Many are paying today for Japan’s blunder
Posted on December 7th, 2016

Janaka Perera

Seventy five years ago on December 7, 1941 Imperial Japan committed the biggest blunder in her history. It was an attack Washington welcomed but not openly. The Japanese surprise attack on the American Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii not only caused Tokyo’s disastrous defeat four years later but also brought the United States out of isolation to begin interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.

It paved the way for the U.S. to become a global policeman the negative impact of which has been gradually felt to this day in many a country (including Sri Lanka) since the end of World War II.

In 1941, America was still reeling from effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Her living standards were still behind those of old colonial countries like Great Britain, France, Spain and Portugal. At that time American thinking process was to keep out of European wars and not get involved with old colonial countries like England, France and Germany since these countries were fighting among themselves in the past.  That meant not meddling with other countries.

According to American historian David Woolner, in June 1939 – three months before England declared war on Germany – the U.S. Army ranked 19th in the world–smaller than Portugal’s!

Even the U.S. entry to World War I took place only on April 4, 1917 a year before the conflict ended. That too was a reaction to Germany sinking five U.S. merchant ships.

Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku mastermind of the Pearl Harbour attack initially opposed war with the U.S., mostly out of fear that a prolonged conflict would go badly for Japan. But once the government of Prime Minister Tojo Hideki decided on war, Yamamoto argued that only a surprise attack aimed at crippling U.S. naval forces in the Pacific had any hope of victory. He also predicted that if war with America lasted more than one year, Japan would lose. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito too very reluctantly approved the decision to attack only at the last stage, on December 1, 1941. The attack changed everything. Washington mobilized the country’s population to defeat Japan and provided military assistance to Britain and the Soviet Union.

As Yamamoto (who also died in the war) had feared the turning point in war came in June 1942 in the Battle of Midway which was the decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theatre of World War II.  In that battle U.S. Forces sank all four of Japan’s large aircraft carriers, Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu – part of the six-carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbour six months earlier (naval aircraft from the same carriers also participated in the raids on Colombo and Trincomalee in April 1942).

Despite the defeat of Germany, Italy and Japan in 1945, European colonial powers including Britain, France and the Netherlands, were soon compelled to dismantle their empires due to the devastating economic and political impact of the global conflict.

The result was the USA becoming the world’s number one military power while the Soviets held the number two position. The U.S. introduced nuclear weapons to the world and also became the No.1 economic power. Within a few years her living standards too became No.1.

As for Japan she lost her independent political clout, military power and became a virtual vassal state of the U.S.

Consequently we are faced to today with a U.S. initiated a ‘New World War’ or as some calls it neo-colonialism in the name of democracy and human rights, when it suits Washington.

11 Responses to “Many are paying today for Japan’s blunder”

  1. Christie Says:

    Ever heard of Chandra Bose?

  2. Kumari Says:

    No, no, no. It wasn’t the Japanese that attacked the Pearl Harbour. Just like the 9/11 it was the Americans who killed Americans. Japanese had no reason to attack Americans. The radars were turned off, so there’s no way of checking the footage. Churchill agreed with Roosevelt that there should be a trigger for American involvement. Churchill was also hoodwinked to pay for the war. For sixty years Britain paid £3 million per annum to the USA also agreed to give all British Scientists (lured with better working /scientific facilities and living conditions ) to America. American Space programme was the work of British scientists.

  3. aloy Says:

    Why is Abe apologizing, then?.

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    KUMARI !! A Japanese Fleet with tremendous Air Power attacked the Pearl Harbour, without any instructions from a top official of the Japanese Government. The a Top Japanese Official severely reprimanded the Commander, saying, **By your actions, you woke up a SLEEPING GIANT**.

  5. aloy Says:

    To my mind, the sleeping giant USA was awakened by the Pearl Harbour attack.

    They set a target to smash Japan with a nuclear bomb and started work on it vigorously. Scientists including Einstein was engaged on it and they succeeded. Similarly, the attempt by India to rape SL will result in uniting all patriotic forces and defeating the effort of the deshadrohios. I can imagine a scenario when SL will regain its due place in the world as it has been during Parakrama Bahu the great era.

    So, the pigs in Diyawanna be aware of their fate.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    Given its choices, Imperial Japan had no choice than to attack harassing Americans which proved fatal. The right thing to do was to withdraw from Manchuria where Japan committed horrendous war crimes and crimes against humanity, scale down aggression in Asia and the Pacific.

    Japan is yet to apologise and compensate for the horrendous war crimes it committed. China and Russia are not so generous for Japanese demands. As Japan once again clamour for war with the creative interpretation of Article 9 (on the insistence of USA), Russia and China are increasingly weary of Japanese ambitions.

  7. samurai Says:

    The article is a well researched piece.

    Kumari’s imagination is running riot. There’s absolutely NO evidence anywhere that the Americans planned and executed the Pearl Harbour attack. What the U.S. did was to impose an oil embargo on Japan, leaving the latter with no alternative but to attack.

    However not only Admiral Yamamoto and Emperor Hirohito but even some ordinary Japanese had misgivings about launching such an attack on the U.S. Fleet. Among them was Kuniyoshi Takamoto an aircraft mechanic in the then Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force. Now aged 95 and living in Osaka he told the AFP this week:

    “I wondered if such a poor country would be all right fighting such a big one”
    But there’s no evidence that the Japanese armed forces acted on their own without any orders from the top. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo had already given the green light for the attack, although the Emperor was not enthusiastic about it.

    Why Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is apologizing is because Japan lost the war. If Japan had won it would have been a different story. When U.S. President Barak Obama visited Japan (the first by an American Head of State since WW II) last August to participate in commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombing victims he never apologized for the horrifying carnage. It is always the victor’s justice (except in Sri Lanka where the West is causing the opposite to happen).

    If Japan should apologize for the atrocities committed since the 1930s to the end of World War II, the West should apologize to Asia, Latin America and Africa for the atrocities committed on native peoples for nearly four centuries.

    This is why Justice Radhabinod Pal one of the 11 Allied judges in the Tokyo International Military Tribunal which convened on April 26, 1946 to try Japanese military and civilian leaders for their roles in the world war called it a sham trial. He was a dissenting judge. He said by resorting to acts of aggression Japan had merely aped the West.

    Justice Pal did not declare the Japanese leaders charged with war crimes innocent but declared that the West had no right to pass judgments on them. He believed the exclusion of Western colonialism and the U.S. atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the list of war crimes and of judges from the vanquished nation on the bench, signified the “failure of the Tribunal to provide anything other than the opportunity for the victors to retaliate.” He also described the U.S. atom bombings as the worst atrocities of the war, comparable with Nazi crimes.

    However despite Japan having lost the war there’s no question that her military role (regardless of motives) put an end to West’s colonialism in Asia, as historian Arnold Toynbee noted. Asian nationalists such as Soekarno, Aung San and Subhas Chandra Bose realized this as soon as Japan entered the war. In fact Indonesians regards Japan as the country which freed them from Dutch Colonialism.

  8. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    The twisted thinking of today’s geopolitics is unbelievable. Americans dropped the atomic bomb and killed
    100s of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now the Japanese are friendly with the americans!
    Why? Japanese fear the Chinese and go to bed with their former enemy. They have even allowed nuclear-armed
    bases in Japanese islands. All the missles aimed at Chinese cities. Can you believe? In today’s world, with
    the atomic bomb-congested planet, all responsible governments should be trying to curtail, try to get rid of the
    nasty bomb since it will destroy the whole planet.

    But nobody paying any attention. It is a just a press of a button. Whole planet is gone! How? These mighty bombs
    will create a gas cloud so thick which will stop sun’s rays getting through. The whole thing going to freeze in no time.
    If the bomb didn’t kill you, the freeze will kill everyone. That’s the truth. Does any government give a damn? No
    chance! The so called peace lover harak obama spent most money covering the whole planet with nuclear missiles
    during his tenure than any president of us history. But he was even given a noble prize. That’s how twisted today’s
    politics are!

    Us is upset they going to lose their position as the world’s policeman to China. What they don’t understand is, it is
    not in the Chinese’ nature. They are not war mongers. They haven’t been involved in any war unless they are provoked. That’s why they built the great wall 2500 years ago. They could’ve fought and fought. But they chose to take
    all the trouble and secured themselves. Look at Chinese living in Sri Lanka. They don’t multiply and multiply and take over the country. They just live there and fully integrate. You see in every town a few Chinese. You will see in 50 years they will have hardly changed. Numbers are almost the same. That’s how they live all over the world. No grief to anybody. Compare these with the other foreigners in Sri Lanka. They have multiplied and multiplied and constantly asking for their separate sate.

    They haven’t put any bases anywhere in the world. US getting ready to
    destroy China. All their missiles aimed at one direction. But us controlled media around the globe won’t utter a word
    against their war mongering.

    US had a problem with the EU getting too strong. Destroy middle east, send millions of refugees to Europe. Europe is flooded with muslims. No more EU getting strong. US is immune from the refugee problem since they are
    6,000 miles away. EU is finished. China is tamed. You are still the boss. Why can’t the war monger behave and
    secure the planet’s long term future rather than arming yourself to the teeth with monster bomb and put the human
    race’s existence on a press of a button. Who knows some idiot could press it by mistake or accident happen, or even use against the Chinese and they fire one in retaliation. Whole thing going to go up in flames. Sadly nobody
    is criticising the nuclear mad world’s double standard policeman. So they keep arming and arming themselves more
    and more deadly weapons capable of destroying the whole globe!

  9. aloy Says:

    Einstein worked out a formula, E=mc^2 that gives the amount of Energy that will be released by exploding a radio active material of mass m. He also brought in two theories which I found difficult to understand at the beginning. One is that the speed of light in a vacuum with respect to two observers is the same irrespective of their velocities. That is, if one is travelling at the constant speed of light (ie 300,000 km/second) he still find the light rays travelling away from him at the same speed of 300,000km/second. And the other observer who is stationery also see the same speed of light relative to him. The General Theory of relativity is about Space Time which says about curving of space time near large objects. This has been proved to be correct only recently.
    When we consider these bizarre happenings that are proved to be correct, we can say that there must be some truth in the Abrahamic and Hindu religions that believe in para normal behavior of matter. Perhaps there are more than one space times that exist along with us. Although we cannot feel or see things in the other space times, they still exist and can move from one to other. Will this be a way of escaping nuclear holocaust?.

  10. aloy Says:

    To support what I have written in the penultimate sentence above, we can take what happened on the boxing day morning in 2004 when 40 odd thousand lives were lost due to tsunami in southern and eastern SL. It was reported in media and confirmed by a known family who happened to be in Hikkaduwa that morning, that animals like Kabaragoyas, thalagoyas, lizards etc. living near streams and bushes that got flooded had panicked and started running here and there few hours before the actual incident. This happened to animals in affected areas only and not in other areas. So it cannot be due to any electromagnetic, gravity or other kind of waves that are known to us. The humans have the sixth-sense (ie. subtle mind and subtle intellect) which the animals do not have. Perhaps to compensate that the nature may have given them the power of premonition or to live in a different time frame also at the same time. I wonder whether this sort of thing happened in Japan when some 60,000 lives were lost in a single incident (or two).
    If the humans can get a firm handle on this phenomena (not sacrificing animals or humans as it happens in Munneswaran or ME) perhaps humanity can escape nuclear holocaust.

  11. Christie Says:

    The writer is doing a good job for the Indian Empire. Indian colonial parasites including Tamils in the East supported the Japanese Nationalists Fascists. Bose Nazis and Mohandas Italian Fascists.

    Who ever win or loos Indians are with them to oppress people like us. That is what is important to us.

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