Japanese Negotiations Analysis

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Despite the best efforts of the Japanese Ambassadors and American Secretary during negotiations, it seems the path to war had been set. The Japanese believed East Asia would crumble without their support, that they were the stabilizing force. Even while in talks with the Americans, Japan was preparing their Army and Navy for open hostilities. Undeterred by four years of hardship, they took for granted the support of their people in this endeavor. They posited that their demands were weak and should not be met with opposition and supposed the United States had an ulterior motive in regard to China, a key piece in the negotiations. The perceptions of the negotiations made it particularly difficult for either side to agree on anything. The final …show more content…
It was their assumption that the United States was actually working to subvert their previous efforts in China. This assumption came from the United States continuing to aid Chiang Kai-Shek both economically and militarily (Iriye 20). Japan lacked the strategic diplomacy necessary for dealing in foreign affairs (Iriye 189). From this stemmed the “suspicion that the United States is as spokesman for the Chungking Regime” (Iriye 36). Because of the mistrust this idea embedded, further discussions were impaired, making the Japanese accredit any unwillingness to agree an intent “to go to war” (Iriye 32). The blame for this apprehension cannot be laid solely on United States policy of foreign aid, however, as Wang Xi noted in his essay China and U.S.-Japanese Relations that the Japanese could not agree amongst themselves on major issues (Iriye 191). Throughout the negotiations, Japan held that they wanted to enter into peace talks with China and yet did not want to give up their stance as overlord. This put undue strain on the …show more content…
Their assessment of their own abilities was inflated by a sense of nationalism they believed was lacking in their enemies (Iriye 87). They conceived that their people would forgo many things, even give their lives, for national victory (Iriye 24). In overestimating themselves, they severely underestimated the United States. Japan was under the impression that the United States was ill-equipped to fight in two oceans, had weak domestic structure, and would not be able supply materials for defense longer than a year (Iriye 37). The personal ambitions of those in control of Japan’s military made it that much harder to accurately ascertain the morale the people (Iriye 193). In the United States, the policy remained reactionary: “striking only after the enemy has struck” (Iriye 189). This policy made possible the sanctions that were placed upon Japan, as each one was only after an invasion. Between a lack of political knowledge and unwillingness to see the viewpoint of the other side of the table, another roadblock had been set in the path of

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