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Japan's Potential Role in a Military-Technical Revolution

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By the 193Os, Japan had achieved the objectives of its 1868 Meiji Restoration. It had created a heavy industrial system of world rank supporting a modern military establishment to defend itself against western colonialism. This singular achievement led to the one thing the strategy was intended to prevent - defeat and domination by foreigners. Industrial growth ended centuries of autarky a modernized Japan depended on imports for its technology, energy, raw materials, and strategic industrial supplies. To ensure itself of these inputs, it embarked on its own colonial ventures in Asia and built a naval fleet to protect its lines of supply. These actions eventually led Japan into conflict with the United States. Japanese dependence on overseas supplies made its merchant shipping a cornerstone of its industrial might. Yet, during the Second World War, Japan did not protect this fleet against attack by the use of anti-submarine warfare or protected convoys. Rather, the Imperial Japanese Navy saw its job as one of defeating the main American naval fleet. With its commerce unprotected, Japan suffered unsustainable losses to its economy and its ability to wage war. However, at the tactical-technical level, especially in naval aviation, Japanese industry and military planners were quite innovative. Despite its acceptance of the idea of total war, Japans decision to make war on the United States was a profound error of historic proportions as the nations strategic objectives vastly outran its military and industrial means. Although Japans economic growth was remarkable, its economy was still considerably smaller than that of the United States its technology - even its military technology - seriously lagged American levels.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Information Science
  • Economics and Cost Analysis

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