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You are here: Home > Netaji Home > Indian National Army
Japan's Imperialistic Intentions  
   
   
Japan begins enlisting Indians
   
Bose moves away from Germany
   
Prov Azad Hind Govt formed
   
Birth of Indian National Army
   
The leadership issue
   
The summer of 1942
   
Bose takes over as INA chief
   
Chinks in relations with Japan
   
INA's victory & defeat
   
On the eve of the Pacific War, Japan had no immediate plan for an invasion of India. The military campaign it was preparing for in 1939-41 was limited to a defined area and was to stop on Burma's western borders with India.

Japan's limited aim in 1941 was to enlist the Indian communities' support in Southeast Asia for the Japanese action against the western colonial powers. Japan was aware that its position in the Far East and Southeast Asia could not be defended for long as long as Britain had its Indian Empire, the source of manpower for overseas expeditions and immense resources for war.

Japan's Imperial General Headquarters, therefore, approved of plans which would give support to the Indian freedom movements in and out of India and undertake such peripheral military strikes as would undermine the British position in India without Japan's direct military involvement inside India.

At that stage, Japan had been engaged in a long drawn-out war in China. Tokyo knew it could not cope with another continental war which an invasion of India could entail.

In October 1941, two months before Japan launched the Southern Drive (or the Pacific War), Iwaichi Fujiwara, formerly Director of Shita Kikan, the Army Liaison Organ, secretly visited Bangkok to contact Giani Pritam Singh, then Secretary General of the Indian Independence League.

At his first meeting, Pritam Singh "extolled" the leadership quality of Subhas Chandra Bose who, the Giani told Iwaichi Fujiwara, enjoyed the full support of Indians in India. Bose was then in Berlin.

Pritam Singh pleaded with Fujiwara to make travel arrangements for Subhas from Germany to East Asia to lead the independence movement in South and Southeast Asia. He (Pritam Singh) repeated this plea at every opportunity. Major J K Bhonsle supported Pritam Singh's pleadings.

Japan's IGHQ was informed accordingly. "However, the Imperial General Headquarters initially reacted coolly to the idea…" Fujiwara wrote the IGHQ at that stage did not have a "thorough understanding of and reasonable interest in our Indian operations.

"Had Japan invited Netaji to move to East Asia at least seven months earlier than it did (in 1943) …the Mohan Singh incident (of June 1942) would have been averted, and our Indian operations would have progressed more rapidly and more extensively." And, that the delay in inviting Netaji to East Asia "was a matter of great regret".

 
 
 
   
   
           
 
           
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