L’Indochine française et l’expansion vers le sud du Japon à l’orée de la Guerre du Pacifique. Politique étrangère et processus de décision, 29 juin 1940 - 8 décembre 1941

Abstract : The occupation of French Indochina by Japan from June 1940 to July 1941 constitutes a key event for World War history. Eager to escape its diplomatic isolation and the quagmire of the war in China, Japan takes advantage of German victory in June 1940 to occupy Northern Indochina, to tie up the French colony to its economy, to impose its mediation in the French-Thai conflict, occupy the Southern part of Indochina and, then, to launch the Pacific War. However, its traditional foe was the USSR. The reasons of this hubris lie in its desire to destroy the status quo enforced by western powers in Eastern Asia, as well as in an insoluble internal crisis that made Japan choose the side of totalitarian countries. The occupation of Southern Indochina in 1941 is a point of no return. This crisis where French Indochina played a crucial part allows the historian to uncover the mechanism of the decision-making process in Japan before the Second World War. Japanese leading groups do not operate on a partition between hawks and doves, but on the constant rivalry of factions who would try to take the lead of the movement for expansion. If expansion is the object of a consensus among leaders, the decision of its direction and means is the causes of fierce conflicts. However, the occupation of Indochina and the approach of the Pacific War lead to a synthesis at the top of the State, by the composition of a leading group made of military and bureaucrats who promote the totalitarian evolution of the regime coupled with the building of an empire in Asia and in the Pacific.
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Franck Michelin. L’Indochine française et l’expansion vers le sud du Japon à l’orée de la Guerre du Pacifique. Politique étrangère et processus de décision, 29 juin 1940 - 8 décembre 1941. Histoire. Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2014. Français. ⟨tel-01200633⟩

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