Japanese Food Policiesand the 1945 Great Famine in Indochina
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Immediately after the fall of France to Germany in June 1940, Japan applied diplomatic pressure on the government of French Indochina to gain bases and a strategic position in northern Vietnam, and to sever the Red River route which had been used to send supplies to Nationalist China. It further expanded its position by creating bases in southern Indochina in mid-1941. In this fashion, Japan effectively occupied Indochina without having to destroy the French administration, honouring a pledge to respect French sovereignty and French territorial integrity in that part of the world. In addition, the signature of a commercial treaty and a navigation convention in Tokyo in May 1941 gave the Japanese the right to acquire the commodities they needed in exchange for their industrial products. The ‘Empire of the Rising Sun’, whose requisites in rice became more pressing as its armies were developing their action in territories farther from their departure bases, managed in this way to gain control of the greater part of Indochina’s foreign trade.
KeywordsPaddy Field Chinese Communist Party Silk Cloth Rice Cost Japanese Occupation
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