Shine! Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere by Shintaro Kago
Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere
It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "block of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers". The Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe planned the Sphere in in an attempt to create a Great East Asia, comprising Japan, Manchukuo , China , and parts of Southeast Asia, that would, according to imperial propaganda, establish a new international order seeking "co prosperity" for Asian countries which would share prosperity and peace, free from Western colonialism and domination. Military goals of this expansion included naval operations in the Indian Ocean and the isolation of Australia. This was one of a number of slogans and concepts used in the justification of Japanese aggression in East Asia in the s through the end of World War II. The term "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" is remembered largely as a front for the Japanese control of occupied countries during World War II, in which puppet governments manipulated local populations and economies for the benefit of Imperial Japan. Stanley Owana Laanui was installed as a puppet ruler of Hawaii. This all became irrelevant when the USA liberated Hawaii, abolished the one-year-old Kingdom, and forced out the Japanese in
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was an imperialist concept created and promulgated for occupied Asian populations from to by the.
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It also declared the intention to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers". The intent and practical implementation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere varied widely depending on the group and government department involved. Policy theorists who conceived it, as well as the vast majority of the Japanese population at large, largely saw it for its pan-Asian ideals of freedom and independence from Western colonial oppression. In practice, however, it was frequently used by militarists and nationalists, who saw an effective policy vehicle through which to strengthen Japan's position and advance its dominance within Asia. Similar to the term " Third Reich ", which was a military exploitation of a non-military term proposed by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck , the phrase "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" was proposed by Kiyoshi Miki , a Kyoto School analytic philosopher who was actually opposed to militarism. The original concept was an idealistic wish to "free" Asia from European colonial powers, but soon, nationalists saw it as a way to gain resources to keep Japan a modern power, and militarists saw the same resources as raw materials for war.
However, the roots of the Co-Prosperity Sphere go back many years prior to its formal announcement. The Japanese envisioned the Co-Prosperity Sphere to be an autarkic bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers. This essay briefly describes some of the cultural, economic, and political reasons for the development of the Co-Prosperity Sphere. The last part of the essay summarizes some steps the Japanese took to develop this initiative and then highlights the great divergence between the propaganda and the reality surrounding the Co-Prosperity Sphere. The idea of Japanese cultural superiority over other Asian races had been expounded as early as the late nineteenth century and steadily grew in intensity until the end of World War II.