination proposal was defeated, the structure that emerged from Versailles was very important to everything that happened afterwards. To understand the Greater East Asian War, you must understand Versailles and Wilson’s role in it.


Japan Was the First Country to Raise the Issue of Racial Equality

Humanity does not live in a white world. Most people are not white. The idea that white powers could discriminate in this way was inevitably going to become intolerable.

The Japanese were the first Great Power to insist on this new reality. They had the most powerful position to argue this case. Ho Chi Min came to Versailles, and tried to get an interview with Wilson to get independence for Vietnam, but Wilson would not see him. The Japanese at least got to ask the question.

Of course, afterward, everyone quarreled over Japan’s proposal. Some say Japan was self-serving, but that did not matter. The racial issue of equality was a taboo that needed breaking, and the Japanese proposal helped to break it. The first nation of consequence, to raise the issue at the highest level of diplomacy, was Japan at Versailles.


The Meaning of the Characters ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ Have Changed over Time

The whole notion becomes very important with the second Konoye government, just before the Pacific War, but there is tradition behind this expression.

‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ first appeared in the Chronicles of Japan or the Nihongi. In the Nihongi, the characters were different. The original expression referred not to ‘one’ roof, but ‘a’ roof. From the context, the expression literally referred to ‘a roof over a palace’. It was a palace construction of walls without a fixed roof that was being talked about. Hakko no Ichi-u referred to a set of stripes made of cloth designed symbolically to cover the whole roof. That’s one point.

Secondly, the number eight in the word ‘Hakko’ included six points that were directional, but two were metaphysical, referring to the top and bottom of the cosmos. Whatever the other six referred to, those two weren’t geographical expressions. They had nothing to do with the world, territories, colonies, or anything at all factual.

The Nihongi was full of Chinese ideas. ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’, of course, related to ‘tenka’ or ‘all under heaven’.

That’s what it meant metaphorically, but to translate from the Nihongi literally, ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ meant a marquee, a tent for the palace, not for covering the whole world.

It became a metaphor. Japan has had a very long history, and over this long history, the expression became a metaphor. In any country, which has had a long history, words have changed their meanings.

By the time you get to 1940 and the Konoye government, it was used to affirm the legitimacy of Japan’s regional ambitions. Then, it became a post-war criticism that the expression meant that Japan wanted global domination, and that Japan wanted to rule everywhere. However, Japan’s most practical ambition was a voluntary East Asian Sphere of Prosperity created with Confucian persuasion.

Documents were found after the war from the Japanese official government. They actually talked about Japanese plans for a Japanese protectorate of Australia or what have you. Of course, the liberal historians took this as proof positive of Japan’s bad intentions. I was educated in a worldview that accepted such accusations. That’s what I was taught. No one, who instructed me in these things, ever queried whether Japan had the logistical capacity to subdue Australia or why.

As you become older, and a little bit wiser, you learn things. One of the most important and interesting things about expressions such as ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ is that they may have more than one meaning. For example, ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ may refer to universal brotherhood. It can have a kind, moral meaning.

In the Kyoto School’s case, when it approached the co-prosperity sphere, it thought it should be voluntary, done by persuasion and not by force of arms. These philosophers argued that the only way the “Greater East Asian” prosperity sphere could work was for China and the rest of East Asia to want to join, and if they could be persuaded to join. They also believed that Japan had an obligation to lead such a bloc because Japan was the dominant partner. To send armies in wasn’t going to work.


The United States’ Aim for World Dominance Created Conflict

The Kyoto School was probably right, but that’s another issue. Finally, in strategic terms, ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ takes on a quite different meaning when we take a look at the present tensions between China and the United States and the conflict between Russia and the United States. These conflicts are about territorial waters, the control of the seas, the Taiwan Straits and the Black Sea.

Now the American strategy of global domination of the world’s oceans came from the British global strategy, which held that the only way to be secure in one place was to be secure everywhere. A nation can’t have just control over the Taiwan Straits; it must have naval domination of the whole world. The United States has it now, and before them, the British had it.

You see, therefore, that China’s geostrategic security reaches beyond the Taiwan Straits. To force the American navy out from the Taiwan Straits means to be able to sail to San Diego, and you can imagine what would happen in the minds of Americans if China developed that kind of strategic reach.

The strategic necessity that applies to China now applied to Japan in the 1940s. To be secure in the Western Pacific, Japan had, of necessity, to control the Pacific Ocean with its navy.

Such geostrategic calculations made expressions such as ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ even more striking because, if we took it in its supposedly negative meaning, it wasn’t so much about Japanese imperialism but about national security. For Japan’s naval security, it had to control the Pacific, not just part of it but the whole thing.

As soon as you begin thinking in those terms, ‘Hakko no Ichi-u’ becomes a kind of strategic imperative. Such an interpretation allows the historian to understand wartime realities better.


Right or Wrong Is Not the Issue, the Point Is to Understand

That’s how I interpret Hakko Ichiu. In geopolitical, geostrategic, naval terms, it captures the essence of the problem. If you take it in its soft meaning, all of us are brothers, it gives voice to a proud tradition. If East Asians are ever to stop quarreling, and become brothers, it’ll be with slogans like that, as long as it doesn’t make everybody angry in the meantime.


Wilson Practiced Racial Discrimination in Washington D.C.

Q: What do you think of Japan’s ideas on racial equality?

A: This goes back to Wilson. Wilson was a democratic President with Southern connections. I’m no expert on Wilson, but my understanding is, that as President, he eliminated all black employees from the Federal government in Washington, D.C. This was racial discrimination, manifest. He felt perhaps that he had to do it. I don’t know what was going on in his mind.


Japan Was the Leading Non-White Power

The Japanese situation was very interesting. One thinks of the celebration of the Japanese victory of 1905 in Siam, in parts of the Middle East, and in parts of Latin America. They were pleased that Japan had defeated Russia. If Russia could be defeated, other colonial powers could be defeated. Japan’s position in this, as leading non-white power, was very significant.

In that sense, I can understand why non-whites in the United States, in India, or elsewhere, would have invested some hope in Japan’s influence. Japan was the only non-white power at Versailles of any consequence, a major ally of Great Britain, and it had helped to win the war in the Pacific, in a small way admittedly, as a major arms provider during the war. It captured some German territories, but Japan was not really at war seriously.


Japan Tried to Establish World Equality

Hierarchal societies, societies with leaders and followers, have sometimes been painful. As Japan became more and more powerful, the Confucian idea said that, okay, you become the leader. You become responsible. You become the decision maker, and everyone else must follow you.

Nationalism in Continental Asia made it very hard for this mechanism, this Confucian habit of mind, to work. The Japanese expected to be listened to because Japan was the key power. Naturally, looking at the problem from a liberal historical perspective, Japan appeared to be racist, authoritarian, and colonialist in the Western way.

This brings us to a paradox. The tendency, and I am a liberal, too, so I understand it, is to sympathize with the underdog. When the underdog stops being underdog, I’m not sympathetic anymore.

We liberals have to decide what we want. Do we want weak people to remain weak so we can be sympathetic? Or are we going to accept strong powers that were once weak but are different from ourselves? This is a major problem for Western historians and societies.

At Versailles, Japan was in the lead. However, history is an odd business. What at one moment looks very good, the next moment doesn’t. Just because bad things built up, doesn’t mean that they weren’t good things at one point or another. Whatever their motivations were, the Japanese representatives’ gesture toward world equality was a good thing.

Q: You said in your book, on page 20, and I find this book really fascinating, you stated that the humbling of Imperial Japan opened a kind of Pandora’s Box. Victory over the Japanese gave America a vast pacific realm while setting in motion the one transformation our Civil War (1861-65) did not achieve, which was the overthrow of America’s racial hierarchy. Do you think it’s possible for Western people to acknowledge this fact, and to reach the point where they can apologize for their past deeds?


There’s No Official Acknowledgement of the Conquest of the American Indians

A: The politics of blame have, in the end, gotten us nowhere. But your question does invite comparisons, in a way, with the Japanese situation. When war crimes have been described, the Japanese response has been, “We cannot have text books which describe Japanese criminal behavior. Our children will lose respect for their parents or grandparents.” As a liberal, I understand this has been an object of criticism: no one has wanted to apologize.

If you think about the United States and examine its history, we have a very fine Museum for the Holocaust in Washington D.C., but how long have we waited for a museum, dedicated to the conquest of the American Indians, our native population? The reason is that the very idea is too sensitive.

If you go to the Smithsonian, there’s a superb section on air travel, on road travel, on speed basically: the acceleration in the speed of modern transportation. The story of the American railways is engagingly narrated, and the museum shows a fine film which tells this story. But there is a scene in this film when an American Indian appears, just for a second. There’s a little salute to the American Indians. Then the story of progress continues.

Of course, railway building destroyed the American Indian way of life. So, what do you do? Do you stop building your country? Do you crush the Indians? Do you crush the Indians and not talk about it? Do you acknowledge it later when it’s too late?


Behavior Matters More than Gestures

You see the moral dilemmas. No society is very good at dealing with them. No society is, and America is not very good at it, either. The British have come around about slavery, but slavery is not a big issue now. We have our official apology for the British role in the slave trade. That’s good, but it doesn’t change the past and make the lives of slaves better in retrospect. It’s an afterthought. It’s a nice afterthought, but it is just a gesture.

What matters today is that foreigners who live in Japan are treated decently. What matters in Britain now is if minorities are treated decently. That’s what matters, not gestures.

We must struggle together to keep some sense of ourselves, but at the same time, be open to others. That’s the balance we need to strike. We try to do it, but it’s very hard to achieve. We have too many minorities that feel threatened and, more dangerously, old majorities who fear the growth of the minorities’ communities.

There is a very big political problem in Britain now with our minorities, immigrants from inside and outside of the European Union. Many people are very uncomfortable.

But over time people learn that the need for decency and tolerance is real. The Japanese understand that, too, in their own way, but it may not be the liberal way.

Q: Your discussions are based on Nishida and the Kyoto School’s philosophy. How did you become familiar with their views?


The Reason Why I Became Interested in the Kyoto School’s Philosophy

A: It began with a very stimulating discussion about Tanabe Hajime I had with a brilliant Korean thinker who taught in Kyoto. I became intrigued because it was a taboo subject. When I confessed my interest in this subject to my Japanese boss at The Japan Times, he said, “You must be curious about everything, and never fear learning something new. That’s what being a journalist is about.”

When I began to read about the Kyoto School seriously, I assumed that the scholarship on the subject was sound. Then, as I read more, I thought, “That doesn’t make sense”. I read English studies of the Kyoto School, and I thought, “That’s odd to me.” I began to examine the original texts, and the translation problems were very severe. I realized, in fact, that this was a very engrossing problem. The problem began at the level of language.

For example, how do you translate ‘minzoku’ into English? Supposedly great experts carelessly translated ‘minzoku’ always as ‘race’ in order to attack the Kyoto School. I apologize if this sounds like scholarly egotism, but I was dumbfounded to find that the dictionaries themselves were wrong, even the Japanese-English dictionaries, which was very revealing. The thing was to learn to be careful linguistically, which was like learning to live cautiously in a society that you were not part of, but just visiting. It required a kind of heightened attention. Thus began what became for me an extraordinary intellectual adventure. The goal was simple: to understand Japanese thinking properly.

Again, the slogan is sono tori (understanding the fact as it is). It is not my job as a scholar or historian to judge whether the wartime Kyoto School was good or bad; Tojo was good or bad; Roosevelt was good or bad. My task is to tell you what happened. That is my vocation and I’m sticking to it.

Q: Is that why you overcame the stereotypical view (the Orthodox view) of Allies vs. Axis?


I Was Raised in a Japanese-American Community

A: Yes. My father fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. I was raised with a particular view of the war. But I also grew up in a Japanese-American community in Los Angeles. Many of the Japanese-Americans I lived with had lost their livelihoods in the war. They had been forced to sell their property for very little. They’d been put in concentration camps. Then they had come back to Los Angeles, and made new lives.

As members of the Japanese-American community, they were victims, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that they came from Japan. They were proud of it. They were perfectly content to be good Americans, but they were Japanese. Their lives were colored by this fact culturally.


A Good, Japanese-American Doctor Influenced the Way I Viewed People from Japan

It was an enchanting place to grow up. As a small child, one of my earliest doctors was a Japanese American. My father, having fought in the Pacific, came home, and five years later I had a Japanese-American doctor. There was the kind of sane flexibility of mind at work here. My parents always insisted that this physician was a good doctor. They entrusted me, their small child, to the care of that doctor.

That was how living together could be a good thing. The tantalizing aspect of this experience was that all of those Japanese-Americans had either lived in Japan or visited it, but I hadn’t been there yet. When I went to UCLA, I thought, “It’s my turn! I want to go to Japan.” So at 20, I set off for Tokyo. It was my turn.


Japan Built Much of Taiwan’s Infrastructure When It Was a Colony

Q: Next, I’d like to know your views on the differences between European and Japanese colonialism. What do you think were the differences between Japan’s Taiwan and Korean Peninsula rule versus the Western Colonial rule of Asia and Africa?

A: It’s a very broad question. I’m not a big expert on European colonialism. I can just talk about my experience in Japanese studies.

In the 1970s, I worked for a Japanese bank that specialized in investing in some of Japan’s premier industries: automobile manufacturing, steel making, and petrochemicals. I did work for the research section of this Japanese bank, editing and translating things. I got a chance to talk with the bankers who did research.

I was fascinated. This was in the ’70s, and a major focus of Japan’s investment included Taiwan. As I learned more about the Japanese impact on Taiwan, I discovered how much infrastructure had been built when Taiwan was a Japanese colony.


Taiwanese People Like Japan

I think the oddest thing was to meet Taiwanese, Chinese from Taiwan in Koenji, where I lived. Then this delightful Tokyo suburb was wonderfully cosmopolitan, full of good bookstores and coffee shops. There one could meet these Chinese from Taiwan, sitting at tables next to each other, and they were speaking Japanese. From their accents, it was obvious that they weren’t Japanese locals.

Always curious and ever the journalist, I asked them why they were speaking Japanese to each other, and they said, “We like speaking Japanese.” It had cachet. It was chic. They liked coming to Japan and going shopping. Yes, I knew that the colonial experiences were hard for other people, but in Taiwan, for many people, the Japanese experience was very positive. The singular and perfectly understandable focus in liberal studies of Japanese colonialism on the bitter experience of Korea had blinded me to the Taiwanese experience.


The American Lifestyle Was Hard on Pacific Islanders After the Japanese Left

Even more surprising was the American scholarship on the Japanese South Pacific. This included the German colonies that became League of Nations mandates after WW1.

Close research has shown that a lot of the Islanders came to Japan. It was their first experience, for example, to wear shoes, to be properly trained, to learn a skill, and then to take these skills back home. The Japanese were serious teachers and the training was rigorous. It made the Islander’s life better.

After 1945, the League of Nations mandate ended, and the United States took over. Many good things probably happened, but health disintegrated and obesity increased. All of a sudden, the American lifestyle turned out to be really difficult for the Islands’ peoples.


Look at the Whole Colonial Experience

Democracy is a good thing. I’m a democrat. Liberal values are a good thing. I believe in liberal values, but facts are facts. To understand the colonial experience, you have to look at the whole experience. Some of it appears to be, and I think the research has been correct, very tough, sometimes brutal, certainly no nonsense. On the other hand, in many cases, it was enlightened and improving. Both stories need to be told.


The Japanese Success in Southeast Asia Hasn’t Been Discussed

You, as a Japanese person, must make up your own mind what story to tell. I will tell you the story as best I can, as objectively as I can with, again, to repeat, no criticism, no “yes or no”, just numbers and some kind of evaluation. What bothers me, in all of this, is that because of the liberal orthodoxy I was raised with, the Southeast Asian, the South Pacific, and the Taiwanese stories surprised me.

I’ve known about Korea. Korea was part of the orthodox story. The Japanese successes in Taiwan and the South Pacific have rarely been mentioned.

I understand that bad things (Korea) are worse than good things (Taiwan), but good things are good things. The historian’s goal is to strive for balance, but most of all objectivity.

Q: I’d like to ask you some “what if” questions. What would the world be like if the Japan hadn’t entered the Second World War? Hadn’t fought against the U.S., the British, and the other Allies?


The Hull Note Was Very Severe

A: Again, liberal orthodoxy is not very helpful. In essence, the answer hangs on the Hull ultimatum, the Hull note of 1941.

Secretary Hull was Roosevelt’s Secretary of State. In the autumn he presented a diplomatic ‘note’ to the Japanese government. Apparently, when Tojo saw it, he was appalled at how severe the American conditions were for serious negotiations.

They included the Japanese evacuation of Indo-China, China, and Manchuria. In other words, the bulk of Japanese acquisitions and spheres of influence acquired since the Meiji period would have been lost as a condition for even talking and ending the embargo.


Japan Had Very Few Options Other than To Fight the United States

At that point, even if Tojo had any doubts, he decided to stand and fight, rather than surrender, rather than to appease the United States. Given American attitudes about colonies, Korea was vulnerable as well. Japan’s options were very few.


Japan Wanted To Create an Autonomous Zone on the Mainland To Resist American Authority

The Kyoto School thought Japan should wait and pursue a more voluntary, cooperative strategy on the Mainland to build up enough power for Japan to resist the United States. It would never be able to defeat America, but it could resist if it exploited the potential of an autonomous regional base. Tojo decided that Japan could not afford to wait.


America Could Not Accept Japan’s Colonies in Asia

Quite simply the United States was not prepared to accept Japan’s empire in the Western Pacific. In the wake of the Russian-Japanese War, Japan was labeled a danger that had to be eliminated. American anti-colonialism threatened all the colonial powers, including Japan as well as Britain and France.


America Must Be in Charge

We all live under the wings of an American-orchestrated, liberal, world order. This liberal order has allowed for only one power that could be called ‘great’: the United States.

This was the lesson Japan learned in 1945 and the British learned during the Suez Crisis. In 1956, the British may have thought they were defending the Suez Canal, when their French and Israeli allies attacked Egypt, but Washington would not have it. Eisenhower stopped financial assistance to Britain, and it was threatened with immediate bankruptcy.

The United States was in charge. Britain had to do as it’s told. Japan had to do as it’s told, and China will have to do as it’s told.


America as the Top Dog

This has been the position; this has been what being the world’s super power has meant, as top dog, you could say “yes or no”.

The Pacific War was a very important chapter in creating this American hegemony. As a historian, I haven’t cared whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. I’ve just wanted to know how this American imperium took shape.


For President Roosevelt: the Pacific War Was Important for America’s Empire Building

American historians have resisted the notion of accepting that the Pacific War, that is the Greater East Asian War, was an indispensable step toward the creation of an American empire. In the face of this emerging global hegemony, Japan’s choices were either to fight or surrender or appease America to buy time to build its strength.

So what about the Imperial Navy? Orthodox historians have often criticized Japan’s naval officers, especially middle ranking, for being angry, extremist, and irrational, but if these naval officers perceived the United States was not prepared to give Japan its own sphere, then they had a point. If they were right, they needed to be listened to.

A lot of people were not willing to listen. That meant there was going to be a terrible struggle inside the Japanese elite about what was Japan’s real position in the world in the 20s and in the 30s.

Even liberal Japanese historians, people at Harvard, say the roll back began with the First World War at Versailles. This roll back was eventually going to reduce Japan to the home islands because nothing else would be tolerated.

The only reason the French position in Indo-China was supported was because of Washington’s dread of Communism. The only reason America put up with India, the British occupation of India, was that Churchill insisted during the war, “I don’t want to be nagged about India.”

Roosevelt wanted all the colonial masters out: the Dutch, the Belgians, the French, the British, the Italians, and the Japanese. He didn’t want any great powers with colonies. That’s what his ambitions were for America. Today, all the other colonial powers, great or small, have lost their empires. The Pacific War contributed to the achievement of this goal.

Pushing for the Historic End to Racial Discrimination:  Japan’s Thwarted Proposal for Racial Equality at Versailles
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