Japan’s empire in Micronesia comes apart under the face of both the miscalculations of military leadership and the contradictions that had haunted it from the jump.
So far, we’ve talked about how Micronesia came under Japanese rule, but what was Japan’s rule over the region like?
When World War I began, many among the Japanese leadership were hesitant to take advantage of the opportunity to move into Micronesia. What changed their minds, and how were they able to square a colonial government with the idealistic language of the postwar League of Nations?
Japan would seize control of German Micronesia in the fall of 1914, but Japanese interest in the region goes back centuries further. This week: how did Japan get from disinterest in the nebulously defined ‘Southern Seas’ to active military operations to take control of them?