Remembering the war in New Guinea - Why were the Japanese were in New Guinea

Remembering the war in New Guinea
Why the Japanese were in New Guinea (Symposium paper)
Panel name: Higher strategy
This page was contributed by Dr Henry Frei (Tsukuba Women's University)


From the nineteenth century to the Second World War, Japan's interest in New Guinea was as weak as its emigrant presence was small in that country. Given New Guinea's small importance to Japan before the war, one asks why the Japanese and Australians fought so bitterly on New Guinea for three and a half years at tremendous loss of life and materiel? Could not the island have been safely left out of Japan's Second World War strategy? This paper first shows how New Guinea was perceived in Japanese prewar literature and prewar plans. The body deals with the various reasons why the island gravitated into the fighting orbit of the Japanese Greater East Asia War.

For a quarter millenium, New Guinea existed in the Japanese popular mind as a square box grafted onto Australia, then known as the immense Magellanica, or South Land, encircling the lower part of the globe. New Guinea was always drawn as a peninsula protruding out of north Australia's Arnhemland.[1] The erroneous view symbolizes two things. It is representative of long Japanese ignorance of and disinterest in New Guinea.

On the other hand, it also represents the kind of closeness and shield that several Australian prime ministers wished protected Australia. Billy Hughes comes to mind in 1920, when he said at the Paris Peace Conference: "Strategically the northern islands (such as New Guinea) encompass Australia like fortresses. They are as necessary to Australia as water to a city."[2]

Since the 19th century, Australians have had a big stake in New Guinea. From the 1880s, when the eastern colonies tried to have Britain annex New Guinea, to 1919 when they got rid of the Germans in German New Guinea, and into the 1930s when they worried that a Japanese fleet would use Port Moresby as a base to invade Australia and "Japanese living in mandated New Guinea were all suspected of having some hidden military motive".[3] Given this strong idea that New Guinea acted as a fortress, it is not surprising that Australians would hang on to the rampart and fight for New Guinea tenaciously in any coming war.


But what about Japan? Why them there? Far away, what stakes did the Japanese have in that largest of islands? What was their prewar involvement in New Guinea that would have them decide to wage a war that would cost their army and navy hundreds of thousands of troops?

New Guinea in early southward advance literature

When Japan ended its isolation policy in the mid-19th century and rekindled its expansive mood of the early 17th century, New Guinea was nowhere on the map for exploration and expansion. The Philippines drew much more interest, as did Indonesia, Hawaii[4] and even the Solomons.[5]

True, some southward advance protagonists did occasionally mention New Guinea in the southward advance literature. Taguchi Ukichi, for example, (1855-1905), the ardent liberal economist, believed in 1890 that, although the European countries had expanded into the south seas, they did not yet effectively control all the islands due to a lack of European settlers; Japan was therefore free to go to these islands, including New Guinea, buy lands from the chiefs, settle down and trade.[6] Or Miyake Setsurei (1860-1945), an historian-philosopher and leading popular journalist, who sailed on naval expeditions to Guam, the Philippines, New Britain, Australia and New Guinea, searching in vain for any islands marked "unclaimed" on their English sea maps in the hope of acquiring them for Japan.[7] Or Inagaki Manjiro, 1861-1908, a graduate from Cambridge, who in his geopolitical book Nanyo chosei dan (Talk on an exploration deep into the south seas, 1893), regarded British occupation of New Guinea as a threat to the Japan-Australia line of communication.[8]

But such mention of New Guinea is scanty. In real life, few Japanese emigrated there. Some pioneering businessmen, such as Isokichi Komine, were much involved in trade with New Guinea.[9] And because of freer access in the German period, more Japanese were in New Guinea before the First World War. But during the war, in 1917, Australia froze the Japanese population at its existing level in New Guinea,[10] and after the war pushed the White Australia policy up to the equator. Ironically, although having been on the victors' side, Japan entered a smaller world in the Pacific after the war. During the inter-war period, Japan's interest in New Guinea became marginal compared to south-east Asia. An Australian report as late as 1939 stated that there were no Japanese in Papua New Guinea.[11]

New Guinea in Japan's threefold view of the south seas (Nan'yô)

By the 1920s and 1930s, New Guinea drifted into the outer periphery of a threefold differentiation of the Japanese concept of south seas (Nan'yo), or the Pacific. The three different south seas were the inner (uchi) south seas, the outer (soto) south seas and the ("real") south seas.[12] The inner south seas covered Japan's colonial territories in the South China Sea and central Pacific. The outer south seas meant south-east Asia,[13] whilst the "real" south seas was Oceania, including Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia and the rest of the Pacific.

In this multiple view of the south seas, Dutch New Guinea was situated in the outer south seas. Papua New Guinea, where the main battles took place in the Pacific war, figured in the "real" south seas itself; nevertheless, it lay beyond Japan's interests which focused on Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

New Guinea in the militaristic literature of the 1930s-1940s

One scans in vain books that would indicate a deep interest in New Guinea, something to explain why so many Japanese would have wanted to go to that island to fight to the death. No literature exists, for example, that describes south-east Asia or Australia as a prize worth winning in the south seas. The brief spurt of books in 1943 and 1944, when Japanese were able to visit the occupied Dutch East Indies, dealt mainly with Dutch New Guinea, and then only in a very rudimentary way. Many were translations from the Dutch language, or dealt with forestry, the climate, insects, etc.[14]

New Guinea in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere concept

Nor is New Guinea touched upon directly in the considerable literature and civilian and military position papers on the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.[15] For as long it lasted, the idea of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a vague concept. The exact extension of its outer borders remained an obscure line in official minds as well as in civilian minds. In the few surviving documents (ministerial and military research papers), policymakers could do little with New Guinea in Japan's super sphere structure envisaged to dominate in the post-Second World War order.

In a Foreign Ministry position paper submitted to the army on 24 July 1940 in preparation for the conclusion of the Axis pact in September that year, one paragraph reflects on India, Australia and New Zealand as belonging in the Greater East Asian New Order in the far future, but says nothing about New Guinea in particular.[16]

In a secret planning paper conceived by the Navy General Staff Research Section four months later, New Guinea figured in the outermost of the three concentric circles that structured the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was categorised as one of "those outlying areas necessary".[17] This arrangement was obscured again in a later paper, "Essence and structure of the nation's home defense" drafted by the Navy Ministry's Research Section. In the section which defined the extent of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, the countries located in its three concentric belt areas (Japan, Manchukuo, Mongolia, China; the outer south seas (roughly today's ASEAN region without the Philippines); and Burma, India, Australia, New Zealand) were crossed out, with the annotation that these countries were not erased, but that it was too early to settle the exact delimitation of the Sphere.[18]

The Total War Institute's elaborate "Draft of basic plans for the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere", dated 27 January 1942, divided the super sphere into the Inner Sphere (Japan, Manchukuo, North China);[19] the Smaller Co-Prosperity Sphere (Eastern Siberia, China, and soto nan'yo (south-east Asia)); and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (Australia, India and the Pacific Ocean islands, and conceivably also New Guinea).[20]

The construction of the Smaller Co-Prosperity Sphere was expected to take at least twenty years, after which a gradual expansion toward the construction of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would take place after recurring war with Great Britain and her allies. With some imagination, one can guess that New Guinea would be incorporated into the empire gradually, as with Australia, which would have to wait for twenty years after south-east Asia was first incorporated.

Papua New Guinea not in Japan's basic war plan

Most importantly, Papua New Guinea was not on the list of war objectives in stage one of Japan's basic war plan.[21] This first stage - on an arc of some 9500 kilometers, from the Malayan Peninsula to Pearl Harbor - was calculated to eliminate the British, Dutch, and US navies based in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Batavia, Guam, Wake Island, Manila and Pearl Harbor and to secure for Japan the indispensable raw materials from south-east Asia. Stage one operations were to be wrapped up by April or May 1942.

Although Papua New Guinea was not on the list of war objectives in stage one of Japan's basic war plan, the neighbouring island of Rabaul was,[22] if certain conditions were met.


Australia's administrative center for Papua New Guinea was a threat to the Japanese main naval base at Truk, 1,500 miles north of Rabaul. Truk was well within the radius of the new American B-17 "flying fortress" bombers.

The force earmarked to take Rabaul was the South Seas Detachment. It was a 5,000-men strong army unit designated for specific actions in the Pacific: actions such as occupying US held Guam island, special operations that were in the interest of the army and closely connected with large-scale aims such as taking the Philippines.

The Japanese navy had asked the army already in August 1941 for troops to secure Rabaul at the time of the beginning of the Pacific War. Two different views existed in the navy with regard to the importance accorded Rabaul as a strategic object. The Navy General Staff viewed Rabaul as dangerous, simply because of its closeness to their main base on Truk. To protect Truk, Rabaul had to be taken. Period.[23]

The other view emanated from Combined Fleet staff officers and their charismatic head, Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku. He saw Rabaul from a more dynamic standpoint. Ever since the Meiji period the Japanese navy had prepared plans for a showdown with the US navy in the Pacific, somewhere close to the Japanese main islands. But after the First World War, with Japanese territorial gains of the central Pacific islands and with the advance of technology that shrank distance, the Japanese navy began to conceive of the ultimate showdown with America, its only challenger, in the center of the Pacific, somewhere near the Marianas. Hence Japan's establishment of its main naval base in the formidable harbour of Truk. Yamamoto saw Rabaul as an important base he wished to secure for Japan's main line of offence against the US navy, a line that ran from the left in the Marianas to Truk in the middle and then to Rabaul on the far right. In this web the Japanese navy would entangle the US navy and defeat it in mandated home waters.[24]

In their talks in August 1941, the Army Section had at first not agreed to the Navy Section's request. They insisted that the naval landing forces were sufficient. But eventually they did reach a compromise to despatch their South Seas Detachment for the Rabaul operation at the earliest possible time after the outbreak of hostilities. The army would, however, not commit itself to a date for the operation; it would be after the South Seas Detachment had taken Guam, and on the condition that the detachment would retreat to the Palau Islands as soon as the occupation of Rabaul was completed, and from then on form the main reserves of the Imperial General Headquarters.[25]

The South Seas Detachment occupied Guam on 10 December. And with another navy unit occupying Wake Island in the Pacific on 23 December, and things going smoothly, the army agreed to lend its successful South Seas Detachment for the Rabaul operation. The Malaya and Philippine campaigns were in full swing when the navy and army decided on 4 January to invade Rabaul on 23 January. All the while, Papua New Guinea was not envisaged to be drawn into the campaign.

Rabaul was occupied on schedule. But the next night it was attacked three times by planes flown over from Salamaua and Lae, causing considerable damage.[26] Something had to be done about those bases in Papua New Guinea. Earlier provisional plans were put on the table to secure Lae, Salamau and Tulagi, another island in the southern Solomons.

As with Rabaul, army and navy again set a date for Lae and Salamaua. Again the Japanese forces occupied the two places on schedule on 7 March. Again they felt secure. And again something happened that precluded the swift withdrawal of the South Seas Detachment to Palau according to original plans. On 10 March, Lae was bombed by the Allies from Port Moresby and from planes off the US Ships Lexington and Yorktown. The great damage caused major re-thinking. If Japanese positions were bombed from the other side of the island, then Port Moresby had to be occupied too.

Until this stage, it looks like the war slowly expanded to encompass much of Papua New Guinea, for the simple reason of expansion begetting expansion. However, the widening of the war and gradual inclusion of Papua New Guinea took place not so much because of the couple of bombings from the other side of enemy positions. The widening of war into New Guinea involved calculations on a far wider scale. It resulted above all from four plans canvassed in the first six months of the Pacific War, three of which had nothing to do with Papua New Guinea.


First, Japanese plans to take Australia's north; second, revision of such plans into Operation FS (the taking of Fiji, Samoa, and New Caledonia to cut Australia off from US supplies); third, the plan to take Port Moresby (Battle of Coral Sea); and fourth, the plan to take Midway (in preparation to occupy Hawaii). Although each of these plans ended negatively for Japan, as they were being processed, each fed into the other with ever wider implications for Papua New Guinea being drawn deeper into the Pacific War.

Japanese Plans to Take Australia's North

First, Japanese plans to take Australia's north. The more successful Japanese troops were in south-east Asia, the bolder their imaginations and the greater their appetite grew.[27] Already in January 1942, the Japanese were confronted with the question of what they should secure in the second stage of Japan's basic war plan. "It looks as if advance operations in stage one can be concluded by the middle of March," wrote Rear Admiral Ugaki Matome, the naval Chief of Staff, in his diary on 5 January 1942. "Where shall we go from here? Shall we knock out the Soviets in the Russian Far East if an opportunity arises, attack Hawaii, or shall we advance into Australia?"[28] The latter was quite possible, as even US military appraisals admitted. Australia was vulnerable and Japan could easily occupy portions of Australia.[29] Brigadier General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his appraisal of global strategy to Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, went as far a writing off the security of Australia, since now the Japanese controlled the region's oil and tin "and practically the entire rubber resources of the world." Australia was not vital, only desirable as a rear supply area.[30]

Indeed, the Japanese forces had rolled down rubber land, the Malayan peninsula, to take Singapore in only sixty days (instead of six months), and Japanese strategists were beginning to think in larger space terms. Fortune was favouring the bold, so why not take Australia? Or at least its north. It was a necessity. The enemy had to be denied the use of Australia as a base for United States war materiel. This was the stance of the Navy General Staff.[31]

But this idea was doomed from the beginning, since it always encountered strong resistance from the army, bogged down on the Asian mainland. The army always managed to sideline the navy hawks and point out that first the Chinese and Soviet threats had to be settled before they could undertake any Australian adventure.[32]

Combined Fleet, led by charismatic Yamamoto, was also against invading Australia, known as "Southern Operations". Yamamoto had chased the British out of the Indian Ocean and was redirecting his thoughts and ships to "Eastern Operations," that is, occupying Hawaii, where he knew his first strike against Pearl Harbor had failed.[33] At the time that the Navy General Staff was promoting vehemently the idea of occupying Australia's north, Yamamoto was concentrating equally on taking Midway, and from where to occupying Hawaii in stage two of Japan's basic war plan.[34] With no help from the army and in view of Yamamoto's intransigence, the Navy General Staff was unable to push its invasion of Australia further and began to compromise with other options.

Operation FS (the Occupation of Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia)

The next best option was to cut the entire Australian continent off from US supplies by occupying Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia. This was known as Operation FS.[35] It was a timely change of options and had it been acted on speedily, it might have forestalled US moves into those positions. At the time that Navy General Staff, Combined Fleet and the army were discussing Operation FS, a memorandum from Fleet Admiral E.J. King warned President Roosevelt on 5 March 1942 about these three strategic locations:

After our primary concern to hold Hawaii and Midway, our next care in the Pacific is to preserve Australasia. It requires that its communications be maintained via Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia. We have now - or will soon have - "strong points" at Samoa, Suva (Fiji) and New Caledonia. ..- When the "strong points" are made reasonably secure, we shall be able to cover Australia and drive back the Japanese in the same fashion of step-by-step advances that the Japanese used in the South China Sea.[36]

The Japanese Navy General Staff's redirection from an amphibious landing on Australia of enormous proportions to an operation that involved the occupation of three smaller islands was nevertheless daunting. It would still extend greatly Japan's original plans in the South-west Pacific Theatre. It would certainly not allow for a withdrawal of the army's South Seas Detachment back to Palau as reserves.

It is really this huge extension of original operations in the Pacific - from mopping up and occupying a few islands in the Pacific, to a new plan that encompassed the entire isolation of a continent - that eventually had the greatest impact on the extension of war into New Guinea on a large scale. With Operation FS in the making, greater contingencies were necessary. In fact, the simmering war of attrition in the Bismarck Islands and the New Guinean littoral made Imperial Headquarters think of creating a new army, the 17th Army, and a new fleet, the 8th Fleet.[37]

The plan to take Port Moresby (Battle of Coral Sea)

In March and April, moreover, the urgency increased to take Port Moresby (and occupying Port Moresby came to be understood as an important preliminary move of Operation FS).[38] Here "Southern Operations" ran into problems with Yamamoto's fixation on "Eastern Operations". The Admiral had agreed to Operation FS only reluctantly. He did not believe that occupying Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia would prevent America from supplying Australia.[39] He certainly would not have Operation FS take place, as the Navy General Staff wanted to, before he had occupied Midway. Yamamoto set Midway for 4 June. Accordingly, the Navy General Staff had to set Operation FS for 8 July and 18-21 July,[40] one month later. The timing sequence is here important for the extension of war into Papua New Guinea thereafter, especially the timing of the preliminary move to occupy Port Moresby.

Because of the many counter-attacks they had experienced since landing on Rabaul, Salamaua, and Lae, Vice Admiral Inoue, who was in charge of South Seas Force, wanted to take Port Moresby already in April. Swift action was essential. After the bombing of Lae in March, the aircraft-carrier Lexington had returned to Hawaii and only the aircraft-carrier Yorktown, under Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, was then in the south. Moreover, C Operation, Japan's foray into the Indian Ocean to knock out the British fleet at Colombo on Ceylon, had been completed and the fleet was on its way home. Had then the Japanese carriers been made available for as swift and decisive an occupation of Port Moresby as had been the case for Lae and Salamaua, Inoue might have launched a successful occupation of Port Moresby which was then defended by a militia battalion. However, Inoue had to change his date for the invasion three times,[41] primarily because Yamamoto was neither cooperative nor forthcoming with his aircraft-carriers. When higher strategy changed the date for Port Moresby to the end of May, Yamamoto changed it back to early May. He would, moreover, give Inoue not four, but only two aircraft-carriers. And he would only lend the less experienced aircraft-carriers, which needed training for the Midway operation.

This put tremendous pressure on Inoue, who quickly had to reschedule his plans for Port Moresby from April to late-May and then back again to early-May, because Yamamoto wanted his carriers back by 10 May, preferably intact.[42] The rush and changes cramped Inoue's style and had an adverse impact on the outcome of Operation Port Moresby. The Battle of the Coral Sea ended in a draw between Japan and America, when Japanese forces had to withdraw to Rabaul and Salamaua. It was a setback for Japanese forces.

But the unsuccessful attempt to take Port Moresby by sea did not cancel the operation; it postponed it. Securing Port Moresby in a seaborne invasion was to be tried again at a later date in connection with the FS Operation.

The plan to take Midway

This brings us to the fourth point, the plan to take Midway (in preparation to occupy Hawaii). The Japanese Navy's disastrous defeat in the Battle of Midway on 5 June, where Japan lost the cream of its almighty Combined Fleet, had the most far-reaching consequences for the extension of the war into Papua New Guinea.

After losing four aircraft-carriers, the navy suggested to the army to postpone FS Operation for two months, so that they could examine the situation. But already on 10 July, Operation FS was abandoned.[43] This now left out on a limb the newly created 17th Army.

What to do with 17th Army now that Operation FS was cancelled? Take Port Moresby overland and keep the southernmost front active. Boost morale by restoring feelings of by preparing to take Port Moresby via the Stanley Owen Ranges![44] That became the next rationale and use for Japan's enormous machinery put in place to cut off Australia in a line of containment from Micronesia to Melanesia and Polynesia. And here started the ever-widening war of attrition.


It was the beginning of the tragedy that began to take place in New Guinea, an island never meant to be included in the Pacific war. Units were readied to attack Buna and Rabi, and from there the Japanese onslaught took off. Initially quite successful again, but with the Australian and US build up, increasingly weakening.

Interestingly, in one of the early attacks it was the same Japanese troops - the 41st Infantry Regiment, 5th Division that had rolled down the Australians at Gemas on the Malayan peninsula and defeated them at Bukit Timah in Singapore - who confronted the Australian troops in the battle for Isuraba, one of the northern peaks in the upland of the Stanley Owen Range on 31 August 1942. After eliminating Australian resistance near Gap, the 41st Regiment reached the highest peak in the Stanley Owen Range on 5 September.[45] It was the terminal station of Japan's southward advance; in the same month Japanese forces began their long retreat. All ad hoc, one action begetting the other, from here on higher strategy bogs down in countless battles spread over three years.

In a way, for three years the Pacific war really took place in New Guinea. It was an important side theatre that for the length of the war conveniently pinned down 350,000 elite Japanese troops as MacArthur island-hopped his way to Tokyo.

In New Guinea, Japan lost 220,000 troops.[46] In a land that was never imagined to become a battlefield, not by late-Tokugawa southward advance protagonists who envisaged the Philippines as a possible war theatre, not by Meiji intellectuals who saw the prize in Malaya and in Indonesia, not even by the General Staff at the outbreak of war.

It is an irony of Pacific war history that several other islands come to mind immediately when we speak of action in the Pacific, but not New Guinea. The many battles there are little known, except to specialists who study that place and period and to people in Australia, although the war on that island was the most drawn out and frustrating of battles in the Pacific war.

Frustrating also in the sense that all the while, thousands of Australian troops were being kept in Japanese war prisons, from Singapore to Borneo and in Japan. It was perhaps a lesson. Forward defence carried out too far away from one's country, as had been the case in Malaya, had not lent itself well to self-sacrifice. New Guinea did, where many Australians died and won in the end. As for the Japanese, who should never have been there in the first place, they died anyway, whether it was far or close to home, and lost.

1. See Henry Frei, ”Japan Discovers Australia: The Emergence of Australia in the Japanese World-View, 1540s-1900”, in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 39, 1984, pp. 55-81; this advanced rendition of the Pacific published by Matteo Ricci in China for the Ming Emperor, immediately reached Japan in 1602. It was the last major world map of Christian provenance to freely enter Japan, before Japan closed itself off for two hundred years from Christianity and the world and any further geographic enlightenment.
2. U.S. Foreign Relations, “The Paris Peace Conference, 1919”, Vol. III, pp. 720-22.
3. Hank Nelson, ‘The Enemy at the Door: Australia and New Guinea in World War II’ paper read at Seminar in Tsukuba University, July 1998, pp. 1-5. ‘The Pacific War in Papua New Guinea: Perceptions and Realities’ paper, 2nd Symposium, Division of Pacific and Asian history, RSPAS, ANU, September 1999.
4. See Henry P. Frei, Ch. 3 “Japan Returns to the Western Pacific,” Japan's Southward Advance and Australia: From the Sixteenth Century Until World War II, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1991.
5. Nozawa Tokichi (as dictated to him by Suzuki Tsunenori), Nan'yo shi (Thoughts on the South Seas; Tokyo, 1890), pp. 102-104, in Suzuki Tsunenori, Nanto junkoki (Report on a cruise in the Pacific).
6. Taguchi Ukichi, “Nan'yo keiryaku ron” (On governing the Nan'yo), in Keiken Taguchi Ukichi zenshu (The collected works of Teiken Taguchi Ukichi; Tokyo, 1928), pp. 372-373.
7. Miyake Setsurei, Daigaku konjaku tan (A talk on the universities past and present), Gakkansha, 1946, pp. 146-43.
8. Inagaki Manjiro, Nanyo chosei dan (Talk on an exploration deep into the South Seas), Tokyo, Yasui Hidema, 1892, p. 79.
9. See Hiromitsu Iwamoto, “The Japanese Settlers in Papua and New Guinea, 1890-1949”, Ph. D. thesis, Canberra, ANU, 1995, pp. 29-31.
10. U.S. Foreign Relations, “The Paris Peace Conference, 1919”, Vol. IX.
11. See Hiromitsu Iwamoto, “The Japanese Settlers in Papua and New Guinea, 1890-1949”, Ph. D. thesis, Canberra, ANU, 1995, pp. 102, 106, 114.
12. See Henry P. Frei, Japan's Southward Advance and Australia: From the Sixteenth Century Until World War II, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1991, p. 73.
13. Matsumura Kanesuke, Minami ni mo seimeisen ari: Nichi-Man-Nan keizai burokku no teishutsu (The south offers a life-line, too: Proposing an economic block of Japan, Manchuria, and the South), Rinsan Shoten, 1933, p. 2. According to this 1933 source, published at a time when the notion of “sotonan'yo was well established, the “outer” South Seas comprised the region from the Philippines to Java, West Borneo, Celebes, Sumatra, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, Dutch New Guinea, British North Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Siam, French Indochina, and the Chinese mainland.
14. See the thirty to forty books in Masato Matsui, et al. Nan’yo (South Seas): An Annotated Bibliography (Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1982) , pp. 94-99. See also Iwamoto, op. cit., pp. 102-106.
15. See Frei, Japan's Southward Advance and Australia, pp. 207-210.
16. “Sori, rikukaigai yonsho kaigi kettei an (gaimusho an)” (Plans for decisions of the Four Ministerial Conference of the Prime Minister and the Army, Navy and Foreign Ministers {The Foreign Ministry's Plan}), 24 July 1940, in Daito Bunka Daigaku Toyo Kenkyujo (Oriental Institute of the Eastern Culture University), Kaigun shiryo (oshu senso) 9 (Naval Documents, European War, 9), p. 478.
17. Japanese Imperial Navy, Navy General Staff, Operational Section (chokuzoku), “Daitoa kyoeiken kensetsu taiko (shian)” (Draft outline for the construction of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere), 29 November 1940, deposited in the East Asian Library, Hoover Institution of War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford, California, pp. 2-3, 5, 228-229.
18. Kaigun Sho Chosa Ka, “Kokubo kokka no honshitsu to kozo” (19 February 1941) in Daito Bunka Daigaku Toyo Kenkyujo Zo, op. cit., Kaigun shiryo fuzoku shiryo (A). Sogo kenkyukai kankei tsuzuri (Appended documents to the Navy's Historical Papers. (A) Compilation of research findings), p. 228.
19. See Total War Institute Japan, Total War Research Institute (Soryokusen Kenkyujo), “Dai Toa kyoeiken kensetsu gen'an (soko)” (Draft of basic plans for the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere), 27 January 1942. Deposited in War History Office, National Defense College, Tokyo; and “Dai Toa kyoeiken kensetsu gen'an oyobi Toa kensetsu daiichiki soryoku senho ryaku ni kansuru yobi kenkyu toshin (Report on the preliminary study of the plans for the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and on the strategy for the first period of the total war for the construction of a “New East Asia”), 14 January 1942. IPS-DOC IMT 492, International Prosecution Section.
20. Alternatively these were called, the basic Sphere (kisoken), the defense Sphere (boeiken), and the power Sphere (iryokuken).
21. See Japan, Army General Staff, “Nihon no shoki senryaku ni okeru koryaku han'iki no kettei ni kansuru chinjutsusho” (Written declaration concerning the delimitations of conquest in the early stage of Japan's war strategy), deposited in War History Office, National Defense College, Tokyo.
22. Ibid.
23. Kengoro Tanaka, Operations of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces in the Papua New Guinea Theater During World War II, Tokyo: Japan Papua New Guinea Goodwill Society, 1980, pp. 1-2.
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid., pp. 2-3.
26. Ibid., p. 5.
27. A lot has been written on the rising arrogance leading to negligence in staff planning. See for example, Ochi Harumi, Maree senki, (Malaya war diary) Tosho Shuppansha, 1973), p. 321; Chihaya Masataka, Nihon kaigun no ogori shokogun (The Japanese Navy’s syndrome of arrogance), Purejidendosha, 1990.
28. Boei-cho, Boeikenshujo, Senshishitsu (Self-defense Agency, National Defense College, War History Office), Minami Taiheiyo rikugun sakusen: Pooto Moresubi-Gato shoki sakusen (Army operations in the South Pacific: Its early stage from Port Moresby to Guadalcanal), Vol. 1, Asagumo Shinbunsha, 1967, p. 123.
29. US Brig Gen L. T. Gerow, Asst Chief of Staff, to Board of Economic Warfare, 17 January 1942, in Marc Jacobsen, “US Grand Stragegy and Australia”, in The Battle of Coral Sea, (Sydney: Australia National Maritime Museum,1993, p. 22
30. Eisenhower memo for Marshall, Strategic conceptions and their application to Southwest Pacific, 28 February 1942, RG 165, Reel 105, item 2528, George C. Marshall Library, Lexington VA, in ibid., pp. 22-23.
31. See Tomioka Sadatoshi, Kaisen to Shusen; Hito to kokio to keikaku (The opening and closing of the Pacific war: The people, the mechanisms, and the planning), Mainichi Shinbunsha, 1968, pp. 117-118.
32. See Frei, Japan's Southward Advance and Australia, pp. 163-67.
33. Boei-cho, Boeikenshujo, Senshishitsu (Self-defense Agency, National Defense College, War History Office), Daihon'ei kaigunbu, rengokantai (Imperial Headquarters, Navy General Staff, Combined Fleet), Vol. 2, Asagumo Shinbunsha, 1975, p. 309.
34. See John J. Stephan Hawaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor (Honolulu: Hawaii University Press, 1984.
35. Frei, Japan's Southward Advance and Australia, pp. 167, 171-72.
36. Ernest J. King and W. M. Whitehill, Fleet Admiral King: A
Naval Record, New York: W W Norton, 1952, p. 385.
37. Tanaka, op. cit., pp. 13-14.
38. Ibid., p. 9.
39. Boei-cho, Boeikenshujo, Senshishitsu (Self-defense Agency, National Defense College, War History Office), Nanto homen kaigun sakusen: Gato dakkai sakusen kaishi made (Naval operations in the southeastern theater: Until commencement of the recovery of Guadalcanal), Vol. 1, Asagumo Shinbunsha, 1971, p. 355.
40. Boei-cho, Boeikenshujo, Senshishitsu, Daihon'ei kaigunbu, rengokantai, p. 384.
41. See Henry Frei,”Japan's Southward Advance and Its Threat to Australia in the Final Stage”, in The Battle of Coral Sea, (Sydney: Australia National Maritime Museum,1993, p. 49.
42. Boei-cho, Boeikenshujo, Nanto homen, op. cit., pp. 165-67; John B. Lundstrom, The First South Pacific Campaign: Pacific Fleet Strategy December 1941-June 1942 Annapolis, 1976, pp. 46-7.
43. Tanaka, op. cit., pp. 13-14.
44. Ibid., p. 14.
45. Ibid., pp. 20-23.
46. Ibid., p. 97.
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