Assess the Impact of the War on Civilians in Territories Occupied by Japan in South-East Asia.

1180 Words May 8th, 2013 5 Pages
Assess the impact of the war on civilians in territories occupied by Japan in South-East Asia.

There was a significant detrimental impact of the war upon the civilians of occupied territories in South East Asia. The Japanese intended the Greater East Asian Co Prosperity Sphere (GEACPS) to be a united zone of mutual co-operation promoting economic development, social and political freedom from western imperial domination. However, the reality of the GEACPS was really a facade and a mere justification for Japanese military expansion. This had a detrimental economic, social and political effect on the civilians of South East Asia. As the war progressed economies became stripped of resources which led to famines. This suppression would lead
…show more content…
Consistent with Japanese propaganda the nationalist leaders held belief that Japan was “the leader, protector and light of Asia”. However, this perception of liberation from colonial rule was a façade as the civilians of occupied nations experienced harsher treatment under the Japanese than they did under the colonial authorities.

The tight control of the Japanese Army promoted resistance from the civilians of South East Asia. This occurred in areas of strategic importance for the Japanese. Starvation and brutality towards civilians in territories led to outbreaks of political violence and strong resistance. The civilians of Malaya met the Japanese forces with strong resistance in the form of guerilla warfare and sabotage to capture Japanese outposts and encourage social revolution. As Falk argues the Japanese responded to the networks of resistance by ‘drawing out forces and firing on them unexpectedly’, leading to the death of over 50,000 people in Malaya. It is evident that the increase in political violence led to a considerable amount of occupied death in territories of South East Asia.

Political violence and strong resistance to Japanese occupation caused a devastating social impact in South East Asia. A measure of control implemented by the Japanese was the use of slave labour. Slave labour had a profound social impact in Burma and the Dutch East Indies, contributing to millions
Open Document