Japan’s big error was in 1937, not 1941

The biggest mistake Japan made was not in the underestimating of America’s resoluteness in 1941 as Kuni Miyake contends (“Why do you keep silent, Mr. Xi” in the July 24 edition). It was in the misjudgment of China’s resilience when Japan decided to mount a full-scale invasion of China in 1937. At the time Japan believed it could defeat China in three short months.

As professor Rana Mitter noted in the prologue of his highly acclaimed and best-selling 2013 book “Forgotten Ally,” an agrarian China managed to, at great sacrifice and against all odds, pull off a victory against an enemy vastly superior in training and equipment from a highly industrialized and militarized country.

America should heed the lesson Japan learned when it surrendered in 1945 — do not underestimate China’s resilience, resolve and capacity for sacrifice.

WEN LAM CHANG
HONG, KONG

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.