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.”
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.”
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):
A plume of water from a torpedo strike against the bow of the Battleship Musashi erupts high into the air during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea. During the battle the Musashi was hit by an estimated 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs before finally sinking. October 24, 1944.
A surrendered Nakajima G8N at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, spring 1946. The aircraft to the right is a Beech C-45, the one barely visible on the left (wing tip) is a North American T-6 Texan.