Desperate War of Japan in the Pacific
This page contains Japanese characters.
 International law
In the end of Edo era, some revolutionary samurai of Japan recognized international law (kokusai hou or bankoku kouhou) earlier than China understood. Powers used it for diplomatic relations to tie a treaty with other powers. So Meiji Government introduced a concept of public law to Charter Oath in 1868.

5-power flagsBankoku-ki
The left ukiyoe shows Yokohama in Kanagawa with the open mood of Meiji era. Although Japan was poor, people were dilligent to modernize Japan. Westen style interested Japanese people in Yokohama. Commons seemed be curious about 5-power flags.
the Ansei Five-Power Treaties
Boshin War(1868-1869)
Charter Oath

Japanese people had done festivals of farming rice for a long times. The most important festivals are in spring and fall. Commons enjoyed seeing children playing the gyms in a field of an elementary school in spring and fall. Parents rested farming whole a day. Every school all over Japan showed chained flags called bankoku-ki(literally 10 thousand nations flags) in the mid of Meiji era. Expo was translated into bankoku hakurankai.

Once a smart bureaucrat translated 'League of Nations' into 'Kokusai (International) Renmei (League).' Japanese people like the word, Kokusai. Some universities have a faculty of Kokusai. I do not know what to study at the faculty. At last a princess have entered ICU (International Christian University) for the first time, though princes and princesses entered Gakushuin usually. Boy students of Gakushuin wear a traditional IJN officer style uniform even now, as Mikado Akihito wore it when childhood. Gakushuin was not for commons but Peers School before the Pacific War.

Powers admitted Japan as one of powers after the Japanese-Russo War. But all the 5 nations above the picture became the enemy of Japan in the Pacific War, though Japan had not been able to withdraw the troops in China. How leaders of Japan thought cease fire against US and UK, when Government broke up the war? Government declared the Pacific War (Dai Toua Sensou) without referring to international law, while leaders of Meiji declared the Japanese-Qing War and the Japanese-Russo War under international law.
Matsumoto, p289-292
League of Nations

    Iyashikumo Kokusai hou (international law) ni motorazarukagiri, sorezore Kennou ni oujite issai no syudan wo tukusu ni oite, kanarazu Irou nakaramu-koto wo kiseyo.
    [1st Aug 1894, Japanese-Qing War]

    Oyoso Kokusai jyouki(international rule) no hani ni oite issai no syudan wo tukusi, Isan nakaramu koto wo kiseyo.
    [10th Feb 1904, Japanese-Russo War]

International rescue (Kokusai kyujyo-tai)
Convention relative to the treatment of POW in 1929
Serbia (Republic of)1931May20
New Zealand1931Jun23
South Africa1931Jun23
United Kingdom1931Jun23
All the boys of Japan adored International Rescue (kokusai kyujyo-tai) of a UK TV program. Newspapers of Japan changed 'allied armies (rengou gun)' into 'many nations armies (ta-kokuseki gun), when Iraq War. Certainly Government and newspapers called allied armies 'rengou gun' in the WWII. The Diet confused whether Japan should dispatch special offcial servicemen in Iraq. So Government and newspapers preferred many nations armies (ta-kokuseki gun). I thank that 600 British and 493 Australian troops guarded them.
Jiei-tai iraku haken

International song
When I got a job in a company of Japan, We have to learn singing a song of May Day, being royal to the labor union. The song was made in 1922. I do not remember all, but I remeber a phrase, 'Wake up, internationl labors! (tate bankoku no roudou-sha).' The International was a national anthem of Soviet Union. We say union kumiai. A lots of Yakuza groups call themselves xxxkumi.

After the Pacific War, Japanese people also liked a word, culture 'bunka'. Now is another word, global 'guroubaru'. An British ambassador wrote an opinion on Mainichi Newspaper in 2008. He suggested to 'international' 5 times and 'global' twice.

Government signed Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War on 27 July 1929. But Mikado did not ratify, because Privy Council did not agree. Then Deputy Foreign Affair Minister requested an opinion to Army and Navy. Deputy Navy Minister replied negative. He told 4 reasons to oppose the treaty on 15 November 1934.

  1. Japanese soldiers do not expect POWs. So the treaty is obliged to one side of Japan.
  2. If enemy aircraft raided and the enemy soldiers wanted to be POWS after the raid, The range of raid would be to expand
  3. There is military trouble that a third party can talk POWs
  4. The punishment rule of POWs treats better than Japanese usulal soldiers. So 4 Naval laws (海軍懲罰令、海軍刑法、海軍軍法会議法、海軍監獄令) have to be revised.
Table shows when signed parties ratified it. Mexico was the nineteenth nation in the 37 signed nations. The treaty was active on 1 August 1932. Other nations in the world ratified it as follows, Greece ratified in 1935. Austria, Estonia and Hungary ratified in 1936. Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia ratified in 1937. Slovakia, Thailand and Lithuania in 1939. Bolivia in 1940. Colombia in 1941.

US asked Government how to treat POW via Switzland on 27 December 1941 as well as UK via Argentina on 3 January 1942. Government replied Switzland and Argentia "mutatis mutandis". Japan and US agreed how to treat civilians in the Pacific War in February[21]. A Japanese official executed a representive of ICRC in Borneo on 13 May 1943.
Horyo Shoguhou
Shin turezuregusa

After the Pacific War, Japan ratified Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) on 21 October 1953. Japan ratified addtitional Protocol I relating to the Protection of victims of international armed conflicts and Protocol II relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts on 28 February 2005.
Geneva Conventions

 The rising powers in the Pacific
After WWI, Japan and US became ones of powers. They were admitted civilized nation state in Paris in 1919. The powers were UK, France, Italy, US and Japan. Japan and US had increased the population after WWI. The both new emerged nations had competitive sentiment each other, though Japanese actual power was far poor than US. At first US Homer Lea wrote 'The Valor of Ignorance' in 1909. While Mizuno wrote 'The next war' in 1914. The later fiction depicted that Japan won in the Philippines at first battles and Japan lost the war in the mid Pacific at the big fleet battle.'[5]
Russia began expanding in Manchuria. So Japan proposed Russia that Russia would approve of Japanese supeority in Korea and Japan would approve of Russian supeority in Manchuria, but Russia refused. US and Japan tied an additonal commerce treaty with Qing at the same time on 8 October 1903. US and Japan had their markets in Mukden. Russia occupied Mukden on 28 October 1903.(1) After the Japanese-Russo War, Japan and US approved rights supeority of Japan in Korea and of US in Philippines each other under Katsura-Taft Agreement in 1905.

Japan got tariff autonomy and could tie equal treaty with US on 21 February 1911 at last. It took 52 years to revise. Japan knew that military power was the most important to be independent from foreign powers. US actioned as well as ancient arrogant democratic super power of Athen did, I think.

As for Chinese debt issue, UK, US and Japan could not agree with 北京関税会議 in 1925-1926. UK approved of 2.5% of tariff of import in China in December 1926. US expressed negotiation with China in January 1927. And Canton Government expressed void of unequal treaties with powers in July 1928. US approved of Canton Government and the tariff autonomy in July. UK did in August. Tanaka Cabinet did not approve of tariff autonomy but 2.5% tariff on 30 January 1929.(2) Tanaka Cabinet approved of Canton Government on 3 June 1929.(4) Hamaguchi Cabinet decided of Chinese tariff autonomy in January 1930 and signed Chinese tariff autonomy on 6 May.(3)

Japan occupied German Saipan and Truk in WWI. While Australia occupied New Guniea. Saipan is located in the neighbor of Guam. I think Japan had not occupy most of German territories in the Pacific after all. US built the Panama Canal in 1914. Twenty-One Demands of Japan ocurred Chinese nationalism in 1915. Japan was one of powers. USN began to study campaign plans in the Pacific how USN would occupy islands and protect invasion forces. While IJN began to study how to intercept USN near Saipan. But oil fueling in the ocean and aircraft changed real naval operaions in 1940s. IJN aircraft raided Parl Harbor while military aircraft on a USN carrier attacked Tokyo.

Japan, US and UK agreed the status quo in the Pacific on 6 February 1922. There were strange limit about fortifications. US succeeded in excluding Hawaii where US annexed in 1898. While Japan annexed Taiwan in 1895, Okinawa in 1872. I do not know why Japanese people did not refer to this article. Didn't the Japanese remember how black ships invaded Japan via Taiwan, Okinawa and Ogasawara (Bonin) in 1850s? Did they think old shiodome line was enough to defend Japan? Shiodome was Bakufu's imaginary defense line at the Uraga Channel in Edo era. Once again Japan stood and stands in the pheripherial of the Pacific.

    Article XIX
    The United States, the British Empire and Japan agree that the status quo at the time of the signing of the present Treaty, with
      Page 253
    regard to fortifications and naval bases, shall be maintained in their respective territories and possessions specified hereunder:

    (1) The insular possessions which the United States now holds or may hereafter acquire in the Pacific Ocean, except (a) those adjacent to the coast of the United States, Alaska and the Panama Canal Zone, not including the Aleutian Islands, and (b) the Hawaiian Islands;

    (2) Hong Kong and the insular possessions which the British Empire now holds or may hereafter acquire in the Pacific Ocean, east of the meridian of 110° east longitude, except (a) those adjacent to the coast of Canada, (b) the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories, and (c) New Zealand;

    (3) The following insular territories and possessions of Japan in the Pacific Ocean, to wit: the Kurile Islands, the Bonin Islands, Amami-Oshima, the Loochoo Islands, Formosa and the Pescadores, and any insular territories or possessions in the Pacific Ocean which Japan may hereafter acquire.

    The maintenance of the status quo under the foregoing provisions implies that no new fortifications or naval bases shall be established in the territories and possessions specified; that no measures shall be taken to increase the existing naval facilities for the repair and maintenance of naval forces, and that no increase shall be made in the coast defences of the territories and possessions above specified. This restriction, however, does not preclude such repair and replacement of worn-out weapons and equipment as is customary in naval and military establishments in time of peace.

Split Manchuria
US also adovocated peace in China. And US, Japan, China, France, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal signed Nine-power treaty on 6 February 1922. But Japan failed to approve of rights in Manchuria. Why did Japan fail? Because I think that Russia lost her power in the world after WWI. Japan and Russia blocked other powers intervention to Manchuria together by secret agreements, as follows.
    1907 Jul30 1st Japanese-Russo Agreement
    1910 Jul04 2nd Japanese-Russo Agreement
    1912 Jul08 3rd Japanese-Russo Agreement
    1916 Jul03 4th Japanese-Russo Agreement
The international law had changed in China and Europe since then. The world did not admit Imperialism in China any more. Japan had to regist US demand alone without Russian agreement in Manchuria. But US could continue intervention by force in America as usual before WWII, as follows.
    1925 Panama
    1926 Nicaragua
    1933 Nicaragua
 Military advisors of Chiang Kai-shek
Military advisors of Chiang Kai-shek
1924-27 Vasily BlyukherRussia
1927Vasily ChuikovRussia
1930-1937Alexander von FalkenhausenGermany
1934-1935Hans von SeecktGermany
1938-1939Andrey VlasovRussia
1942-1944Joseph StilwellUSA
1944-1946Albert Coady WedemeyerUSA
1950-1970Tomita NaosukeJapan
Chinse economic power increased gradually in the south in 1930s. A new leader of China appeared. His name was Chiang Kai-Shek. He was not a son of a bureaucrat or official but a salt merchant. Salt and iron were monopoly product since Han Dynasty. He gained his power by Chinese traditional method, marriage with Soong May-ling who was a Christian. He became a brother-in-law of Sun Yat-sen. He got fame in the US, as Time pressed his issues.[7] His diplomatic principle seemed for Japanese leaders not to understand. A true Chinese leader's time scale have been longer than A Japanese.

China was disappointed that other powers fixed colonization of China. So China came near to Russia (Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact) at first. The next was Germany (Sino-German cooperation). China had invited Russian military advisors before 1927. China expelled communists in 1927. The table shows Russian, German, American and Japanese military advisors of Chiang Kai-shek. China had adopted foreigners to control foreigners ( 夷 wo motte 夷 wo seisuru ) in her long history. Okamura recommended Tomita to Chiang. Okamura also was a military advisor of 北洋軍閥 孫伝芳.

Chiang published his declare of 最後関頭 at 廬山 on 17 July 1937.
Secretary of State Henry Lewis Stimson analysed that Japanese civilians would not able to curb Japan's militarism correctly. Surprisingly he thought how to solve Japan issue in 1936.[6] US and UK declared abolition of extraterritoriality in China in October 1942. After collapse of Germany in May 1945, Potsdam Declaration cofused Japan among militray leaders. Certainly Konoe and rear vice admiral Takagi realized the aim of US war against Japan.[8]

Why did Konoe announce such a declaration to China on 15 August 1937, even though he recognized China issue and domestic militarism correct?

    帝国夙に東亜の永遠の平和を冀念し、日支両国の親善提携に力を効せること久しきに及べり。 然るに南京政府は排日侮日を以て国論昂揚と政権強化の具に供し、自国国力の過信と帝国の実力を軽視の風潮と相俟ち、更に赤化勢力と荀合して反日侮日兪々甚しく、以て帝国に敵対せんとするの気運を情勢せり。
    顧みれば事変発生以来婁々声明したる如く、帝国は隠忍に隠忍を重ね事件の不拡大を方針とし、努めて平和的且局地的に処理せんことを企図し、平津地方に於ける支那軍婁次の挑戦及不法行為に対しても我が支那駐屯軍は交通線の確保及我が居留民保護の為真に已むを得ざる自衛行動に出でたるに過ぎず。 而も帝国政府は夙に南京政府に対して挑戦的言動の即時停止と現地解決を妨害せざる様注意を喚起したるも拘らず,南京政府は我が勧告を聴かざるのみならず、却て益々我が方に対し、戦備を整え、厳存の軍事協定を破りて顧みることなく、軍を北上せしめて我が支那駐屯軍を脅威し、又漢口上海其の他に於ては兵を集めて兪々挑戦的態度を露骨にし、上海に於ては遂に我に向って砲火を開き帝国軍艦に対して爆撃を加ふるに至れり。
Bureaucrats and military officials had lead Japan in 1930s and began the Pacific War. Why didn't an excellent leader appeare who recognized the crisis of Japan or power balance in China? I do not know at all.

 Modern Navy foundation in the end of Edo era
Abe Masahiro had provacated that Japan did not guard by guns on coast against hostile warships but should intercept them off shore. So Government stopped prohibition of big ships. But a few han (local government) only wished to build warships. Government requested Curtius of Netherlands to submit a proposal for Japanese navy. Fabius, commander of Soembing (Kanko-maru) submitted his opinion 3 times. Government founded kaigun denshu-sho in Nagasaki and bought warships from Netherlands. Government had 4 steam warships including a gift from UK till 1859. Kaigun denshu-sho trained samurai from various han. Soon Government thought Japan had better adopt USN method and bought warships from US. Government was to send students in US to learn modern naval technologies. But the Civil War in US prevented it. It is interesting for me that Bakufu called kaigun denshu (伝習) sho (所), because Bakufu also a Western style infantry denshu (伝習) tai (隊).

Sinagawa BattleAwa Battle
While Lord Shimadzu Nariakira and Nabeshima Naomasa only understood how important for founding a modern navy. Satuma made effort much to build her navy after the battle in the Kagoshima Bay. Satuma adopted her enemy's RN style and possesed 17 warships compared with 36 of Government navy just before the Boshin War. Both navies fought some battles. The action diagrams show the Awa Battle on 4 January 1868 and the Shinagawa battle on 25 December 1867. Satuma's warships escaped the battle sea and could run away from Edo and Osaka without fatal gunfires.
Gunzo, p162-169, no70
Shimazu Nariakira

 Sea Power Parity on Washington Treaty
3 navies budget [£m] £m in 1913
IJN had seeked that its sea power had 70 % of USN after WWI. The Washington Treaty was a big political issue in Japan. Some law makers and a group of IJN got together. They used the treaty to get governance and IJN budget each other. After all IJN mislead Japan to the Pacific War. Although they was educated as elite, they lacked a sense of commons. They fought the war in their rule that they did not see the reality of enemy. Prrime Minister and Admiral Okada Keisuke declared denunciation of Wasington Treaty on 29 December 1934. It meant US could enforce USN freely using enormous economy. And worse Japan began war against China in 1937. Why did not IJN bureaucrats evaluate US economical power? The table shows how US, UK and Japan spent money in their navies.[11]

Dependent on US economy
US had invested to China and Japan as follows. As matter of fact, Japan needed US dollars to develope domestic industries. Ishibashi Tanzan understood the economic reality well.

There were few military leaders to know US economy or society well. Leaders from Cadet school or Naval academy governed our nation in 1930 - 1945. Most of Japanese leaders thought world wide issues like Ishihara, Tojyo and Kishi. They longered Japan could develop by herself like Soviet Union under controlled economy. Soviet had resources and land to grow food.

Correctly Gandhi understood dollars cool in Asia, who knew that Japan could not be independent from US.

(1) 日露戦争
(2) Kawada, p39-40
(3) Kawada, p64
(4) Kawada, p42
[5] Matsumoto, p10-11
[6] Matsumoto, p173
[7] 馬 暁華 America no Chugoku taiken
[8] Nihon6, p170
[11] Hull no 極東政策 no 岐路
[21] Ohuchi, p197

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