SDHF Newsletter No.354 Japan’s Master Plan for Victory: What Could Have Been. Moteki Hiromichi
Japan’s Master Plan for Victory: What Could Have Been.
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact, 2020
Originally published as Daitoa senso: Nihon wa shori no hoteishiki wo motteita (Heart Publishers, 2018).
Reviewed by: Miroslav Marinov, Ph.D.
Mr. Marinov states that Mr. Moteki’s new book challenges the reader’s understanding of the Pacific War: “What if I told you that there was a realistic way for Japan to win the war?”
The readers’ first reaction could be that this is another “revisionist” treatise or that it is one of those popular “what if” books of alternative history.
He says that Mr. Moteki’s book is based on meticulous research of history and therefore it is not reasonable to categorize it as a “what if” type book. He also says that Mr. Moteki’s approach makes it very difficult to place the book in the category of historical “revisionism.” Mr. Moteki’s balanced presentation of the facts challenges the edifice of censorship and opens the window to a realistic interpretation of the Pacific War.
The central focus of Mr. Moteki’s book is the “Draft Proposal for Hastening the End of War against the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Chiang Kai-shek (Approved at the Liaison Conference between Imperial General Headquarters and the Imperial Government, held on November 15, 1941).” The Draft Proposal was realistic because it called for concentration of Japan’s forces near the area of South-East Asia and the Indian Ocean. Japan’s goal was to secure its resources, not to conquer the world. Taking full control over the British supply lines in the Indian Ocean was the next target, which alarmed Churchill who wrote to Roosevelt in April 1942 that the possible Japanese incursion into India and dominance over Indian Ocean routes would bring collapse to the British position in the Middle East and loss of control over the oil supplies.
Mr. Marinov concludes as follows:
The main value of Moteki’s book is the sober and objective analysis of the realities of the Pacific War. It shows Japan within the context of the international relations at the time and helps to understand its reactions to confrontations from which the Western countries are absolved and Japan is blamed for all negative consequences. In that sense, the book dispels the myth of the “foolish Japs” who dared to go against the power of the USA. Unfortunately, this cartoonish myth, rooted in Western racial prejudice, which is much older than the conflicts of the 1930s, still persists. Hopefully, such books will gradually change the public perception from a knee-jerk emotional reaction to objectivity.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact