What if Japan was pushed to have a greater military role after WW2?

helmutkohl

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In actual history, the Allies changed the Imperial Japanese military into something that would evolve into today's modern Japanese Self Defense Force

What if in this alternate timeline..
due to concerns over the expansion of Communism in the Asia-Pacific.. the US, UK, etc pushed Japan to retain greater military capabilities in the expectation that Japan may need to assist the "west" in stopping communism and potentially assisting them in regional conflicts.
around this time, the Korean war started only a few years afterwards, unrest in Indochina, among others

- What surviving WW2 era equipment would be kept at least for the first decade? For example the Japanese carrier Katsuragi survived and was used for another year after the war before being scrapped. would it be kept a bit longer? perhaps even modified for an angled deck like the Essex? Some countries such as Czechoslovakia, continued to use WW2 german tanks and planes

- How would it change the Japanese defense industry?
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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- How would it change the Japanese defense industry?
Given the glut of US equipment available immediately post-war, I would say it doesn't. These earlier SDFs use US surplus equipment. You are probably not going to maintain 14 Ki-100s (let alone build more) when you have a thousand surplus F6F-5s sitting quite close-by, for example.

Later, given the ravening hunger of the US defence industry of the 50s/60s, it doesn't, they use US-built equipment as historical, just more of it.

Sorry, that's probably not helpful. You probably need the US to take a step back post-war which would somehow need the US not to be quite so mortally offended (pissed) at Japan. Over to somebody else?
 

Dilandu

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Then Eastern Asia would be much more pro-Soviet. Because most nations here have very "fond" memories of the "pleasure" of Japanese occupation, and would seek support and protection. And since US in this scenario supported Japanese re-militarization, the only one who would be willing and able to help Indonesia, Philippines, Siam, ect. would be USSR. No Sino-Soviet spit either; with resurgent Japanese military nearby, Mao would not dare to break with USSR.
 

Dilandu

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and potentially assisting them in regional conflicts.
around this time, the Korean war started only a few years afterwards
Japanese in Korean War? You would have Vietnam decades earlier, with South Korea completely demoralized by such "help" and the majority of Korean population supporting North.
 

helmutkohl

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Then Eastern Asia would be much more pro-Soviet. Because most nations here have very "fond" memories of the "pleasure" of Japanese occupation, and would seek support and protection. And since US in this scenario supported Japanese re-militarization, the only one who would be willing and able to help Indonesia, Philippines, Siam, ect. would be USSR. No Sino-Soviet spit either; with resurgent Japanese military nearby, Mao would not dare to break with USSR.

this could be one scenario
or it could be like the situation in Europe where countries that fought with Germany, a number of which suffered greatly, had to accept a foreign policy change due to a greater threat.
 

Dilandu

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or it could be like the situation in Europe where countries that fought with Germany, a number of which suffered greatly, had to accept a foreign policy change due to a greater threat.
The situation was different; Germany was defeated, completely refurbished (with dismantling of all Nazi regime institutions) and divided. And still it was distrusted greatly.

No to mention, that for most Asian nations - just post-colonial - communists weren't exactly the "greater threat".

So basically, the only scenario in which you could get "Japan as Germany" is if Allies invaded Japan, stormed Kyoto, and hanged Hirohito for war crimes, completely dismantling Japanese sociopolitical system.
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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or it could be like the situation in Europe where countries that fought with Germany, a number of which suffered greatly, had to accept a foreign policy change due to a greater threat.
I can see where @Dilandu is coming from. That acceptance isn't going to happen overnight no matter the threat. Any re-armament of the ex-axis powers will have to be slow-burn I'm afraid if WWII is to remain as-historical.

Perhaps an Operation Unthinkable-ish situation where a war immediately proceeds war and no peacetime and thus time for recrimination can set in? It's a bit grimdark though.

We could just change Pearl Harbor (you have no idea how much it pains me to spell it like that! :)).
 
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alertken

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D: communists weren't exactly the "greater threat". If...we here accept that Uncle Joe intended to be the greater threat - that he wished to extend his Cordon Sanitaire just as far out as poss. to defuse invasion by anyone, then: the greatest What If would be early-1948.

We created the DM, which at a stroke put Bizonia back on its feet to start the Wirtschaftswunder, so damaging to Marxist theology then to compare conditions in the worker/peasant paradise with those in the Imperialist hell...because UJ chose to reject Marshall Aid for USSR and its colonies. If...he had taken the $ and the supervision (spying, suppression)...well, much would be different, starting with no Berlin Airlift, and maybe no Korean War. We now (think we) know that UJ did not intend to rehearse WW3 in Korea, but acceded to Kim I claiming the oppressed South would rise to welcome family liberators. If Marshall $ had been splashing around USSR by mid-1950...different.

No Korea, no need to re-arm Japan; if no Berlin Crisis, no need to persuade France that W.German re-Armament, 500,000 soldiers, was a good thing. So...a consequence of no Rearmament of the ex-Axis would be...even greater, earlier economic resurgence of those Tigers.
1% of GNP ceiling on the Self Defence Forces budget, where US was often at 10%, UK 7%, was a hefty factor in Japan's industrial strength.
 

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