The Commonwealth of Korea and Japan (Shintaro Ishihara Right on Cooperative Colonization of Corea)

Shame on Tokyo Gov. Ishihara,” by Park Moo-jong, The Korea Times, 4 November 2003,

The Economic History of Korea,” by Myung Cha, EH.Net Encyclopedia, 21 June 2004,

The Korean Economy Under Japanese Rule,” by Abiola Lapite, Foreign Dispatches, 23 November 2005, (from SimonWorld).

Mitsuhiko Kimura, ‘The Economics of Japanese Imperialism in Korea, 1910-1939’,” by mike, Historï¿¥, 10 May 2005,

One Japanese Korea?

I’m a big fan of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. From standing up to North Korean state-terrorism, supporting Taiwan and stopping crushing, or even just bad-mouthing French, to advocate of a strong “Leviathan” anti-Dictatorship Navy, “the Ish” rarely strikes a bad note. But a Korea Times editorial attacks Ishihara for a questionable claim on Korea?

As reported, an unrepentant Ishihara triggered international criticism as well as anger by spitting out thoughtless gaffes last week that Japan’s invasion and brutal [sic] 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula was a union the Koreans chose.

Well, it’s not like Korea objected to foreign “SysAdmin” troops on her soil:

In 1894 peasants protested against a local administrator’s attempts to generate private income by collecting fees for using waterways, which had been built by peasants. The uprising quickly developed into a nationwide peasant rebellion, which the crumbling government could suppress only by calling in military forces from China and Japan. An unforeseen consequence of the rebellion was the Sino-Japanese war fought on the Korean soil, where Japan defeated China, tipping the balance of power in Korea critically in her favor.

But surely the farmers themselves objected to development by a regional stake-holder?

Though sharply opposing unrestricted imports of colonial rice, however, farmers never expressed opposition to the actual occupation of Korea. On the contrary, this ‘rural crisis’ rapidly bred nationalist-fascist attitudes among farmers after the First World War; the militarists and the rightists led farmers to believe that a key solution to their economic problems was further imperial expansion abroad, not abandonment of the colony. As a result, farmers wholeheartedly supported Japanese imperialist policy.

A Core Worth Remembering?

Japan’s attack on the United States on December 7, 1941 justly destroyed her empire. Imperial Japan, like Imperial Germany before her, rightfully was brought under the Allies for crimes against them. However, this straightforward understanding of history should not take away from Japan’s significant contributions to Korea and Taiwan, or used to support neo-Juche isolationism by demagogues in South Korea and elsewhere.

Maps of Potential Soviet Military Theatres During the Late Cold War

The Middle East and Soviet Military Strategy,” by Michael MccGwire, Middle East Report, No. 151, Mar.-Apr. 1988, pp 11-17,

While working on my literature review, I stumbled on this great article by Michael MccGwire on Soviet military strategy from the late 1980s. If you have access to jstor it’s definitely worth reading, but what struck me are the maps. The boys over at Coming Anarchy have been doing great work with time-series maps of Armenia, Ethiopia, Europe, and other neat places, so here is a series of maps from one moment in time, but of different regions:’


The prospect of regional war with the US in the Persian Gulf region has prompted Soviet planners to take a fresh look at the military doctrine prevailing through the 1970s. At least until recently, it is the contingency of world war that has determined the structure and posture of the Soviet armed forces and shaped their war-related requirements beyond their borders. These requirements are organized in theaters of military action (TVDs), which are constructs for planning in peacetime as well as for conducting operations in war. As the accompanying maps show, TVDs extend from inside the Soviet Union to as far beyond its borders as makes military sense.

Western TVD


In Soviet planning for the contingency of world war (which the Soviets absolutely want to avoid but can not afford to lose), the Western TVD is by far the most important. This encompasses NATO’s central region and the southern part of Scandinavia.

Southern TVD


The core of the Middle East lies in Moscow’s Southern TVD, which looks south from the Caucasus and Turkistan out across the eastern half of Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Its western boundary cuts through the middle of Turkey and runs south between Cyprus and the Levantine coast to Egypt. In the east, the boundary is likely to follow the line of the Himalayas flanking Pakistan and then turn south to Cape Comorin at the tip of India.

The Southern TVD is, including the Persian Gulf, becomes important only in the second phase of a general war, once NATO has been defeated in Europe, because of the need for the sea-line of communications with Moscow’s Fat Eastern front. The Southern TVD would have no significant role to play in the first phase of a world war, unless US forces had previously been drawn into the Gulf area, when the requirement would be to prevent them from redeploying to the European front.

Southwestern TVD


The Mediterranean comes mostly within the Southwestern TVD, which includes North Africa.

In the Southwestern TVD, the immediate objective would be to pin down the NATO forces so that they cannot be deployed to reinforce NATO’s central region and to secure the Turkish straights against NATO incursions. Once it was certain that operations in the Western TVD would be successful and some Soviet forces would be available for redeployment, the Soviets would then seek to force Italy out of the war and to gain physical control of both sides of the Turkish Straits. This effort would parallel political attempts to maneuver Greece and Turkey out of the war.

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