Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact


SDHF Newsletter No.296 Japan’s Master Plan for Victory-entire edition

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN (complete edition)
By Moteki Hiromichi
Heart Publishers, Tokyo, 2018

December 9, 2020

History professor James B. Wood of Williams College sums up Western thinking regarding this topic in his book Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War: Was Defeat Inevitable?, stating:
“Why were the Japanese so crazy as to take on the United States?” or “How could a country with a GNP about that of Italy or Canada, expect to win?” or “Why should we expect anything else from a country with a feudal warrior code and culture, emperor worship, racial supremacy notions, and a total lack of sympathy or respect for her neighbors?” The implication is that those responsible for Japan’s path to war were ignorant or irrational, perhaps a blend of both, as well as basically evil — a perfectly other counterpoise to the victor of modernity in all respect, the United States.
However, the extremely dismissive view of Westerners has no basis. Japanese leaders were not at all “ignorant”.
On November 15, 1941, three weeks prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese government and Imperial General Headquarters held a liaison conference. Those present discussed the “Draft Proposal for the Promotion of the End of the War Against the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Chiang Kai-shek,” and decided on its execution. I consider this the “master plan”, a plan for victory, and I will lead readers though this with the aid of practical examples throughout my book.
Had Japanese military leaders stuck to this master plan, the outcome of the war would have been very different, an outcome that Winston Churchill feared in his April 15, 1942 letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt:
I must revert to the grave situation in the Indian Ocean … arising from the fact that the Japanese have felt able to detach nearly a third of their battle fleet and half their carriers, which force we are unable to match for several months. The consequences of this may easily be: (A) The loss of Ceylon. (B) Invasion of Eastern India with incalculable internal consequences to our whole war plan and including the loss of Calcutta and of all contact with the Chinese through Burma. But this is only the beginning. Until we are able to fight a fleet action there is no reason why the Japanese should not become the dominating factor in the Western Indian Ocean. This would result in the collapse of our whole position in the Middle East, not only because of the interruption to our convoys to the Middle East and India, but also because of the interruptions to the oil supplies from Abadan, without which we cannot maintain our position either at sea or on land in the Indian Ocean Area. Supplies to Russia via the Persian Gulf would also be cut. With so much of the weight of Japan thrown upon us we have more than we can bear.
The entire volume has been translated and will be soon be published as a Kindle Edition and as a print-on-demand book from Amazon.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact