Japan: Rising Sun Notes
for The U.S. War Against Asia
Also sponsored by Peace Pins
|Page 15 of
Notes from The Rising Sun, The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945 by John Toland
Book Club Edition, Random House, New York, copyright 1970
Volume 2 begins here.
At the Casablanca Conference (in the French colony of Morocco) in January 1943, President Roosevelt revealed his demand for the unconditional surrender of Italy, Germany, and Japan. [In effect saying that a negotiated settlement with Japan to stop the war was a non-starter.] 
By May 1943 the industrial situation was a grave cause of concern to the Japanese military and elite. Already “Losses of materiel in battle could no longer be replaced and even the minimum requirements of the Army and Navy could not be met.” Resources from conquered areas failed to reach Japan “because of Japan’s limited merchant marine and America’s devastating submarine assaults on the ships taking the long trip north.” Japan struggled to raise its industrial production while America’s soared. Despite some success in 1943, “shipping remained the most crucial problem.” 
On June 30, 1943, Americans attacked New Georgia in the Solomons and soon took it. Digesting this, General Kenryo Sato told Prime Minister Tojo that neither the Army nor the Navy could draw up a plan that could stop the Americans. Politically this brought the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere to the forefront, as allies were needed against America. The Sphere had “already induced millions of Asians to co-operate in the war against the West.” But “created by idealists,” it was “exploited by realists.” “Japan could not remain a modern state under the humiliating domination of trade by the West.” Nationalism was on the rise and President Woodrow Wilson had demanded national self-determination after World War I, but “the West had two standards of freedom, one for itself and one for those east of Suez.” [561-563]
Mamoru Shigemitsu, ambassador to the pro-Japanese government of China in Nanking, argued that the success of the Co-prosperity Sphere depended on just treatment of the Chinese. Tojo welcomed his proposal. “Arrangements were made to return the Japanese settlements in Soochow, Hankow, Hangchow and Tientsin to the Nanking government, and new treaties were negotiated.” Shigemitsu was appointed Foreign Minister of Japan. 
Tojo himself “announced to the Diet that Burma would be recognized as an independent state before the end of the year.” The British had imprisoned Dr. Ba Maw, an independence advocate, before they lost Burma to the Japanese. Maw became a Sphere enthusiast [he would later be imprisoned by the U.S. until Burma was recognized as independent by Great Britain.] .
President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally decided to make Japanese-Americans political prisoners, against the advice of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. The Supreme Court upheld the imprisonment without trial. This added to the impression that the war in the Pacific was a racial conflict. [568-570] See also Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214.
Burmese independence came with an authoritarian constitution and Ba Maw as the Head of State. But he argued with Tojo about Japan’s drawing of the border with Thailand, also a Japanese ally.  Burma became independent August 1st (1943) 
In Singapore Tojo conferred with Subhas Chandra Bose, a militant independence leader from India. Thousands of Indians who had fought for the British Empire in the Malay campaign volunteered to fight the British with him to gain Indian independence. [572-573]
The Philippines became independent (until MacArthur re-conquered them) on October 14, 1943. The following week Chandra Bose established a provisional government for India 
China, Thailand, Manchukuo, the Philippines and Burma all sent representatives to the Greater East Asia Conference in Tokyo starting November 5, 1943. Bose also attended. [573-574]
|III Blog list of articles|