Today (as of December 7th 2017) the United States will be observing the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which occurred on December 7th 1941. Pearl Harbor wasn’t the only thing the Japanese did in World War Two. The Japanese fought all over Asia in the pacific in World War Two, and this affects how certain countries view the Japan today. How do other countries who fount Japan in World War Two view it? How does the United States view Japan after all that happened between them from 1941-1945? That’s what I’m going to explain.
Let’s start off with United States, the country we all live in and we all love. Thousands of Americans died fighting the Japanese in brutal naval, aerial, and even hand to hand combat battles all over the pacific. Many Japanese were obliterated when two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention both city centers were flattened. How does the United States and Japan feel after all this? Well, pretty good actually. You probably don’t feel any hatred or anger at the Japanese about what happened, even if you have a relative or you know someone who fought in the pacific during World War Two. This is because what happened after the war. Immediately after Japan surrendered September 2nd 1945, American troops poured in to occupy the island nation. One of the generals that had led America to victory against the Japanese (General Douglas MacArthur) arrived to reorganize Japan and reform it after the devastating affects of war had crippled it. Douglas MacArthur and the other Americans who helped in the effort not only repaired Japan after the war, but they caused an Economic boom that has led Japan to success to this day in many industries including electronics and cars. Now Japan is very rich and very happy. As for America, it wasn’t easy at first to forgive the Japanese for what they’d done, but Americans really started warming up to Japan in the early 60’s. Japan became a close ally to America in Asia and always supported it in foreign wars such as Korea and Vietnam. Not to mention that today many Americans are influenced culturally by Japan with the many Japanese video games and tv shows that quickly became popular in the United States at the turn of the 21st century. Japan and America got along very well after World War One, but this is just one example of how Japan in World War Two affected another country. Now let’s look at another country.
China, a country that everyone’s heard of. What many people don’t know about it though, is the major role it played in the pacific war. China had been fighting Japan even before World War Two began in 1939, repelling Japanese invasion since 1937. China was one of the most heavily impacted countries by their fight against the Japanese. Much of China was wrecked and its economy crippled after the war (of course they obviously recovered from that now). One of the biggest affects on the Chinese view of the Japanese was the Rape of Nanking. This was an event following the battle of Nanking, when the Japanese drove Chinese forces out of the Chinese capital and occupied the city. The Japanese soldiers then proceeded to kill and rape thousands of Chinese citizens. What is even more horrifying is the fact that the Japanese officers and commanders encouraged this behavior and it occurred in several places the Japanese occupied. China hasn’t seemed to forgive the Japanese for these actions, despite several public apologies made by the Japanese government. Chinese interactions with Japan continue to be tense today and even among citizens the relationship between them has soured.
One of the countries that was most influenced by Japan in all of Asia is probably Korea (both the North and the South). Although Japan’s relationship with both countries is tense, the tension between Japan and South Korea is more practical since Japanese-North Korean tensions are mainly stemmed from North Korea’s nuclear tests and Japan’s friendship with the United States. However, South Korea especially has a negative view of Japan. South Korea is still feeling the lingering pain of the memories held by the so called “comfort women” employed by Japanese soldiers. For several years during the Japanese control of Korea, (specifically during the turmoil of World War Two), which lasted from 1910-1945, Japanese soldiers who sought to take advantage of the Korean women who were under rule of the Japanese emperor and use them as concubines of sorts. Thousands of Korean women were drafted as these sex slaves and were referee to as “comfort women”. In addition, many Korean young man were sent to fight for Japan in the war. Korean citizens and the Korean government strongly dislike Japan and have publicly expressed this many times. Just like for China, Japan issued several public apologies to South Korea and work very hard to mend ties with their former colony.
World War Two affected many countries on so many levels. Some countries were affected socially, others economically, some even culturally. Japan affected many countries through its aggressive strategy to gain more land, even some outside Asia. Japan helped end many European empires in Asia (such as the British colony in Malaysia, the French colony in Vietnam, and the Dutch colony in Indonesia), modernize many Asian countries, and even end the Longstanding American Isolationist policy (the idea that many Americans believed which basically was that America shouldn’t get involved in things happening outside North and South America). Japan has made a name for itself in the international community, and World War Two’s affected it for better or worse. Some countries fought Japan but still are friendly today (such as the U.S and U.K) and some countries refuse to forgive Japan for crimes they committed more than 60 years ago. Never forget those who perished or who were mistreated by the Japanese in World War Two, remember China, remember Korea, remember Pearl Harbor.
Concubine: A women who lives with a man but has a lower status than his wife.
The Pacific War: the part of World War Two fought in Asia, Australia, and the pacific between Japan and America and its allies