imperial japanese history

2

January 18th 1915: Japan issues ‘21 Demands’

On this day in 1915, Japan issued its ‘Twenty-One Demands’ to the Republic of China. This came during a period of Japanese expansion in East Asia, as the country aimed to increase its power in the region. Japan’s imperial desires followed the nation’s forcible opening to international trade by American Commodore Perry in the mid-nineteeth-century, ending hundreds years of the sakoku policy of isolation. The demands were drafted under Prime Minister Ōkuma Shigenobu and were presented to China’s General Yuan Shikai as an ultimatum, threatening China with war if they failed to comply. They included expanding Japan’s influence in southern Manchuria, the right of extraterritoriality, disallowing China from giving any land to countries other than Japan, and, lastly, the introduction of Japanese advisers to the Chinese government to essentially manage the whole economy. China objected to the last section and the Japanese revised the demands, presenting them again to China, who accepted the ultimatum in May 1915. Japan’s actions distanced the nation from its allies in Britain and the United States, who opposed this imperialist diplomacy. The Demands contributed to a growing anger towards Japan among Chinese people, giving rise to an incipient nationalism. At the Washington Conference in 1921-1922, Japan agreed to withdraw troops from China and restore the nation’s sovereignty, thus essentially nullifying the Twenty-One Demands.

“Flying dangerously close, a U.S. Navy photographer got this spectacular aerial view of a heavy Japanese cruiser of the Mogima class, demolished by Navy bombs, in the battle of Midway, in June of 1942. Armor plate, steel decks and superstructure are a tumbled mass.”

(AP)

2

The image is of the captured p-51 fighter “Evalina”. I believe it was captured over China by the IJA. 

“I had such confidence with this P-51 that I feared no Japanese fighters.” 

-Yasuhiko Kuroe

The Japanese’s impression of the Mustang was that it was an excellent all-round aircraft with no major fault and excellent equipment. The absence of oil leaks was surprising to most, as all Japanese engines leaked to some extent. Several pilots were invited to fly the fighter. Among them was Yohei Hinoki, one of the first to shoot down a Mustang in November 1943. (A few days later, he himself was shot down by a Mustang and lost a leg. Eventually returning to combat with an artificial leg, he ended the war with a dozen victories): 

“The Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu maneuvers to avoid bombs dropped by Army Air Forces B-17 Flying Fortresses during the Battle of Midway, on June 4, 1942.”

(US Navy)