- 和光大学現代人間学部紀要 = Bulletin of the Faculty of Human Studies (ISSN:18827292)
- vol.1, pp.105-122, 2008-03
The notorious Greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere, which refers to the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia, has been one of the exhausted themes of modern Japanese history. The Japanese invasion into northern Indochina began in autumn 1940. But it was only ten years before when the Kwantung Army initiated the Manchurian “Incident”, for the purpose of bringing Manchuria under Japanese rule. In 1930’s, Japan began to invade northward at first, then southward. Was that really possible? The aim of this article is twofold: firstly, to survey the history of the thought of the southward advance” and that of the “northward advance”; secondly, to present some hypothetical analysis about the relations between the “southward advance” theory and “southward advance” policy as well as those between the “northward advance” theory and the “northward advance” policy, which should be instrumental in understanding the relations between the “southward advance” theory and the “northward advance” theory. From the beginning of the Meiji Era, Southeast Asia has been taken for the land of “fertile resources with lazy natives”. Such kind of image helped encapsulating the “southward advance” theory into a romantic or idealistic, if any, idea. On the other hand, the long-lasted influence of China and Korea made it easy for the “northward advance” theory to be formulated into the “northward advance” policy. At the critical moment in 1930’s, when Japan felt locked in stalemate in advancing northward, the “southward advance” theory emerged as a panacea, which bloated to the extent of the unrealistic Greater East Asia co-prosperity sphere.