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posted on 03 September 2015

Who Actually Decisively Defeated Imperial Japan?

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Earlier today (03 September 2015), China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory over Imperial Japan, with an impressive military parade. Russian President Putin, together with about 30 foreign leaders, attended the event.

This was actually the first time that China commemorated the WWII victory in such a high-profile event. So there were obviously political reasons, such as its territory dispute with Japan over Diaoyudao (aka Senkaku Islands) and its newly strengthened alliance with Russia (Russia stages WW2 victory parade). But politics aside, let me ask a basic question: who actually decisively defeated Imperial Japan?

Unlike the answer to a related question previously posed (Who Actually Decisively Defeated Nazi Germany?), which was not widely known in the West, the answer to this question is simple and straightforward: the United States of America! The image below says it all!

Beyond the simple question and answer, it's time for the world, especially America, to have a more comprehensive view of WWII - Pacific, not only to better understand WWII history, but also to strive for a better future that hopefully precludes WWIII!

1. When did WWII start?

For Europe, WWII started on September 1, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland (Invasion of Poland). For America, it started on December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor (Attack on Pearl Harbor). For China, it started much earlier: on July 7, 1937 (Second Sino-Japanese War).

2. China in WWII

Here is a simple analogy for the West: China's role in WWII-Pacific was similar to, and much more significant than, the U.K.'s role in WWII-Europe!

Specifically, from July 7, 1937 to December 7, 1941, China was actually the only major resistance to Imperial Japan, as the U.K. was to Nazi Germany before the other allies (e.g. the USSR and the U.S.) were fully engaged! Had China (or the U.K.) fallen to Imperial Japan (or Nazi Germany) more completely and sooner, as some hot-headed Japanese military leaders promised to their emperor before the war, the proceedings and outcome of WWII-Pacific (or WWII-Europe) would have been very different.

The video at the end of the post offers a historical American view of WWII-China. Additionally, here is a good book:

Two facts as a summary:

  1. Throughout WWII, more than 90% of the Japanese Army was actually trapped and engaged in China. Japan's military casualties in China totaled more than 1.5 million!
  2. China fought WWII longer than any other nation! According to Wikipedia - World War II casualties, some 20 million Chinese died in WWII, second only to the USSR, which lost some 27 million. According to some Chinese sources, more than 35 million Chinese actually died in WWII.

The photo below remembers China for her role in WWII. For more, read: Wikipedia - Cairo Conference.

3. How did WWII-Pacific end?

America completely destroyed Japan's Navy and Air Force, leaving Japan, which has few natural resources, helplessly and hopelessly isolated!

Finally, America decisively dropped two atomic bombs (first on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki) in August 1945, forcing Japan to surrender unconditionally!

Dropping the two atomic bombs was the right thing to do not only to end WWII-Pacific sooner, but also to avoid the loss of many additional lives of Allied forces, had a military invasion of Japan been necessary. In fact, Operation Downfall had already been planned to occupy Japan, with "estimates ran up into the millions for Allied casualties" (Wikipedia - Operation Downfall).

4. Discussion

Imperial Japan was purely evil and very powerful, to which China proved to be no match. As a matter of fact, without America's active participation in WWII, the Chinese would most likely be speaking Japanese today. For that alone, China is forever indebted to America!

Unfortunately for a much wounded China, she got into a civil war after WWII, resulting in communists taking power in 1949.

Fortunately for China, the communist regime has recently evolved into a new system called "state capitalism", which has proven to be the best system for China, ever! It may even be the best system for the world. For more, read: Towards an Ideal Form of Government.

Unfortunately for the world, America's war machine continued to grow unabated after WWII, resulting in a monstrous MIC (Military-Industrial Complex). Despite the explicit warning by President Eisenhower more than 50 years ago (Eisenhower's Farewell Address), the MIC has become even more monstrous and insidious over the past few decades, driving America's foreign policies under the guise of various schemes such as anti-communism (Democracy Prevailed over Communism, Really?), spreading democracy (What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?), and now anti-terrorism!

In short, America must always have enemies to keep the MIC going, because it means jobs and votes! For more, read: America: A Culture of War.

Two facts:

  1. Since WWII, America has involved herself in more wars than any other nation! In each case, we used our military might to spread America's values (e.g. democracy), but none was truly a must-fight for America!
  2. Today, the world is more dangerous than ever, with enough nuclear weapons to blow up much of the earth, several times over! Additionally, a world-wide religious war seems to be brewing, largely as a result of our mindless foreign policy (The America That Can No Longer Think, Diplomatically), with the Iraq War being the worst (What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?).

Worse yet, decades after WWII, America seems to have finally lost her brain! For more, read: Saddam Hussein vs. Emperor Hirohito.

Bottom line: who is the true villain behind the huge mess in the world today, especially in the Middle East? America! We perpetually interfere in other countries’ affairs, often in the name of spreading democracy, which does not even work at home (Democracy in America)!

America must remember this first principle: Let other people work out their problems by themselves, over time! For example, here is a recent development: China, Vietnam agree to ‘properly handle’ disputes. So do not interfere in the South China Sea!

The world must be grateful for America's decisive involvement in WWII. However, the hero in WWII is very likely to become the precipitator in WWIII. In other words, unless America changes fundamentally as I have suggested, America will be instrumental in WWIII, thus paying a heavy price, yet again. The only question, then, is: who will be left standing after WWIII? Will someone else besides America be in a position to gain world dominance, as we did after WWII?

For more, read: Weapons of Mass Destruction.

5. Closing

It was America that decisively defeated Imperial Japan!

It's time for the world, especially America, to know China's role in WWII, by watching this video, for example.

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