Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour ignited the liberation of Asia from Western domination
Posted on December 8th, 2016

by Senaka Weeraratna

Today (December 7, 2016) marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing raid on Pearl Harbour. Special ceremonies are being organized in Hawai to commemorate the event. Many will remember the loss of their loved ones, friends and relatives. We share their grief.

On December 07, 1941, Pearl Harbour was attacked by 353 Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed.

The purpose of this article is not to embark on an inquiry to determine who was at fault and who was not. This is a complex issue with enough evidence freely accessible today to show that Japan was not totally to blame for the attack on Pearl Harbour, since it was pushed under unavoidable circumstances to enter the war with no other option left to secure oil to sustain its existence as a nation, after USA regardless of probable consequences deliberately ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941.

Instead, what is intended here is to examine the effects of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and other western colonial possessions in Asia, on the psychology and morale of the people of Asia then mostly under western colonial domination, and ask whether Japan’s anti – colonial leadership and battle success in the early phase of the War helped Asia’s freedom fighters to step up their campaign for liberation from foreign occupation and achieve independence.

In the early part of the 20th century, it is undisputed that Japan was the only country in the world that stood out openly for the liberation of Asia from western colonialism and had the capacity and resources to take on the challenge. ‘Asia for Asians’ became a battle cry of the Japanese. No other Asian country including China and India, took up such a Pan – Asian slogan or was placed in such militarily strong position.

On the day following the attack on Pearl  Harbour,  i.e. December 8, 1941, an Imperial Rescript described Japan’s war aims: to ensure Japan’s integrity and to remove European colonialism from and bring stability to East and Southeast Asia.

Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo addressed  the Nation on December 08, 1941 as follows:

“It has been unavoidable and far from our wishes that our empire has been brought to cross swords with America and Britain.

“Eager for the realization of their inordinate ambitions to dominate the Orient, both America and Britain, …. have aggravated disturbances in East Asia. Moreover, these two powers, inducing other countries to follow suit, increased military preparations on all sides of our empire to challenge us. They have obstructed by every means our peaceful commerce and finally resorted to direct severance of economic relations, menacing gravely the existence of our empire.

“Patiently have we waited and long have we endured in the hope that our government might retrieve the situation in peace.

“But our adversaries, showing not the least spirit of conciliation, have unduly delayed a settlement, and in the meantime they have intensified the economic and political pressure to compel thereby our empire to submission.

“This turn of affairs would, if left unchecked, not only nullify our empire’s efforts of many years for the sake of the stabilization of East Asia, but also endanger the very existence of our nation.

“The situation being such as it is our empire, for its existence and self-defense, has no other recourse but to appeal to arms and to crush every obstacle in its path.”

President Roosevelt called the attack on Pearl Harbour ‘a day of infamy’.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a staggering blow ”and our prestige suffered with the loss of Hong Kong ”. In early 1942, Churchill reassured the House of Commons amidst widespread, mass resistance to colonialism in India, that the Atlantic Charter’s provisions were not applicable to [the] Coloured Races in [the] colonial empire, and that [the phrase] ‘restoration of sovereignty, self-government and national life’…[was] applicable only to the States and the Nations of Europe’.

Japan’s war policy intended a total break from Western dependence, including a rejection of bankrupt Western cultural traditions, which had been slavishly adopted since the Meiji restoration, and a return to an Asian consciousness (as opposed to Western) and civilizational values as a source for national greatness. Critical to the nation’s survival in the midst of unbridled Westernization was political and cultural regeneration and a pan-Asian solidarity under Japanese leadership which was articulated as a new Order for Asia in resistance to Western imperialism.

Matsuoka Yosuke, Japanese Foreign Minister proclaimed the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere ” in August 1940. The idea of decolonization under Japanese leadership resonated with Asians widely because, in the words of former U.S. President Herbert Hoover in 1942 universally, the white man is hated by the Chinese, Malayan, Indian and Japanese alike”, due to his heartless and spiteful conduct as a colonial master over a few hundred years.

 Japan’s military success in the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 fired the dreams of Asians and Africans for freedom

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany appealed to Europe to rise above its parochial disputes to defend your holiest possession ” Christianity and European civilization against the rising threat of the

Yellow Peril .

Within a decade of the German Kaiser’s raising alarm of the danger of the yellow peril, Japan defeated Russia in 1905. It prompted a young Oxford lecturer, Alfred Zimmern, to put aside his lesson on Greek history to announce to his class the most historical event which has happened, or is likely to happen, in our lifetime has happened; the victory of a non-white people over a white people.”

Japan’s spectacular military victories at the beginning of the 20th century and their impact on Asian intellectuals are well documented in Pankaj Mishra’s book called From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia”.

This work is a survey of Asian intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and their role in pan-Asian, pan-Islamic, and anti-colonial movements. The book begins with an electrifying moment in Asia’s struggle for liberation from Western domination: the spectacular Japanese naval victory over Russia at the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905, which stunned Asians and Africans living under the yoke of colonialism.


This victory of the small but resurgent Japanese navy over the imperial might of what was then accepted as a major European power fired the imagination of an entire generation of Asian leaders.

Jawarharlal Nehru, Mohandas Gandhi, Sun Yat-Sen, Mao Zedong, the young Kemal Ataturk and nationalists in Egypt, Vietnam and many other countries welcomed Japan’s decisive triumph in the Russo-Japanese war with euphoric zeal. “And they all drew the same lesson from Japan’s victory”, Pankaj Mishra writes. “White men, conquerors of the world, were no longer invincible.”

Even Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, noted that “the reverberations of that victory have gone like a thunderclap through the whispering galleries of the East”. The world wars that followed further shrunk Europe of much of what remained of its moral and political authority in Asian eyes. “In the long view, however,” Mishra concludes, “it is the battle of Tsushima that seems to have struck the opening chords of the recessional of the West”.

Japan’s defeat of Russia in 1905 was uplifting news for Asians. For the first time since the middle ages, a non-European country had vanquished a European power in a major war. And Japan’s victory gave way to a hundred and one fantasies – of national freedom, racial dignity, or simple vengefulness – in the minds of those who had bitterly endured European occupation of their lands. Mahatma Gandhi then made an astute far reaching forecast. He remarked that “so far and wide have the roots of Japanese victory spread that we cannot now visualise all the fruit it will put forth.”

Japan’s proposal for equality of races at League of Nations

Japan had championed the cause of peoples under European colonial rule at the Treaty of Paris ( 1918 – 19 ) and the formation of the League of Nations.  Japan proposed an amendment to the League’s covenant that would ensure equal and just treatment in every respect, making no distinction, either in law or in fact, on account of their race or nationality.”. To their great shame the western colonial powers rejected the notion of equality between human beings fearing that it would become a challenge to white supremacy and the Colonial Order which suppressed non – white people. However Japan by this proposal for recognition of equality of all, gained the esteem of Asians and Africans as the logical leader, of all coloured peoples ”.

In respect to the Second World war, Jawarharlal Nehru observed

it became ever clearer that the western democracies were fighting not for a change but for a perpetuation of the old order, ” and both the Allied and Axis powers shared a common war

Interest the preservation of white supremacy and the colonial status quo. Both sides, he noted, embraced legacies of empire and racial and in affirmation after the war, the old imperialisms still functioned….”

Japan’s stunning military victories in 1941 – 1942

Thirty-six years after its victory in the Battle of Tsushima, Japan struck the greatest decisive blow ever by any non – white country or non – white people to European power in Asia with the attack on Pearl Harbour.  In about 90 days beginning on 8 December 1941, Japan overran the possessions of Britain, the US and the Netherlands in east and south-east Asia, taking the Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies, much of Siam and French Indochina, and Burma with bewildering swiftness to stand poised at the borders of India by early 1942. All over Asia subject people cheered the Japanese advance into countries forcibly held and occupied by western colonial powers.

Days before Singapore fell to the Japanese in early 1942, the Dutch prime minister-in-exile, Pieter Gerbrandy, had conveyed his fears and anxieties to Churchill and other Allied leaders in the following words “Japanese injuries and insults to the White population … would irreparably damage white prestige unless severely punished within a short time”.

Mahatir Mohamad, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, has said most Asians felt inferior to the European colonisers and rarely did we even consider independence a viable option. ” The colonies,

he explained, were structured to serve the European demand for raw materials and natural resources, ” and were thus dependencies. But Japan’s expulsion of the British

changed our view of the world, ” showing that an Asian race, the Japanese ” could defeat whites and with that reality dawned a new awakening amongst us that if we wanted to, we could be like the Japanese. We did have the ability to govern our own country and compete with the Europeans on an equal footing.” So despite the suffering under Japanese wartime occupation and the tremendous disappointment ”over the return of the British after the war, Mohamad wrote, the shackles of mental servitude ”had been broken.

Similarly, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew testified that Japan’s defeat of the British completely changed our world”.

Expressions of praise and gratitude to Japan

The Japanese with their stunning military victories over a common foe had made Asian people proud and stand erect with their heads held high.

” Britain was colonizing, enslaving Asian people before WW2. They ruled the Indian people for 180 years. It was Japan that got rid of the British from most of Asia and later all those countries gained independence”

” Japan lost WW2 but as the consequence of Japan’s entry to war all S E Asian countries and India achieved their long hoped for independence from the Western colonial powers within 15 years after the end of the War. 

British historian Arnold Toynbee said:

Japan put an end to West’s colonialism in Asia once and for all”

Toynbee added In World War II Japanese people left a great history. Not for their own country but for countries that achieved benefit from the War. Those  countries were ones that were included in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, a short-lived ideal that Japan held out. The biggest achievement Japanese people left in history is that they succeeded in displaying the fact that Westerners who dominated the world were not “Undefeatable Gods”

Former Thai Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj Expressed his Admiration for Japan

The former Prime Minister of Thailand, Kukrit Pramoj, who was Chief Editor of the newspaper ‘Siam Rath’ at the time and who took office as Prime Minister in 1973, stated:

It was thanks to Japan that all nations of Asia gained independence. For Mother Japan, it was a difficult birth which resulted in much suffering, yet her children are growing up quickly to be healthy and strong.

Who was it that enabled the citizens of the nations of Southeast Asia to gain equal status alongside the United States and Britain today? It is because Japan, who acted like a mother to us all, carried out acts of benevolence towards us and performed feats of self-sacrifice. December 8th ( 1941) is the day when Mother Japan – who taught us this important lesson – laid her life on the line for us, after making a momentous decision and risking her own well-being for our sake.

Furthermore, August 15th (1945) is the day when our beloved and revered mother was frail and ailing. Neither of these two days should ever be forgotten”.


Long accustomed to servility in colonial countries, western powers grossly underestimated the post-war nationalism that the Japanese had both wittingly and unwittingly unleashed. They had also severely miscalculated their own staying power among foreign subject people innately hostile to them. Despite futile counter-insurgency operations and full-scale wars, especially in Indochina, the spread of decolonisation was swift and extraordinary.

Burma, which hardly had a full blown nationalist movement before 1935, became free in 1948. The Dutch in Indonesia resisted with a rear guard defense and US and British assistance but Indonesian nationalists led by Sukarno finally overpowered them and pushed them out in 1953. Postwar chaos forced Malaya, Singapore and Vietnam into long periods of insurgencies and wars, but an ultimate European retreat was never in doubt.

Japan’s unsung role in India’s independence struggle

British governance in India — three centuries of exorbitant taxation, unfair trade practices, rampant free-marketeering and deliberate starvation had led to the deaths of millions of Indians in preventable famines. Japan played a critical ( largely unsung ) role in India’s struggle for independence by supporting Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and assisting him to form the Indian National Army (INA).

It is argued with vehemence by informed observers that without Bose’s INA, India might never have achieved independence.

This is because, although the INA failed militarily in the Battles at Kohima and Imphal along the India – Burma border in 1944 as part of the Japanese attempted entry to India, its troops (INA)  got another opportunity to challenge the British Colonial Government in a Delhi courtroom in 1945. Three INA Officers were put on trial for treason at Red Fort. This move backfired on the British. The accused a Muslim, Sikh and Hindu justified their roles as liberators of a colonized nation and won the sympathy of the Indian public.

This led to support for the defendants spreading throughout the nation — including among Indians serving in the British Indian Army. These newly radicalized troops staged strikes and mutinies across the subcontinent in 1946 against the British occupation. With its once-solid military foundation shaken to the core — and facing widespread, huge demonstrations and possible mutinies by the three forces, Army, Navy and Air Force on a scale bigger than the Indian Mutiny in 1857, — the British authorities decided that it was time to pack up and leave. On Aug. 15, 1947, they granted India its independence.

An unwise partition of the Indian subcontinent, which placed two new nation-states in endless conflict, marked Britain’s humiliating departure from India in 1947.

“Europe,” Jean-Paul Sartre claimed in his preface to Franz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth, seemed to be “springing leaks everywhere”. “In the past we made history,” Sartre asserted, “and now it is being made of us.”

The retreat of the West from its colonies in the East may well be said to be the singular most important event of the 20th century.

In this piece it is also intended to make a plea to right a great wrong done to Japan. In other words, to call on Asian countries to shun looking at Japan as an aggressor with criminal intent to plunder and loot other Asian countries a line pushed by massive western propaganda but to look at Japan as the real spark that ignited the fight all over Asia for independence from western domination.The time has come for fellow Asians who have benefited from Japan’s massive war effort and the blood sacrifices of Japanese soldiers to concede due acknowledgement to Japan.

To single out Japan for war crimes selectively while avoiding any mention of the crimes committed by western countries in third world countries including calling for reparations which both Germany and Japan have paid, is anything but a travesty of justice.

What is surprising and morally repugnant today is the unrepentant nostalgia for western hegemony that has not only gripped many prominent Anglo-American leaders and opinion-makers but also several servile Asian politicians, NGOs and columnists writing as cheer leaders of neo – colonialism, who strive to see Asia through the narrow angle of protecting western colonial interests, leaving unexamined the historical memory and the collective experiences of Asian peoples during the dark period of western colonial rule.

Colonialism and foreign occupation constitute crimes against humanity. They represent some of the most serious violations of national sovereignty of states and breach of international law, and in almost all colonial territories in Asia, Africa, North and South America horrendous crimes against humanity have been committed by the occupying colonial powers. The perpetrators have yet to be held accountable and brought to book under international law for these genocidal crimes.

De-colonise Asian minds and show gratitude to Japan

The challenge before fellow Asians is to de-colonise our minds and look at Japan’s conduct before and during the Second World War afresh. Though Japan eventually lost the war its military effort was not in vain. It substantially weakened and demoralised the western countries then in occupation of large tracts of Asia, such as Britain, France, Netherlands, Portugal and USA that they were forced to quit Asia in next to no time.

It is political correctness and revelations of Japan’s conduct in war related atrocities during the Second World War that prevent Japan from being given due credit for its unique contribution towards hastening the liberation of Asia from western colonial rule.

Tragically today the legacy of Japan’s heroic contributions and sacrifices as the first Asian country that stood up and fought to drive out European colonialism from Asia in the 20th century, is seldom acknowledged, rarely celebrated, and hardly observed as a form of thanksgiving.

It is never too late to show Asia’s gratitude to Japan and re- write the historical narrative.

11 Responses to “Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour ignited the liberation of Asia from Western domination”

  1. S.Gonsal Says:

    To be successful against ruthless westerners, Asians badly needed “discipline” to unite as one Nationalist force, and Japanese brought that.
    We can still see our region indulge in PROPAGANDA business only. Lies and more lies to cover up will never allow any nation to succeed, honesty and discipline is a must to fight mighty western powers.
    Guts to admit of own mistakes and make necessary corrections is a quality we badly need to develop. Honesty, truthfulness, true loving kindness naturally comes to us with Buddhism, but we have embraced multi-culturism , muti-faith pal boruism, even muti-linguism and hautiness instead lately and for a poor country, such culture will lead us nowhere.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    This contains many wrong assessments. Yesterday’s writing by Janaka Perera on the subject is accurate and contradicts this.

    Imperial Japan committed horrendous war crimes and crimes against humanity in Asia (Manchuria, Korea, South East Asia, Russia and even bombed Sri Lanka). These cannot be justified in anyway. Japan got what it deserved for its extreme aggression against fellow Asians (and others). Had it not be stopped in August 1945 many more Asians would have suffered under Imperial Japan.

    It was this Imperial Japanese conduct that brought westerners, western culture and religion into Japan and Korea. Today Korea is divided and South Korea is almost a Christian country. Japan’s increase in Christian population year on year is many times higher than its population growth rate (near zero if not negative). At this rate Japan will also have a Christian majority in time to come.

    Today Japan is once again going down the path of aggression towards regional powers particularly China at the insistence of USA.

    Instead Japan should not have followed the European colonial and plunder template and saved itself. It is far too late for that now.

  3. Christie Says:

    Senaka Thanks. I hope you read what Dilrook has written and what I write.

    Ceylon was not a British colony. It was a British dminion. You have to look at things as they are. Canada, Australia etc are British colonies.

    Japan did not decolonize or helped to decolonize Indian colonies. Please read about Chandra Bose.

  4. samurai Says:

    The following article throws light on the events that pushed Japan towards war and the Japanese mindset today.


  5. Christie Says:

    The only non Japanese in the War Shrine of Japan is an Indian. Any comments from Janaka Perera or Senaka Weeraratna or others.

  6. RohanJay Says:

    In the late 19th Century Japan wanted to modernise and become westernised. For this it enlisted the British to build a modern japanese navy which was used in Japan’s war against Russia in 1905. Japan themselves had imperialistic ambitions. Their aggressions into China and surrounding countries is well documented.
    After the first world war especially in the 1930s and 1940s Japan sensed Britain and other European powers were declinging in power in Asia. They launched a blitzgrieg invasion across asia in the late 1930s and early 1940s which went all the way to Sri Lanka. A lot British,Dutch and French colonies fell.
    Japan could have held on to its new asian empire. If they didn’t make the stupid mistake of attacking the United States of America. By then without a doubt was the most powerful country in the world.
    When they attacked pearl harbour. It angered the American people to such a degree that they joined a military in large numbers and worked hard in producing the biggest military arsenal in human history.
    The Americans were impatient to hit back at Japan immediately. It started with the Doolittle raid. While it did little damage in Japan it caused a such a shock in Japan. Then came the Battle of midway and it was the beggining of the end for japan.
    Japan was completed defeated and destroyed by the Americans including the dropping of two nuclear bombs.
    The Japanese paid a hell of a price for being dumb enough to attack the Americans. They essentially became a defacto American colony after WW2.
    The Japanese did however fair well against the British and other European colonies. Their militaries sweeping across asia in WW2 did hasten the end of British and European colonialism in Asia.
    It made America however since WW2 the undisputed major western power in Asia.
    Yes in one way Britain and Europeans pulled out of Asia after the Japanese victories in Asia in WW2.
    However would Sri Lanka prefer swapping one colonial power in WW2 Britain for another the empire of Japan.
    Is a debate for another day.
    It has to remembered in an ironic twist Britain and America helped build to very large extent the Japanese war machine that was used against them in WW2.

    Japan’s mistake is they were winning against Britain. But picked a fight with the attack on pearl harbour with the Americans who completely and very vicously and ruthlessly defeated and obliterated Japan and its asian empire.

  7. RohanJay Says:

    By the way I fully agree with Dilrook
    “Imperial Japan committed horrendous war crimes and crimes against humanity in Asia (Manchuria, Korea, South East Asia, Russia and even bombed Sri Lanka). These cannot be justified in anyway. Japan got what it deserved for its extreme aggression against fellow Asians (and others). Had it not be stopped in August 1945 many more Asians would have suffered under Imperial Japan.”

    Very true, if I was an asian in WW2 I would definitely be 100 percent pro American and wish the total defeat of Imperial Japan. Because they the Japanese were cruel and vicious to the people they conquered a an important thing that was ommitted in this article. Japanese didn’t liberate Asia as this article wrongly stated.
    The real story is Britain and the European countries were very much weakened and bankrupt by WW1. That Britain and European countries couldn’t maintain their Asian colonies anymore and probably would have pulled out of Asia anyway. Because of WW1.
    Asian wasn’t liberated by Japan from westerners as this article wrongly states. WW1 had a more to do with that. WW1 bankrupted Britain and the European nations.

  8. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Sorry to say the article is completely wrong! Just do a google search Bikini atoll hydrogen bomb test by the
    americans. Not recently. More than 50 years ago. Since then they have put up numerous nuclear bomb-armed
    bases all pointing, initially at their old adversary Russia, now towards the new adversary China. It is China, China
    for them now.

    The test killed so many people in the Bikini atoll and they are still suffering from severe radiations.
    Now they have been made homeless by the americans who threw them out of the islands to setup their nuclear
    bases. All aimed at Chinese cities. While telling others to behave they are covering the whole globe with nuclear
    missiles dotted around the world. So called peace lover, harak obama, spent most money putting up these nuke
    bases around the globe than any president in the us’s history. Still the harak was given a noble peace prize.
    Twisted politics in this mad planet!

    One day some idiot press the button or use one of them, and the other retaliates
    whole ball going to go up in smoke. Does americans, or any of these nuke lovers give a toss? No chance. Instead
    they all looking for the mightier and mightier one. There are no words to explain their stupidity. What is the point
    of winning if you are not going to exist? But the morons don’t understand! They behave like the Sri Lankan pathala
    guys! Don’t give a damn. Have a good time, be powerful. Short time? Who cares?

    Japanese have been a very good example of your enemy’s enemy is my friend and have become friends with
    the americans who killed 100s of 1000s of them with the first nuke. Unfortunately they have sided with the americans to get even with their enemy, the Chinese! It is an insult to those who died horrible horrible deaths in the nuke attack. But their twisted thinking
    have made them go to bed with the americans. They even allowed okinawa island to be used as a nuke base for
    the americans. If they have any decency, they should’ve tried to get rid of nuke as a mark of respect for the nuke
    victims and the future nuke victims. Unfortunately they have chosen a shameful path to promote the nuke!

    To say Asia is safer from the Western powers is completely wrong. In fact they are consolidating their presence
    in preparation for a war with the Chinese. The simple truth of all this is, that war is going to wipe out the mankind
    from the round thing we all call home. How can you convince a gang of suit wearing, armed to the teeth with
    nukes have a bit of common sense? Only thing we can say is we are living in borrowed time. Simple press of a
    button will destroy the party! For ever!

  9. samurai Says:

    The Indian to whom Christie refers to is 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 to whom I drew attention in an earlier comment.

    As I said there he did NOT declare the Japanese leaders charged with war crimes innocent but argued that the West had no right to pass judgments on them. He believed the exclusion of centuries 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.

  10. samurai Says:

    I think it is important to do a thorough study of history before making comments and cite well-recognized sources to substantiate the points of view expressed. This is the reason why I requested earlier to click on this link to get a full picture of the global developments which pushed Japan towards war rightly or wrongly.


    Rohan Jay says

    “The real story is Britain and the European countries were very much weakened and bankrupt by WW1. That Britain and European countries couldn’t maintain their Asian colonies anymore and probably would have pulled out of Asia anyway. Because of WW1”


    Germany being mainly a landlocked country wanted a bigger slice of the Colonies. But she lost her African colony (now Namibia) because of her World War I defeat.

    At the beginning of the last century the world was divided between East and West and Black and White.

    King Wilhelm II of Germany appealed to fellow Christians to join him to fight the ‘The Yellow Peril.’

    Except for Thailand and Nepal, almost all of Asia came under European Christian domination and the Colonial masters treated Asians (and Africans) like second -class citizens or slaves. The Christian Church in Asia supported the enslavement of Asians and never gave an iota of support for the liberation of Asia from Western domination.

    There are hardly any Christian heroes in the anti-Western liberation struggle of Asia (except in the Philippines) because they were typical ‘uncle toms’ on the side of the enslaving white man i.e. British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish etc.

    Lascoreens and Sepoys joined hands with the enemy for a pittance and fought against the indigenous local resistance groups who sacrificed their lives for the ‘Rata, Jathiya, Agama’.

    There was absolutely NO indication that the European colonialists – at least not the French, Dutch and the Belgians – were planning to give up their colonies before World War II broke out. If it was so the Dutch would not have returned to reoccupy Indonesia and the Vietnamese would not have had to wage war against the French after 1945.

    If the Japanese had come to Sri Lanka they would have been openly welcomed by the Sinhala Buddhists, Hindus and even Muslims because the people of this country had suffered enough under western colonial domination since 1505 and were yearning for freedom (whether their attitudes towards the Japanese would have changed later is NOT the point here)

    Only the fifth column that was benefiting from Western Christian Rule in Sri Lanka would have PROMPTLY backed the British in opposing the Japanese. Some communists too would have opposed the Japanese because the Soviet Union joined the Western Allies after the German attack on Russia in June 1941.

    Very few know that there was a Lanka Unit and a Ceylon Department affiliated to the Malaya-based Indian Independence League led by Subhas Chandra Bose. They had even designed a Lion Flag to be carried with them along with the Japanese had the latter landed in Sri Lanka. Among the leading members was Gladwyn Kotalawala, later MP for Bibile (Read Sinhalese Immigrants in Malaysia and Singapore by Prof.S.N. Arsekularatne)

    Japan when she bombed Sri Lanka in 1942 targeted British bases and not the locals (except by accident like the Angoda Mental Hospital, because there was no Red Cross which could have been spotted from the air). This island was the most important Allied Military Base in Asia after the fall of Singapore to the Japanese. The British Far Eastern Base was based in Trincomalee.

    Japan did not bomb Siam (now Thailand) which was not a European colony, had no Western military bases and was largely neutral in the war.

    If Britain and France had every justification to declare war on Germany for the invasion of Poland (a fellow European Country) in 1939, Japan too had every justification (as a fellow Asian Country ) to wage war on European nations who were in illegal occupation of Asian territory for over several centuries.

    ‘Asia for Asians’ (NOT for Europeans) was a popular slogan all over South-East Asia at the time.

    French came back to reclaim their colonies and were defeated by Ho Chi Minh at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.

    Dutch came back to re claim Indonesia but were defeated by Sukarno in 1950 with the help of hundreds of former Japanese soldiers who stayed back to support the Indonesian Liberation Army.

    There was no question of Britain trying to reoccupy India because of the influence of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose although his Indian National Army was defeated. Although the British tried surviving INA members for ‘treason’ they were compelled to free them in the end because the charges could not be proved (read Famous & Historical Trials by K.K. Gauba).

    It was the INA members who were welcomed by the natives as heroes and not returning soldiers of the British-Indian Army. When the British departure from India got delayed after the war the Royal Indian Navy staged a mutiny (All these facts are available on Internet)

    The only country that did not fight the British occupation forces after 1848 was Sri Lanka. There were no freedom fighters in Sri Lanka after 1848 – NOT even a Gandhian style Civil Disobedience Movement – except a struggle for Constitutional Reforms continuing to this day.

    It is the role of the Japanese military and the Indian National which compelled the British to eventually depart from India, despite their victory.

    Without India, the Jewel in the British Crown, there was no point in hanging on to Ceylon and Burma. So independence came to Sri Lanka on a platter without a fight.


    Read also:

    Not Gandhi but Japan Kicked out Britain from India

    Bose, Not Gandhi, Ended British Rule In India: Ambedkar

    It is time to re – write our history books

    Japan’s unsung role in India’s struggle for independence

  11. samurai Says:

    The following war-time newspaper report makes it very clear who was responsible for precipitating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on Dec.7, 1941
    The party responsible for precipitating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 is very clear from this Newspaper Report which is accessible online.
    It is an Australian Newspaper called ‘ The Newcastle Sun ‘ Friday May 16, 1941 (page 4)

    trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ article/167440678
    The heading of the News Report is

    (Our Special Representative)

    Thursday.May 15, 1941
    Australia’s immunity from war is wrapped up in the continued large shipments of oil from
    the United States to Japan, and the shipments will continue to be sent until it is inexpedient to do
    WASHINGTON and London agree that a premature ban on oil shipments would force
    Japan to an immediate attack on the East Indies. This would raise the likelihood of the involvement of Australia, and,eventually, the United States in the war.

    The ‘Christian Science Monitor’ says that Japan has sufficient oil stores for several months’ war against the Indies Furthermore. Washington is anxious to avoid complications In the Far East until Germany is beaten, after which the Japanese menace will dissolve. The State Department Is carefully weighing the facts that every barrel of oil sent to Japan might be used against the United States, and that the cutting-off of Japan’s oil might precipitate a Far Eastern war.

    Anglo-American agreement on far Eastern policy is shown in the fact that Britain is selling oil to Japan.


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