Japan’s Use of Propaganda as a Tool for Psychological Warfare in the Second World War.

Topics: World War II, Empire of Japan, Japan Pages: 5 (2075 words) Published: March 31, 2012
World War II was one of the most monumental events in history and certainly one of the most significant events in the 20th century. The series of confrontational events that led up to Pearl Harbor and the events that followed up until the Japanese surrender in 1945, were waged on the political, and military fronts, but one aspect of the war which sometimes is overlooked is the war waged on the social front. What makes the social aspect of war so significant si that it involves a dynamic within humans. In time of war, there is death, violence, and hate. Thoughts and emotions come into play; ideologies and philosophies, ways of life, end up creating culture clash between countries. War is no longer between soldiers on the battlefield, but between nations and their ideas. And in order to make a whole nation support the war with their emotion, there needs to be influence. That influence is propaganda. The main goal of the propaganda was to rid Japan of fears that the nation had to endure since the 1860’s during the time of imperialism where Japan was more or less invaded by modern western countries in Europe, UK as well as the United States. The main affect the Japanese where aiming for in their war propaganda efforts, was the promotion of their culture to justify why they should have the right to be industrialized as well as a major power in the world. Propaganda helped portray the Western Allied countries as an evil demonic, aggressive, along with suppressive country, which was inferior to Japan in every way. Thus, increasing Japanese support for the pacific War. Therefore propaganda was an effective psychological warfare method for fueling hatred towards Japan’s supposed enemies. One of the things that propaganda did for the Japanese is it allowed them to get their messages out to the other countries it was hoping to influence. It can almost be said that the Japanese had an overwhelming task of trying of not only conquering these other Asian countries in the Pacific, but also persuading them to join their cause. The Japanese, if they were to establish a stronghold within their Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, they would have to win over the favor of those countries. Without support of other Asian nations, Japan’s cause would blunder. One could almost say that “Co-Prosperity” was just another rewordings for Imperialism. Like the Nazis, the Japanese too had a plan that would bring similar races together. For them “on December 8, 1941, the Japanese government released propaganda guidelines in which Japan was Yamato minzoku (Yamato race) seeking its proper place” . During wartime psychological operations, propagandists often search for powerfully emotional themes and vulnerable groups within the enemy military and civilian populations. In other words, they search for a weakness in the enemy society that allows them to exploit and divide their forces. For the countries in the Pacific, namely this Yamato race, they were subject to Japans power, and not only that but took on a similar role as the Arian race in Europe. How Japan managed to try and convince the fellow Yamato is by propaganda; namely film was viewed as a way to reach native audiences with Japans message regarding Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. This is similarly to US propaganda films which justify the war efforts on the basis of the enemy aggression and the need for self-defense . The justifications of war efforts remain to be a theme in propaganda as defense: where no nation wants to seen as the attacker . The significance of the Japanese trying to round up the rest of the Asian countries, is the fact that they are doing it by the use of propaganda as a way to reach out to them, however maybe not to initially help these other countries, but to further their own egocentric nation into believing that they are just as well off as the Western Powers. Like the evidence obtained, it is clear that Japan did not want to seem like an attacker,...

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