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Power and Primacy

Abridged and Updated Edition

A.B. Abrams

Today the Asia-Pacific region stands on the verge of major change, with centuries of western dominated regional order being seriously challenged and quite possibly nearing its end. The emergence of a potential new order dominated by regional rather than extra-regional powers - an «Asia for the Asiatics» in the words of Japan’s pan-Asian scholars - means it is now more than ever essential to understand the history of the current western-dominated system, the full implications should it continue and the nature of the West’s intentions towards the region.

This book undertakes the task of elucidating the complex and little-known history of western intervention in the Asia-Pacific, providing information critical to understanding contemporary developments

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Chapter 2

The War Against a Defeated Japan: Elimination of a Threat to Western Hegemony in Asia


The entire population of Japan is a proper Military Target … There are no civilians in Japan … We intend to seek out and destroy the enemy wherever he or she is, in the greatest possible numbers, in the shortest possible time.1

— U.S. Military report during firebombing campaign against Japan

We, who claimed that the German was defiling humanity in his treatment of the Jew, were doing the same thing in our treatment of the Jap.2

— American Soldier CHARLES LINDBERGH

This is most emphatically not a war [but rather an] attempt at the terrorization of the civilian population through the most horrible means ever conceived by a fiendish mind … Against such enemies of decency and humanity, the civilized world must rise in protest and back up that protest with punitive force. Only through the complete chastisement of such barbarians can the world be made safe for civilization.3

— Japanese media on the U.S. Air Force’s firebombing of Tokyo and the killing of over 100,000 civilians in a single night

By mid-1945 it was overwhelmingly clear that Japan had lost the Pacific War. Though the Western powers had yet to take back most of their overseas colonies, they had moved to directly attack the Japanese mainland ←47 | 48→and surrounding islands. Following this development and the beginning and intensifying of Western bombing raids on the mainland, the Japanese Empire offered to surrender to the Western powers on terms almost...

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