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I have heard that Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, and Mussolini, prime minister of Italy, met personally to discuss strategy and seemed to be pretty close allies. I have not heard much about Hitler and Hirohito's relationship however. Did they consider themselves as allies? Did they discuss strategy together?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tyler Durden, Gwen, Semaphore, Mark C. Wallace, CGCampbell Oct 29 '15 at 17:44

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Let's just leave the Emperor out of this question. Some say he's a figurehead, some say he has significant responsibility, this isn't worth debating for the scope of this question.

Was the Japanese-German alliance "close"? Not really.

After the Germans signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with the Japanese, they then negotiated in secret and then signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the USSR.... straight in the middle of the Battles of Khalkin Gol, and the Japanese were beaten badly once Stalin was assured safety from a German attack. Japan recalled her ambassador, Oshima Hiroshi, after the event.

Ishikawa Shingo believed Operation Sealion was going to be successful as late as 1941 during the planning of Pearl Harbor - months after it was canceled by Hitler in 1940, and this illusion of the United States being forced to aid Britain and thus have no resources to deal with the Pacific was a big cause for the Japanese decision to war with the United States.

Sejima Ryuzo stated that Operation Barbarossa was also a major impetus for the Japanese to bomb pearl harbor, and that had the Japanese known Hitler was actually unable to make further progress at Moscow (rather than simply being stalled), they would have never attacked. While it's arguable about his assessment of the importance of the information, it shows that the Germans were not keeping Japan informed on their own plans.

  • a lot of US-Soviet lead lease crossed the pacific to Vladivostok sort of right passed Japan on Soviet flagged US Ships and the Japanese did nothing. 8,244,000 tons of goods went by this route, 50% of the total. – pugsville Oct 29 '15 at 6:40
  • @pugsville That's not so much malice as incompetence. Japan had naval control over Guadalcanal for half of the campaign and they never even tried cutting off American supply lines to the 1st Marines. They also had that non-aggression pact and hard lessons from Khalkhin Gol going for them. – setobot5000 Oct 29 '15 at 6:49
  • The Japanese weren't at war with Russia. They couldn't attack Russian boats without provoking war, which they couldn't afford to do. – Ne Mo Oct 29 '15 at 10:51

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