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50

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, ...


32

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 ...


26

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 ...


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. ...


22

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


14

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. ...


14

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 ...


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

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 ...


13

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 ...


12

(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 ...


12

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 | ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


9

They had a treaty beginning in 1941, after a few skirmishes along the area in question. They were also a member of the Tripartite Pact, which they remainded a member of even after Germany attacked the Soviet Union references: Wikipedia


9

Yip man was real (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). He was a famous student of Wing Chun. My guess is that you're referring to the 2008 movie, Ip Man. However, it was not historically accurate. Quoting its Wikipedia page: Film4's review detailed the departures from history: "The real Ip Man was never, despite the film's assertions to the contrary, forced from ...


8

One point to mention is that Christianity does not mix well with other religions as Noldorin notes, basically you are a Christian and that is it. Buddhism is more of a philosophy than religion (my view considering my wife's Buddhist faith) and while they pray to Buddha it's more of an ideal to shoot for, how you do that can be open to interpretation. If ...


8

No. For instance, you are wrong that Japan promoted racism on the official basis. In fact, throughout the war up to 1944 they conducted several international conferences against racism. This was very bold move given the position of Germany. Japan also was the government that proposed amendments to the League of Nations charter condemning racism (before the ...


7

The Soviets kept a strong army in the Far East at all times, in case of Japanese attack, and the Japanese had come out a distinct second best in earlier battles. Opening up a front meant committing the Kwantung Army to battle, with all the logistics (never Japan's strong point) that implies, and a battle that the Japanese could not necessarily pull back ...


7

One important reason that Japan chose to go to war with the United States rather than the Soviet Union was because its navy was the stronger of its two arms. The Japanese navy was quite competitive with the U.S. navy, even before Pearl Harbor (until the 1943 U.S. shipbuilding program kicked in). Not so the Japanese army, which had been defeated by Soviet ...



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