They actually used the word imperial because they were out to expand their empire, and they made no bones about it.
Coincidentally, I am now reading a superlative book titled With the Old Breed and written by a Marine infantryman who fought the Japanese in the Pacific.
(There were no lady Marines in the infantry in those days, which is part of the reason America won the war.)
The Japanese were incredibly and unnecessarily brutal to their foes, far more than the Nazis in the European war. The Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, routine bayoneting of everybody in their path, military or otherwise.
Men, women, children, no matter.
And they rarely surrendered. They chose death over the dishonor of surrender. These were very bad boys who considered the enemy sub-human.*
But after they had been whipped in most of the Pacific, their homeland had to be taken by force because surrender was not in their vocabulary. A land invasion would have cost untold American lives, so President Truman nuked them. Good.
Japan rapidly revised its no-surrender policy.
The United States took over Japan, set it right, and taught them democracy. Then the U.S. forces packed their duffel bags and headed home.
Something similar happened in Europe, which was rubble after the defeat of the Nazis. America set much of it right, including millions of dollars in aid via the postwar Marshall Plan. The Americans, of course, went home.
They did not stay to rule.**
At the same time, the Soviet Union overran much of Eastern Europe chasing the Germans. The Soviets, however, did not go home. They remained for decades until the harsh economic realities of communism ended Soviet imperialism.
One hears a lot these days about the United States being imperialistic, which is cockamamie nonsense. The nation makes errors, sure, as do all nations. Powerful nations perhaps make more than most.
Imperialism, however, is not one of them.
Nazi Germany tried to take over much of the world, killing millions. Imperial Japan brutally defeated and oppressed much of China and the Pacific.
Now that’s imperialism, boys and girls.
We are not oppressed today by oven-building Nazis and bayonet-jabbing Japs due entirely to anti-imperialistic America.
Wise up, and show a little gratitude.
* * * *
* This is true, and today’s Islamofascists harbor a very similar attitude toward non-Muslim “infidels,” something you might want to keep in mind the next time you consider mailing a check to the PLO.
** Apparently, much of this has been eliminated from modern American history instruction where self-loathing has become de rigueur.