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Why didn't Japan invade the Soviet Union during WW2?

Contrary to all of the obtuse lines taken here, the real reason why Japan did not invade the Soviet Union had nothing to do with the commonly cited events already mentioned (Such as anti-Comintern pact, or border conflict in 1939). Rather, it had to do with a particularly event that is not mentioned in any of the answers here.I will start with a brief discussion of this event and then explain why the border conflict in 1939 with the Soviet Union had nothing to do with Japan’s decision not to invade the Soviet Union.Prior to this event, there existed a factional rivalry within the Japanese Army between the Kodoha (Imperial Way Faction) and the Toseiha (Control Faction).The commonality between the two factions was that they both called for increase in military spending and expansion of the armed forces. The fundamental difference between the two factions, and this is in the simplest terms, is that the Kodoha advocated a ‘strike-north’ strategy to confront the Soviet Union deemed to be the greatest threat to Japan’s national security. The Toseiha advocated a ‘strike-south’ strategy, calling for expansion of the war against China and the mobilization of the economy for total war against the West, particularly the Anglo-American powers.Each faction had substantial support from high ranking military leaders in Tokyo which perpetuated the rivalry until the the 26 February 1936 Incident.The 26 February 1936 IncidentLong story short, on the 26th February 1936 in Tokyo, a coup d’etat was carried out by a group of about 100 young officers, most of whom were from the Imperial Guards Division and were associated with and supported by the Kodoha faction. The rebelling forces were composed of 1,393 men from the 1st Division, 1st and 3rd Regiments plus 138 men from the 3rd Imperial Guard Regiment. They had substantial support within the senior ranks of the Army and in particular the Kwantung Army in Manchuria.After departing their barracks at 4.00 am. on a cold, snowy night, they carried a flag of the rising sun inscribed with the legend, “Revere the Emperor, Destroy the traitors”. An hour later, the rebels, comprising 9 groups and 1,200 soldiers attacked simultaneously the statesmen who were close advisers to the Emperor whom they believed were leading him away from the true kokutai (national polity) of the nation. They also intended to seize the War Ministry, Tokyo Police Headquarters and the supposedly liberal Asahi Shimbun newspaper.The following men were slated for assassination:Prime Minister General Keisuke Okada.Prince Saionji Kinmochi, the last remaining genro (genro = a senior stateman).Admiral Kantarō Suzuki, the Grand Chamberlain.Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Saitō Makoto.Finance Minister Viscount Takahashi Korekiyo. He was responsible for the expansionary fiscal policy and abandonment of the Gold Standard that brought Japan out of the Great Depression.What was the significance of this spree of assassination?It did irreparable damage to the pacifist element in Japan’s political establishment. With the passing of the genro, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal became one of closest counsels of the Emperor, as noted by the British Ambassador, Sir Robert Clive when Saito was appointed Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal in November 1935:With the gradual depletion in the ranks of the genro, or elder statesmen, the political significance of the office of Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal has been greatly enhanced during recent times …Saito had been at the center of the endeavor of transforming Japan into a great naval power. He had spent years in America and England and was a passionate anglophile. His assassination denuded the court of an ardent pacifist because, while he sought to turn Japan into a world power, he also sought to maintain peaceful relations with other major powers in the world:we should not opportunistically attempt a sudden expansion of our navy in one conference or two we should gradually enhance our national strength-our economic and industrial power-while winning greater respect and understanding from the rest of the world.By contrast, the rebels in the Kodoha faction believed in the restoration of traditional Japanese values, a rejection of modern capitalism and the need to defeat the Soviet Union. Hence, they despised politicians whom they regarded as traitors who embraced Western ideas, who yielded to demands of Western powers which injured Japan’s national honor. Hence, the Kodoha’s conviction clashed with that held by the aforementioned Japanese politicians. This was one of the motives underlying their determination to assassinate those prominent members of the Japanese government.The death of Saito amounted to the elimination of pacifist element that could have countered the hawkish element in Japanese politics and ultimately prevented a war with the West. Consequently, the 26th February had far-reaching ramifications for Japanese politics and the direction of Japan’s foreign policy in the international stage.The Kodoha rebels believed that their devotion to the Imperial Institution and righteous assassination of the “corrupt and traitorous” politicians would win sympathy and support from the Emperor. They were mistaken. Emperor Hirohito was less than sympathetic. He furiously told General Yoshiyuki Kawashima who was on the side of the rebels that:whatever their excuses, I am displeased. They have put a blot on the nation. I call on you, War Minister, to suppress them quickly.This was one of the rare demonstration of completely independent action by the Emperor (with another one being the Emperor’s personal decision to surrender following the destruction of Hiroshima + Nagasaki by A-bombs in August 1945). Wearing an Army uniform throughout the time the rebellion took place, the Emperor overruled his advisers and ordered the revolt to be crushed immediately without mercy. This was one proof that the Sovereign had real power during the war which debunks the persistent myth that he was merely a symbolic figure without real power.Obeying the Emperor’s order, the rebels laid down their arms. They were harshly dealt with. Secret trials were ordered held in camera. The defendants were declared guilty and subsequently executed by firing squad.Apart from the effects it had on Japan’s politics, the event’s far-reaching ramifications extended to the Japanese Army. Infuriated by a coup that left an “indelible black mark on the history of the Showa reign”, Hirohito ordered a purge of anyone sympathetic to the Kodoha faction. The new War Minister, General Hisaichi Terauchi, was entrusted with purging 2,000 of the Army’s 8,000 officers. They were either dismissed, forced into retirement or sent to outposts far away from Tokyo. The Kodoha faction was completely wiped out, leading to the elimination of the long standing factional rivalry within the Army between the Kodoha and the Toseiha. Factional rivalry was one of the major obstructions to escalating the expansionist war in China and later the Anglo-American powers. The strike-north Kodoha faction was by then dead. The strike-south Toseiha faction which enjoyed the Emperor’s support assumed total control of the army.Not only that, thereafter the Japanese Diet would have to submit to the ambitions and directives of the IJA’s leadership. If the IJA’s leadership disagreed with the cabinet’s decision, they brought it down by having the war minister resign. The Toseiha, less enthusiastic than the Kodoha about a war with the Soviet Union, was committed to escalating the war in China southward from the bases in Manchuria. They were convinced that the southward expansion would bring control of valuable assets for Japan that were essential for the establishment of a powerful economic autarky capable of competing with the the Anglo-American powers.In effect, the 26th February triggered a series of decisive developments that caused Japan to become a military-dominated fascist dictatorship and put her on a trajectory of confrontation that ultimately led to war with the Anglo-American powers.Equally important, Soviet spy Richard Sorge accurately interpreted the events of the 26 February Incident as proof that the ‘strike south’ faction had prevailed. In his assessment entitled “Views on the Housecleaning of the Army [1936]”, he concluded with certainty thatthe target of Japanese military expansion would be China, not the Soviet Union.And this was the actual reason why Japan did not invade the Soviet Union.As you can see, Japan’s decision not to invade the Soviet Union had its root in a pivotal event in 1936, not the border battles with the Soviet Union in 1939 as many people have mistakenly believed.Regarding other major events mentioned in other answers, I will briefly explain why they had nothing to do with Japan’s decision to not invade the Soviet Union.The Anti-Comintern PactSigned on 25 November between Germany and Japan (and later by Italy), the pact was more grandly titled than it was substantive. Contrary to the impressive title, in practice if either Japan or Germany was attacked by the Soviet Unions, they would simply consult with each other about what to do rather than to cooperate and support each other militarily. The Pact was conceived by Joachim von Ribbentrop - Hitler’s ambassador - and Lieutenant General Hiroshi Ōshima - the Japanese military attaché in Berlin. Ribbentrop sought to form an alliance between China - its historic ally - with Japan with whom Germany was seeking to deepen diplomatic relation. This was a completely infeasible idea because of the war between China and Japan. As for Oshima, he envisioned that a Germany-Japan alliance would facilitate the subordination of China to Japan. As you can see, those were utterly conflicting aims that were impossible to achieve.Battles of Nomonhan (Khalkhin Gol) [May-September 1939]This was nothing more than a minor military engagement that ensued after a small Japanese unit led by Lieutenant Colonel Yaozo Azuma was destroyed by Mongolian units in a scouting mission. In retaliation Lieutenant-General Michitaro Komatsubara, commander of the 23rd Division, crossed the Khalkhin Gol River at the end of June. It was an operation unapproved by the High Command in Tokyo rather than an attempt to invade the Soviet Union. The Japanese were soundly defeated by the Soviets.Again, contrary to what many people believe erroneously, Japan’s defeat in this battle did not underlie Japanese decision to not invade the Soviet Union. However it did extinguish whatever desire Japan might still harbor for a strike-north strategy. The true reason was still the eradication of the strike-north Kodoha faction in 1936 as explained above.A lot of people argued that the Battle of Nomonhan discouraged the Japanese Army from invading the Soviet Union. My counterargument to that is that the Japanese Army was actually capable resisting the Soviet military effectively. Just take a look at the casualties suffered by both sides below:The Japanese suffered considerably lower losses than the Soviets did. This was strong evidence suggesting that they could take on the Soviets and inflict heavy losses on them. If the Japanese Army was such a pushover, the Red Army would not have bothered keeping 40 divisions in the Far East to defend against aggression by the Kwantung Army.Lastly, bear in mind that the Nomonhan Incident occurred in 1939, two years after the outbreak of a full-scale war with China in 1937 (following the Marco Polo Bridge Incident). By this point, the Japanese army had been embroiled in a protracted war with China whose end was not yet in sight. The need to fight war and to control the hard-won gains in China forced Japan to commit much of her army manpower and resources and consequently they did not have enough troops for an invasion of the Soviet Union. Later, when Japan engaged in total war with the Anglo-American powers, her resources were strained even further which rendered a large-scale invasion of the Soviet Union impossible.Reference(s)1/ Hirohito’s War: War in the Pacific 1941-1945 - Francis Pike

How do you foresee the future of the current Sino-US rivalry? Would it become the Cold War?

My opinion: It is already a cold war. The US is hell bent on destabilizing and wrecking the Chinese economy using all the dirty tricks it can muster. The US is faced with a ‘do or die’ situation and it has chosen to die by creating animosity around the world. Already, aside from current conflicts, Iran and Venezuela seem on the cusp of a hot war. North Korea and China appear to be future hot war enemies. Europe is trying to stay uninvolved, but seeks more trade with the east.What Trump seems unable to realize is that the Asian landmass is coalescing into an economic union. As such, all countries will be faced with some kind of alignment or polarization. The US, Europe, or China will be the dominant poles in the future. The EU and China are talking about how to increase and work together in trade and economic synergy. Russia is a part of this process. Trump is making the US an isolated state. The next administration will have its work cut out as it tries to mend the broken fences and abandoned agreements.EU, China seek closer ties as US turns against trade | DW | 15.07.2018 the whole Wikipedia article on the SCO and you will get the idea that Trump is a catalyst for making the SCO the magnet for the east and beyond.“The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, formally establishing the organisation, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003. The original five nations, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996. Since then, the organisation has expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.Military exercises are also regularly conducted among members to promote cooperation and coordination against terrorism and other external threats, and to maintain regional peace and stability. The SCO is the largest regional organisation in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population, covering three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the human population.The SCO has established relations with the United Nations in 2004 (where it is an observer in the General Assembly), Commonwealth of Independent States in 2005, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2005, the Collective Security Treaty Organization in 2007, the Economic Cooperation Organization in 2007, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2011, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in 2014, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in 2015, African Union in 2018.he SCO is widely regarded as the "alliance of the East", due to its growing centrality in Asia-Pacific, and has been the primary security pillar of the region. In 2017, SCO's eight full members account for approximately half of the world's population, a quarter of the world's GDP, and about 80% of Eurasia's landmass.Afghanistan received observer status at the 2012 SCO summit in Beijing, China on 6 June 2012.In 2008, Belarus applied for partner status in the organisation and was promised Kazakhstan's support towards that goal.Iran has observer status in the organisation, and applied for full membership on 24 March 2008.Mongolia became the first country to receive observer status at the 2004 Tashkent Summit.Nepal was granted dialogue partner status at the group's 2015 summit in Ufa, Russia.Sri Lanka was granted dialogue partner status at the group's 2009 summit in Yekaterinburg.Turkey, a member of NATO, was granted dialogue partner status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the group's 2012 summit in BeijingIn early September 2013 Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart that Armenia would like to obtain an observer status in the SCO.Meanwhile, in 2012 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka applied for observer status within the organisation.Egypt and Syria have also submitted applications for observer status,while Israel, Maldives, Ukraine, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia have applied for dialogue partner status. Bahrain and Qatar have also officially applied to join the SCO.”Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - WikipediaNot only that, but the SCO and ASEAN are cooperating more and trying to integrate their activities. There is an MOU between these organizations. US seems oblivious to what is happening on the other side of the world. China is about to enter the CPTPP and RCEP trade agreements while the US keeps isolating itself.Premier Sends ‘Powerful’ Signal for China to Join Asia-Pacific’s Largest Trade PactRegional Comprehensive Economic Partnership - Wikipedia.The US looks like the odd-man out.

Does Vietnam has its right to claim the Sparty island and Paracel islands based on the French sovereignty over these archipalegoes?

Question: Does Vietnam have its right to claim the Sparty island and Paracel islands based on the French sovereignty over these archipelagoes?Answer: In fact, there are many arguments whether or not Vietnam has the legal right (the right of cession) to claim the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands based on the French sovereignty over these archipelagoes. To debate about this topic, we should only review it through legal framework and, not by sentiments of nationalism here.(Phu Lam island, Hoangsa/Paracel controlled by China)Firstly, Vietnam declares that the Vietnamese claims of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands are not only based on the legal and historical evidence, but also, in part, the right of cession of the French sovereignty over both archipelagoes.International law recognizes that a state may cede sovereignty over a particular territory to another state (BROWNLIE 217-8th ed). Vietnam claims that France validly exercised sovereignty over the South China Sea islands in the 1930s and that France ceded the islands to Vietnam (South Vietnam[1] ) after it became an independent state. As a result, the SRV has an indisputable claim to the islands by French cession.(Colonial university for Indochina under the French colonial rule during the period 1884 -1945)Thirdly[2] , Some documents and analyses relating the right of cession of Vietnam:Some scholars, however, are skeptical that the right of cession applies to the Spratlys because France purportedly did not relinquish control of the islands to Vietnam after it was granted independence. A letter was written in 1951 by Jean Letourneau[3] , French Minister of State with responsibility for relations with the Associated States, to the Minister for Overseas Territories suggested that the Spratlys remained French territory following the establishment of the new State of Vietnam and should, therefore, be placed under the control of the French Department of Overseas Territories:………Since 1933, when the French Government effectively took possession of the Spratlys on behalf of France and up to the present day, these islands were included, for administrative purposes, under the former Government-General of Indochina…. Political developments since then in the former Indochinese Federation and which resulted in the replacement of the latter by the three new Associated States have in no way prejudiced France's rights over this archipelago. …[T]he fact that the Spratlys were for a time attached to Cochin China simply for administrative convenience cannot be relied on by the new State of Vietnam as justification for rights it never possessed. …[U]nless it is considered…that the French High Commissioner in Saigon should retain the administration of these territories within his powers, it would appear…that the Spratlys should now come under the French Department of Overseas Territories, on the same basis as other French territories in the Pacific.(Itu Aba, Spratly/Truong Sa Islands controlled by Taiwan)An internal note written by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1957 similarly indicated that France had not claimed the Spratlys[4] on behalf of Vietnam, but rather, for itself:The French Government considers that the Spratly islands, taking official possession of which was the subject of a notice published in the Official Journal of 26 July 1933, are French. The sovereignty of these islands are also claimed by the governments of Beijing,Taipei and Saigon. Manila communicated support for a claim made privately in the last year by one of its nationals.Accordingly, although France may have ceded the Paracels[5] to Vietnam, it did not do so with regard to the Spratlys. The efficacy of this argument is highly problematic, however, given the multitude of official actions taken by the French government dating back to the 1930s that bring into question the true intent of the 1951 letter and 1957 note and lead to a different conclusion.On June 14, 1932, the Governor-General of Indochina designated the Paracels as an administrative unit of Thua Thien (Huế) Province in Annam (Decree No. 156‐SC). The following year, on December 22nd, Governor-General Pasquier assigned the Spratlys to the Cochinchinese (French Indochina) Province of Bà Ria (Decree No. 4762‐CP).843 Then, on April 4, 1939, in response to Japan’s announcement that it was placing the Spratlys under the administrative jurisdiction of Taiwan, the French government filed a strongly worded protest, indicating that the islands were part of Vietnam.A decade later, In 1946, France and Vietnam (North Vietnam[6] ) signed the Ho–Sainteny agreement[7] about recognition of Vietnam as a "Free State" within the French Union and permitted France to continue stationing troops in North Vietnam until 1951. Also, on June 5, 1948, France and Vietnam (South Vietnam[8] ) signed the Ha Long Bay Agreement, which allowed for the creation of a unified State of Vietnam (Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina) associated with France within the French Union. The following year, on March 8, 1949, France signed the Élysée Agreement with the State of Vietnam, agreeing to recognize the independence of Vietnam and transferring the administrative power of the state to the Vietnamese government. Then, on July 5, 1949, the French government proclaimed the unification of Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina into the State of Vietnam within the French Union. Based on the assignment of the Paracels to Annam in 1932 and the Spratlys to Cochinchina in 1933, the new State of Vietnam included both of the archipelagoes.(The Spratlys Islands, Lolita Island controlled by Philippines)French inaction with regard to the Spratlys during the 1950s likewise draws intoquestion the validity of the 1951 letter and 1957 note. There is no evidence that France attempted to include a provision in Article 2 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty that would have returned the Spratly Islands to French control after the war. Nor did France object to the statement by Prime Minister Tran at the Peace Conference that reaffirmed Vietnamese sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands. France also did not challenge Foreign Minister Vu Van Mau’s statement several weeks later that reaffirmed Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago or the Vietnamese decree (Decree No. 143/NV of October 22, 1956) that assigned administrative control of the Spratlys to Phuoc Tuy Province. Vietnam’s placement of sovereignty steles on a number of the Spratly Islands in 1956,1961,1962, and 1963, also went unchallenged by France. The Spratlys as stated in the two documents, certainly would have challenged Vietnam’s comprehensive, open, and effective display of authority over the archipelago. Thus, regardless of whether Vietnam’s historical claims are valid, Hanoi may claim sovereignty over the South China Sea islands as the successor state to France, which effectively occupied the two island groups in the 1930s.(Northeast Cay, Spratly islands controlled by Phillippine)Nevertheless, some scholars argue that France relinquished its sovereignty over theSouth China Sea islands after the Second World War by failing to re‐occupy the islands after 1945, and failing to assert a claim to the archipelagoes at the 1951 San Francisco Peace Conference. Accordingly, as the successor state to France, Vietnam had nothing to succeed because its predecessor had previously relinquished its sovereignty over the islands. This argument, however, ignores a series of steps taken by France and Vietnam after the war to re‐assert sovereignty over the Spratlys and Paracels.French forces did not return initially to the Spratlys or Paracels after 1945 because Chinese Nationalist forces were tasked with accepting the surrender of Japanese forces in French Indochina north of 16 degrees north latitude. However, in June 1946, the Bougainville‐class aviso Savorgnan de Brazza was dispatched to the Paracels to re‐occupy the islands. Though, French forces were withdrawn from the archipelago, three months later, when France learned that the ROC occupation force illegally remained on Woody Island (Paracels) and Itu Aba Island (Spratlys) after the Allied occupation of Indochina officially ended in March 1946, the French government diplomatically protested the incursion on January 13, 1947.The warship Le Tonkinois was also deployed to the Paracels on January 17, 1947, to try (albeit unsuccessfully) to eject the Chinese Nationalists from Woody Island. Subsequently, the French established a headquarters on Pattle Island and, in late 1947, the French garrison rebuilt the weather station that had operated on the island from 1938 to 1944. The French hydrographic survey ship Ingenieur en chef Girod was later deployed to the Paracels, in 1953, to conduct oceanographic, geologic, geographic, and ecological studies.France similarly engaged in a series of activities in the Spratlys to substantiate French sovereignty over the archipelago until French troops were ultimately withdrawn from Indochina in August 1956. In October 1946, the French battleship Chevreud was deployed to the Spratlys and installed a sovereignty stele on Itu Aba Island to re‐assert French interests in the archipelago.The following month, when France learned that Chinese naval units had illegallyoccupied Itu Aba, French authorities protested the action, demanding that the Nationalist troops withdraw from the island. France likewise protested Philippine incursions in the Spratlys after Tomas Cloma proclaimed his so‐called “Freedomland” in the eastern part of the archipelago in May 1956, reminding the Philippine government that the Spratlys had been French territory since 1933. The Bougainville‐class aviso Dumont d’Urville was also dispatched to Itu Aba Island to demonstrate French‐Vietnamese interest in the archipelago.Diminished French activity in the South China Sea in the early 1950s is understandable, given the remoteness of the islands, French military setbacks in the ongoing war, and the emergence of an independent Vietnam. Moreover, given its new status as an independent nation, it was logical for Vietnam, not France, to assert sovereignty over the archipelagoes at the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951. Overall, these events do not demonstrate intent on the part of France to abandon its claims to the South China Sea islands until it ceded its sovereignty over the archipelagoes to South Vietnam at the conclusion of the French‐Indochina War.(Thitu island, Spratly islands, controlled by Philippines)In conclusion: It is hard for anyone in this dispute to deny the right of the cession of Vietnam from France in part to claim the sovereignty over both archipelagoes, especially Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.———END———-P/s: I write answers based upon the gist and requirement of the question. Readers are requested to read it with neutrality and rational approach. I throughout this answer has no intention of showing any disrespect towards any group of people or country.All bestsLusia Millar.Footnotes[1] South Vietnam - Wikipedia[2][3] Jean Letourneau - Wikipedia[4] Spratly Islands - Wikipedia[5] Paracel Islands - Wikipedia[6] South Vietnam - Wikipedia[7] Ho–Sainteny agreement - Wikipedia[8] South Vietnam - Wikipedia

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