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Yet...A Simple Question Remains

July 6 2010 at 6:34 AM
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Tom Womack  (no login)
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Response to Re: Original Text Of Cablegram

Hi Melmoth (and others)...

Why did Japan wait until January 11, 1942 to declare war on the NEI? In all my 35 years of researching the NEI campaign I have yet to see or hear a persuasive case as to why this occurred.

I'm certainly no conspiracy theorist by any means and I don't for a millisecond think that the NEI government would have collaborated or conspired with the Japanese on such a proposal. I've been studying this topic (as have many of us) far too long to believe that. They (the NEI government) simply would not have even contemplated such an offer.

Likewise, your information on the movements and timetables of the IJA/IJN is equally solid. But that said, it's not so much the MILITARY activity that one needs to examine as much as the POLITICAL activity. As you spelled out (and which I agree with 100%), the Japanese military was running the show...period...end of discussion...there was no civilian presence.

Why did Japan wait until mid-January to declare war on the NEI when they declared war on the UK/USA very early on? If one goes back into newspaper and military intelligence reports (both Australian and Dutch) from the mid/late 1930s there are numerous examples of ludicrous Japanese demands. Many want to essentially turn the NEI into a Japanese protectorate; there are also a number of demands that called for the Dutch to simply relinquish their territorial claims to Netherlands New Guinea (not just open it for colonization) and turn it over to Japan.

I'm not saying that this report of secret negotiations was true (at least as presented in the memo anyway). But when one looks at it in the context of the nutty "pie in the sky" demands made by Imperial Japan in the decade leading up to the Pacific War it doesn't necessarily sound so fantastic. And while the Japanese weren't about to stop their invasion to negotiate, it never hurts to have some brute force in play to help motivate your opponent to talk.

In any event though, I don't think the proposal ever made it to the Dutch in any form.

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