If World War 2 doesn't happen, how long would Japan have held onto Korea and Taiwan?

J
Yes, the UK kept a considerable part of the Island, and the UK wasn't as adamant into keeping Ireland as Japan is with Korea.

The UK is a global power, japan in another hand felt as a underdog, they really wanted to compete to keep it's power different from the british. (also Ireland was dependent on the UK until the 1940s IIRC).



Japan was much more ehavy handed than the UK on Ireland. The Korean aristocracy was integrated on Japan (that was a reason why their monarchy wasn't restored). Korean children were being taught on schools to behave and act like the japanese, the japanese army was way more heavy handed than the british one and it had korean units, Park Chung Hee who led Korea during the cold war was a korean officer of the japanese army for example.



Korea and Japan isn't like Ireland and the UK, as you himself said the japanese army wouldn't behave like the british did, the japanese settlers in Korea were also more widespread through the country than the ulster protestants.

My guess is that at the absolute worst it would devolve into 1970s North Ireland like situation, but even a democratic Japan isn't letting korea go. By current day Korea would be Japan Tibet, there would be ativists demanding a free korea, there would be maybe a guerrila campaign on the mountains on the north, but korea breaking free? I find it extremely unlikely.

Tibet isn't a good comparison because Tibet only makes up a tiny portion of the population. Korea would be almost a third of the population of this Greater japan. Plus they treated the koreans poorly and unless that changes, they're going to have massive civil unrest or revolt eventually. Resistance across Korean society was common from peasant revolts and labour union strikes to organized student protests to armed groups preforming terrorist actions. If things turn to guerrilla warfare and large protests (inevitable if the Japanese continue their chauvinist attitudes) then ungovernable is the likely outcome.There's actually very few instances of what you are describing working out in the long run. You'd need to grant significant autonomy or have an Ireland or (even worse) an Algeria situation at hand. The KPG operated out of China historically and if that can get backing from a more organized China, things get really hard for japan.

Taiwan I think would be fully assimilated though.
 
Last edited:

Grey Wolf

Gone Fishin'
My understanding of Taiwan when Japan took it was that it was in many parts only notionally under Chinese control, and that Japan took on all of these independent actors and defeated them as well as defeating the Chinese, so that in essence Japan was the first country to bring Taiwan wholly under the control of one state
 
Both Taiwan and Korea have well-established national identities and were not viewed equals by the Japanese . This is a recipe for large scale unrest.
 
Taiwan might be able to stay on, having a similar relationship to Japan proper the way Quebec is to the rest of Canada, in the best case scenario (which would require minimal ethnic Japanese presence in Taiwan, and Taiwanese emigrants to the Home Islands not facing noticeable and sustained discrimination).
 
Japan could not hold on to China, eventually Mao would take over and he really would not like a Japanese occupied Korea on his border.
To say the Japanese were not well liked by the Korean people would be an understatement, China and the Soviet Union would train arm and supply gorilla forces in Korea.
Eventually Korea would become a great liability than an asset, Japan would withdraw
But they would keep Taiwan
 
That was about the time that such colonial and quasi-colonial dominion became unsupportable. I don't think there would be a violent rebellion as in Algeria. But there would be massive civil unrest and the country would become ungovernable.

If Japan remained an absolute military dictatorship, thr lid could stay on forever, However, the premise is that Japan avoids WW II, which implies that the military are reigned in. Vestiges of democracy remained even during OTL WW II. And IMO holding Korea would be incompatible with any degree of democracy. Italy has ignored Sudtirol, but that is a very small territory, not a whole big nation.
It is tangent to the topic, but Italy definitely did not ignore Sudtirol. There are still problems, but the area enjoys considerable autonomy, and expressing German identity there is largely unproblematic. Of course, it helps that Germany and Austria have generally cordial relations with Italy (to my knowledge, East Germany never cared about that issue).
 
Last edited:
Both Taiwan and Korea have well-established national identities and were not viewed equals by the Japanese . This is a recipe for large scale unrest.
[/QUO
Okinawa may give some clues. There is and has been an independence movement that has been active for years. Opinion polls over the last ten years have shown varying levels of support for independence or staying part of Japan. I would think they same would prevail in both Korea and Taiwan. Obviously a lot would depend upon the nature of Japanese rule.
 
Plus they treated the koreans poorly and unless that changes, they're going to have massive civil unrest or revolt eventually. Resistance across Korean society was common from peasant revolts and labour union strikes to organized student protests to armed groups preforming terrorist actions. If things turn to guerrilla warfare and large protests (inevitable if the Japanese continue their chauvinist attitudes) then ungovernable is the likely outcome.There's actually very few instances of what you are describing working out in the long run. You'd need to grant significant autonomy or have an Ireland or (even worse) an Algeria situation at hand. The KPG operated out of China historically and if that can get backing from a more organized China, things get really hard for japan.

Well, we are talking about a democratic empire of Japan here. So I went for "They copy cat portugal". "No no no, sir, Korea is not a colony, do you see, we got the massive "Korean cooperation party" with 1/6 of the seats on the national assembly, and they can do anything they want but to vote to secede",

But yeah, I think that on such a case it would be like the troubles.
 
Well, we are talking about a democratic empire of Japan here. So I went for "They copy cat portugal". "No no no, sir, Korea is not a colony, do you see, we got the massive "Korean cooperation party" with 1/6 of the seats on the national assembly, and they can do anything they want but to vote to secede",

But yeah, I think that on such a case it would be like the troubles.
The Troubles involving 33% of the entire national population would be a crisis just a tad short of the collapse of the Fourth French Republic.

And that's assuming it only stays at the Troubles.
 
The Troubles involving 33% of the entire national population would be a crisis just a tad short of the collapse of the Fourth French Republic.

And that's assuming it only stays at the Troubles.

It wouldn't be 33% of the total population, no revolution takes every single person in the country, especially on the 1960s with the asian economies booming
 
Okinawa may give some clues. There is and has been an independence movement that has been active for years. Opinion polls over the last ten years have shown varying levels of support for independence or staying part of Japan. I would think they same would prevail in both Korea and Taiwan. Obviously a lot would depend upon the nature of Japanese rule.
As I pointed out both Taiwan and Korea already have well-established identities and Japan viewed them as racial inferior. This far more like Algeria or Kenya as opposed to Okinawa.
 
Yes, the UK kept a considerable part of the Island, and the UK wasn't as adamant into keeping Ireland as Japan is with Korea.

How do you know how Japanese opinion would be about Korea decades after the divergence?
The UK is a global power, japan in another hand felt as a underdog, they really wanted to compete to keep it's power different from the british.

(also Ireland was dependent on the UK until the 1940s IIRC).
Ireland was nominally a "Dominion" with the King as head of state; in practice Ireland was competely independent. In 1937, Ireland replaced the office of Governor-General with a President and abolished the powers of the Crown. In 1948 Ireland declared itself a republic.

Japan was much more heavy handed than the UK on Ireland.
That's a remarkable assertion, given the history of Ireland over seven centuries of English and British rule.

Korea and Japan isn't like Ireland and the UK...
Not exactly, of course, and the differences all lean toward Korean independence.
the japanese settlers in Korea were also more widespread through the country than the ulster protestants.
There were Protestants and Unionists all through Ireland. As for numbers, in the December 1910 general election Unionists won about 28% of the popular vote in Ireland. I can't imagine that Japanese "settlers" were over a quarter of the population of Korea, or even close to that. I can't even see why there would be any significant number of such "settlers". Aside from government officials and managers for Japanese-controlled businesses, why would any Japanese move to Korea?
My guess is that at the absolute worst it would devolve into 1970s North Ireland like situation...
Northern Ireland is irrelevant; there is a Unionist majority there.
By current day Korea would be Japan Tibet...
Another completely irrelevant reference. Tibet had no national character to speak, had a minuscule population, and had been generally recognized as part of China for centuries.
 
Taiwan might be doable but Korea might be more difficult, due to a larger population, a less favorable treatment and more nationalistic tendencies.

You can be a democrat and be a imperialist. By the 1960s Japan could copy Portugal and give a parliamentary representation to the korean colony and claim that they are a province equal to any province in mainland Japan. Korean collaborators could be elected and be sent to Tokyo.

Koreans living in the Home Islands managed to be elected to the Diet, and the former Korean imperial family became part of the kazoku.

This far more like Algeria or Kenya as opposed to Okinawa.

Okinawa, which was an independent kingdom.

Another completely irrelevant reference. Tibet had no national character to speak, had a minuscule population, and had been generally recognized as part of China for centuries.

Tibet has a separate language, religion and custom compared to the Hans, and was as autonomous as Mongolia.
 
How do you know how Japanese opinion would be about Korea decades after the divergence?

The truth is that there is no way, just speculation

See my narrative, I'm going for a scenario that they try a Portugal, no for a military empire of Japan trying to crack down on it

That's a remarkable assertion, given the history of Ireland over seven centuries of English and British rule.

Yes it is, the british empire never went as bad as the empire of Japan, we already had a thread about this, the worst moments of the british empire on it's colonies like the famine in Bengal didn't reached the level of violence that Japan could reach on China for example

If Japan has to fight, it will fight, and it gonna make britain pale in comparisson

There were Protestants and Unionists all through Ireland. As for numbers, in the December 1910 general election Unionists won about 28% of the popular vote in Ireland. I can't imagine that Japanese "settlers" were over a quarter of the population of Korea, or even close to that. I can't even see why there would be any significant number of such "settlers". Aside from government officials and managers for Japanese-controlled businesses, why would any Japanese move to Korea?

Japan promoted a massive settlement of japanese residents to Manchuria and Korea

Now, I don't have the number for 1945, but the number just after the annexation in 1910 were 170000 japanese people

"From around the time of the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, Japanese merchants started settling in towns and cities in Korea seeking economic opportunity. By 1910 the number of Japanese settlers in Korea had reached over 170,000 "

And with data from 1940 we can see that over half of the korean agriculture was owned by japanese settlers
"By 1910 an estimated 7 to 8% of all arable land in Korea had come under Japanese control. This ratio increased steadily; as of the years 1916, 1920, and 1932, the ratio of Japanese land ownership increased from 36.8 to 39.8 to 52.7% "

So yes they are widespread and they are a considerable part of the population, not most of it by far, but enought to have a undeniable impact

Northern Ireland is irrelevant; there is a Unionist majority there.

You misunderstood what I said, what I said is the level of urban warfare, I could have give another example like the argentinian urban guerrila during it's dictatorship for example, that is my point

Another completely irrelevant reference. Tibet had no national character to speak, had a minuscule population, and had been generally recognized as part of China for centuries.

Again you missed the point, I meant the international recognizement of the conflict, just read what I said above

"there would be ativists demanding a free korea, "
 
I think everyone bringing up the Irish Troubles and African colonies is missing an important point differentiating those situations from Koreas, namely the role of other powers. Korea is a small nation when compared to its neighbours - namely China and Russia. Unless both of those powers are somehow neutralised as strategic powers, they're going to be trying to exert influence over Korea. Not too many nations are keen on breaking free of one overlord only to be dominated by another, so as long as Japan is offering a better deal than China or Russia, it is entirely possible that the Koreans would prefer the status quo over the Chinese or Russians coming in. With a POD in the late 1920s, Japan certainly can go in the direction of "making peoples lives better" if they choose to do so (especially if characters like Stalin or Mao are the alternatives!).
Ireland and Africa on the other hand are nowhere near the playgrounds of the great powers - if they break free, no-one else is going to be around to tell them what to do. Korea sits right in the middle of three great powers who seek influence in Asia, and real close to some very important trade routes - they're always going to be under the influence of someone else to at least some degree (1930 is too late to make Korea a great power in its own right).

- BNC
 
I really doubt this, perhaps bitenibblechomp is downplaying the Anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea which included a large independence movement IRL .
 
Particularly in the case of Korea, the resistance is not only organized, but malleable ideologically. That is to say, it would have been able to appeal to just about any benefactor they wanted, whether that was the Soviets, Americans, the KMT, or even Japan itself in the guise of a restored monarchy or mild republican self rule. This malleability was evident in OTL, seeing as many parts of the short lived People's Republic transitioned seamlessly into the DPRK; the South Korean part was disassembled by the Americans, but some of the major figures are still remembered fondly by the ROK, by the same token.

But it must be said that the problems facing a Japan who is all alone are not equal to the problems facing a Japan with allies, whether unwilling or not- particularly if said allies are also in Asia. A system with a single centre in Tokyo will always have issues at the periphery, but in a more multi-faceted and multi-polar system things are quite different. As one pertinent example, imagine having a friendly regime north of the Korean border. Whether that is Manchukuo, or a Chinese government of some variety, or something else, in all cases it is a massive consideration, contributing additional non-Korean settlers (and non-peninsular areas for Koreans to settle, equally), the potential of large military reprisals that are not from the Japanese mainland, as well as preventing direct access to foreign backing. Even if this area is held by a non-friendly government, though, the presence of friendly governments elsewhere could be pertinent. In OTL many Japanese civilians, soldiers, and officers stayed behind in Indochina to help the numerous anti-Imperialist organizations there, up to and including North Vietnam itself. ITTL, in the case that the region descended into an anti-Colonial war and there was actual Japanese governmental backing for the rebels, there could be a significant propaganda advantage, making the Japanese ideas of Pan-Asianism feel more like fact than just rhetoric. By collecting mostly willing allies in such a manner, actual public opinion could be swayed in Korea, and ultimately it might be the case that even if they do eventually get self-rule, it would be under a very friendly Dominion-type government instead of as a truly separate state.

A more outlandish option would be a situation in which unrest of a non-ethnic nature reaches the tipping point instead. A completely new government under a radical ideology could easily bring 'the colonies' and the mainland together in a manner that the Emperor could never, by painting everything as a common struggle rather than a uniquely Japanese institution. That is certainly getting more speculative, though, and it's impossible to really say what such a state (or stateless society) would really look like- and it's getting away from the point of the thread too, since such a revolution would not really be a continuation of 'Japan' per se anyway, given how different the sheer numbers of each ethnicity are vis a vis, say, the Soviet Union.
 
Last edited:
Thus, for the scenario I was considering preventing the invasion of Manchuria (leading to further tension between Japan and US, UK and the former's isolation from the League of Nations) because after that it is harder to prevent war from escalating.
Dissuading Japan from incorporating Manchuria is interesting; I would have to read up on exactly how that started and why, but I suspect I will find it is in the early '30s. It is my belief, which might or might not stand up to more detailed knowledge, that basically Japan was weakly and nominally liberal, but in fact a very traditionalist-authoritarian society, up to the Depression, and then the Depression hit them hard. Japan has few resources of any kind in the Home Islands; holding Korea, Taiwan and the outer islands scattered in the Pacific, many of which they picked up from Germany during the Great War as an Ally (of Britain) would augment them but little. Korea was probably most important for general resources and that presumably is why they widened their claims to Manchuria, hoping for more as well as Chinese workers to subjugate.

Basically, between no domestic resources to speak of and being a latecomer to the world capitalist system, the only non-European ancestrally power to manage to do so on its own terms, they had little leverage for honest trade in a world sewn up into various imperial spheres of interest. Prior to the Depression, the various imperial holdings did trade with each other enough for Japan to get into niches, but when the global markets crashed the general solution for their own domestic interests the various relevant European imperial nations, and the USA, pursued was "imperial preference" as the British called it, earmarking resources and hoarding markets for maximum opportunity for their own home nation, followed by keeping the colonies more or less on life support as seemed affordable, with any foreign interests running a distant third priority. No one would prioritize trade with Japan, so the Japanese were left with ability to make products of fair quality but no one interested in buying, and without selling something, they could not even have the resources to make anything.

Left high and dry by the market system, what liberalism there was in Japan was eclipsed and militarists who decided the thing to do was seize resource areas for Japan and produce for Japan took the lead. This I think then was the hard drive leading to adventures in Manchuria, then the rest of China, and hence to the Pacific Theater of WWII.

What is to be done here? Japan does not have the resources, that's what they needed. A reliable trade partner might enable more moderate leadership to prevent the more fanatically militaristic factions from taking power, but who would do this?


I have several vague suggestions, radiating backward in time for earlier PODs, each unfortunately of dubious plausibility:

1) latest, and playing off your own quote above, if I read you right you would have both the USA and UK leaning hard on Japan to block their conquest of Manchuria by brute force, or threat of it. I don't think a simple US/UK united front would work, nor is it at all probable to happen.

But maybe, a good cop/bad cop dynamic might work? The USN had concluded after the Great War that Japan was the obvious foe to prepare for war against, in the Pacific anyway. Between domestic US racism and US ambitions to dominate the Pacific that made Japan our rival, the Americans could hardly be expected to be reasonable with Japan.

But Britain on the other hand had cultivated a Japanese alliance for some time, which paid off quite well for Japan in the Great War when basically the British delegated to Japan the business of taking out the German colonies in the Pacific for the reward of getting to keep them. Prior to that, Japan's cordial relations with Britain had paid off several times. What Britain got out of it, I have not seen thorough studies of, but it was plainly of some use to Britain not to have to base extensive fleet or other military assets in the distant Pacific when the foes they expected to have to fight were like themselves centered in Europe. And Britain and her empire were major trade partners with Japan, I expect. So it was a bit of a dissonance for the British to find the American allies they figured they needed were at odds with the Japanese allies they had been getting along with quite well.

Meanwhile, will the USA take any position opposing Japan in Manchuria, when all that is happening so far away and the US has other problems?

I suspect not with Herbert Hoover being President. But suppose we had some other President, presumably a Republican, but one who had stronger ties to the China lobby, and gave more priority to the USN brass's opinions, and maybe perhaps was not afraid to saber rattle thinking a possible war might distract Americans from their miseries in the Depression and might even kickstart the economy again? This sort of opportunistic militarism would be a break from OTL 1920s Republican"return to normalcy/business of America is business" isolationist mentality, but perhaps we can account for it with suitable examination of personalities in US politics in 1928--before the Crash. I think I am describing someone not unlike William Randoph Hearst here--who might not be suitable to be elected himself, but might perhaps ally with someone else who is?

Meanwhile we might need to also butterfly whoever is Prime Minister in Britain. Perhaps the American faction of the Rs (probably with an agenda like this, enjoying some support from some Southern Democrats too) that is in ATL ascendency is also somewhat prone to Anglophobia, a not too uncommon position of some Americans, particularly some Republican supporters, in the post-Great War period where the British were accused of tricking Americans into the war to pull Entente chestnuts out of the fire. The French were little blamed for this, but the English were.

So meanwhile someone other than the OTL Tory PM, Baldwin IIRC. Perhaps a Liberal gets elected?

Now perhaps this ATL early 1930s PM values the Japanese alliance--as late as 1941, Churhill claimed in his post-war memoirs on the war period, he lamented the sad fact that Japan could not be concilated as the Americans would veto it.

But this is 1932, not '41. Hitler has not taken over Germany yet; the Soviet Union seemed well contained and if it came to war with them, the Japanese would be the obvious allies to want to keep the Russians occupied on the Pacific. Italy is not a major threat and France could contain them pretty well. The League of Nations might seem well able, early in the decade, to keep peace in general in Europe, largely following more or less common-interest British and French lead. The British recognize that the USA would be a terrible foe to have, in part because much of British capital was in fact invested in the USA. But at the moment Britain does not seem in need of Yankee patronage, whereas the Yankees are being boorish about poor Japan.

So I am imagining the British coming in as Japan's advocate and sternly advising the Yankees to horn out. They mediate a deal with Japan whereby they forego further continental expansion in Asia, and in return the Commonwealth will seek to help Japan stay more or less viable with integration into the Commonwealth preference system, including letting Japanese private firms benefit from British concessions in China. The result is to greatly annoy the American blowhard, but because the promised Splendid Little War falls through, someone else, FDR or whomever else one thinks the butterflies anoint in 1932, wins the US Presidency and reverses many of his predecessor's policies. FDR as it happened was very much pro-Navy, but also somewhat Anglophiliac. He won't be keen for close relations with Japan, but if the British want to help them out, he can at least horn out of it, as long as Japan is not attacking the Chinese any more. The USA as noted has other problems anyway! The USN is not very pleased and figures they have to stay on guard, but Japan is a far less militarist run place than OTL; the IJN gets a lot less construction. There is no war in China; presumably Japanese force has to bear down fairly hard in Korea but as noted by others, they had few problems with Taiwan. The Japanese are not violating the Naval treaty and in fact are not up to the naval strength the treaty authorizes.

Meanwhile, there is no butterfly net over things going to hell in a handbasket back in Europe, with a 1928 POD (the different American Republican blowhard guy winning the nomination versus Hoover--perhaps the POD was actually in 1924 with this other guy getting the VP nod under Coolidge) Hitler's career is much as OTL unfortunately, and he takes over in Germany setting Europe on the course to war. However when the Reich seeks to invite Japan into the Anti-Comintern Pact the British persuade the Tokyo government, which is at least nominally liberal, not to respond; Japan has no ties to the European Axis and is less fascistic. It is authoritarian, with the mandated worship of the Emperor and deep class deference and quite a bit of repression; the militarists make some noise, being among other things the closest thing to a permitted political expression for working class and peasant Japanese, but there is no pretext for war anywhere and the Army has no deeds of conquest to reinforce its claims; the Navy is not happy with lack of desired expansion but remains more moderate. Some of the OTL political assassinations take place but they are dealt with sternly by Imperial law enforcement. The Second World War breaks out as OTL, with the Axis and Soviets behaving much the same, but there is no confrontation of arms on the Soviet-Japanese border--the British are nervous and encourage the Japanese to keep a watchful eye, but it stays quiet there. The Japanese militarists get a whiff of excitement when contingency plans to strike at the Soviets, who are in fact at this point Axis co-belligerents, are considered and developed, but not executed. Japanese military forces are modernized, and Japanese industry, engaged by British war credits, manufacture weapons for the ANZAC Commonwealth forces being deployed to Europe--the Anzacs are the customers and they write the specifications, which Japanese designers don't consider optimal for their style, but can meet as long as the Entente supplies the credits and raw materials. These include pretty reasonable access at reasonable prices to Dutch East Indies oil and other "Southern resources area" goods like rubber; the militarists have dreams of seizing these zones for themselves but are again sat on by both British advocacy and the corporate "Zaibatsu" who are fairly happy arming the British. The French and Dutch place some orders too, but mainly to augment their outposts in Indochina and DEI. Then it is spring 1940, Denmark and Norway fall to Hitler, then with amazing speed the low countries and France herself. The French surrender to Hitler puts French Indochina on the wrong side of the war and now the British and Japanese war planners have contingency plans to invade Indochina, these again put on hold--the DEI administration refuses to obey the captive Dutch state under German occupation and becomes de facto part of the Commonwealth system economically, though with the Soviets and truth be told, Japan, being wild cards the DEI sits in Indonesia for the moment, not sending anything to the fight in Europe.

So it goes until Hitler strikes at the Soviets in Barbarossa--at this point all of a sudden the Soviets are Allies, and now the Japanese are urged, with yet more credits and more priority for access to resources, to build weapons and planes and the like for the Soviets. Airplanes especially, they can be flown rapidly toward the front across Siberia. In addition, the British mediate a deal with the Soviets whereby Japanese firms with technical expertise can augment Soviet prospecting and development efforts in their maritime far east, and set up factories and so forth, with the firms getting a revenue flow making worth their while along with a long term contract for access to eastern Siberian resources they help develop. The bulk of production goes to the Soviet front of course. Such deals with Western corporations were a thing the Soviets did during the 1920s under NEP, and were still doing in the early '30s for such projects as the foundation of the Urals steel works at Magnitogorsk (basing the plant design on US Steel's works at Gary, Indiana, so they are not unknown to Soviet experience. The Japanese need a lot of assurance their nationals won't be subject to Soviet justice of course!

i have a hard time figuring just how and why the USA enters WWII if at all, without war in the Pacific in the cards. It would not be too crazy to have Hitler unilaterally declare war on the USA, as he did OTL after Pearl Harbor. Certainly if the USA does come in, Japan would probably benefit from US markets being opened to her, and US credit and resources augmenting the near exhausted British to sustain Japanese contractor arms production, mainly for Soviet consumption at this point.

Postwar--the war is over when Germany collapses, no Pacific theater to settle afterward. The British House of Commons elections ought to go much as OTL, Labour winning. It would not be unlikely for someone other than Harry Truman to be US President, but I think he might still be FDR's last VP for the same reasons as OTL and so preside over US roles in the settlement. Unlike OTL there is no Pacific War and so formally speaking nothing to settle there; Japan remains as OTL in the 1920s except now with extensive investment in Soviet east Asian enterprises which the Soviets control but for a time anyway honor their wartime deal for Japanese shares in the output. The development of the Cold War might suddenly result in the capture or expulsion of those Japanese technicians and firms and cutting off the Siberian resources, but if the Soviets do that, the Americans are liable to pick up Japan, with all Korea and Taiwan in hand of course, as a Cold War client state and use Japanese industry to maintain part supplies in the Pacific for the USN and any other forces in the Pacific region far from North America. Japan joins some American brokered alliance comparable to NATO.

---
another POD, or brace of them, involving the early Soviet Union:

a) the hostile one--OTL among the nations involved in supporting the "White" opposition to the Bolsheviks was Japan, again as a British client. The Japanese tried to hold some former Tsarist territory on the Pacific, OTL they were warned off by US opposition. What if British advocacy and Japanese force allows them to silence the Americans and defy the Bolsheviks, with a White Russian puppet state under Japanese protection in being north of Korea? As in the above POD this gives the Japanese a portion of Siberia to work with, now more for themselves with token attention to the interests of the regional Russians concentrated there. The Reds try to take it but are repulsed. In this scenario, the Soviets maintain a grudge and holdings north, west and farther up the coast, and gradually over the 1920s and '30s reinforce those claims, but the Japanese don't try to expand their puppet state's holdings nor do the Soviets ever move in for a kill. It almost happens in 1939-41 when the Soviets have their pact with Hitler, but Soviet caution keeps the tense peace, then as above Barbarossa throws Stalin into British, hence Japanese, arms. The Soviets affirm their acceptance of the alienation of the lost territory and to keep hands off the White puppet state, and get some patriotic aid from the exilic nation, bearing Japanese made arms; the Soviets trade resources for finished goods of the same type as above.

b) Soviet amity--the Japanese incursion into former Tsarist territory has the same resolution as OTL with Japan withdrawing. But then, in the 1920s, under NEP, the Japanese corporations are invited to partner with Soviet Far Eastern explorations, mining and industry; for some special reason or other the relationship works well, and then when the market crashes, it does not disrupt the operations in the USSR, so the Japanese companies seek more development there. The Soviets are surely being careful all this Japanese presence is not too much a security risk; with that risk in mind, they approve the higher Japanese investment and Far Eastern development is higher than OTL. Japan maintains a correct and slightly favorable relationship with Britain and both British and Soviet ties dissuade them from adventures in Manchuria and beyond. Because of the tight connection economically between Japan and USSR, relations with Britain go frosty during the period of the Berlin-Moscow Pact, which alarms the British concerned Japan might go on a pro-Axis rampage with Soviet encouragement and backing; this gives the Americans an opportunity to to say "I told you so!" and causes a general tizzy among the French and Dutch as well. However, while Japan has built warships to their agreed levels in the Washington Naval Treaty, they have not exceeded that level nor performed the sleights of hand they did OTL sneaking tonnage they denied into the ships. Unlike OTL, the Vichy France regime is not leaned on by Hitler to invite the Japanese into Indochina; then of course when Hitler does attack the USSR, the Japanese immediately are offered conciliation by Britain, USA, the Free French and DEI government in exile, as Japan goes into high gear war production, in the Home Islands, Korea, Taiwan and Soviet Far East, to feed the embattled USSR advanced materials, and being joined at the hip to the Soviets, the Imperial government goes so far as to send substantial forces of the IJA as units under overall Soviet command but acting independently on the front to defend the USSR. Similarly IJN ships are offered to the British in squadrons to incorporate into their Mediterranean and Atlantic actions, along with the mid-grade elements of the Soviet Pacific fleet--the most advanced such ships, made in Soviet yards in the East that involved Zaibatsu partners which also produced several of the Japanese Fleet, stay at home, as do the least impressive, oldest and smallest, of the Soviet eastern fleet, but the middling ships accompany about half the Japanese fleet eventually, engaged mainly in U-boat hunting. But IJA units under the Rising Sun banner are among the Red Army group that takes Berlin
 
It would be easier to hold on to Korea than Taiwan - moving troops to and from the Mainland would be a shorter distance.
 
Top