Discussion:
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
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a425couple
2021-01-28 15:42:18 UTC
Permalink
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII

M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer

Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?

This question is periodically asked here on Quora and to some it would
have seemed a far better alternative to using nuclear devices against
cities.

As mentioned in other responses, a strong Allied Navy blockade was
already in place, blocking foodstuffs and produce from Taiwan, SE Asia,
and Mainland China. The Autumn rice crop in central and southern Japan
was projected to be (and was) one of the worst in the past 50 years.
Japanese civilians had been told year by year to sacrifice more and more
until victory was certain.

While the majority of the military leadership in Japan and the Imperial
Household continued to enjoy substantial meals and drink, the average
civilian was expected to survive on 1000 calories per day or less.
“Helpful” home economy tips published in women’s magazines encouraged
housewives in Japan and Korea to incorporate clean sawdust or boiled
tree bark into breads and porridges. Older members of families
instructed children on which plants in the forests and fields could be
gathered to add to their meager meals.

The Japanese military would have been the last to have been “starved
out”. Substantial stocks of canned foods and bags of rice had already
been pre-positioned around southern and central Japan to support
Ketsu-Go, the IJA plan to defend against invasion by the Allies. Long
after Japan’s surrender, US Army units documented the frequent
confiscation and removal of large stocks of IJA provisions that were
still being sold on the black market by corrupt Japanese officials and
ex-IJA officers, often assisted by the Yakuza.


Had the surrender of Japan occurred any later, during Autumn 1945 or
into Winter 1946, both Japanese government officials and the Allied
authorities projected that widespread famine would have occurred. As it
was, many old and young Japanese passed away during the first year of
the Occupation after prolonged malnutrition and lack of immunity to
outbreaks of typhoid, dysentery, cholera, influenza, and even leprosy.


Prime Minister Yoshida later acknowledged the central role of General
MacArthur and the US military in providing canned foods and agricultural
products from America’s farmers that averted large scale famine. The
transport infrastructure in Japan was still poor, so reports of pallets
of wheat rotting in port warehouses was not unusual.


The Japanese were also unfamiliar with many US foods, such as macaroni
and beans. MacArthur initiated a school lunch program that utilized
American commodities such as powdered milk and biscuits. For most
Japanese children during the late 1940s, this was their primary meal of
the day. Many Japanese recalled as schoolchildren during the Occupation,
eating large fresh-baked biscuits and drinking milk for the first time.


GIs also interceded individually by giving up their own rations and
chocolate to local children. From most of the correspondence I’ve read
from GIs to their families back home, they were not fully aware of the
struggles many Japanese families endured to acquire food. The black
market prices were out of the range for many civilians, and rationed
foods ran out quickly while the lines were still forming. Farmers lacked
seed and equipment in order to quickly build up their production.


In summary, Japan was on the brink of collapse in August 1945 as far as
self-sufficiency in food and the ability to produce more due to lack of
fuel. Public health and morale were poor. Yet hardline militarists and
planners had boldly allowed for the deaths of up to twenty million
civilians during the invasion of Kyushu, with tens of millions more
deaths projected on the Kanto Plain. The callous disregard in how the
IJA treated civilians during war was evident in the Battle of Okinawa.
Had the Allies taken the same approach by starving the Japanese, a
million or more might have died—A major humanitarian disaster caused by
the Allies.


27.4K views524 upvotes6 shares53 commentsNot for Reproduction
Jim Wilkins
2021-01-28 17:54:35 UTC
Permalink
"a425couple" wrote in message news:***@news2.newsguy.com...

A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII

M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer

Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?

------------------------------------

One revisionist lie in that story is that Japan was cut off from China. The
narrow entrances to the Sea of Japan were heavily mind and patrolled, and
after the loss of the submarine Wahoo in La Perouse Strait on Oct 11, 1943
we didn't risk sending more subs there until May 1945.
https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/09/29/operation-barney-bloody-payback-in-the-pacific/

Another lie is that Japan's agriculture was failing.
https://journals.wichita.edu/index.php/ff/article/view/62/69

"In actuality the statistics seem to show that prior to the very end of
1945,
things were going fairly well for Japanese agriculture.
Even in 1945, when very perceivable stress had been placed on the Japanese,
the situation was such that they probably could have sustained themselves
for another six months to a year."
Geoffrey Sinclair
2021-01-29 04:41:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by a425couple
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer
Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?
------------------------------------
One revisionist lie in that story is that Japan was cut off from China.
The narrow entrances to the Sea of Japan were heavily mind and patrolled,
and after the loss of the submarine Wahoo in La Perouse Strait on Oct 11,
1943 we didn't risk sending more subs there until May 1945.
https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/09/29/operation-barney-bloody-payback-in-the-pacific/
Japan's trade in 1940 was 3.855 billion yen out, 3.453 in.
In 1945 it was 0.388 out, 0.957 in, the in including 0.048
in obvious post war trade, like 0.022 from North America.
In 1945 China accounted for 0.842 billion yen of imports.
This was back to 1940 levels, but half of 1944. Remember
the various rice offensives, where the Japanese army would
invade an area just after harvest, take the rice and leave,
the resultant starvation was then China's problem.
Post by a425couple
Another lie is that Japan's agriculture was failing.
https://journals.wichita.edu/index.php/ff/article/view/62/69
"In actuality the statistics seem to show that prior to the very end of
1945,
things were going fairly well for Japanese agriculture.
Even in 1945, when very perceivable stress had been placed on the Japanese,
the situation was such that they probably could have sustained themselves
for another six months to a year."
I read the article, no mention of fish catch, it was hard
to get to many fishing grounds and plenty of fishing
vessels had been lost. Remember the importance of
fish to the Japanese diet. It would be worthwhile finding
out why it was omitted because they are not shy in using
the revisionist label, a loaded term in WWII history.

To note Japanese production, see the Japanese
statistical yearbook, in Japanese and English, the first
volume is in 1949 but often covers figures starting in the
19th Century. Units of measurement are fun, a mixture of
metric and old Japanese, crop production is in Koku,
around 1.8 Hectolitres (1 hectolitre is 2.7495 imperial
bushels), fish in Kan, around 3.75 Kg.

Japanese crop production, million Koku and fish catch, billion Kan
(note I have reported the table before but with a typo of million
instead of billion kan)

Year / Rice / Barley / Naked Barley / Oats / Wheat / Fish

1938 / 65.8 / 6.3 / 5.1 / 2.6 / 9.0 / 0.850
1939 / 69.0 / 7.8 / 6.7 / 1.9 / 12.1 / 0.86
1940 / 60.9 / 7.5 / 6.3 / 2.0 / 13.1 / 0.87
1941 / 55.1 / 6.5 / 6.8 / 2.2 / 10.7 / 1.0
1942 / 66.8 / 4.7 / 6.6 / 2.2 / 10.1 / 0.89
1943 / 62.9 / 5.3 / 5.3 / 1.2 / 8.0 / 0.81
1944 / 58.6 / 7.2 / 6.6 / 1.5 / 10.1 / 0.62
1945 / 39.1 / 4.9 / 5.2 / 1.2 / 6.9 / 0.45
1946 / 61.4 / 3.8 / 3.3 / 0.7 / 4.5 / 0.53
1947 / 58.7 / 4.7 / 4.6 / 0.7 / 5.6 / 0.55
1948 / 62.3 / 5.7 / 5.7 / 1.1 / 6.9 / 0.62
1949 / 62.3 / 8.8 / 7.5 / 1.2 / 9.5 / 0.64

Note how rice production held up well except for one very
bad year and that fish production remained well below
the pre war and wartime catches. Apparently the calorie
value index of the fish catch went from 100 in 1933-5 to
39.7 in 1945. Note the halving of wheat output post war
and how much better 1948 was compared with 1947. Also
Japan had 4 months of peace in 1945 which would have
boosted food output versus the war situation.

If I have added up the first 5 columns correctly then crop yields
million Koku 1938 to 1944 is 88.8, 97.5, 89.8, 81.3, 90.4, 82.7, 84.0,

1945 to 1948 is 57.3, 73.7, 74.3, 81.7

In the period mid 1946 to mid 1947 the US shipped some
800,000 tons of food aid to Japan. Given the home islands
population of over 70 million that comes to about 11 kg of
food per person on top of local production.

Japan as a nation was beginning to starve in 1945, there was
actual starvation in the 1945/46 winter. Things like the siege of
Leningrad give an idea of the death toll and ability to resist
during major food shortages. Japan could have fielded heavy
resistance well into 1946 at a price of heading towards
Leningrad like percentages of starvation deaths, from the
over 70 million people present. The North Korean famines
show a system and government can survive major famine
deaths. Starving Japan or invading it were the high human
cost ways to end the war, and that is not counting the daily
death tolls from China and the rest of Asia still under
Japanese occupation, etc. as the war continued.

The level of air attack on Japan was rising close to exponentially
as the resources released from Europe, the capture of closer
bases and the rapid expansion of the B-29 force. Which is
something the air attack people tend to assume means a further
linear or greater increase in effects. With almost zero air
resistance allied fighters could be used as fighter bombers
and strafers, the 20th Air Force fighters dropped 540 tons of
bombs in July and 844 in August 1945. Paralysing the rail
network was an important military objective.

With the sinking of the major ferries, especially the rail ferries
movement of important commodities like coal were disrupted.
Agriculture does need other parts of the economy to function
at its peak efficiency. So does medicine.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Matthew Brooks
2021-01-29 05:55:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by a425couple
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer
Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?
------------------------------------
One revisionist lie in that story is that Japan was cut off from China.
The narrow entrances to the Sea of Japan were heavily mind and patrolled,
and after the loss of the submarine Wahoo in La Perouse Strait on Oct 11,
1943 we didn't risk sending more subs there until May 1945.
https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/09/29/operation-barney-bloody-payback-in-the-pacific/
Japan's trade in 1940 was 3.855 billion yen out, 3.453 in.
In 1945 it was 0.388 out, 0.957 in, the in including 0.048
in obvious post war trade, like 0.022 from North America.
In 1945 China accounted for 0.842 billion yen of imports.
This was back to 1940 levels, but half of 1944. Remember
the various rice offensives, where the Japanese army would
invade an area just after harvest, take the rice and leave,
the resultant starvation was then China's problem.
Post by a425couple
Another lie is that Japan's agriculture was failing.
https://journals.wichita.edu/index.php/ff/article/view/62/69
"In actuality the statistics seem to show that prior to the very end of
1945,
things were going fairly well for Japanese agriculture.
Even in 1945, when very perceivable stress had been placed on the Japanese,
the situation was such that they probably could have sustained themselves
for another six months to a year."
I read the article, no mention of fish catch, it was hard
to get to many fishing grounds and plenty of fishing
vessels had been lost. Remember the importance of
fish to the Japanese diet. It would be worthwhile finding
out why it was omitted because they are not shy in using
the revisionist label, a loaded term in WWII history.
To note Japanese production, see the Japanese
statistical yearbook, in Japanese and English, the first
volume is in 1949 but often covers figures starting in the
19th Century. Units of measurement are fun, a mixture of
metric and old Japanese, crop production is in Koku,
around 1.8 Hectolitres (1 hectolitre is 2.7495 imperial
bushels), fish in Kan, around 3.75 Kg.
Japanese crop production, million Koku and fish catch, billion Kan
(note I have reported the table before but with a typo of million
instead of billion kan)
Year / Rice / Barley / Naked Barley / Oats / Wheat / Fish
1938 / 65.8 / 6.3 / 5.1 / 2.6 / 9.0 / 0.850
1939 / 69.0 / 7.8 / 6.7 / 1.9 / 12.1 / 0.86
1940 / 60.9 / 7.5 / 6.3 / 2.0 / 13.1 / 0.87
1941 / 55.1 / 6.5 / 6.8 / 2.2 / 10.7 / 1.0
1942 / 66.8 / 4.7 / 6.6 / 2.2 / 10.1 / 0.89
1943 / 62.9 / 5.3 / 5.3 / 1.2 / 8.0 / 0.81
1944 / 58.6 / 7.2 / 6.6 / 1.5 / 10.1 / 0.62
1945 / 39.1 / 4.9 / 5.2 / 1.2 / 6.9 / 0.45
1946 / 61.4 / 3.8 / 3.3 / 0.7 / 4.5 / 0.53
1947 / 58.7 / 4.7 / 4.6 / 0.7 / 5.6 / 0.55
1948 / 62.3 / 5.7 / 5.7 / 1.1 / 6.9 / 0.62
1949 / 62.3 / 8.8 / 7.5 / 1.2 / 9.5 / 0.64
Note how rice production held up well except for one very
bad year and that fish production remained well below
the pre war and wartime catches. Apparently the calorie
value index of the fish catch went from 100 in 1933-5 to
39.7 in 1945. Note the halving of wheat output post war
and how much better 1948 was compared with 1947. Also
Japan had 4 months of peace in 1945 which would have
boosted food output versus the war situation.
If I have added up the first 5 columns correctly then crop yields
million Koku 1938 to 1944 is 88.8, 97.5, 89.8, 81.3, 90.4, 82.7, 84.0,
1945 to 1948 is 57.3, 73.7, 74.3, 81.7
In the period mid 1946 to mid 1947 the US shipped some
800,000 tons of food aid to Japan. Given the home islands
population of over 70 million that comes to about 11 kg of
food per person on top of local production.
Japan as a nation was beginning to starve in 1945, there was
actual starvation in the 1945/46 winter. Things like the siege of
Leningrad give an idea of the death toll and ability to resist
during major food shortages. Japan could have fielded heavy
resistance well into 1946 at a price of heading towards
Leningrad like percentages of starvation deaths, from the
over 70 million people present. The North Korean famines
show a system and government can survive major famine
deaths. Starving Japan or invading it were the high human
cost ways to end the war, and that is not counting the daily
death tolls from China and the rest of Asia still under
Japanese occupation, etc. as the war continued.
The level of air attack on Japan was rising close to exponentially
as the resources released from Europe, the capture of closer
bases and the rapid expansion of the B-29 force. Which is
something the air attack people tend to assume means a further
linear or greater increase in effects. With almost zero air
resistance allied fighters could be used as fighter bombers
and strafers, the 20th Air Force fighters dropped 540 tons of
bombs in July and 844 in August 1945. Paralysing the rail
network was an important military objective.
With the sinking of the major ferries, especially the rail ferries
movement of important commodities like coal were disrupted.
Agriculture does need other parts of the economy to function
at its peak efficiency. So does medicine.
Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
What's less humane, atom bombs against 2 cities in less than a week, or starving tens of millions of people over months, possibly years? Look at Leningrad.

The atom bombs also ended hostilities straight away. Slow starvation would have perpetuated resistance and cost additional Allied lives.
Matthew Brooks
2021-01-29 05:56:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by a425couple
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer
Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?
------------------------------------
One revisionist lie in that story is that Japan was cut off from China.
The narrow entrances to the Sea of Japan were heavily mind and patrolled,
and after the loss of the submarine Wahoo in La Perouse Strait on Oct 11,
1943 we didn't risk sending more subs there until May 1945.
https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/09/29/operation-barney-bloody-payback-in-the-pacific/
Japan's trade in 1940 was 3.855 billion yen out, 3.453 in.
In 1945 it was 0.388 out, 0.957 in, the in including 0.048
in obvious post war trade, like 0.022 from North America.
In 1945 China accounted for 0.842 billion yen of imports.
This was back to 1940 levels, but half of 1944. Remember
the various rice offensives, where the Japanese army would
invade an area just after harvest, take the rice and leave,
the resultant starvation was then China's problem.
Post by a425couple
Another lie is that Japan's agriculture was failing.
https://journals.wichita.edu/index.php/ff/article/view/62/69
"In actuality the statistics seem to show that prior to the very end of
1945,
things were going fairly well for Japanese agriculture.
Even in 1945, when very perceivable stress had been placed on the Japanese,
the situation was such that they probably could have sustained themselves
for another six months to a year."
I read the article, no mention of fish catch, it was hard
to get to many fishing grounds and plenty of fishing
vessels had been lost. Remember the importance of
fish to the Japanese diet. It would be worthwhile finding
out why it was omitted because they are not shy in using
the revisionist label, a loaded term in WWII history.
To note Japanese production, see the Japanese
statistical yearbook, in Japanese and English, the first
volume is in 1949 but often covers figures starting in the
19th Century. Units of measurement are fun, a mixture of
metric and old Japanese, crop production is in Koku,
around 1.8 Hectolitres (1 hectolitre is 2.7495 imperial
bushels), fish in Kan, around 3.75 Kg.
Japanese crop production, million Koku and fish catch, billion Kan
(note I have reported the table before but with a typo of million
instead of billion kan)
Year / Rice / Barley / Naked Barley / Oats / Wheat / Fish
1938 / 65.8 / 6.3 / 5.1 / 2.6 / 9.0 / 0.850
1939 / 69.0 / 7.8 / 6.7 / 1.9 / 12.1 / 0.86
1940 / 60.9 / 7.5 / 6.3 / 2.0 / 13.1 / 0.87
1941 / 55.1 / 6.5 / 6.8 / 2.2 / 10.7 / 1.0
1942 / 66.8 / 4.7 / 6.6 / 2.2 / 10.1 / 0.89
1943 / 62.9 / 5.3 / 5.3 / 1.2 / 8.0 / 0.81
1944 / 58.6 / 7.2 / 6.6 / 1.5 / 10.1 / 0.62
1945 / 39.1 / 4.9 / 5.2 / 1.2 / 6.9 / 0.45
1946 / 61.4 / 3.8 / 3.3 / 0.7 / 4.5 / 0.53
1947 / 58.7 / 4.7 / 4.6 / 0.7 / 5.6 / 0.55
1948 / 62.3 / 5.7 / 5.7 / 1.1 / 6.9 / 0.62
1949 / 62.3 / 8.8 / 7.5 / 1.2 / 9.5 / 0.64
Note how rice production held up well except for one very
bad year and that fish production remained well below
the pre war and wartime catches. Apparently the calorie
value index of the fish catch went from 100 in 1933-5 to
39.7 in 1945. Note the halving of wheat output post war
and how much better 1948 was compared with 1947. Also
Japan had 4 months of peace in 1945 which would have
boosted food output versus the war situation.
If I have added up the first 5 columns correctly then crop yields
million Koku 1938 to 1944 is 88.8, 97.5, 89.8, 81.3, 90.4, 82.7, 84.0,
1945 to 1948 is 57.3, 73.7, 74.3, 81.7
In the period mid 1946 to mid 1947 the US shipped some
800,000 tons of food aid to Japan. Given the home islands
population of over 70 million that comes to about 11 kg of
food per person on top of local production.
Japan as a nation was beginning to starve in 1945, there was
actual starvation in the 1945/46 winter. Things like the siege of
Leningrad give an idea of the death toll and ability to resist
during major food shortages. Japan could have fielded heavy
resistance well into 1946 at a price of heading towards
Leningrad like percentages of starvation deaths, from the
over 70 million people present. The North Korean famines
show a system and government can survive major famine
deaths. Starving Japan or invading it were the high human
cost ways to end the war, and that is not counting the daily
death tolls from China and the rest of Asia still under
Japanese occupation, etc. as the war continued.
The level of air attack on Japan was rising close to exponentially
as the resources released from Europe, the capture of closer
bases and the rapid expansion of the B-29 force. Which is
something the air attack people tend to assume means a further
linear or greater increase in effects. With almost zero air
resistance allied fighters could be used as fighter bombers
and strafers, the 20th Air Force fighters dropped 540 tons of
bombs in July and 844 in August 1945. Paralysing the rail
network was an important military objective.
With the sinking of the major ferries, especially the rail ferries
movement of important commodities like coal were disrupted.
Agriculture does need other parts of the economy to function
at its peak efficiency. So does medicine.
Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
What's less humane, atom bombs against 2 cities in less than a week, or starving tens of millions of people over months, possibly years? Look at Leningrad.

The atom bombs also ended hostilities straight away. Slow starvation would have perpetuated resistance and cost additional Allied lives.
Matthew Brooks
2021-01-29 06:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by a425couple
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer
Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?
------------------------------------
One revisionist lie in that story is that Japan was cut off from China.
The narrow entrances to the Sea of Japan were heavily mind and patrolled,
and after the loss of the submarine Wahoo in La Perouse Strait on Oct 11,
1943 we didn't risk sending more subs there until May 1945.
https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/09/29/operation-barney-bloody-payback-in-the-pacific/
Japan's trade in 1940 was 3.855 billion yen out, 3.453 in.
In 1945 it was 0.388 out, 0.957 in, the in including 0.048
in obvious post war trade, like 0.022 from North America.
In 1945 China accounted for 0.842 billion yen of imports.
This was back to 1940 levels, but half of 1944. Remember
the various rice offensives, where the Japanese army would
invade an area just after harvest, take the rice and leave,
the resultant starvation was then China's problem.
Post by a425couple
Another lie is that Japan's agriculture was failing.
https://journals.wichita.edu/index.php/ff/article/view/62/69
"In actuality the statistics seem to show that prior to the very end of
1945,
things were going fairly well for Japanese agriculture.
Even in 1945, when very perceivable stress had been placed on the Japanese,
the situation was such that they probably could have sustained themselves
for another six months to a year."
I read the article, no mention of fish catch, it was hard
to get to many fishing grounds and plenty of fishing
vessels had been lost. Remember the importance of
fish to the Japanese diet. It would be worthwhile finding
out why it was omitted because they are not shy in using
the revisionist label, a loaded term in WWII history.
To note Japanese production, see the Japanese
statistical yearbook, in Japanese and English, the first
volume is in 1949 but often covers figures starting in the
19th Century. Units of measurement are fun, a mixture of
metric and old Japanese, crop production is in Koku,
around 1.8 Hectolitres (1 hectolitre is 2.7495 imperial
bushels), fish in Kan, around 3.75 Kg.
Japanese crop production, million Koku and fish catch, billion Kan
(note I have reported the table before but with a typo of million
instead of billion kan)
Year / Rice / Barley / Naked Barley / Oats / Wheat / Fish
1938 / 65.8 / 6.3 / 5.1 / 2.6 / 9.0 / 0.850
1939 / 69.0 / 7.8 / 6.7 / 1.9 / 12.1 / 0.86
1940 / 60.9 / 7.5 / 6.3 / 2.0 / 13.1 / 0.87
1941 / 55.1 / 6.5 / 6.8 / 2.2 / 10.7 / 1.0
1942 / 66.8 / 4.7 / 6.6 / 2.2 / 10.1 / 0.89
1943 / 62.9 / 5.3 / 5.3 / 1.2 / 8.0 / 0.81
1944 / 58.6 / 7.2 / 6.6 / 1.5 / 10.1 / 0.62
1945 / 39.1 / 4.9 / 5.2 / 1.2 / 6.9 / 0.45
1946 / 61.4 / 3.8 / 3.3 / 0.7 / 4.5 / 0.53
1947 / 58.7 / 4.7 / 4.6 / 0.7 / 5.6 / 0.55
1948 / 62.3 / 5.7 / 5.7 / 1.1 / 6.9 / 0.62
1949 / 62.3 / 8.8 / 7.5 / 1.2 / 9.5 / 0.64
Note how rice production held up well except for one very
bad year and that fish production remained well below
the pre war and wartime catches. Apparently the calorie
value index of the fish catch went from 100 in 1933-5 to
39.7 in 1945. Note the halving of wheat output post war
and how much better 1948 was compared with 1947. Also
Japan had 4 months of peace in 1945 which would have
boosted food output versus the war situation.
If I have added up the first 5 columns correctly then crop yields
million Koku 1938 to 1944 is 88.8, 97.5, 89.8, 81.3, 90.4, 82.7, 84.0,
1945 to 1948 is 57.3, 73.7, 74.3, 81.7
In the period mid 1946 to mid 1947 the US shipped some
800,000 tons of food aid to Japan. Given the home islands
population of over 70 million that comes to about 11 kg of
food per person on top of local production.
Japan as a nation was beginning to starve in 1945, there was
actual starvation in the 1945/46 winter. Things like the siege of
Leningrad give an idea of the death toll and ability to resist
during major food shortages. Japan could have fielded heavy
resistance well into 1946 at a price of heading towards
Leningrad like percentages of starvation deaths, from the
over 70 million people present. The North Korean famines
show a system and government can survive major famine
deaths. Starving Japan or invading it were the high human
cost ways to end the war, and that is not counting the daily
death tolls from China and the rest of Asia still under
Japanese occupation, etc. as the war continued.
The level of air attack on Japan was rising close to exponentially
as the resources released from Europe, the capture of closer
bases and the rapid expansion of the B-29 force. Which is
something the air attack people tend to assume means a further
linear or greater increase in effects. With almost zero air
resistance allied fighters could be used as fighter bombers
and strafers, the 20th Air Force fighters dropped 540 tons of
bombs in July and 844 in August 1945. Paralysing the rail
network was an important military objective.
With the sinking of the major ferries, especially the rail ferries
movement of important commodities like coal were disrupted.
Agriculture does need other parts of the economy to function
at its peak efficiency. So does medicine.
Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
What's less humane, atom bombs against 2 cities in less than a week, or starving tens of millions of people over months, possibly years? Look at Leningrad.

The atom bombs also ended hostilities straight away. Slow starvation would have perpetuated resistance and cost additional Allied lives.
a425couple
2021-01-29 17:16:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by a425couple
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
In my opinion, "Downfall, The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire"
by Richard Frank, should be required reading. So many of the
ideas we heard as history from 1943 to 1999 were clearly false.
Frank is one of those who examined the long time documents
kept secret. We now know what the Emperor and the War Cabinet
knew and said!

https://www.amazon.com/Downfall-End-Imperial-Japanese-Empire/dp/0141001461
Post by a425couple
M.M. Holmes
Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Answer - Because callously allowing large numbers of
people to starve to death would be viewed by all
as a terrible war crime.

General MacArthur was well aware that there was no
excusing starvation, and it must not be allowed.
Some in the US government dragged their feet on rushing
adequate food to Japan - - Mac did not allow it!

from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_Death_March
War crimes trial
In September 1945, General Masaharu Homma was arrested by Allied troops
and indicted for war crimes.[36] He was charged with 43 separate counts
but --- Homma was found guilty of permitting members of his command to
commit "brutal atrocities and other high crimes".[38] The general, who
had been absorbed in his efforts to capture Corregidor after the fall of
Bataan, claimed in his defense that he remained ignorant of the high
death toll of the death march until two months after the event.[39]
Homma's verdict was predicated on the doctrine of respondeat superior,
but with an added liability standard, since the latter could not be
rebutted.[40] On February 26, 1946, he was sentenced to death by firing
squad, and was executed on April 3 outside Manila.[36]

Two of Honma’s subordinates Yoshitaka Kawane and Kurataro Hirano, were
prosecuted by an American military commission in Yokohama in 1948, using
evidence presented at the Honma trial. They were sentenced to death by
hanging.[42]
bombs in July and 844 in August 1945.  Paralysing the rail
network was an important military objective.
The destruction of Japan's internal railroad system
(destroying tunnels and bridges) was the next stage of the
bombing plan. It would have had horrible long lasting effects.
With the sinking of the major ferries, especially the rail ferries
movement of important commodities like coal were disrupted.
Agriculture does need other parts of the economy to function
at its peak efficiency.  So does medicine.
Yes. The amount of rice produced may have seemed significant,
but Imperial Japan had no ability to get it to the
then starving population.
Jim Wilkins
2021-01-30 00:29:10 UTC
Permalink
"a425couple" wrote in message news:***@news2.newsguy.com...
.....
Yes. The amount of rice produced may have seemed significant,
but Imperial Japan had no ability to get it to the
then starving population.
----------------

https://voxeu.org/article/famines-wwii
"Until very near the end of the war, the authorities managed to maintain a
daily ration of 2.3 go (approximately 1.725 cups; 1,158 kcals) for normal
consumers, though with an ever-diminishing rice share (Johnston 1953: 202).
For much of the war, supplementary rations were available for certain
categories of workers, but the deterioration of supplies led to increased
reliance on the black market. Still, classic famine symptoms and excess
mortality were absent in wartime Japan."

This summarizes the massive devastation the non-nuclear bombing inflicted:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raids_on_Japan
"In Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, "the areas leveled (almost 100 square miles
(260 km2)) exceeded the areas destroyed in all German cities by both the
American and British air forces (approximately 79 square miles (200 km2))."

The nukes were spectacular but not essential to cripple Japan, as few intact
targets remained for them.
https://www.atomicheritage.org/key-documents/target-committee-recommendations
Notice that the trees show little or no blast damage, and the masonry
buildings are intact, though burned out. Japanese cities were fragile and
flammable.

https://www.atomicarchive.com/resources/documents/hiroshima-nagasaki/hiroshima-siemes.html
"We have discussed among ourselves the ethics of the use of the bomb. Some
consider it in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a
civil population. Others were of the view that in total war, as carried on
in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that
the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning
Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical to
me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war
against civilians."
a425couple
2021-01-30 04:30:51 UTC
Permalink
.....
Yes.  The amount of rice produced may have seemed significant,
but Imperial Japan had no ability to get it to the
then starving population.
----------------
----------
The nukes were spectacular but not essential to cripple Japan, as few
intact targets remained for them.
Yes, the nukes were spectacular.
Spectacular enough to shake up, and change the mind of
the only person who could over rule the War Cabinet.
They were determined to keep their power and let
the entire country die & be destroyed.

The Emperor chose to let the country survive.
And, although it was a VERY close thing,
the coup against him failed, and gradually
one by one, the military outposts that had
resolved to die, accepted surrender.

And the military was put aside, and the people
ate, got educated, and accepted democracy.
A Good Thing!
Jim Wilkins
2021-01-30 12:46:35 UTC
Permalink
"a425couple" wrote in message news:***@news2.newsguy.com...

On 1/29/2021 4:29 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
...
Post by Jim Wilkins
The nukes were spectacular but not essential to cripple Japan, as few
intact targets remained for them.
Yes, the nukes were spectacular.
Spectacular enough to shake up, and change the mind of
the only person who could over rule the War Cabinet.
They were determined to keep their power and let
the entire country die & be destroyed.

The Emperor chose to let the country survive.
And, although it was a VERY close thing,
the coup against him failed, and gradually
one by one, the military outposts that had
resolved to die, accepted surrender.

And the military was put aside, and the people
ate, got educated, and accepted democracy.
A Good Thing!

-------------------------

Japan DID have their own underfunded atomic bomb program.
https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/japanese-atomic-bomb-project

"The major obstacle to enrichment, however, was uranium procurement.
Missions were sent to various parts of Asia, even to Mongolia and Burma,
without finding useful uranium ore. On this front, there was some
cooperation between the Axis powers: in 1945, as Germany was falling to the
Allies, a U-boat loaded with uranium was dispatched to Japan. Allied naval
forces captured the submarine before it arrived, but the amount of uranium
being transported was not enough to make a bomb."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-234

I believe the evidence from the Hungnam test suggests it was a fuel-air
explosion, which is what the Japanese authorities initially called the
Hiroshima blast.

Sorry for any typos. I'm testing electric backup for my wood stove heat
during this -15C cold spell and have let the indoor temperature drop to
6C/42F, so typing is difficult.
A 40W lamp is warming the coldest part of the plumbing, an outdoor faucet
shutoff valve. I got a frozen pipe scare when I first checked it because the
area was damp, but the fault was only a leaking valve stem and tightening
the bonnet nut stopped it.
Jim Wilkins
2021-01-30 13:17:34 UTC
Permalink
"a425couple" wrote in message news:***@news2.newsguy.com...
.....
And the military was put aside, and the people
ate, got educated, and accepted democracy.
A Good Thing!

------------------------

https://rexkoblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/americanization-in-postwar-japan/
"A large scale Americanization started in 1945 – right after the defeat of
Japan in the second world war."

Keith Willshaw
2021-01-30 08:55:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by a425couple
A Quora about starvation in Japan at end of WWII
M.M. Holmes
January 23
Freelance Historical Writer
Why wasn't the US’s plan to simply starve Japan into submission, at the
end of the war? Why even contemplate a horrendously costly invasion?
Originally Answered: Why did the US feel it had to either A-bomb Japan
or invade at the cost of a million American casualties? Couldn't they
have just surrounded Japan and starved them into submission?
This question is periodically asked here on Quora and to some it would
have seemed a far better alternative to using nuclear devices against
cities.
As mentioned in other responses, a strong Allied Navy blockade was
already in place, blocking foodstuffs and produce from Taiwan, SE Asia,
and Mainland China. The Autumn rice crop in central and southern Japan
was projected to be (and was) one of the worst in the past 50 years.
Japanese civilians had been told year by year to sacrifice more and more
until victory was certain.
While the majority of the military leadership in Japan and the Imperial
Household continued to enjoy substantial meals and drink, the average
civilian was expected to survive on 1000 calories per day or less.
“Helpful” home economy tips published in women’s magazines encouraged
housewives in Japan and Korea to incorporate clean sawdust or boiled
tree bark into breads and porridges. Older members of families
instructed children on which plants in the forests and fields could be
gathered to add to their meager meals.
The Japanese military would have been the last to have been “starved
out”. Substantial stocks of canned foods and bags of rice had already
been pre-positioned around southern and central Japan to support
Ketsu-Go, the IJA plan to defend against invasion by the Allies. Long
after Japan’s surrender, US Army units documented the frequent
confiscation and removal of large stocks of IJA provisions that were
still being sold on the black market by corrupt Japanese officials and
ex-IJA officers, often assisted by the Yakuza.
Had the surrender of Japan occurred any later, during Autumn 1945 or
into Winter 1946, both Japanese government officials and the Allied
authorities projected that widespread famine would have occurred. As it
was, many old and young Japanese passed away during the first year of
the Occupation after prolonged malnutrition and lack of immunity to
outbreaks of typhoid, dysentery, cholera, influenza, and even leprosy.
Prime Minister Yoshida later acknowledged the central role of General
MacArthur and the US military in providing canned foods and agricultural
products from America’s farmers that averted large scale famine. The
transport infrastructure in Japan was still poor, so reports of pallets
of wheat rotting in port warehouses was not unusual.
The Japanese were also unfamiliar with many US foods, such as macaroni
and beans. MacArthur initiated a school lunch program that utilized
American commodities such as powdered milk and biscuits. For most
Japanese children during the late 1940s, this was their primary meal of
the day. Many Japanese recalled as schoolchildren during the Occupation,
eating large fresh-baked biscuits and drinking milk for the first time.
GIs also interceded individually by giving up their own rations and
chocolate to local children. From most of the correspondence I’ve read
from GIs to their families back home, they were not fully aware of the
struggles many Japanese families endured to acquire food. The black
market prices were out of the range for many civilians, and rationed
foods ran out quickly while the lines were still forming. Farmers lacked
seed and equipment in order to quickly build up their production.
In summary, Japan was on the brink of collapse in August 1945 as far as
self-sufficiency in food and the ability to produce more due to lack of
fuel. Public health and morale were poor. Yet hardline militarists and
planners had boldly allowed for the deaths of up to twenty million
civilians during the invasion of Kyushu, with tens of millions more
deaths projected on the Kanto Plain. The callous disregard in how the
IJA treated civilians during war was evident in the Battle of Okinawa.
Had the Allies taken the same approach by starving the Japanese, a
million or more might have died—A major humanitarian disaster caused by
the Allies.
27.4K views524 upvotes6 shares53 commentsNot for Reproduction
Well for one thing millions of people in Japanese occupied territories
in China, Malaya, French Indo China and the Dutch East Indies were dying
from disease and malnourishment. Without a Japanese surrender those
forces would likely have kept on fighting. At the time of the surrender
14th Army were getting ready to invade Malaya and the Japanese in Korea
and China were working on improving biological weapons. There was a plan
in 1945 to attack southern california with biological weapons including
the plague. They had already deployed such weapons in China killing
around 400,000 people. The expected date of the action was Sept 22 1945.

Then there was the little matter of the 700,000 strong Kwantung Army in
Manchuria, yes the Soviets overan them but ultimately they surrendered
one day after they were ordered to do so by the Emperor.
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