The East Asia Development Board, or Kōain(興亜院), was a cabinet level agency in the Empire of Japan that operated between 1938 and 1942. It was created on 18 November 1938 under the first Konoe administration to coordinate the government's China policy. It was initially designed to sponsor industrial and commercial development in China to boost support for Japanese rule in occupied territories. However, the agency was quickly usurped by the Imperial Japanese Army and became a tool for forced labour and enslavement in mines and war industries. It was absorbed into the Ministry of Greater East Asia in 1942.
A cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.
The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
Prince Fumimaro Konoe was a Japanese politician in the Empire of Japan who served as the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan and founder/leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. He was Prime Minister in the lead-up to Japan entering World War II.
The Second Sino-Japanese War had not been quickly resolved as had been promised by the military, and Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe authorized the establishment of a central agency to coordinate all government activities and economic initiatives on the Chinese mainland, aside from the issue of formal diplomatic relations, which remained within the purview of the Foreign Ministry. It was intended that the Kōain would sponsor industrial and commercial development, creating jobs and infrastructure, and thus boost support for Japanese rule in the occupied territories.
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle. Some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It is known as the War of Resistance in China.
The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government of Japan and the commander-in-chief of the Japanese Armed Forces. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the National Diet and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office. He is the Chairman of the Cabinet and other Ministers of State serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. The literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a cabinet-level ministry of the Japanese government responsible for the country's foreign relations.
The Kōain established branch offices throughout Japanese-occupied China; however, its activities were quickly usurped by the Imperial Japanese Army, which hoped to limit all civilian involvement in China and afterwards appointed General Yanagawa Heisuke to oversee its operations. Per historian Timothy Brook, some military members of the Kōain spoke out against expansion of the conflict in China during 1939-1940, urging genuine independence for the Japanese-sponsored collaborationist states, and were consequently punished for their views by mainstream Army officials.
The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.
According to Chinese historian Zhifen Ju, the Kōain implemented a system of forced labor. She notes that until 1942, at least five million Chinese civilians from northern China and Manchukuo were enslaved for work in mines and war industries.The Kōain was also directly involved in providing funds to opium dealers in China for the benefit of collaborationist governments in Nanjing, Manchukuo and Mengjiang. This document corroborates evidence analyzed earlier by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East which stated:
North China is a geographical region of China, consisting of the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia. It lies north of the Qinling Huaihe Line, with its heartland in the North China Plain.
Manchukuo was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan in Northeast China and Inner Mongolia from 1932 until 1945. It was founded as a republic, but in 1934 it became a constitutional monarchy. It had limited international recognition and was under the de facto control of Japan.
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. Approximately 12 percent of the opium latex is made up of the analgesic alkaloid morphine, which is processed chemically to produce heroin and other synthetic opioids for medicinal use and for illegal drug trade. The latex also contains the closely related opiates codeine and thebaine, and non-analgesic alkaloids such as papaverine and noscapine. The traditional, labor-intensive method of obtaining the latex is to scratch ("score") the immature seed pods (fruits) by hand; the latex leaks out and dries to a sticky yellowish residue that is later scraped off and dehydrated. The word "meconium" historically referred to related, weaker preparations made from other parts of the opium poppy or different species of poppies.
"Japan, having signed and ratified the opium conventions, was bound not to engage in drug traffic, but she found in the alleged but false independence of Manchukuo a convenient opportunity to carry on a worldwide drug traffic and cast the guilt upon that puppet state (...) In 1937, it was pointed out in the League of Nations that 90% of all illicit white drugs in the world were of Japanese origin...".
The League of Nations, abbreviated as LN or LoN, was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.
The Kōain was absorbed into the Ministry of Greater East Asia in November 1942.
The Ministry of Greater East Asia was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1942 to 1945, established to administer overseas territories obtained by Japan in the Pacific War and to coordinate the establishment and development of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Kōki Hirota was a Japanese diplomat and politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 1936 to 1937. Originally his name was Jōtarō (丈太郎). He was executed for war crimes committed during World War II in the Tokyo Trials.
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was an imperialist concept created and promulgated for occupied Asian populations from 1930 to 1945 by the Empire of Japan. It extended across the Asia-Pacific and promoted the cultural and economic unity of East Asians, Southeast Asians, South Asians and Oceanians. It also declared the intention to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers". It was announced in a radio address entitled "The International Situation and Japan's Position" by Foreign Minister Hachirō Arita on 29 June 1940.
Kenji Doihara was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. He was instrumental in the Japanese invasion of Manchuria for which he earned fame taking the nickname "Lawrence of Manchuria," a reference to Lawrence of Arabia. However, according to Jamie Bisher, the flattering sobriquet was rather misapplied, as that Colonel T.E. Lawrence had fought to liberate, not to oppress people. In a war fiction by Roger J. Spiller, Lieutenant-General Ishiwara Kanji, his military chief in Manchuria, said that his heavy addiction to opium contributed to his unreliability as an army officer.
This article is concerned with the events that preceded World War II in Asia.
War crimes in Manchukuo were committed during the rule of the Empire of Japan in northeast China, either directly, or through its puppet state of Manchukuo, from 1931 to 1945. Various war crimes have been alleged, but have received comparatively little historical attention.
The Wang Jingwei regime is the common name of the Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China, a puppet state of the Empire of Japan, located in eastern China. This should not be confused with the Republic of China under Chiang Kai-shek, which was a separate, non-Japanese-backed government that fought against Japan. It was ruled by a one-party totalitarian dictatorship under Wang Jingwei, an ex-Kuomintang (KMT) official. The region that it would administer was initially seized by Japan throughout the late 1930s with the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Wang, a rival of Chiang Kai-shek and member of the pro-peace faction of the KMT, defected to the Japanese side and formed a collaborationist government in occupied Nanjing in 1940. The new state claimed the entirety of China during its existence, portraying itself as the legitimate inheritors of the Xinhai Revolution and Sun Yat-sen's legacy as opposed to Chiang Kai-shek's government in Chongqing, but effectively only Japanese-occupied territory was under its direct control. Its international recognition was limited to other members of the Anti-Comintern Pact, which it was a signatory of. The Reorganized National Government existed until the end of World War II and the surrender of Japan in August 1945, at which point the regime was dissolved and many of its leading members were executed for treason.
The Great Way or Dadao Government, formally the Great Way Municipal Government of Shanghai, was a short-lived puppet state proclaimed in Pudong on December 5, 1937, to administer Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the early stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
In Chinese culture, a hanjian is a derogatory and pejorative term for a race traitor to the Han Chinese state and, to a lesser extent, Han ethnicity. The word hanjian is distinct from the general word for traitor, which could be used for any race or country. As a Chinese term, it is a digraph of the Chinese characters for "Han" and "traitor". In addition, hanjian is a gendered term, indicated by the construction of this Chinese word. Han is the majority ethnic group in China; and Jian, in Chinese legal language, primarily referred to illicit sex. Implied by this term was a Han Chinese carrying on an illicit relationship with the enemy.” Hanjian is often worded as “collaboration” in the West.
The Battle of Beiping–Tianjin, also known as the Battle of Beijing and the Peiking-Tientsin Operation or by the Japanese as the North China Incident was a series of battles of the Second Sino-Japanese War fought in the proximity of Beiping and Tianjin. It resulted in a Japanese victory.
Akira Mutō was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. He was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging.
The Provisional Government of the Republic of China was a Chinese puppet state of the Empire of Japan that existed from 1937 to 1940 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It had been formed largely on the initiative of Imperial Japanese Army commanders in north China, before securing approval from Japanese government authorities in Tokyo. Thus the Provisional Government had nominal authority in Japanese occupied zones in north China, while to the south the Central China Expeditionary Army established the Reformed Government of the Republic of China in 1938, which had authority in the Yangtze River area. Both essentially served as a local organ of the Japanese military authorities, due to the presence and extensive powers of Japanese advisors within the Provisional Government over native Chinese bureaucrats, and because it never made any attempt to secure international recognition, even from Japan.
The Tungchow mutiny, sometimes referred to as the Tongzhou Incident, was an assault on Japanese civilians and troops by the collaborationist East Hopei Army in Tongzhou, China on 29 July 1937 shortly after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident that marked the official beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Duke Konoe Atsumaro was a Japanese politician and journalist of the Meiji era. He served as the 3rd President of the House of Peers and 7th President of the Gakushūin Peer's School in Meiji period Japan. He was also the father of Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.
Naoki Hoshino was a bureaucrat and politician who served in the Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese government, and as an official in the Empire of Manchukuo.
The Trautmann Mediation was an attempt by the German Ambassador to China, Oskar Trautmann, to broker a peace between Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe and Chiang Kai-shek of the Chinese Kuomintang Government shortly after the Second Sino-Japanese War began. The mediation began in November 1937 and ended on January 16, 1938 with Konoe's rejection announcement.
Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China is a history book which investigates collaboration between the Chinese elites and Japanese, following the attack on the Chinese city of Shanghai in August 1937, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and during the subsequent military occupation of the Yangtze River Delta in China by Japan.
The Kwantung Army was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1906 to 1945.
Hideki Tojo was a Japanese politician and general of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) who concurrently served as Leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association and Prime Minister of Japan during much of World War II. He was among the most outspoken proponents for preventive war against the United States before the attack on Pearl Harbor and one of the leading perpetrators behind Japanese war crimes on prisoners of war and civilians during the Pacific conflict. After the end of the war, Tojo was arrested, condemned and sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, and hanged on December 23, 1948.