In this 60 minute presentation, Dr.Richard Smethurst takes a look at Japan's reasons for entering WWII in economic terms. Dr.Smethurst explores the complex questions of how Japan should view WWII and how to reconcile the two distinct Japans: the friendly, courteous Japan and the WWII imperialist Japan. This talk answers questions to why Japan would enter into what Dr.Smethurst refers to as an "unwinnable war" and why would Japan fight against the very countries that it depended on for raw materials.
Richard J. Smethurst is Professor Emeritus in History at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include the origins of Japan’s World War II in Asia, the modern history of noh theatre in Japan, and Japanese industrial policies of the late 1800s.