Japan Should Have Pursued the Independence for All Invaded Countries
Editor-in-Chief Monthly Column

India celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence on 15 August. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a speech at the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi, where he told his people that “The collective resolve and strength of the people got freedom for our country”.

Red Fort was the place where Britain tried Indian officers who fought alongside Japan in the Battle of Imphal, a war fought for India’s independence in WWII. The people of India responded in rage, which ultimately led to independence.


The Plan to End Racism

In last month’s column, we explored various scenarios that Japan could have adopted in WWII to avoid fighting against the U.S. This time, we will consider war strategies that could have been adopted for establishing an ideal world order.

There were 3 primary things that Japan was fighting against in WWII:

1) Western supremacy and colonial rule in Asia; 2) the communism that the USSR was trying to spread into Manchuria and China; and 3) post-Depression trade blocs.

1) and 3) were the primary reasons Japan entered into war against Britain and America, but we must go beyond thinking that resolving and 3) marginally surviving was satisfactory. We must consider a best-case scenario that will bring an end to the world of racism as brought about by 1).


Announcing the “Joint Declaration” Before Entering War

In December 1941, Japan made an Imperial edict announcing the commencement of war, but the idea of survival against Britain and the U.S. was at the center of this declaration. What lay beneath the surface of the Pacific War – sometimes more aptly named the Greater East Asia War – was the nobler purpose of emancipating Asia from Western colonialism.

This was formerly recorded in the “Joint Declaration” by the Greater East Asia Conference, which was held in November 1943 in Tokyo between leaders of independent Asian countries such as Burma and the Philippines. “The countries of Greater East Asia will . . . work for the abolition of racial discrimination . . . and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind.”

Japan announced a similar declaration before entering war against Britain and the U.S., but they did not include provisions for fighting colonialism in Asia and Africa. In contrast, the Joint Declaration properly reveals the motives of the colored people.

The Joint Declaration was signed 6 months before the end of the war; but had the pre-war Imperial edict included provisions stating the intention to liberate Asian colonies, and had every battle been planned primarily for that purpose, how different would WWII have turned out?


Independence for All Invaded Countries

In December 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and commenced the Southern Operations in a bid to acquire oil. For 1 to 2 months, the ground forces invaded British occupied Malaysia and Singapore. They cooperated with the naval forces to bring down Britain’s newest warship HMS Prince of Wales. After seeing promising results in such short time, Japan decided to invade British Burma, and captured the capital in March.

Japanese forces advanced to Dutch colonies in Indonesia, and finally succeeded in acquiring oil. In May, they defeated the U.S. army occupying the Philippines.

In January 1942 during the Southern operations, Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo announced that despite sustained occupation of Malaysia, they were ready to bring independence to Burma and the Philippines. Two and one-half years later, both countries were given independence.

It could have been done better. If Japan had declared their purpose for the emancipation of Asian colonies, they should have immediately granted these countries independence.

There was no real point for the U.S. (who once won independence from Britain) and Japan (who were now fighting for Asian independence) to continue fighting. If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, this would also have increased the likelihood of avoiding a direct battle.

Additionally, Japan ought to have granted independence immediately after capturing Vietnam, Cambodia and India. The Japanese army advanced into these three countries between 1940 and 1941. It took them 4 years before formally announcing their independence.

With regard to Taiwan and Korea, Japan should have held a poll for the locals to decide whether or not to remain under Japanese occupation.


Capturing India Two Years Earlier

The greatest goal of emancipating Asia was to bring independence to British occupied India. Ideally, Japan ought to have decided on capturing India in 1942. Historically, the Battle of Imphal only began in March 1944 under disadvantageous war conditions. Inspired by the enthusiasm displayed by Chandra Bose the leader of the Indian independence movement, Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo decided on a joint strategy for the Indian and Japanese armies. This ended in a loss against the British, however, due to Lieutenant Renya Mutaguchi’s myopic war strategy.

Nevertheless, the desperate battle stimulated the independence movement in post-war India, which they finally achieved in August 1947. “In the end, it was the Japanese army that set in motion India’s independence,” said an Indian lawyer at the war crime trials against Indian commanders.
Let us see if it was possible to fight the Battle of Imphal 2 years earlier.


The Deciding factor for India’s Victory

In early 1942, the Japanese army captured Western colonies in Asia such as in Malaysia. The Indian army was comprised of Indian soldiers who were fighting for Britain, captured by the Japanese as prisoners of war. The commanders urged that if they combined forces with the Japanese army, other Indian soldiers fighting for Britain would cause an uprising.

Meanwhile the Japanese forces bombed British bases in Ceylon in April 1942 in conjunction with the Burma plan. Unbeknownst to them, however, the British Eastern Fleet was hiding nearby. The Japanese air force was powerful enough to have thoroughly destroyed every British warship, and their failure to detect the Eastern Fleet was a major strategical flaw.

If they had destroyed the British navy completely, they could have taken command over the Indian Ocean and easily landed in India. If India had been liberated in 1942, Japan would have captured the British oil import route from the Persian Gulf via the east coast of Africa, which subsequently meant Britain would have lost the power to fight Japan and Germany.

In addition, Japan could have cut off the India-Burma route through which Britain and the U.S. were sending supplies to Chiang Kai-shek, meaning the Japan-China war would have ended earlier.

In other words, had Japan managed to capture and liberate India in 1942, they would have won the war.


India Was The Main Battlefield

The people of Japan understand that WWII was fought against the Americans. In the battle plan made just before their entry into war, however, the Japanese government held to “aim foremost for Britain’s surrender so that America will lose its will to continue the war”. In other words, Japan’s priority was to fight against Britain. The planned battleground was not Pearl Harbor or Midway, but Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

In reality, however, commanders of the Japanese Naval Fleet such as Isoroku Yamamoto began to focus on fighting the Americans in the Pacific Ocean. Thus, there was an outbreak of rivalry: The ground forces focusing on Britain to the west, and the naval forces focusing on America to the east. The naval forces won this rivalry.

If they had followed the original plan, the war would have properly been a war to emancipate Asia, and a world of racial equality would have materialized.


The Japan-Germany Alliance Opposed Racial Equality

The problem we must now tackle is Japan’s wartime relationship with Germany.

Having established a policy of racial discrimination aimed at the annihilation of the Jewish race, opposed the ideals of Japan’s Joint Declaration. Even from a military perspective, the Japan-Germany-Italy alliance practically did not function anyway. So, had Japan annulled the alliance after Germany’s breach of morals, it would not have mattered.

While the alliance was virtually non-existent, if Japan had won India’s independence in 1942, as illustrated in the above scenario, the war in Europe would, unfortunately, lean in Germany’s favor. Japan and Germany would dominate the Middle Eastern oil region, with which Germany would have defeated the Soviet Union and attacked Britain.

If Germany then dominated Europe, the U.S. would have to concentrate its forces to defend Britain, leaving the Pacific to head against Germany. If this had happened, the U.S. may have just defeated Germany, while incurring fatal damages.

In other words, the result of WWII could potentially have been Britain and America’s victory in Europe and their loss in Asia; the USSR would have been defeated by Germany, but later rescued by Britain and America; and Japan would have completed its purpose of emancipating Asia.

In thinking of these war strategies, we have the benefit of hindsight. Yet, in order for Japan to now establish an ideal world order, we must reassess the war to see if Japan really did make the best possible decisions at the time.


Liberating China and North Korea

Of the three reasons why Japan entered the war, number 2), the USSR communism spreading into Asia, was left unresolved.

The Cold War ended in 1991, but our battle against communism is still going, this time against China and North Korea.

There is something Japan can do to not just survive the impact, but to bring about an ideal world order where China and North Korea embrace democracy and the people are free to choose their own fate.

We must gather god-believing countries and create an alliance to encircle the materialist communist countries. We must provide underground support for the followers of the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. We must cooperate with North Korean defectors who plan to overthrow the current regime.

70 years ago, Japan brought freedom to the billions of people in Asia and Africa. Now it has a mission to liberate China and North Korea.

Jiro Ayaori

Japan Should Have Pursued the Independence for All Invaded Countries
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