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Japan would have needed superior airplanes (which were being built at the time) and better weapons.

By not attacking the USA in the first place, Japan could've won.

I believe Japan could have won WW2 but only if a few critical decisions were made.

1. They would have had to stop using their code. The US had cracked their diplomatic code and because of that knew when and where they were going to strike.
2. Japan would have to leave Manchuria. It was a costly battleground that has been going on for years. Leaving Manchuria would free up necessary resources so they can attack and defend vital assets.
3. They would have to have a commander in chief. A major problem was the commanders of the navy and military debating among themselves on what tactic to choose and on who will get what resource. A commander in chief would be able to unite the different branches to accomplish set goals. Even though the emperor was the leader of Japan at the time, he was no where near influential enough to have a direct hand in the armed forces.
4. They needed to take over Midway, Australia, and the Hawaiian islands. Doing so would confine the US navy to the Eastern Pacific with no means of reaching the core of the Japanese empire without running out of fuel.

5. They needed to take over India and, if possible, the Middle East. India at the time was the backbone of the British Empire. It supplied much needed soldiers and resources to the British war effort in Europe and North Africa. Taking out India would almost certainly have made the British surrender to the Germans which means the US would have a much harder time liberating Europe. The Middle East is important for its vast stores of oil which would fuel the Japanese war machine. It is most important if they face a prolonged conflict.
However, even with these changes it is still doubtful they could have beaten the US. There is another way, though of how they could have won.
Back then, Russia and Japan had a series of border disputes which led to numerous wars, including a battle in 1939. During that battle the Russians crushed the Japanese. When Hitler invaded Russia in 1941, around the same time the Americans put an oil embargo on the Japanese that ultimately led to war, Japan should have gone to Hitler's aid and assisted. Doing this would've been great for Japan, she would've been able to take back "lost" territory, gain access to the caucus oil fields (oil was the main reason for starting a war), and avoid fighting the US.
While the Japanese lost to the Russians two years earlier, this time was much different. As it was, Hitler came very close to taking over Russia, many historians believe he could've had he maintained a strategic goal, focused his troops, and not scraped the Ural Bomber program (there are others too but that is a different conversation) Until 1942 the Russians were pretty much defenseless against the Germans and didn't actually start winning until the middle of 1943. Had Japan invaded Siberia, Russia would have been forced into a two front war. The 150,000 winter weather equipped solders wouldn't have been available to aid the Germans. Furthermore, it would have been more difficult to move the industry east, out of the range of German bombers. Doing so could've actually then put them in the range on Japanese bombers.
Furthermore, Japan had a far superior navy than Russia, in fact, it had the best surface fleet of all the axis powers. The Imperial Air Force was also far superior to the Russians, the German Luftwaffe had almost destroyed the Russian Air Force at one point in the war, the addition of the Japanese would have certainly crippled the Ruskies. Though the Russians did have superior tanks and artillery to the Japanese, had Japan picked a fight with Russia instead of America, things would have been much different.
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โˆ™ 2013-04-11 00:23:09
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โˆ™ 2016-12-12 19:44:35

Looking back on Japan and World War Two, it can easily be said that Japan was unprepared to fight the US in a protracted war against the US. Japan did not have the resources to win that war when it is considered that Japan was heavily engaged within China, and eventually the UK in East Asia.If Japan had a population of double its size in the war, and had waited until it could build a huge air force and larger navy, it would have had a chance. Japan not only underestimated the power of the US, it over estimated its own power.

Japan did not build enough aircraft carriers or a larger submarine fleet to win WW 2. It also used its army inefficiently. It was tied up in China and could not defend its "island" empire in the Pacific Ocean.

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