chapter  3
21 Pages

Bitter liberty, 1945–48 Occupying Korea: the first moves – The Moscow Agreement and

Japan’s war against China delivered large territorial gains, but it drained Japanese resources and produced no decisive military outcome. Meanwhile, increasing friction with the Western powers and the United States led to the simultaneous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, French Indochina and British Malaya on 7-8 December 1941 and the beginning of the Pacific War. Initial Japanese expansion was rapid, but within a year the US-led Allies had regrouped and begun to apply their superior naval and industrial power to telling effect. During 1942-45, Japan suffered crippling losses and gradually yielded up all its occupied territory. On 15 August 1945, it finally accepted terms of unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs.