Its present status under the Vietnamese is, however, as a very large swathe of green carpet of rice paddy. This development is attributed to the French who colonized Vietnam in the middle of the 19th century with the basic objective of exporting rice grown in the delta to meet its large costs of colonisation. They developed a maze of canal system in the delta to grow three rice crops in a year.
During the World War II when the Japanese occupied Vietnam and exploited the rich delta by exporting rice to their country, it denied nearly several million Vietnamese of their basic staple. While Vietnam was occupied by Japan, the Allies, especially the United States, often bombed roads, making the transport of rice from the south to the north extremely hard. Both France and Japan forcibly hoarded food from farmers to feed their troops, while the French administration was broken and unable to supply and distribute the food. The inadequate food supply caused the famine in Vietnam; starting with 1943, peaking in March–May 1945 and continuing till the end of Pacific war there was unprecedented starvation. Two million Vietnamese people were reported to have died of starvation which was attributed to the Japanese rule which was further compounded by unprecedented floods. In March 1945, Japan took over and established the puppet Empire of Vietnam headed by Trần Trọng Kim. While this government tried to alleviate the suffering, they were unable to do so because Japan still stuck to its