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51

We have to delve into two spheres to address this question, the political and the military. Militarily, the Japanese fought a series of border skirmishes with the Soviet Union at Khalkhin Gol (located along the Manchurian - Mongolian border, Mongolia then being a "People's Republic" and puppet of the Soviet Union) through early summer to early autumn 1939, ...


37

The official reason was to avoid a long and costly battle attempting to force the Japanese to surrender by invading the mainland. The Japanese were tenacious fighters and their tactics of Kamikaze suicide bombers and their courageous defense of their country in engagements such as the Battle of Okinawa, lend substantial credibility to this claim. Some such ...


29

There actually was an 88-minute long speech from Hitler in the Reichstag on December 11th, 1941, which was four days after the japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, where he officially declared that Germany would join Japan in the war against the USA. In this speech, he mentioned a few of his personal reasons for this decision. I think this would be an ...


24

I seriously doubt it. Japan was a traditional monarchy, philosophically and ideologically far closer to China than Germany. Of course both were mortal enemies and had been for centuries. Far more likely they were drawn together simply by the fact that both were shut out from the "international community" and felt slighted by the UK and US (and in case of ...


23

This is a matter of very hot debate. It depends on what assumptions you make about what would have happened in the future. But there are two basic scenarios: The bombings saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 - 500 thousand US lives, and Japanese lives in the millions. The bombings saved US lives numbered only in the thousands, and actually cost the ...


22

Hiroshima, the first city, was "an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing[sic] effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. ...


20

The U.S. likely did not target Tokyo for the atomic bomb strikes as it was the seat of the Emperor and the location of much of the high ranking military officers. These are precisely the people you do not want to kill if you want to negotiate a surrender, as they are the people you would be negotiating with. The U.S. decided to drop the bombs onto military ...


18

Perhaps this is a generational thing? As a Gen-X'er, I grew up hearing about things like the Bataan Death March, The Rape of Nanking, and how in general the Japanese didn't feel like adhering to the Geneva Conventions, (as dramatized in Bridge over the River Kwai, among other movies and books). When I was a kid we also had lots more Pacific Theater veterans ...


17

Tokugawa Ieyasu banned it in 1614 for one. You would be killed for being a practicing Christian up until the Meiji restoration. Think about it like this. You've got Europeans coming in. They are seen as a direct threat[1] to your power base built on the divine authority of the God Emperor and the Shogun, his personal representative. The Buddhists don't claim ...


17

The US was already in a naval war with Germany (and not doing real well), was supplying all sorts of arms, supplies, and even warships to Britain, and was flagrantly violating the laws of war applicable to neutrals. Hitler was expecting war at some time in the near future, and chose to declare war first. Hitler was also counting on the Japanese Navy to at ...


17

Japan shut out the West very successfully so its emergence from isolation was all the more abrupt, and Japan's history to 1945 could be seen as trying to integrate Japan's self-image and national mythologies, and its powerful social factions, into a post-feudal, industrial state. And quickly! The Japanese leadership made a quick but effective plan to ...


17

The Japanese, Germans, and Italians primarily allied based on their late-bloomer status and desire for geopolitical revisionism. Whereas countries like England, France, Russia, and so forth had unified and developed empires in the centuries prior to industrialization, the Axis powers had not really unified and become politically and militarily centralized ...


16

The Japanese had 4 terms they were demanding in order to "surrender": The emperor would remain inviolate. Japan's borders would be restored to those of summer of 1942, requiring the allies to return to Japanese control every island and country that they had been thrown off of, such as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and the Philippines. Japanese troops would ...


16

Wow, where to start. Basically, ignore anything in the previous answer regarding Europe and shields. As far European metallurgy goes, pattern welding was in use as early as the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The technique continued to be used up until about the end of the viking era (mid 11th century) when quenching and tempering basically took over. As a ...


15

The Charter Oath promulgated at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji of Japan on 7 April 1868 includes several parts that identify the reasons for the radical social restructure that followed the Meiji restoration and an indication of the motivations for the dissolution of the warrior class that had been a defining characteristic of Japanese society. ...


15

The effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki run quite deeply. One of the most profound effects is that Japan is very pacifistic and one of the few (if not the only country) that has outlawed war. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution prohibits the Japanese government from declaring war, although permits Japan to maintain a self-defense force. Since the end of ...


14

(A little background for others reading this post) In 1868 Emperor Meiji re-established imperial rule. To move Japan into the modern era, he encouraged his people to explore and learn from the more technologically advanced cultures of the world. Even in the late 1800s, English was the language of international commerce. Emperor Meiji's push to learn ...


14

I think there are a couple of points in your question which I think need clarification and context: "Before the Japanese could surrender" : There seems to be an implication here that Japan was about to surrender and didn't quite get the chance. The second bombing occurred three days after the first. The regime in Japan had made it very clear over a long ...


14

It wasn't as simple as "13 against 4" as the question states. Russians only had 8 real battleships. 3 were coastal defense Ushakov class battleships. The entire order of battle was significantly less lopsided than the ratio above indicates. Even leaving aside ship quality, the quantity was (from Wiki) | Japan | Russia | ...


13

Ray Monk in Inside the Center: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer tells the story thus: Truman returned to Washington from Potsdam on the evening of 7 August and was immediately caught up in a whirlwind of activity generated by Groves, who was determined to proceed as quickly as possible with a second bombing of Japan. He and Admiral William ...


12

As mentioned in this Wikipedia article, Japan's reasons for attacking the US were mostly because of the US stopping oil and other material shipments to Japan and Japanese belief that further Japanese aggression in Asia (which they were intent on pursuing and not just or even primarily in Philippines) would lead to a war with the US anyway. Thus Japan ...


12

Japan agreed to pay war reparations of 1.3 trillion yen. The Japanese GDP in 1952 was 6,217 billion yen. So the reparation was 20.91% of the Japanese GDP. The Japanese GDP in 2011 was equivalent to $5.869 trillion 2011 USD. So the reparations were equivalent to 1,224 billion 2011 USD. This was all proposed at the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952. The soviet ...


11

From: JREF The earliest origins of Shinto are lost to history, but it seems to have been established by the late Jomon period. Most likely, after the arrival of the earliest ancestors of today's Japanese, each tribe and area had its own collection of gods and rituals with no formal relationship between each of the areas. Following the ascendency of the ...


11

Another Wikipedia article might hold your answer. News of Japan's surrender didn't reach everyone all at once (as you'd expect), though it is surprising how many Japanese soldiers were still holding out for years. According to that article, the following number of soldiers surrendered or were killed (by decade): 1940s: 85 1950s: 34 1960s: 2 1970s: 4 As ...


11

Executive Summary The small conflict was important to SU but much less so for Japan. Japanese ground forces were not the best Despite the purges, the Red Army still had some good generals (surprised?) Details Importance Stalin wanted to point Japan south and east, freeing himself to pursue his European expansion policy. He wanted to give the IJN a ...


11

Kind of, but not as such. The closest to what you're probably thinking of is the nihonjin-machi that began to form in the Pacific around the same time as Europe's Renaissance. These were primarily mercantile communities, but later also housed significant numbers of samurais, Christians and other exiles from Japan. None of them survived after the early modern ...


10

Around 1542 (the date is not certain) a chinese junk was blown onto the shores of the island of Tanegashima of the southern coast of Kyushu. On board were three Portuguese travellers, the first Westerners to land on Japanese soil. To Lord Tokitada, the daimyo of Tanegashima, the most strking thing about the stranded Westerners were the guns that two of them ...


10

During World War II, American aid to the Allies fell under three categories: Lend-lease aid to Britain and Russia, of an amount roughly equal to the whole of the German war production, Fighting Japan, Germany's major ally, and the introduction of ground troops into western Europe. American "Lend Lease" efforts had troubled Hitler and his admirals all ...


10

Japan was interested in extending its influence in Asia and for that it had to confront either USSR or USA. While I don't think that the exact reason for choosing USA is known, Japan was at a clear disadvantage when battling USSR: while the Soviet Union had established overland supply line for its troops in the far east (Trans-Siberian Railway) the Japanese ...


10

I can think of a number of reasons, but they fall under two categories: 1) Logistics and 2) Morale Logistics. With the Japanese islands cut off from the outside world, the Japanese islands could not produce enough food to feed its population and the soldiers already on the islands. Pulling another 2-3 million troops from China would have only aggravated ...



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