This video is part of a series of 15 animated maps.

View series: The second World War, 1939-1945

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Asia: Japanese Power in 1942

This map is part of a series of 15 animated maps showing the history of The second World War, 1939-1945.

In 1942, Japan had taken control of a large part of Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.

Greater Japan covered not only the Japanese archipelago, but also the island of Taiwan, acquired in 1895, and Korea which had been annexed in 1910.

Beyond these territories, other countries retained their sovereignty under ‘protection’ offered by Japan, but had in fact become mere satellites of the Tokyo government: Manchuria, now known as Manchukuo, Inner Mongolia, Nanking China, Siam, Burma and the Philippines.

British and Dutch possessions in Malaysia and Indonesia were reduced to simple colonies to be exploited without any pretence of sovereignty.

French Indochina maintained its administration, but was placed under Japanese military and economic control.

In 1940 the Japanese government proposed a “sphere of co-prosperity,” a vast alliance of Asian countries for the benefit of all its members. In practice, however, Japan imposed a form of imperialist rule and was able to use the wealth of these conquered territories to finance its war effort.