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Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

For a country aspiring to behave like the major power its victory over Russia in 1905 had made it, Japan was at a severe disadvantage. Natural resources to supply industrial and military expansion were lacking. The surrounding countries could supply those wants, but were not under Japanese control. The Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) was rich in oil, for example, while the British-held Malaya (Malaysia) could supply rubber. The concept of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was, in effect, to replace the empires of the west with the Empire of Japan. The opposition to this was weak because of divisions of interest between Britain, France, the Netherlands, Australia and the USA. The Americans were considered the principal enemy by Japan, although the other countries controlled most of the valued resources. The Japanese occupation of French Indo-China (Vietnam) brought an embargo on the supply of oil and other vital commodities by the allies and in Japan's eyes war became inevitable. Admiral Isokuru Yamamoto (Yamamoto, Isokuru) developed plans to attack Pearl Harbor and Commander Minoru Genda (Genda, Minoru) made crucial contributions to them. At the same time plans were made to invade the countries required for control of vital raw materials.

See also: Genda, Minoru; Japan; Pearl Harbor; Yamamoto, Isokuru