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British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern by Brian Bond

By Brian Bond

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Additional info for British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern War, 1941-45 (Cass Series--Military History and Policy, No. 17)

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24 The emphasis of ‘political strategy’ was being transferred from defeating Britain to counteracting the enemy’s counter-offensives in 1943. Tojo visited the Philippines in May, and Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia in June and July 1943. He was the first Japanese Prime Minister ever to visit South-East Asia. Japan recognised the independence of Burma and formed an alliance with it. 25 Tojo positively supported Subhas Chandra Bose, the militant leader of the India independence movement, who came to Japan by submarine from Germany.

Roosevelt began to realise that China was not likely to be of much use militarily in the war against Japan, and he was delighted by Stalin’s proposed assistance. Having said this, Roosevelt was still keen to keep China in the war, and was possibly thinking about the creation of a postwar US—Soviet— Chinese ‘entente’ in Asia, to the exclusion of Britain. 59 By then differences between Roosevelt and Churchill were increasing. Roosevelt’s mind was becoming focused on Asia after the defeat of Japan, whilst Churchill’s attention was constantly on postwar Europe where he was anxious to contain possible Soviet expansionism in central and southern Europe.

BRITAIN’S GRAND STRATEGY 23 At the end of August, British troops were still on their way to Singapore by sea, and it was not until 12 September 1945 that Lord Mountbatten received the formal and unconditional surrender of all Japanese forces within his South-East Asia Command. Britain’s war against Japan was now over. Conclusions Britain’s grand strategy for the war against Japan had been part of Britain’s overall grand strategy for the Second World War. Britain used only a meagre portion of its resources and manpower in South-East Asia.

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