Japan Defeats Spain and takes Pacific Colonies

I'm working on a timeline idea where the Spanish-American War doesn't happen. However Spain is defeated by Japan in 1904-1905 in an alternate Euro-Japanese War, and in this war Japan takes the Spanish possessions in the Pacific. Involved with this I have a few questions I'm doing research for but would like the community's thoughts.

How would Japan treat the Philippines? Would they make a puppet/protectorate out of it like they initially did with Korea or would they outright annex it? Korea and Japan are more culturally similar to each other than Japan and the Philippines, so I don't know if this would make Japan more or less likely to annex the Philippines directly. If they did choose to make the Philippines a puppet/protectorate would they make them a republic or a monarchy? If they made them a monarchy who would they pick as a monarch; a Philippine general, a lower Japanese Nobleman, or have the Emperor be monarch of Japan in a commonwealth style?

How would losing to Japan impact Spain? It was one thing for Spain to lose to the U.S. In that scenario Spain is losing to another White Christian nation. At worst they just lost to a young upstart. But losing to Japan is losing to a people they thought were an inferior race and religion. How would that impact the political situation back in Spain? Would this be enough to spark an early civil war?

In this scenario I am assuming that without outside assistance the Cubans and Philippinoes couldn't completely drive out the Spanish from their Islands. The rebels have control of most of their respective Islands, but Spain is still holding out in some of the major port cities where they can be resupplied by sea.

Obviously after a Japanese conquest of the Philippines, regardless of making them a protectorate or annexing directly there will be rebellions and insurgencies. In this scenario I also don't see Cuba gaining independence by force. I think Spain would reallocate the resources being used to maintain its Pacific holdings to the Caribbean and would retake Cuba, unless a civil war broke out in Spain in which case the Spanish colonial forces coming back from the Pacific might get dragged into the fight in the homeland.
 
Given that Japan and Spain are not competing for the same territories I don't see a causus belli for such a war.

In this scenario I also don't see Cuba gaining independence by force. I think Spain would reallocate the resources being used to maintain its Pacific holdings to the Caribbean and would retake Cuba, unless a civil war broke out in Spain in which case the Spanish colonial forces coming back from the Pacific might get dragged into the fight in the homeland.
Actually Spain wanted to get rid of Cuba because it was a drain on their resources. At the time of the war with the USA they were bogged down in a civil war there. Also, there were tentative moves to try sell the island to Germany but they came to naught.
 
There is probably still a Philippine insurrection which bogs down Japan for several years.

Korea probably survives but comes increasingly under Russian domination. Russia might outright annex Mongolia in 1911 without a defeat at the hands of Japan and might make a play for Dzungaria too. It's possible that Russia winds up with most of Manchuria too linking Port Arthur to Russia proper. An agreement is probably reached with Japan over Sakhalin and the island is divided.

Russia and Britain probably still become allies, but there's an outside chance that Russia gets greedy in China and antagonizes Britain enough that the public reverts to the Russo-phobia it's so used to.
 
Japan will go for the protectorate option. In OTL, they supported the Philippine revolutionary movement, although not that significant since they don't want the Americans to get angry at them.

Japan's main target is still Korea and China. Annexing the Philippines is a waste of resources, and they'll just overstretch themselves. Not to mention the other European powers will feel threaten by Japan's rapid expansion.
 
Gods in heaven, can't we have a TL where my country actually gains its independence? *sighs in resignation, muttering about geographic determinism*

Anyway, Spain was not even a great power at this point, but since it was an Empire for a long time, there is a certain prestige in beating it. And conversely, Spain will lose prestige in being beaten.

America will definitely seize the opportunity to take Cuba as a protectorate at least.

The Philippines is basically a Catholic and European-ish place (The Muslims are a minority concentrated in the south). The culture here is quite different from Korea, which shares a common tradition of Confucianism and Buddhism with Japan. Japan will have as much a problem here as its Chinese possessions if it attempts to annex this place.
 
Since the revolution was split, perhaps the Japanese can split the islands in Administration and get Indonesia as well from the dutch, the people of Luzon and Mindanao might regain their own separate character.
 
I think it would go for a puppet state/protectorate. As others have said, the Philippines are a whole different kettle of fish than Korea, which could be assimilated given enough time due to similar cultural norms. I suppose they could go 'divide and rule' on the islands, given how many different cultures there are in the Philippines.

As zepplenair said though, I am curious as to what the US would do in this situation, given that they were after Pacific holdings and access to Chinese markets through territory in Asia, but I imagine they could go for a treaty port in China directly as many of the European powers did OTL.
 
I think it would go for a puppet state/protectorate. As others have said, the Philippines are a whole different kettle of fish than Korea, which could be assimilated given enough time due to similar cultural norms. I suppose they could go 'divide and rule' on the islands, given how many different cultures there are in the Philippines.
And it tells how, in the decades after the effort, the Japanese were unable to assimilate Korean culture - say, like Belarus or India(sports and language).
 
And it tells how, in the decades after the effort, the Japanese were unable to assimilate Korean culture - say, like Belarus or India(sports and language).
Well, Japanese annexation of Korea was what, in 1910, and they lost it 1945 thereabouts, so that's only 35 years. Not even a wole generation. Of course assimilation failed in that time frame. Given enough time, it could have happened.
 
How does America just sit back to this?????
Never mind America, Japan's shadow is falling across the trade routes every power uses to reach an enormous market - potential and actual. It is a problem for Britain, Germany, and France. Indirectly, by strengthening a competitor in northeast Asia, it's also against Russian interests.

As a result, just like they did after Japan's 1894-1895 war, the Powers will want to step in to divest Japan of much or most of its conquests. If all things were equal, Japan would probably be coerced out of the Philippines entirely and left with Pacific flyspecks, but luckily for them things aren't equal. If there's been no Russo-Japanese War, Britain wants Japan as a counterbalance to Russia, so they might prevent the Japanese from being completely left out in the cold.

That said, I think there's no reason to assume Japan getting Manila guarantees they'll get Mindanao, or even the smaller islands in between. Few will be comfortable with an Asian maritime power advancing into the East Indies.
 
There is probably still a Philippine insurrection which bogs down Japan for several years.

Korea probably survives but comes increasingly under Russian domination. Russia might outright annex Mongolia in 1911 without a defeat at the hands of Japan and might make a play for Dzungaria too. It's possible that Russia winds up with most of Manchuria too linking Port Arthur to Russia proper. An agreement is probably reached with Japan over Sakhalin and the island is divided.

Russia and Britain probably still become allies, but there's an outside chance that Russia gets greedy in China and antagonizes Britain enough that the public reverts to the Russo-phobia it's so used to.
Yes, the Philippines would make a fight of it. Japan would win, but it would change things. Hrm.... How much resistance to Japanese rule was there in Korea, early on? If the Philippines are an order of magnitude more difficult, that will really shift policy.

Korea is less likely to face direct annexation, certainly, but it's not in a good spot. Anyway, unless Russia concedes Japanese preeminence over the south of the peninsula, or at least accepts a neutral Japan-friendly government at most granting a Russian sphere in the north, there's still going to be a war.

Knock-on's might see Russia accepting "only" the north, in which case your scenario is likely, Japan focuses on being a maritime power, and Russia is stuck dealing with the enormous Chinese immigrant population of Manchuria. If not, and the war goes as in OTL, Japan starts getting taken even more seriously - we might just manage to avoid some of the slights that started their drift away from engagement in the world system. If Russia wins that war, though, Japan would be almost unrecognizable - it might drop the idea of playing a role on continents. For that matter, if Aquajapan is beaten by Russia there may be no Anglo-Russian rapprochement, and then who knows what happens in the nineteen teens?

Russia annexing Chinese territory on the larger-than-Western-Europe scale would have a big effect on British and Chinese internal politics. Probably it forces Russia to focus on Asia largely to the exclusion of Europe. The Chinese are going to do to the Russians what they did to the Japanese in our TL.
 
Well, Japanese annexation of Korea was what, in 1910, and they lost it 1945 thereabouts, so that's only 35 years. Not even a wole generation. Of course assimilation failed in that time frame. Given enough time, it could have happened.
Good point. And actually, assimilation hadn't failed that hard, really. Who invades a place with any substantial population and assimilates it in under 50 years? That's not really a thing.

Give them thirty years of peace from 1930 and Korea might still be the Ireland or the Scotland of Japan. Certainly not the most likely outcome, but pacification had been singularly successful, which implies potential.
 
Well, Japanese annexation of Korea was what, in 1910, and they lost it 1945 thereabouts, so that's only 35 years. Not even a wole generation. Of course assimilation failed in that time frame. Given enough time, it could have happened.
Not really. Look at Ireland for instance - they sit right next to Britain and even after centuries they were never completely dominated. Cultural assimilation doesn't work, particularly for developed and structured cultures like Korea.

Good point. And actually, assimilation hadn't failed that hard, really. Who invades a place with any substantial population and assimilates it in under 50 years? That's not really a thing.

Give them thirty years of peace from 1930 and Korea might still be the Ireland or the Scotland of Japan. Certainly not the most likely outcome, but pacification had been singularly successful, which implies potential.
Korea just sat by while Japan colonised and modernised the country, didn't they?
Well, think read these posts and you might think differently:
https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=10143281&postcount=38

Real occupation of Manchuria started from 1932. Invasion of Shanghai and the true start of the war was from 1937. Japanese politics was always quite volatile with radicals always wanting the government to be more militaristic, so we'll keep that as a continuum.
Then the period Korea got a very concentrated(and supposedly enthusiastic) effort for colonisation by Japan would have been between around 1910 to 1930. One could assert that during the time colonial policy was effective, there would be less resistance, yes? Since it would have gotten more support from the general population if it was successful?
Well, let's look at the examples where Japanese colonial policy was so successful it saw reaction from the Korean population(I'll go from the 1930s to the late 1910s):
The V Narod Movement of 1931. Inspired by the Russian slogan of "to the People", it saw widespread support until the Japanese government quickly suppressed it.
The Gwangju Student Independence Movement of 1929. Started from Japanese students sexually harassing Koreans.
The start of the Singanhoe of 1926.A unified front across the political spectrum. Led 143 protests around the nation. Same went for the Jungwoohoe, a unified front for Communist parties. Need I also mention that Japan had to suppress the Communist party five times throughout the 20s and 30s. (The number that Communist organisations, not parties, were found between 1931 and 1935 was 43. The labour strikes and protests also became more radical - in 1930 2,000 farmers against Japanese lumber policy fought with weapons against the Japanese police.)
The 6.10 Movement of 1926. Spurred by the death of the last Korean "Emperor", Sunjong. Also required Japanese suppression.
The 'Buy Domestic Products' movement of 1923. Was so successful that prices of Japanese products plummeted.
The 'Establish Domestic University' movement of 1920. Forced Japan to build the Keijo Imperial University to keep the movement down.
Then there was the major March 1st Movement.
Some Japanese officials went out of their way to demonstrate some effective colonial policy:
Je-am-ri Massacre incident. A town was boarded up inside a church and, while being shot at from outside, the church was lit with fire.
Jiandao Massacre of 1920. Over 3,469 individuals accounted for as having perished during the killing spree of 3 months.
The Hunchun Massacre. Over 30,000 Koreans killed.
I hope it has been generally obvious at this point that Korea has continued to show resistance to Japanese policy, assuming they were good policies. I'm not going to talk about the military-led Korean Independence Movement in Manchuria or the actions done by the Provisional Government. Even then, with the good colonial policies during this time, there were need for the Japanese Empire to declare these kind of legislations: Public Security Preservation Law of 1925
I hope it has now been established that Korean independence movement has been quite continuous over time. There wasn't a year, a month or a day when there was a Korean who thought of independence, took action and was suppressed by the government. If it wasn't the Manchurian occupation or the "Patriotic Pacific War", what would have caused the Koreans to always resist Japanese rule? Why was, conclusively, Japanese colonial policy mostly a failure?
We can find the answer in Japanese internal politics - always, as you have said yourself, quite unstable. Another major factor was, as I mentioned, the constant natural turn to militarism. If it's not the government that is rogue, it's the individual corporals or generals that are rogue and do something that pulls Japan closer towards its natural, belligerent form. And this has been a continuum in Japanese political history because its roots lie beyond the annexation of Korea, much before 1910. Many may point to its success at the Russo-Japanese war, or the First Sino-Japanese War, but its true form already existed many decades before that:
Seikanron. A political debate in Japan, in the 1870s, when to send a punitive expedition - not whether, but when - to Korea. Led to a political crisis, a revolution, and many resignations. The root of the problem - the problem of why Japan was unable to fully and healthily occupy Korea - was not because of Manchuria, or because the Allies were bombing Tokyo, but because they were perpetually and constantly infatuated with occupying Korea. Militarism started with Korea and will not end until Korea has become independent. The problem with the Empire of Japan - its rise, its constant search for more territory - was because they annexed Korea.
Because, declaration of martial law and forced subjugation is not a good colonial policy to pursue.


Yet he was a glorified and respected leader for decades to come, and from both sides of the Taiwan Strait after the Civil War. But that's not a major part of this debate.

They may be militaristic, they may be rogue, but they were logical and calculating. The Japanese Imperial government saw through reports that it was more efficient to use resources to a more lucrative territory, where there was definite economic surplus, than an inefficient one.
 
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Op, what is the pod exactly. If it is 1904, what made Japan back out in 1896 support of the rebels and do a 180 to support them in 1904?

If Japan did support the Philippines in 1896, this would have change international politics with USA being too late to do a Manila bay. Locally, this means a shift of support of more locals in 1896 which could also mean a living Rizal.

If Rizal were alive, there is no more popular and respected man to take the helm. Absent of him, it can be anyone in power by the time rebels win.
 
Not really. Look at Ireland for instance - they sit right next to Britain and even after centuries they were never completely dominated. Cultural assimilation doesn't work, particularly for developed and structured cultures like Korea.
Well that's about the worst example possible, lol.

Only 5-10% of the island's population use the native language outside of school, and 1.46% are native speakers. Their political and legal systems are based on those of their colonizers, who are still the source of over a third of all imports.

I suppose the Bretons and Alsatians are more politically assimilated, but even they came nowhere near the level of linguistic destruction of Ireland. Find a better example?

Korea just sat by while Japan colonised and modernised the country, didn't they?
Well, think read these posts and you might think differently:
https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=10143281&postcount=38
You're angry about the conventional wisdom regarding the Japanese rule of Korea, and you're letting your emotion convince you that I said things I didn't say. The first is totally understandable and justifiable. The second is your responsibility, not mine. I'm not obligated to be your strawman.

Now you've supplied an info dump on the colonization period. Splendid. It does not actually contradict my point, as should have been clear from the context of my post.

According to your sources:
  • Koreans were not happy about being colonized, and attempted to do things about it "requiring" repeated suppression.
  • Koreans joined anti-colonial political movements.
  • Koreans participated in nonviolent resistance movements, some of which produced results.
  • Koreans rioted, getting in scuffles with police.
  • Japanese authorities brutalized and murdered Koreans by the tens of thousands, as part of their agenda to control the country.

According to my sources:
  • Filipinos offered continuous military resistance to US colonization for over three years.
  • American authorities were required to send over a hundred thousand soldiers across the Pacific to resolve this war.
  • American soldiers died by the thousands to gain control of the islands.
  • Filipino civilians died in the hundreds of thousands.

I humbly suggest that the issue you found in my statements may not be the result of what I don't know about Korean history. It may instead be the result of what you don't know about Filipino history.
 
The PoD is the USS Maine exploding after leaving Havana.
And the Russians not forcing the issue of Korea is apparently another secondary POD - if only a knock on effect of the "real" one. Obviously if the Russians were behaving as in our TL, the Japanese would not have felt free to adventure in Spain.

Hrm. It looks like this timeline requires a change in Russian priorities or goals....

What about this?

Russia's far eastern policy is subtly different. The focus after the Chinese humiliation in 1895 is more on taking advantage of the sudden weakness in China, with the assumption that they can always come back to Korea later. As such, they casually agree to a sphere at the 40th parallel with Japan, planning to use this as a springboard into the rest of Korea somewhere down the road, and put their immediate attention on de facto separating Outer Mongolia from China, and laying the groundwork for the same in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Manchuria. Russia throws a greater than OTL weight into this effort and reinforces the Pacific fleet slightly less. For one reason or another, Russia transfers slightly less of its fleet to the Pacific - delays maybe, or a European crisis, or maybe some act of solidarity with the French.

Combined with the agreement on Korea, the Japanese feel [1] that they can afford to afford to win Korea over as its security from further Russian advances and [2] that for the moment they have breathing room to go bother Spain.

Does this seem like a reasonable sequence of events to lead up to the Spanish-Japanese War?

Still lacks something approaching a causus belli....
 
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