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With this book the editors complete the three-volume series on modern Japanese colonialism and imperialism that began with The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945 (Princeton, 1983) and The Japanese Informal Empire in China, 1895-1937 (Princeton, 1989). The Japanese military takeover in Manchuria between 1931 and 1932 was a critical turning point in East Asian history. It marked the first surge of Japanese aggression beyond the boundaries of its older colonial empire and set Japan on a collision course with China and Western colonial powers from 1937 through 1945. These essays seek to illuminate some of the more significant processes and institutions during the period when the empire was at war: the creation of a Japanese-dominated East Asian economic bloc centered in northeast Asia, the mobilization of human and physical resources in the older established areas of Japanese colonial rule, and the penetration and occupation of Southeast Asia.
Introduced by Peter Duus, the volume contains four sections: Japan’s Wartime Empire and the Formal Colonies (Carter J. Eckert and Wan-yao Chou), Japan’s Wartime Empire and Northeast Asia (Louise Young, Y. Tak Matsusaka, Ramon H. Myers, and Takafusa Nakamura), Japan’s Wartime Empire and Southeast Asia (Mark R. Peattie, E. Bruce Reynolds, and Ken’ichi Goto), and Japan’s Wartime Empire in Other Perspectives (George Hicks, Hideo Kobayashi, and L. H. Gann).