"It is Japan's mission to be supreme in Asia, the South Seas, and eventually the four corners of the world." ~General Sadao Araki*
Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Flag
The 51st Defense Battalion was sent to fight a formidable opponent. For years, Imperial Japan was stockpiling their arsenal, indoctrinating the nation, and preparing its warrior-like soldiers. I have included a brief list of 10 Significant Imperial Japanese Events: 1925-1941 in order for my readers to have a better perspective below:
- 1924 - Japanese Exclusion Act prohibited Japanese Immigration to the United State of America. Japan becomes isolated, and the ABCD Powers--American, Britain, Chinese, and Dutch were viewed as threatening to the Japanese Empire.
- 1925 - Universal Male Suffrage was introduced which meant that more men were eligible to vote in elections. Eligible voters went from 3.3 million to 12.5 million. This creates an opportunity to solidify the direction of the nation.
- 1928-1932 - Japan's Depression and the Great Depression caused economic strife, along with social and political unrest. The military creates a livelihood for young men. Many soldiers were from rural, poor areas and were committed to the military's effort to expand Japanese territory and to achieve economic security.
- 1931- Army Takes Control and Evades Manchuria. The Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo was established.
- 1936 - German and Japan Sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. This was essentially an Anti-Communism treaty.
- July 1937, Japanese Soldiers Invades Manchuria in China. They went on to invade Peking, Shanghai and Nanking, the former capital of China.
- 1940 - Japan Signs the Tripartite Pact. It is the Rome-Tokyo-Berlin-Axis agreement, where the countries agree not to "meddle" in each others military pursuits.
- 1940 - During The Second Sino-Japanese War massive killing, looting, and burning takes place.
- In 1940, Japan Took Over French Indochina (Vietnam).This resulted in an oil embargo with Great Britain and the United States. Japan, needing oil to maintain its military prowess, then decides to invade the oil rich Dutch East Indies. (Indonesia)
- Secret Attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941. The aim was to destroy the United States' naval vessels and to diminish the US presence in the Pacific.
These 10 Significant Imperial Japanese Events caused great concern throughout the world. Strategic and swift military action was taken after the secret attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan desired superpower status and was determined to weaken the West under the guise of protecting Asia. As stated previously, Japan desperately needed raw materials such as oil and rubber, commodities that were not found within its island nation. Fierce Nationalism propelled its war machine and was the catalyst to a brutality that surpassed World War I.
The boxed off area on the map was where
the 51st Defense Battalion were stationed.