Japan

Alliance Axis - Major Member Nation
Entry into WW2 7 Jul 1937
Population in 1939 71,380,000
Military Deaths in WW2 2,000,000
Civilian Deaths in WW2 600,000

Contributor:

ww2dbaseDuring WW1, the Japanese military seized German colonies in China and in the Pacific; the Versailles Treaty officially gave Japan the mandate over all German Pacific colonies north of the equator, expanding her borders in the East Asia region and making her a recognized regional power. During the 1920s and 1930s, military leaders slowly grasped political power in Japan, responding to the calls that Japan should unite under one banner (democracy was perceived as divisive) and that Japan should not be treated as a second-rate power by the western nations.

ww2dbaseSince the Second Sino-Japanese War was one of the many regional wars that made up World War 2, strictly militarily speaking, Japan was the nation that began the war in the east. In 1928, Japanese assassins took the life of the Chinese warlord in Manchuria; when the successor emerged to be an anti-Japanese and pro-Nationalist Chinese figure, the Japanese found excuses for the occupation of Manchuria. Japan appeased the League of Nations with promises of withdraw, but in actuality the plans to establish a puppet state were already in the works. Manchukuo was established on 18 Feb 1932 under the leadership of deposed Chinese Emperor Puyi. To distract the League of Nations from the events in Manchuria, Japan instigated the First Battle of Shanghai in Jan 1932. Angered by continued international condemnation, Japan left the League of Nations in 1933. Between that time and the formal start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 Jul 1937, several small scale engagements took place between Japan and China.

ww2dbaseTo say that Japan as a whole aggressively sought war was unfair, for that many figures in the military opposed wide-scale war, especially against the United States and Britain, but that was nevertheless the direction Japan moved toward. On 27 Sep 1940, Japan, Germany, and Italy signed the Axis Pact. In Jul 1941, after a series of events that worsened relations between the United States and Japan, the US announced the embargo of key raw materials, including oil, against Japan; other western powers followed suits. This was the point of no return for Japan for that it gave fuel to the hawks in Japan's top leadership.

ww2dbaseIn Dec 1941, after China, Europe, and North Africa were already engulfed in war for at least two years, Japan made WW2 a truly world war by starting the Pacific War. In a series of wildly successful attacks, Japan wiped out any force that could pose immediate threat to her in the Pacific in a handful of months. By mid-1942, Japanese military reached as far southwest as Burma and Malaya and as far south as New Guinea, an empire of staggering size.

ww2dbaseJapan's luck began to turn in 1942, however. The war in China seemed to be progressing slowly, but it was becoming evident that China was so large a territory to conquer that it was sucking in more resources than Japan wished to devote to. With a series of strategic losses in the Pacific such as Battle of Coral Sea (failure to secure Port Moresby), Battle of Midway (loss of four fleet carriers, along with aircraft and crew, that Japan could not replace), and the Guadalcanal Campaign (a series of battles that unwisely frittered away Japan's strength), Japan suddenly found herself losing the initiative. Last but not least, Japan became a victim of her own success. With territory so vast, her own shipping capacity was no longer capable to adequately supply all the faraway garrisons and expeditionary forces. Finally, over time, with an inability to replace machines of war and trained men to operate them, the war pushed closer and closer to her. The loss of Saipan was the first devastating piece of news, then came the loss of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, two islands considered members of the home islands.

ww2dbaseFrom this point on, it was only the matter of time before Japan acknowledged defeat. While Japanese leaders negotiated for truce unsuccessfully, the incessant bombings turned some Japanese cities into towering infernos. Then, the new atomic weapon the United States unleashed on Hiroshima shocked the world. Japan was now on the verge of admitting surrender unconditionally, but perhaps due to shock, no official reaction was sent to the Allied powers. Finally, on 8 Aug 1945, Russia (whom Japan viewed as relatively friendly) declared war on Japan, invading Manchukuo, and a second atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki. It was not until then that, Emperor Hirohito interfered with the government and brought Japan to surrender. On 14 Aug 1945, in a surprising move, Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender personally over public radio.

ww2dbaseAt the end of the war, Japan was stripped of all of her overseas possessions, and the home islands were occupied by Allied personnel headed by Douglas MacArthur. Japan did not regain her sovereignty until Apr 1952.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

People
Abe, HiroakiKaku, TomeoRoh, Yong-U
Abe, NobuyukiKaneko, TadashiSaito, Yoshitsugu
Adachi, HatazoKaneko, YasujiSakai, Saburo
Akiyama, KanemasaKanno, NaoshiSasai, Junichi
Amagai, TakahisaKasai, TomokazuSasaki, Noboru
Anabuki, SatoruKashimura, KanichiSato, Shunji
Anami, KorechikaKatsumata, SeizoSejima, Ryuzo
Ando, RikichiKim, Chang-RyongSeki, Yukio
Aoki, TaijiroKitagawa, MasatakaShigemitsu, Mamoru
Aono, ToshioKitano, MasajiShima, Kiyohide
Araki, YukioKobayashi, MichioShinozaki, Mamoru
Ariga, KosakuKobe, YujiShinozuka, Yoshio
Ariizumi, TatsunosukeKodaira, YoshinaoShioden, Nobutaka
Arima, MasafumiKoga, MineichiShiozawa, Koichi
Arita, HachiroKoiso, KuniakiShiraichi, Kayutaka
Attun, PalalinKoizumi, ChikahikoShirakawa, Yoshinori
Chikao, YasunoKondo, NobutakeShiratori, Toshio
Chung, Il-kwonKonoe, FumimaroShowa
Daigo, TadashigeKoo, Hsien-JungSoji, Akira
Doihara, KenjiKotohitoSugihara, Chiune
Fuchida, MitsuoKoyanagi, TomijiSugiyama, Hajime
Fujita, NobuoKudo, ChuSuzuki, Kantaro
Fukudome, ShigeruKuribayashi, TadamichiTak, Kyonghyong
Furusho, MikioKurita, TakeoTakagi, Takeo
Genda, MinoruKurusu, SaburoTakahito
Goto, AritomoKusaka, JinichiTamai, Asaichi
Hamazono, ShigeyoshiKusaka, RyunosukeTanabe, Yahachi
Hara, ChuichiKuwahara, TadaoTanaka, Raizo
Hara, TameichiMaruyama, MasaoTanaka, Shizuichi
Harada, KanameMatsuda, ChiakiTani, Hisao
Hareyama, YoshioMatsui, IwaneTatekawa, Yoshitsugu
Hasegawa, KiichiMatsuoka, YosukeTerauchi, Hisaichi
Hashimoto, MochitsuraMatsura, GoroTojo, Hideki
Hata, ShunrokuMikawa, GunichiTokuno, Hiroshi
Hattori, JojiMinami, JiroTomonaga, Joichi
HironobuMinami, YoshimiToyoda, Soemu
Hirota, KokiMiwa, ShigeyoshiTsuji, Masanobu
HiroyasuMorihiroTsuneyoshi
Homma, MasaharuMuto, AkiraUeda, Kenkichi
Honda, MasakiNagahisaUgaki, Matome
Honjo, KiroNagano, OsamiUmezu, Yoshijiro
Honjo, ShigeruNagumo, ChuichiUshijima, Mitsuru
Horii, TomitaroNaito, RyoichiUshiroku, Jun
Horikoshi, JiroNambu, NobukiyoWada, Minoru
Horiuchi, ShigetadaNaruhikoWakamatsu, Yujiro
Hyakutake, HarukichiNemoto, HiroshiYamada, Otozo
Ichiki, KiyonoNishi, TakeichiYamaguchi, Moriyoshi
Ihara, MitsugoNishimura, EijiYamaguchi, Tamon
Iida, FusataNishimura, ShojiYamamoto, Isoroku
Imamura, HitoshiNishina, YoshioYamaoka, Mineo
Inoguchi, RikiheiNobuhitoYamashita, Tomoyuki
Inoguchi, SatoshiNomura, KichisaburoYamazaki, Yasuyo
Inoguchi, ToshihiraObata, HideyoshiYanagimoto, Ryusaku
Inoue, IsamuOgawa, KiyoshiYasuhiko
Inoue, ShigeyoshiOhara, HisashiYasuhito
Isawa, YutakaOkada, JisakuYi, Geon
Ishii, ShiroOkamura, YasujiYi, Un
Itagaki, SeishiroOkumiya, MasatakeYi, Woo
Ito, KiyoshiOmori, SentaroYonai, Mitsumasa
Ito, SukemitsuOnishi, TakijiroYoshida, Mitsuru
Ito, TaisukeOshima, HiroshiYoshida, Shigeru
Iwamoto, TetsuzoOta, MinoruYoshikawa, Takeo
Iwasa, NaojiOzawa, JisaburoYoshimura, Hisato
Kagawa, KiyotoPaik, Sun-yupYoshioka, Yasunori


Events Taken Place in Japan
Japan's Refusal of Washington Treaty19 Dec 1934
Doolittle Raid18 Apr 1942
Greater East Asia Conference5 Nov 1943 - 6 Nov 1943
Battle of Iwo Jima19 Feb 1945 - 26 Mar 1945
Bombing of Tokyo and Other Cities19 Feb 1945 - 10 Aug 1945
Okinawa Campaign1 Apr 1945 - 21 Jun 1945
Preparations for Invasion of Japan14 Jul 1945 - 9 Aug 1945
Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki6 Aug 1945 - 9 Aug 1945
Japan's Surrender14 Aug 1945 - 2 Sep 1945
Tokyo Trial and Other Trials Against Japan3 May 1946 - 12 Nov 1948


Aircraft
2MB1D4Y SuiseiJ7W ShindenKi-33Ki-59
2MR8E13AJ8M Shusui / Ki-200Ki-34Ki-61 Hien
A2NE14YJ9N-1/J9Y KikkaKi-36Ki-67 Hiryu
A5ME15K ShiunK7MKi-4Ki-83
A6M ZeroE16A ZuiunKDA-2Ki-43 HayabusaKi-84 Hayate
A7M ReppuE7KKi-1Ki-44 ShokiKi-9
B1ME8NKi-10Ki-45 ToryuKi-98
B2ME9WKi-115 TsurugiKi-46Ku-8
B4YF1MKi-15Ki-48 SokeiM6A Seiran
B5MG3MKi-2Ki-49 DonryuMT-1 Hayabusa
B5NG4MKi-20Ki-51MXY7 Ohka
B6N TenzanH6KKi-21Ki-54N1K Kyofu / Shiden
B7A RyuseiH8KKi-27Ki-55P1Y Ginga
C6N SaiunJ1NKi-30Ki-56Type 91
D3AJ2M RaidenKi-32Ki-57


Ships
AbukumaHikawa MaruKashimaNagatoTaiyo-class
AganoHiryuKasugaNagato-classTakao
Agano-classHiyoKatoriNagatsukiTakao-class
AkagiHiyo-classKatori-classNakaTakasago Maru
AkashiHoshoKatsuragiNatoriTama
AmagiHyugaKembu MaruNisshinTanikaze
AmagiriI-14KikuzukiNo. 101/103-classTatsuta Maru
AobaI-369Kinai MaruNoshiroTatsuta
ArashioI-400KinuOiTenryu
Arisan MaruI-400-classKinugasaOnamiTenryu-class
AsagumoI-401KirishimaOshioTone
Asama MaruI-402KisoOyodoTone-class
AshigaraI-52KitakamiRenraku-tei-classToyama Maru
AtagoI-53KongoRo-58Tsushima Maru
Awa MaruI-58Kongo-classRyuhoType A-class
ChikumaI-68 / I-168KumaRyujoType B-class
ChitoseIbukiKuma-classSakawaType C-class
Chitose-classIkazuchiKumanoSeisho MaruType D-class
ChiyodaIrakoMatsuSendaiUnryu
ChokaiIseMatsu-classSendai-classUnryu-class
ChuyoIse-classMayaSettsuUnyo
Daihatsu-classIsuzuMichishioShigureYahagi
Fubuki-classItsukushimaMikumaShimakazeYamagumo
FurutakaIwateMinegumoShinanoYamashiro
Furutaka-classIzumoMogamiShinyo MaruYamato
FusoIzumo-classMogami-classShinyoYamato-class
Fuso-classJintsuMontevideo MaruShinyo-classYubari
Ha-101JunyoMurasameShohoYugure
Ha-102KagaMusashiShokakuYukikaze
Ha-104Kairyu-classMutsuShokaku-classYura
Ha-19Kaiten-classMutsukiSoryuYuzuki
HaguroKaiyoMutsuki-classSoryu-classZuiho
Hakusan MaruKakoMyokoSoyaZuiho-class
HamakazeKamikazeMyoko-classSuzukazeZuikaku
HarunaKamoiNachiSuzuya
HatsuzakuraKashiNagaraTaiho
HieiKashiiNagara-classTaiyo


Vehicles
Type 1 Chi-He/Type 3 Ka-ChiType 4 Ha-ToType 95 Ha-Go/Type 2 Ka-Mi
Type 1 Ho-HaType 4 Ho-RoType 95 Kurogane
Type 1 Ho-KiType 4 Ke-NuType 97 Chi-Ha
Type 1 Ho-Ni IType 5 Chi-RiType 97 Te-Ke
Type 2 Ho-IType 5 Ke-HoType 97
Type 2 Ke-ToType 5 Na-ToType 98 Ke-Ni
Type 3 Chi-NuType 89 I-GoType 98 So-Da
Type 3 Ho-Ni IIIType 92 Jyu-Sokosha
Type 4 Chi-ToType 94 Te-Ke


Weapons
410 mm How Field GunType 26 HandgunType 92 Machine Gun
80 mm Mod 99 Anti-Aircraft GunType 3 12 cm Anti-Aircraft GunType 94 37 mm Anti-Tank Gun
Arisaka Type 38 RifleType 3 120 mm Coastal Defense GunType 94 75 mm Field Gun
Arisaka Type 44 RifleType 3 8 cm Anti-Aircraft GunType 94 Handgun
Arisaka Type 99 RifleType 38 75 mm Field GunType 94 Launcher
Murata RifleType 4 75 mm Anti-Aircraft GunType 95 75 mm Field Gun
Type 04 HandgunType 41 75 mm Regimental Gun Field GunType 96 15 cm Howitzer Field Gun
Type 1 37 mm Anti-Tank GunType 45 24 cm Howitzer Field GunType 96 Machine Gun
Type 1 47 mm Anti-Tank GunType 5 15 cm AA Anti-Aircraft GunType 97 Anti-Tank Rifle
Type 10 120 mm Anti-Aircraft GunType 88 75 mm Anti-Aircraft GunType 97 Grenade
Type 100 Submachine GunType 89 15 cm Cannon Field GunType 97 Machine Gun
Type 11 37 mm Field GunType 89 LauncherType 98 320 mm Launcher
Type 11 75 mm Anti-Aircraft GunType 91 105 mm Howitzer Field GunType 98 50 mm Launcher
Type 11 Machine GunType 91 40 mm Anti-Aircraft GunType 99 Machine Gun
Type 14 10 cm AA Anti-Aircraft GunType 91 GrenadeType 99 Mark 1 Aircraft Autocannon
Type 14 10 cm Cannon Field GunType 92 10 cm Cannon Field GunType 99 Mark 2 Aircraft Autocannon
Type 14 HandgunType 92 Battalion Gun Field Gun


Territories, Possessions, and Nations Under the Influence of Japan
Caroline IslandsMariana IslandsTaiwan
KoreaMarshall Islands


Facilities
Atsugi AirfieldAirfield
Fuchu PrisonPrison Camp
Haneda AirfieldAirfield
Imperial Palace ComplexGovernment Building
Ishigaki AirfieldAirfield
Kure Naval ArsenalShipyard
Maizuru Naval ArsenalShipyard
Mitsubishi Heavy IndustriesShipyard
Sasebo Naval ArsenalShipyard
Yokosuka Naval ArsenalShipyard
Yontan AirfieldAirfield

Weather

WW2-Era Weather Data for Japan

Photographs

Interior of Chigusa room, Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan, late 1800sInterior of Higashidamari room, Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan, late 1800sInterior of Houmei room, Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan, late 1800sInterior of Kiri room, Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan, late 1800s
See all 1010 photographs of Japan in World War II

Maps

Map of Okinawa, JapanMap showing military installations and troops dispositions on Iwo Jima, Japan, 14 Sep 1944Contour map of Iwo Jima, showing Japanese defense installations as observed from ground study during the period of 19 Feb-19 Mar 1945, map 1 of 2Contour map of Iwo Jima, showing Japanese defense installations as observed from ground study during the period of 19 Feb-19 Mar 1945, map 2 of 2
See all 20 maps of Japan in World War II


Japan in World War II Interactive Map




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Gregg Heilman says:
7 Dec 2009 05:33:55 PM

For a good reason why the POWs of the Japanese died at a rate many times that of the POWs held by the Germans check this out. But the Japanese did not just pick on American POWs, the killed anyone and everyone in every possible way. Read the book "Rape of Nanjing" or Unit 731 and see what Japanese Honorable sons did to their victims. Two Japanese Lt's. had a contest to see who could behead the most Chinese POWs. It ended only when the one Lt. sword was damaged cutting a Chinese POW in half from the head down. This site will tell you the rest of the story. http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres_pacific.html#Pacific
2. Anonymous says:
2 Feb 2011 10:20:42 AM

i cant find anything i need
3. Amos Shebi says:
18 Nov 2016 10:26:36 PM

Iam searching for the name of an airstrip at Choiseul islands, Solomon islands near a village call Kakaza/sobi island. This airstrip is build by Japan during WWII. Please provide details n maps etc...
4. Anonymous says:
25 Mar 2017 08:25:47 PM

the town is called Kakaza it is near a town called Luti on the south coast of Choiseul. There appears to be three (3) airfields nearby which are Japanese, these are: Ballale, with two more on the southern tip of Bougainville. This came of US Intelligence maps
5. Anonymous says:
12 Mar 2018 03:38:04 PM

Does anyone know the square mileage of Japan during WW2?
6. ivon richardsen says:
11 May 2018 06:56:26 PM

the square mileage of japan during ww2
was the same as after the war.
7. raymundo avellanosa says:
18 Jun 2018 11:22:14 AM

Good day, I have found a dog tag and a pilot sign pen belonging to a Japanese soldier of worl war II with his name engraved. M.G. K. MATSADA
8. Eddiechara says:
5 Sep 2018 11:43:41 PM

During ww2 in 1943 my uncle who is still alive now told me that he was accompanied by japan soldiers for 2 months helping the japan government and also he was awarded with one certificate during the time of japan left the place after ww2 end .
9. Anonymous says:
6 Nov 2018 04:18:36 PM

is this a primary source?
10. Edmund Cooper says:
25 Jun 2019 01:50:07 PM

Is there any information on the coastal defense forts in the Tokyo bay or in the Kyushu area? I heard that there were reports from soldiers tasked to dismantle them.

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Japan in World War II Photo Gallery
Interior of Chigusa room, Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan, late 1800s
See all 1010 photographs of Japan in World War II




Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945