Today, on March 7, 1942 (Japan in Burma):
The Imperial Army of the Japanese, along with the “Burma Independence Army” (BIA), which contained thousands of nationalists and the Thirty Comrades–the predecessor to the Burmese army, captured Rangoon on this day in 1942; ABDA (American, British, Dutch, Australian Command) and Chinese coalition forces retreated to the north and eventually regrouped in India. The Thirty Comrades had sought military training from the Japanese to fight for their independence from Britain, before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The BIA was formally created on December 26, 1941.
The Japanese focus was to capture Rangoon, both the capital and major seaport in the region–to better defend any gains made in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. An interesting side note is that Japan did not have to fight Thailand, as they had a treaty with them, with allowed Japanese forces to move unhindered. In return, Japan agreed to let the Thais have the Kayah and Shan states of Burma, while Japan controlled the rest.
The ABDA coalition attempted to defend the city; however, they were not ready for war. Even after reinforcements arrived, the Japanese were able to hold off ABDA counterattacks and were able to take the city. This enabled the Japanese to look western, and focus their attention on India.
I know you want to know more: http://1.usa.gov/1cGEbcR
Tensions continue to rise in Northeast Asia; this time between Korea and Japan. Prime Minister ABE has again revisited the possibility of reviewing the Japanese Prime Ministerial official apology of 1995, which was based off of the the “Kono Statement” given by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei KONO in 1993. I say “again” as on March 1, 2007; he stated there was no evidence the Japanese government had kept sex slaves (“Comfort Women” or ianfu).
On 1 March, South Korean President Geun-Hye PARK, during a ceremony celebrating the opening of an exhibition on ianfu as well as the anniversary of the 1919 uprising while Korea was a colony of the Great Empire of Japan, stated that Japan will be isolating itself it it continued to deny the existence of ianfu. Her translated quote was, “Historical truth is in testimony from the survivors. Japan would only bring isolation on itself if it turns a deaf ear to their testimony and sweeps it under the rug for political benefits”.
She also pointed to follow Germany’s example in repenting from its past wrongs; and only in doing this, will South Korea and Japan be able to move forward.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Has Japan sufficiently apologized — through official statements, compensation, creating the Asian Women’s Fund, a website describing the events, etc? Or has Japan’s wavering been a signal that maybe they are just attempting to appease South Korea but aren’t heartfelt in their apology?
Read more @ http://bit.ly/NHgAmj
Today in History (24 February 1933); League of Nations orders Empire of Japan to leave Manchuria. On 19 September 1931, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Manchuria and set up “Manchukuo” as a puppet state. This order from the League of Nations was the impetus that caused Japan to withdraw from the League of Nations.