What evidence is there of tank-vs-tank combat in Asia during the second world war?
Nothing like in Europe.... But there were a few.
If you count the Battle of Khalkin-Gol between the Soviets and Japanese in 1939, that is probable the largest tank battle in the Pacific. 500 Soviet tanks vs about 100 Japanese tanks and tankettes.
1941 December 22 during the Fall of Luzon, The Japanese 4th Tank Regiment's riding Type 95 tanks encountered the 192nd Tank Battalion's riding M3s in the Philippines. This was America's first armoured clash of WWII.
The Tigers of Corregidor
General Wainwright had received information that the Japanese 4th Tank Regiment, commanded by Lieut. Colonel Kumagaya, was approaching his lines of defense. The General ordered Captain Hanes of the 192nd Tank Battalion to engage the mechanized forces of the Japanese in the town of Damortis. However, Hanes’ M3 Start force was nearly out of fuel at the time. Because of this, he ordered lieutenant Ben Morin to command a platoon of 5 Stuart tanks to engage the Japanese assault. On December 22nd, the 192nd and the 4th met in combat, however the Japanese were expecting the lieutenant's force and staged an ambush for the oncoming platoon. Once the 192nd had sight on the Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go’s, Morin's Stuart immediately broke formation to meet the tanks head on but was crippled with a hit to the engine, setting the tank on fire. The remaining four Stuarts were taken by surprise and damaged severely, but managed to escape the battle. Ben Morin and his crew were able to survive, however they were captured as prisoners of war by the 4th Tank Regiment. As a result, the M3 Stuart belonging to Morin was captured and repaired to be serviced by the 4th, later to be commanded by the 7th Tank Regiment.
- 1945 The Japanese 2d Armored Division was in the Philippians with 200 tanks to defend against the allied invasion. The terrain was so poor the Japanese tanks initially couldn't move so the Japanese dug them in and used them as pill boxes. A few tank on tank battles, the Marines destroyed most of the Japanese tanks with Mortars, 50 cal machine guns, hand grenades and artillery.. The Field Artillery Journal see page 43.
(*) Tankette - a tracked armoured fighting vehicle that resembles a small tank, roughly the size of a car. It is mainly intended for light infantry support and scouting. Colloquially it may also simply mean a small tank.