The Asia-Pacific war began in 1937. It became part of World War II, as Japan was Nazi Germany’s ally. In Asia, Japan was the aggressor and China the initial battlefield.

The Japanese leaders believed that Japanese were superior to other races and sought hegemony in Asia. Genocide was not one of their war aims. But the brutalities committed by members of the Imperial Japanese armed forces in China and Southeast Asia as well as against Allied prisoners of war were horrific war crimes. Japanese attacks on the Americans at Pearl Harbor and on the British in Malaya were carried out without warning before war was declared. They were seen in America especially as Japanese treachery.

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