Definitions of Japanese war crimes SoochowChina, A ditch full of the bodies of Chinese civilians killed by Japanese soldiers. War crimes have been defined by the Tokyo Charter as "violations of the laws or customs of war ,"  which includes crimes against enemy combatants and enemy non-combatants. They have been accused of conducting a series of human rights abuses against civilians and prisoners of war throughout East Asia and the western Pacific region.
The World at War: Many of the young soldiers mobilized into the Japanese army by the early s came from the rural areas, where the effects of the depression were devastating and poverty was widespread. Their commitment to the military effort to expand Japanese territory to achieve economic security can be understood partly in these terms.
The depression ended in the mids in Japan partly because of government deficits used to expand greatly both heavy industry and the military. Internationally, this was a time when "free trade" was in disrepute.
The great powers not only jealously protected their special economic rights within their colonies and spheres of influence, but sought to bolster their sagging economies through high tariffs, dumping of goods, and other trade manipulation.
The Japanese, with few natural resources, sought to copy this pattern. They used cutthroat trade practices to sell textiles and other light industrial goods in the East Asian and U. They also developed sources of raw materials and heavy industry in the colonies they established in Korea, Taiwan and Manchuria.
Japan used high tariffs to limit imports of American and European industrial products. The Japanese military faced a particular tactical problem in that certain critical raw materials — especially oil and rubber — were not available within the Japanese sphere of influence.
Instead, Japan received most of its oil from the United States and rubber from British Malaya, the very two Western nations trying to restrict Japan's expansion. Roosevelt's embargo of oil exports to Japan pressured the Japanese navy, which had stocks for only about six months of operations.
The Japanese army, for its part, was originally concerned with fighting the Soviet Union, because of the army's preoccupation with Manchuria and China. The Japanese army governed Manchuria indirectly through the "puppet" state of Manchukuo and developed heavy industry there under its favorite agencies, disliking and distrusting the zaibatsu large Japanese corporations.
But the Soviet army's resistance to Japanese attacks was sufficient to discourage northern expansion. Meanwhile inthe intensification of Chinese resistance to the pressure of the Japanese military drew Japan into a draining war in the vast reaches of China proper, and in into operations in French Indochina, far to the south.
Thus, when the navy pressed for a "southern" strategy of attacking Dutch Indonesia to get its oil and British Malaya to control its rubber, the army agreed. While it seems that economic factors were important in Japanese expansion in East Asia, it would be too much to say that colonialism, trade protection, and the American embargo compelled Japan to take this course.
Domestic politics, ideology and racism also played a role. Domestic Politics The political structure of Japan at this time was inherited from the Meiji era and was increasingly dominated by the military.
During the Meiji period, the government was controlled by a small ruling group of elder statesmen who had overthrown the shogun and established the new centralized Japanese state. These men used their position to coordinate the bureaucracy, the military, the parliament, the Imperial Household, and other branches of government.
Following their deaths in the early s, no single governmental institution was able to establish full control, until the Manchurian Incident, when Japan took control of Manchuria. This began a process in which the military behaved autonomously on the Asian mainland and with increasing authority in politics at home.
From on, Japan was at war with China.
The wartime regime used existing government controls on public opinion, including schools and textbooks, the media, and the police, but Japan continued to have more of an authoritarian government than a totalitarian one like Hitler's Germany.
In particular, the government was never able to gain real control of the economy and the great zaibatsu, which were more interested in the economic opportunities provided by the military's policies than in submitting loyally to a patriotic mission. The emperor has been criticized for not taking a more forceful action to restrain his government, especially in light of his own known preference for peace, but Japanese emperors after the Meiji Restoration had "reigned but not ruled.
The doubts are strengthened in light of the difficulty the emperor had in forcing the military to accept surrender after the atomic bombings. The emperor's decision at that point to bring agreement among his advisers was an extraordinary event in Japanese history. Ideology The emperor-based ideology of Japan during World War II was a relatively new creation, dating from the efforts of Meiji oligarchs to unite the nation in response to the Western challenge.
Before the Meiji Restoration, the emperor wielded no political power and was viewed simply as a symbol of the Japanese culture. Westerners of that time knew him only as a shadowy figure somewhat like a pope.
The people were not allowed to look at the emperor, or even to speak his name; patriotism had been raised to the unassailable level of sacredness.
It is sometimes difficult to comprehend the extreme sacrifices the Japanese made in the name of the emperor. This can perhaps best be viewed, however, as extreme patriotism — Japanese were taught to give their lives, if necessary, for their emperor.
But this was not entirely different from the Americans who gave their lives in the same war for their country and the "American" way. The kamikaze pilots, who were named for the "divine wind" kami kaze that destroyed the Mongol fleet in the thirteenth century and saved Japan from invasion, might be compared to the young Iranian soldiers fighting in suicide squadrons in the Iran-Iraq war of the s, or even to fanatical Shiites responsible for the truck bombing of the U.At 5 o’clock in the morning on July 7, , a 30 year-old Jewish dentist from Milwaukee head-butted a Japanese infantryman straight- up in the fucking face and then shanked him with the knife he’d taken off another enemy soldier he’d just killed two seconds earlier.
Japan is is a member of the United Nations, G8, and APEC, with the world's fifth largest defense urbanagricultureinitiative.com is the world's fourth largest exporter and sixth largest importer.
Japan is the second largest financial contributor to the United Nations, providing 20 percent of .
Many actions were taken without the actual governments consent. so it kind of freed the Japanese to rampage on anywhere and kill as many people as possible. Chinese were considered so inferior, that hundreds were killed by soldiers for sport, and the officers did little about it.
Military culture, especially during Japan's imperialist phase, had great bearing on the conduct of the Japanese military before and during World War urbanagricultureinitiative.com the Meiji Restoration and the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate, the Emperor became the focus of military loyalty.
During the so-called "Age of Empire" in the late 19th century, Japan followed the lead of other world powers in developing. The Japanese were out of most everything, were outnumbered three to one, and were fearing disaster when the British surrendered, so it may have been more of an option than you think.
permalink embed. As others have said, the Japanese army wasn’t outstanding in WWII. Their individual soldiers were brave, aggressive and well-motivated. In particular in jungle warfare, which somewhat negates advantages in mechanisation and logistics, that meant that dislodging them was slow progress.