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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Chin Lim

HIS385 Lecture 6 FEB28/2014 Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong - Significant improvements between 1910s-1930s • Japanese occupation (1941-45) disrupted process of progressive change - Physical developments • 1000 km added  Kowloon from periphery to center – full use of harbour • 1903 proposal to develop Kowloon and New Territories • Land reclamation o 1916 residential development on Kai Tak land and 1927+ for airport o 1930: Cross-harbor pipeline for New Territories fresh water to HK Island  Reflect the increase of HK population and more demand for fresh water, provide water to residents of HK island - Port developments • Star Ferry (1898) and Yaumati Ferry (1924) • 1908: Taikoo Dockyard Co. (Butterfield & Swire Co.) in Quarry Bay • Deep water wharves, cargo sheds, warehouses for ocean-going steamers • 1915: typhoon shelter in Kowloon - Japanese expansion in China • Began in Sept. 18, 1931 with the Mukden Incident o Occurred in the NE China – turned into a puppet state which they called Manchuko (est. 1932) o Last emperor of Qing dynasty = new emperor of the Manchuko • Full scale war in 1937, • 1938, Fall of Canton - Effects on HK • When there’s instability/development in China – affects HK • Refugee influx o Population 1 million to 1.6 million (1938-1941) o Limited accommodations led to increase in rent and food shortages o Increase social and economic problems in HK • HK as cultural capital o When they began taking control of major cities in China (i.e. Shanghai), major thinkers began to flee o HK was seen as a cultural capital because of the arrival of China/Shanghai-based thinkers and leaders o Shanghai Scholars  HK = Newspapers and magazine publication increased o HK became the de facto cultural leader - Anti-Japanese Sentiments/Resistance • Sojourner Mentality • Chinese Merchants’ Relief Association, Women Military Disaster Association to provide fund to support the fight with Japanese • Weapons, oil smuggled into China • HK Chinese in anti-Japanese War (many young HK Chinese participated) - HK’s economy, 1937-1941: absence of competition • Brief period of expansion • Japan occupied major ports/city o China-outside connections were cut off (Shanghai, Tianjin, Qingdao were controlled by Japanese) • Japan ended the commercial activities  any activities allowed were meant to support the Japanese war effort • HK as only outlet for seaborne trade, which made HK more important • HK linked occupied China and free China  transhipment port to provide goods for free China (places not controlled by Japan) • But still affected by war - British neutrality in Japanese-China conflict • Preoccupation with Europe because of Germany • British invincibility in Asia, the strongest power in Asia since mid-19ths century  British ego: Supreme power in Asia o Convinced of their superiority over Japan o They thought Japan wouldn’t dare threaten British interest in Asia  didn’t expect Jp to attack o Kept a neutral mentality • 1937+: full scale Jap. Invasion led British to change their mind especially the fall of Canton o Once Canton fell, a prized possession, British began to change mentality - “If Japan goes to war with us there is not the slightest chance of holding Hong Kong or relieving it. It is most unwise to increase the loss we shall suffer there. Instead of increasing the garrison it ought to be reduced to a symbolic scale…” (Winston Churchill, January 7,1941) - British view: HK as un-defeatable outpost • Willing to give up HK if needed – lots of resources will be transferred to Europe, reduce military  a sign that the Brits were giving up • Evacuation of European Women and children, summer 1941 o Wording of the document was very precise: 2 sign that the British were retreating with minimal fighting – willing to give up HK) - Japanese expansion beyond mainland China • “Asia for Asians” – gov’t by local leaders • Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere o Aim: became self-sufficient  Autarkic Asian bloc free of Western powers  Self-sufficient in terms of materials and resources  Led by the Japanese • War materials (Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Indo-China): oil, rubber  need to have access to these resources in these countries - Japanese war with ABCD (American, Britain, China, Dutch)  for those war materials • US-led embargo, 1940 o Prevent others from supplying Japanese war effort • Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941 • Attacks on HK, Malaya and Philippines – Dec 8, 1941 - Battle of Hong Kong, Dec. 8-25, 1941 • Battle on and over HK  “Black Christmas” • Colonial war: British vs. Japanese • HK defense (recall: Winston Churchill minimized HK’s defense) o British army (skeletal gap of British soldiers) o British Indian Army o Winnipeg, Royal Rifles of Canada  Fresh graduates intended for other duties in Caribbean – not trained for full on battle but because the need to defend, transferred to HK  Arrived before the weapons o Chinese regiment o Volunteer Defense Corps (wealthy merchants, prominent leaders – civilians, not well- trained) • Japanese Imperial Forces (20 000 ppl) o Battle ready, took part in the fall of canton and major Chinese cities, well-trained with experience, weapons more complete o 1:5 ratio  Japanese outnumbers the British o Japanese had more preparation like collecting HK people as their guide and collecting information in HK for lon
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