All Eight Corners of the World under One Roof
In AD 660, the Emperor Jimmu decreed that he would:
…extend the line of Imperial descendants and foster rightmindedness. Thereafter, the Capital may be extended so as to embrace all of the six cardinal points and the eight cords may be covered so as to form a roof.
This was the beginning of Japanese government and social organization. Since that time, the kingdom of Japan has suffered neither military defeat nor foreign occupation, making it the oldest government of its kind. Japan’s rulers believe that it is their destiny to rule Asia and perhaps the world. As an example of this premise a shogun councilor, Masayoshi Hatta, made the following memorial in 1858:
In establishing relations with foreign countries, the object should always be kept in view of laying the foundation for securing hegemony over all nations. The national resources should be developed in military preparations vigorously carried out. When our power and national standing have come to be recognized we should take the lead…declare our protection over harmless but powerful nations…Our national prestige and position thus ensured, the nations of the world will come to look up to our Emperor as the Great Ruler of all the nations, and they will come to follow our policy and submit to our judgment…
These ideas of foreign policy would result in the subjugation of the Ryukyu Islands (1874), Formosa (1894), Korea (1894), the German pacific colonies (1918), and Manchuria (1932). The Manchurian incidents however have stained the reputation of Japan on the international stage and created the image of Japan as the ‘bad boy’ of world society. However, the China issue has not been settled in the mind of the army, nor has Japan’s “power and national standing come to be recognized.” The following AAR will be the story of the settlement of Japan’s national prestige and position in the eyes of the world.