Tokyo Colloquium

"Political Interactions between Asia and Europe in          the Twentieth Century"

           Tsukuba, September 10-12, 1998

 The Influence of Sea Power   upou Asian and European      International Relations


        International relations have been always greatly influenced by sea power. This is especially true in the Pacific wherein control of sea lanes has always resulted in command and control of international relations in that area. My object of this paper is to examine how Sea Power changed the history of Asia and power balance of the Asian international relations with European (Including the United States) Concerning the Asian international relations, I would like to focus on the Philippines, as the book of The history of the Philippine Navy demonstrates the role of naval power as follows; "Spain could not have colonized us, and denied the Portuguese and later the Dutch permanent lodgment here but for naval power. Spanish naval power also helped blunt repeated Muslim attacks on the Christianized portion of the archipelago. Before the end of the nineteenth century, fired by the writings of Captain Alfred T. Mahan and in possession of a strong fleet, the United States finally wrested the Philippines from Spain; in turn, partly through a superior navy in Asian waters, Japan would temporarily evict the United States from the Philippines, indeed all the European powers from Southeast Asia."(1)

Rise and Fall of Oriental Sea Power Before Spanish Invasion

        Long before the coming of the Europeans to the Southeast Asia, by the ninth century Men from Champa - traders came to the Philippines by passing through Malacca and Borneo. Also, Arab traders were barred from coast of Central China and, searching for new markets for their products, they found a route which started Malacca, passed through Borneo, the Philippines and finally Taiwan. They established trading foothold in the Philippines islands. By the middle of the fourteenth century, Cambodian and a little later Tonkin, Annam and Siam (Thailand) traders also joined trade with the Philippines. They established trading footholds in northern Philippines. In early this century, the Chinese sea power prevailed as far as the Indian Ocean and up to the Persian Gulf. From 1405 to 1433, fifty years before Vasco da Gama's expedition, the Chinese sent Cheng Ho's expeditionary fleet seven times. These expeditions at some times were as large as 62 ships with 27,800 men. Those ships plundered not only Ceylon and the western Indian coast, but also the African and Red Sea coasts. (2)

        Before Spain invasion, the Philippines, there was a network of native or regional trade being undertaken with their Asian neighbours. These traders, such as the Chinese, Japanese, Siamese, Cambodians, Borneans, Sumatorans, Javanese and those in other islands were all regional sea powers. Among these regional sea powers, there existed keen competition, and this rivalry lasted up to the Madjapahit period (1377-1478). But among these countries, Chinese sea power was paramount in Southeast Asia.(3)

        From the fifth to the seventh centuries, Japanese Sea Power excelled around Korea and Northern China, but after the defeated Naval Battle of Hakusuki River, at the west coast of Korea, Japanese sea power was quickly rendered inferior to Chinese sea power until the earlier Wako period. From the thirteenth century to mid-sixteenth century, Japanese Wakos (the Elizabethan sea dogs, who were traders when they had to be, and pirates when they could.) invaded North Korea, South China, Formosa, Luzon and up to Mindoro, and the climax of their activities were during the years of 1555 to 1556. However, in 1572, because of Toyotomi Hideyosi's licensing system of the so called “Go-shuin-sen " or “Red Seal Ships" traders, Wako activities eventually were affected and ended. After this, Japanese Sea Power was quickly rendered inferior to Chinese Sea Power until the Naval Battle of the Yellow Sea of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895.

The Rise and Fall of European Sea Power

        It was both the Portuguese and Spaniards, who were commercial rivals who first appeared in Asia. In 1498, Vasco da Gama arrived via the Cape of Good Hope to Karikat in the east coast of India. In 1505, they assigned a governor to India, and in 1509 they defeated Arab fleet. Then in 1510, they occupied Goa(India), and by 1513 they had reached Macao(China). However, Portugal's naval strength was decreasing because of the war with Spain in 1521 which eventually led to their country' to annexation by the Spaniards in 1580. Eventually, Portuguese colonies were taken over by newly emerging European maritime powers. During the first half of the seventeenth century, the Portuguese lost Timor, Amboina(Moluccas Islands) and Malacca in 1940. In 1650, Ceylon was taken away by the Dutch, and in 1662, the British took away Bombay. By the twentieth century, only Macao was remained to the Portuguese in Asia.

        In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. The Spaniards commenced the colonization of the islands in 1541, and finished in 1571. During the Spanish colonial era, the Philippines became the centre of the trade route between Mexico and Asia. However, the Spaniards were not always successful. In 1581, as a result of the Dutch-Spanish War, the Dutch obtained independence from Spain. Worse, the Spanish Armada was defeated by the British. Hence, Spanish sea power declined rapidly, and in 1620, the Portuguese regained independence from Spain. The next European aggressor in Asia was the Dutch. Coronelis de Hautan arrived Pantang, Java with four ships. After that, the Dutch sent over around sixty ships from 1595 to 1601. In 1602, they established the Dutch East Indian Company. In 1614, they occupied Malacca, and Formosa fell to them in 1624. Finally in 1650, they took Ceylon from Portugal and attempted to colonize the East India and Malaya. The Dutch also sent strong squadron to Philippine waters several times during the first half of the seventeenth century which eventually resulted in the establishment of a Dutch foothold at Cabite in 1646.

        However, a much more stronger aggressor appeared on the scene. It was Great Britain. After the victory over the Spanish Aramada, Great Britain dominated the seas of the world. At first, Britain tried to colonize mainly North America, but after dispatching Francis Drake to India via the Magellan Straits in 1579, they decided to establish Asian colonies. In 1600, the British set up the East Indian Company, and in 1637, they took Madras from Portugal. The British seizure of Bombay and Calcutta occurred in 1661 and 1690 respectively. The British expansion in Asia was climaxed by fall of Manila to them in 1762. On September 23, 1762, a British fleet of 13 ships entered Manila Bay and attacked the city. The Spanish governor surrendered the city to the British on October 5, 1762. However, after a few months of the British takeover, the Treaty of Paris concluded the Seven Years War (1756-1763) in 1763.

          The treaty stated that the Philippines should be returned to Spain, but due to the long distance between Europe and the Philippines, the colony was returned on April of 1764. British expansion in Asia escalated due to the victory at Trafalgar in 1805 against the Spanish and French. They then occupied Singapore in 1819, and in 1826, Maraca was colonized. In 1840, Britain seized five open ports from China, and also in 1842, Hongkong was taken away. In 1849, the British took the Punjab and eventually by 1858 controlled the entire Indian. Thus from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the British ruled in India, Burma and Malaysia. The British occupation of Manila in 1762 shattered the myth of Spanish invincibility. The natives eventually defied Spanish rule. Thus it sparked a series of revolts beginning with that of Diego Silang of Pangasinan in 1763, the revolt in Ilocos in 1807, the uprising in Tayabas in 1841, and the mutiny in Cavite in 1872, which eventually led to the Philippines Revolution against Spain in 1896.(4)

         In accordance with the American westward advance, Germany and Russia also advanced to the East. The Russian challenge came from the north, to the reaches of the Amur River by the sea, to the surveying of the Pacific coast of Siberia where they continued to advance east until they reached Alaska. In 1861, furthermore, Russian Marines landed on the Tsushima islands, and constructed barracks. (They evacuated half a year later due to British objections.)In the same year, they also established a naval base at Vladivostok, and stationed a powerful Pacific Fleet there. The Germans meanwhile occupied New Guinea in 1884, bought the Marshal Islands in 1885, and obtained the Marianas, Caroline Islands and Samoa in 1889. Furthermore, using the murder of a missionary as a pretext, Germany obtained Tsingtao 1898 and deployed Pacific Squadron there.

        By the early twentieth century, Britain still ruled the seas, and secured the entrance and exists to the Indian Ocean by taking Cape Town and Aden. She also occupied Singapore in 1819 to control the Malacca Straits. She continued to push ahead the colonization of India, Burma and Malaysia and also got a lease from China for Hongkong in 1842, and Weihai-Wei in 1898. Finally, before the World War T, the European powers colonized most of the Asian countries except, China, Thailand and Japan. India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Ceylon, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand were colonized by Great Britain; Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, New Caledonia and Tahiti were colonized by France; Indonesia was colonized by Holland; the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam and Samoa by the United States; the Marshall and Caroline Isles, the archipelago's in the Pacific and New Guinea by Germany; moreover, China was broken up by those nations. During this period, Japan closed herself to the European countries, except the Dutch.

The American Westward Advance and Admiral Mahan.

        It was in 1818, when the America deployed a navy vessel to the Pacific. It was the naval sloop “Ontario". On October 1821, the Pacific Squadron was established, and in 1831, 2 sloops were deployed to Asia to protect merchant ships from pirates in the area of Sumatra. Two years later, in 1834, the East Indian Squadron was established, being composed of one sloop and one schooner. Yet, during these periods, American interest was in domestic matters, and the American people did not agree to have a colony or to invade other foreign countries. In May 1890, Little Brown Co. of Boston presented to the public the first edition of The Influence of Sea Power on History, 1660-1783.

          In this book, Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan argued that "command of the sea" is important to American security and prosperity, and“command of the sea" bring“wealth and greatness" to the country. Furthermore, Mahan insisted that role of the navy is:" provide and protect lines of communication and to settle, ............the conflicts which inevitably erupt from commercial rivalry, thus ensuring access to foreign markets for the surplus goods.(5) This book changed not only the American navy, but also America itself. Hereafter, "the United states to make his works for the bible and himself as the prophet of American navalism." After publishing this book, he wrote the first magazine article, entitled "The United States Looking Outward,"(6) published in the August 1890 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, he noted that“the United States is woefully unready" and argued for U. S. naval expansion to meet the threat. And he warned that no foreign state should henceforth acquire "a coaling position within three thousand miles of San Francisco, -- a distance which includes the Hawaiian and Galapagos islands, and the coast of Central America."

         Then in January 1893, after American residents in Honolulu had overthrown Queen Liluokalani and established a republic, he addressed a letter to the New York Times advocating U.S. annexation of“the Sandwich Islands(Hawaii)" against the day when China“expand her barriers eastward" in“a wave of barbaric invasion."(7)Four years later, in May 1897, he implored Theodore Roosevelt, MaKinley's new assistant Secretary of the Navy, to speedily strengthen the Pacific Squadron and“your best admiral needs to be in the Pacific." He instructed “much more initiative may be thrown on him than can on the Atlantic man".(8) Then in September, he wrote article “A twentieth Century Outlook," (9) in Harper's Magazine, where he also adverted to the “Yellow Peril." But before 1898, Mahan's imperialistic vision went no farther than the Caribbean, the Central American Isthmus, and the Hawaiian Islands, and the target of the“Yellow Peril" was not Japan but China.

         But the war with Spain became a historic milestone to the American westward advance, and in their naval expansion. The annexation of the Hawaiian islands was claimed a military necessity for the security of Pacific coast. Roosevelt worked hard to have Commodore George Dewey command the American Asiastic Fleet, for Dewey was known to have shared Roosevelt's intention, expansion of the navy. On February 25, 1898, Roosevelt ordered Dewey to move from Japan to Hongkong in order to take prompt offensive action against the Spanish fleet. On the morning of May 1st, 1898, Dewey's fleet consisting of six combatants, attacked the Spanish fleet of seven combatants commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo. By noon, the battle was over. All Spanish warships were either sunk or were afire. Thus, Spanish sea power was destroyed and with it, Spanish supremacy in the Philippines finally crumbed. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris on August 12, 1898, Spain handed over to the Americans, the Philippines and Guam.

         Regarding the annexation of the Philippines, there arose heated disputes in America. On the imperialist side, the arguments centred on the important role of the Philippines in the future expansion of American commerce in the Far East, and the moral obligation of the United States to uplift and civilize “barbarous peoples", in order to justify their actions. However, Mahan believed that American surplus production had to seek new external markets, and that the most promising were to be found in China. To exploit these possibilities, he advocated U.S. control of the Panama Canal, Hawaii, and the Philippines as“stepping stones to the great prizes: the Asian markets." This theory brings the role of the navy“to provide and protect lines of communication and to settle the conflicts which inevitably erupt from commercial rivalry, thus ensuring access to foreign markets for the surplus goods."(10)

Admiral Mahan and Japan

         After the Sino-Japanese War, while Secretary of State John Hay was circulating his Open Door notes, Mahan's attitude towards Japan changed greatly and he was extremely conscious of the steady rise of Japanese naval power. The target of the "Yellow Peril" changed from China to Japan. But after the Russian southern advance into Manchuria began, he changed his attitude towards Japan again. When the Boxer Rebellion erupted in China, he wrote“The Problem of Asia."(11) In this article, he saw the most pressing“problem" as Russia, whose expansionist aims in Eastern Asia had yet to be checkmated by Japan, and he suggested a coalition of sorts among the four“Maritime States" of Germany, Japan, Great Britain and the United States. He felt appropriate saying something pleasant about the Japanese as he blandly conferred Teutonism upon Japan. Mahan noted that “Japan is repeating the experience of our Teutonic ancestors as they came into contact with the Roman policy and the Christian Japan alone do we find the Asiatic welcoming European culture."

         Concerning the Russo-Japanese War, Mahan expressed “cordial under-standings" for Japan. After the completed victory of the Battle of Tushima, however Mahan changed his attitude quickly, as he believed that the American's partner in the superior“Anglo-Saxon race" was destined by god to up lift the world's backward peoples spiritual and materially. He also saw the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1902 as a dangerous threat to Anglo-American amity and racial unity in the event of war between the United States and Japan. So, he did point out time to time when Great Britain may have to consider her relations with Japan in light of those to America and also Australia, where the“white feeling also prevails." In The Times (London, June 1913), Mahan wrote that“a homogeneous foreign mass, naturally acting together irrespective of the national welfare, and so will be a perennial cause of friction with Japan.....America doubts her power to digest and assimilate the strong national and racial characteristics which distinguish the Japanese, which are the secret of much of their success."(12) Meanwhile, he even wrote to an English friend Captain Bouverie F. Clark, that“I would accept war to-morrow rather than conceded a claim which would soon fill our country west of the Rockies with another race, involving interminable trouble."(13)

         Before World War One, in Mahan's mind, Guam was the key to the Pacific interest for America. He declared“Our every interest in the Pacific" could be secured by converting Guam into“a kind of Gibraltar." From such a stronghold, the navy could safeguard Hawaii, drive ahead to save Philippines, and dominate Japan itself.(14) Mahan also believed that American surplus production had to seek new external markets and that the most promising of those were to be found in China. This theory brought friction with Japanese China Policy and raised tension between the two countries. But the American naval war plan against Japan -- "Orange" had weak points and problem on the transoceanic campaign. On planning, Mahan always insisted that one of the “principal and permanent policies" of the Orange Plan should stand along with the Monroe Doctrine and the Open Door Policy. It is said that Mahan's contribution was to breed into American naval officers an unflagging confidence in sea power, which inspired a plan that overcame unprecedented obstacles in a great maritime war against Japan.

Rise of Japanese Sea Power and Japanese-Philippines Relations

         Year after year, foreign ships knocked at Japan. Many were official government vessels commissioned to open trade with Japan. The first to arrive was a Russian ship in 1739. However, the Tokugawa (Shogun) government refused their request, and in response, refurbished the shore batteries along Japan's northern coasts. In 1791, the first American ship came to demand trade. The Shogun's government again refused and ordered the setting up of batteries along the southern coasts this time. In 1809, a British came to Nagasaki successfully, and in 1884 American whaler “Manhattan," entered to Yokohama bringing Japanese fishermen whom they had picked up in the middle of the Pacific. In 1846, an American Commodore James Biddle, came to Nagasaki to open Japan, but was politely rejected by Shogun. As Japan lying in the north of Asia and gifted with a fortunate geographic location, was able to use the so-called balance of sea power of respectively Great Britain and France, and later the United States and Russia. But, in 1853, an American squadron consisting of the side-wheel steamer "Mississippi" and“Susquehana" and five ships under the command of Commodore Matthew C. Perry entered Tokyo Bay to open Japan. By this strong“Gunboat diplomacy," Japan was forced to open her country to the world.

          After Japan forced opening, the young Japan embarked on the creation of a strong navy with the support of the Royal Navy. In 1894, the newly established Japanese Navy defeated Chinese fleet in Battle of the Yellow Sea(Battle of the off Yale River). Victory in the Sino-Japanese war enabled Japan to take Formosa from China. To stop a Russian southward advance, and a German eastward advance, Great Britain and Japan signed the Anglo-Japanese military Alliance in 1902, which was renewed in 1905, and again in 1911. In 1905, another spectacular accomplishment was added for Japan when Togo's fleet defeated the Russian fleet and gained command of the seas in the Far East. She gained the recognition of being the first Asian country to defeat a European power.

          While the Japanese victory was also interpreted as a defeat of the white race by a coloured, it was also a defeat of a Christian by a non-Christian country. After the war, thousands of Japanese immigrated to Hawaii and to the Pacific coast of the America. As a result, friction arose in the United States, and then in Canada and Australia who all eventually enforced a limitation of Asian immigrants. In the Russo-Japanese war(1904-1905), the United States supported Japan to check the Russian southward advance to China. Ironically, after the War, the Japanese“Menace" was stressed by American military, racist and Yellow Journalism circles. While, the Japanese victory over Russia, encouraged not only, the Filipinos, Chinese, Arabs and Indians, but also the Turkish, Finn and Polish peoples, and other coloured and suppressed races everywhere.

         Filipinos welcomed the victory of Japan. It is reported that students of law in the Fscuela de Derecho sent a telegram to the Japanese Consul in Manila to celebrate victory of Tushima. And also Enrique Corpus, a student of Philippine Political history, and later a member of the Philippine congress expressed; "They thought that the time had come when Orientals could hold their own against the Europeans." The Philippines meanwhile, counted on Japan as an Asian power, and dreamed that a rising Japan would help them get ride of their colonizers. These feelings arose quickly after the Japanese victory at the Sino-Japanese War. This rekindled the hope among the Filipino leaders for their independence. After the Japanese victory, the Filipinos had frequent contracts with the Japanese.(15) Many Filipinos changed their refuge from Europe to Japan. Jose Rizal, the Philippine's foremost hero, came to Japan in 1888, Filipino colonies were established in Yokohama, Tokyo, and other cities.(16)

           Many celebrated Japanese individuals and societies expressed sympathy and supported the Philippines the campaign for Philippine independence. Nevertheless at the government level, because of weakness and the necessity of American assistance to protect herself from a Russian southward advance, and German eastward advance, Japan must remained strictly neutrality, during the Philippine Revolution.(17)However, in the Army there existed sympathy. One active army officer and One reserved officer, Three enlisted men actually fought alongside Aguinaldo's army against the Americans troops.(18) There were also attempts to send in ammunitions, despite the American official strong protections and the blockade of American naval ships. The SS."Nunoboki-Maru" left, bound for Casiguran Bay in eastern Luzon, on the 19th of July, from Nagasaki. On the 21st of July, she encountered a typhoon and unfortunately she sank off the coast of Saddle Islands. By the thirty-four crew and five passengers, only six of the lower class were rescued. A second ship was prepared and attempted also to go to the Philippines, but because of the tight American blockade, the weapons were transferred to the Chinese revolutionaries.(19)

         The Japanese government had never accepted Philippine requests during the Philippine Independence War. Japan had no idea to extend her hegemony over the Philippines, and American war planner never seriously believed that Japan foment a war to get such a resources-poor archipelagos. The Japanese menace was "the product of mere fantasies", that resulted from Japanese-American military rivalry in the Pacific. Nonetheless, the Japanese minor and negligible assistance and sympathies to the Philippine Independence War, caused many an incredible false stories,(20) and contributed to separate Japan from Philippine and escalated tensions between United States and Japan.

Japanese-American Naval Rivalry

         During the war with Spain, American naval war planners expected the Japanese to occupy the Hawaiian islands, or either one of the Aleutian islands. They were also expected to take temporary possession of Puget Sound as a coaling station. Furthermore, if hostilities did break out, they expected the Japanese to undertake a naval bombardment of the American west coast. The annexation of Cuba, Guam, and especially the Philippines altered the American strategic and Political situation profoundly. Expansionists had long regarded the annexation of Hawaii as a military necessity for the security of the Pacific coast. However, the acquisition of the Philippines added another reason for annexing Hawaii and Samoa as coaling stations for the approach to the Philippines. These new outposts, especially the Philippines, sustained the naval power protection which was essential to the support of American market in the Far East, but in turn, the outposts themselves had to be defended. Thus Spanish-American War charged America from an inward looking continental country, to an expansionist Pacific maritime countries.

          With American involvement in the World War T, in September 1917, Japan was asked to send a cruiser to protect the Pacific sea lanes from German raiders, since the American navy withdrawn two cruisers and five destroyers from the Philippines and one battle cruiser from Hawaii to the Atlantic Ocean. In response, the Japanese navy dispatched one cruiser to Hawaii, and two cruisers to Singapore to protect the Pacific and Indian sea lanes. After the war, Japan could entered the international stage as the third maritime power and as permanent member of the League of Nations. The Japanese successes, especially the victories in the Russo-Japanese war led to the enhancement of self-confidence among the Asians, and a lot of Asian nations was on the rise in Asia go with Sian -"Asianism" became strong in Asian countries. European maritime power had been shattered in the First World War, from Asian waters, Japan and the United States roses as the foremost powers.

          This unfortunately created friction between the two navy, which eventually led to the resurgence of the“Yellow Peril" phenomenon in the United States, which had once before occurred after the Russo-Japanese War. After the Germans were eliminated in the Far East, the Pacific was considered secured. However, for Australia and New Zealand, this simply meant that German threat was replaced by Japanese threat. In Australia, they began prohibiting coloured immigration despite the fact that there were many nations suffering from poverty due to overpopulation in Asia. Paradoxically, they feared their policy of a“White Australia" might offer the newly powerful Japan an excuse for an invasion.(21) The occupation of the former German Pacific territories, which were enforced "No-Fortification" by Versailles Treaty had given rise to suspicions that these Islands were being developed as bases to protect American West advance and also use for Japanese advance to the south by Australia.

The Pacific War

The end of the First World War resulted in the loss of a common enemy for the Americans and Japanese. This resulted in a change in the balance of power in Asia, since with the destruction of the German Far Eastern Squadron, the American navy, transferred fourteen ships, among them were six of the newest battleships to the Pacific from the Atlantic Ocean and also America forced upon Japan unequal naval ration of 5:3. By 1920, American naval strategists developed a basic strategic war plan against Japan. This plan was based on the transoceanic operations, and a naval blockade to defeat Japan. However, Japanese Mandates Micronesia was situated in between Hawaii and the Philippines, which made the United States Navy expect Japanese counter-attacks of land-based aircraft and submarines from these islands. Meanwhile, the Americans needed advance bases for refuelling and repairs in the Pacific. Thus, this prompted the Americans to attach primary importance to Guam. American propagandists argued that their country's interests in the Pacific could be secured by converting Guam into a“kind of Gibraltar." From such a stronghold, the navy could safeguard Hawaii, or cut off any Japanese troops there, can save the Philippines, and ultimately dominate Japan herself.(22)

          But in the Orange plan of 1925, it was required for 248 oilers and colliers to deploy 303 combatants including 15 battleships. Furthermore, with the advent of air power, it was imperative to deploy aircraft against Japanese land-based planes operating from Micronesia. Thus, the United States Navy had to carry a considerable amount of materials such as fuel, weapons and spare parts. Also, the modernization and increasing of the Japanese naval strength made the American Navy recalculate the estimated damage that the Japanese could inflict on them. From fifteen Battleships estimated to reach Manila in 1923, it decreased to ten in 1928, and down to seven in 1933. From these calculations, American naval strategists changed transit from Manila, to Mindanao in 1934. Eventually, the defence of the Philippines was abandoned in 1938.(23)

          However, General Douglas MacArthur's establishment of the Philippines armed forces, and the deployment of the newly developed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress made the Americans changed their mind about abandoning the Philippines in 1941. With these new developments, they decided on defending the Philippines. While, in Japan, accordance with expansion of Sino-Japanese War(1933-45), Army move into China, and Navy move to the south. Then, Japan claimed the Parcel Islands in 1938, the Spratly Islands in 1939, and moved into French India in 1941. That is the beginning of the Pacific War. The Pacific War broke out, on 7th December 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour, and also attacked American military installations in the Philippines, Camp John Hay, Clark air field, with land-based naval aircraft from Formosa.

          By this first attack, American air power in the Far East was destroyed. Japanese victories were numerous, and the Great Britain retreat from Hongkong, Singapore and Burma; the American collapse in the Philippines; the Dutch retreated from Indonesia; and French loss Indochina. Thus, Japan expanded her defence zone to the south greatly. However, defeated in the battle of Midway, Japan lost naval supremacy, and lost the War. After the Japanese retreat, once again, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands returned to Southeast Asia, but the condition of their colonies was greatly changed. Ultimately, these nationalistic and anti-colonialistic movements gained independence for their countries, after persistent resistances.

Rise and fall of the sea power in the Asian waters

          During the Pacific War, on the 15th of March, 1943, the Seventh Fleet was formed. This fleet supported General MacArthur's landing on Red Beach" at Letye on October 1944. The Fleet's record ranged from assaults all the way from Guam, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, to the eventual surrender of Japan. Following the Japanese defeat, the Seventh Fleet had been deployed to support the three principal elements of American national Strategy: Deterrence, Forward Defence, and Alliance Solidarity. The Seventh Fleet participated in every major conflicts and low intensity war in Asia. These were; the Korean War 1950-1953, Laos in 1972, the Vietnam War 1965-1973; and very recently, the Gulf War in the Middle East in 1991, to realized American peace under their motto of; "Ready Power for Peace".

          While after the war, the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union flared up; with the Korean War in 1950 and the Vietnam War in 1965. The Soviet Union, conscious of the importance of naval might, increased its influence in Asia and Africa by means of port call, other word "Show the Flag" diplomacy. The Soviet Union gained a crucial influence in Asian international politics. In 1964, it transferred 9 warships, and neutralized Indonesia. In 1968, Soviet Union sent missile cruisers and missile destroyers to India, Somalia, Pakistan and Ceylon. Soviet Union sold destroyers to India and concluded a friendly treaty with India, concluded a friendship treaty with Somalia in 1969, and in 1976 secured air bases and harbours in several places, and concluded a friendship and cooperation treaty with Vietnam in 1978. By securing bases in Vietnam, Somalia, Aden, and using its naval power, the Soviet Union could considerably enhance its leverage on the international stage. However, to cope with America-centred NATO and to resist Japanese naval power, it had neglected international economics; to build up a naval force, it ruined the states economy, and ultimately ruined....the state.

          After the Soviet Navy's withdrawal from Cam Ranh Bay and also the U.S Navy's withdraw from the Subic Bay, this may mean real independence of the Asia, and this would also the end of European supremacy in the Asian waters, which had been dominated since fifteenth century. But, after the Soviet and American withdrawal, here appeared another new comer, that is the People's Liberation Army-Navy of the People's Republic of China, which is rapidly acquiring the economic clout to fiance a modern navy. American withdrawal brought a power vacuum, and has resulted in friction in the Far East, especially in the South China Sea concerning oil resources, among the Asian nations there. In 1974, China clamed the Parcel Isles as its territory, occupied the Spratly Islands(the isle that were Vietnamese territory) with military force in 1988.

          When the United States withdrew from its basis in Subic, China started to move southwards and built structures on the Philippine-owned Spratly-isles. The Asian powers, confronted with a Chinese naval build-up and ambition for expansion, Indonesia bought 39 cheap, second-hand warships from the Soviet Union; Singapore bought submarines from Sweden; Thailand bought an aircraft carrier from Spain. The Asian nations increased their naval force, and with it increased insecurity in Asia. Namely, People's Republic China captured the Parcel Islands in 1974 and Spratly Island in 1988. further, when the American troops left the Philippines, China built a station where fishing boats could take refuge in the Mischief atolls off the Spratly Islands, which was claimed by the Philippines. However, the American withdrawal brought a power vacuum, and has resulted in friction in the Far East, especially in the South China Sea concerning oil resources, among the Asian nations there. It may say that this is a historical irony, but that the only country which was not colonized by Europe and America, Japan, is herself insisting on hosting the American bases, and providing financial support for their continuos deployment in Asia.

Foot Notes
       Assistance for translation and research for reference material was provided by Jose Antonio custodio, graduate student of the University of the Philippine. I would like to express sincere thanks for his enthusiastic supports, not only for the translation but also for professional advices.

1.Aquilino C. Silvero & Isidro G. Espela. History of the Philippine Navy(Headquarters, Philippine Navy, 1976), p.3.
2 Ref., Terada Takanobu, Cheng Ho(Tokyo:Shimizu-Shoin,1981).
3.Teodoro A. Agnocillo, A Short history of The Philippines(New York:The New American Library, 1975), pp.18-20.
4 Ibid, pp.43-45.
5 Alfred Thayer Mahan, Influence of Sea power upon History, 1660-1890(Boston:Little Brwon, 1890), p.71, p138, Water LaFeber, The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860-1898 (Ithaca and London:, 1963), pp.91-93.
6 Alfred Thayer Mahan, "United States Looking Outside", The Interest of America in Sea Power-Present and Future(Boston:Little Brown, 1897), p.6, (Hereafter cited as, The Interest of America in Sea Power).
7 Letter:Mahn to Editor of the New York times(January 30,1893), Robert SagerU & Doris D.Maguire, eds., Letters and Papers of Alfred Thayer Mahan(Annapolis:US Naval Institute Press, 1977) vol.U, pp.92-93, (Hereafter cited as Letters and Papers).
8 Letter:Mahan to Roosevelt(May 6,1897), Ibid., vol.U, pp.506-507.
9 "A twentieth Century Outlook," The Interest of America in Sea Power, pp.31-32.
10 Philip a. Crowl,"Alfred Thayer Mahan:The Naval Historian.", Peter Paret, ed., Makers of  Modern Strategy:From Machivelli to Nuclear Age(Princeton: Princeton University, 1941), p.465.
11 "The Problem of Asia," The Interest of America in Sea Power, pp.67-88.
12 Letter:Mahan to the Editor of Times(June 13, 1913), Letters and Papers, vol.V, pp.495-496.
13 Letter:Mahan to Clark(September 6, 1907, July 23, 1909), Letters and Papers, vol.V,  pp.225-226, pp.307-308.
14 Letter; Mahan to George L.Meyer(April 21, 1911), Letters and Papers, vol.V399-340, Richard W.Truk, The Ambiguous Relationship:Teodre Roosevelt and Alfred Thayer Mahan (New York:Greenwood, 1987), pp.177-178.
15 Eufronio M. Alip, Philippine-Japanese Relations(Alip & Sons, INC, 1959), pp.40-41, Grant K.Calderon, The Turmoil of Change in the Philippine - Japanese Relations,1565-1945 (Manila:De La Salle University, 1976), p.32.
16 Kimura Takesi,Hose Risal to Nihon〔Jose Rizal and Japan〕(Tokyo:Apron-sha,1971),pp.1-16.
17 Doc.No.782(July 13, 1898), Doc. 805(September 4),Gaimusho〔Ministry of Foreign Affairs〕 eds., Nihon Gaiko Bunsho Meiji 32nen〔Japanese Diplomatic Documents 1898〕vol.31, No.2 (Tokyo:Nihon Kokusairengo Kyokai,1955), pp.319-320, pp.344-346. Okuma Bunsho〔Documents of Prime Minister Okuma〕National Archive, Doc.No. A-833-3.
18 Ref.Yoichi Hirama,"The Philippine Independence War(1896-1898) and Japan",XX International Colloquium of Military History(Warsaw, 1995), pp.197-209.
19 Ref., Miyazaki Bonten, Sanju-San-Nen no Yume〔Dream of 33 Years〕(Tokyo:Heibonsha, 1967), pp.233-234,and Kimura Ki,Nunobiki-Maru(Tokyo:Kobundo,1981).
20 James H. Blonunt, American Occupation of the Philippines 1898-1912(New York:G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1913;Reprinted by Solar Publishing Co,1986),pp.126-128, 329-331.
21 Roger C.Thompson, Australian Imperialism in the Pacific: The Expansionist Era, 1820-1920 (Melbourne:Melbouren University Press, 1980), p.207.
22 Earl S.Pomeroy, Pacific Outpost: American Strategy in Guam and Micronesia(Stanford :Standford University, 1951), pp. 52-55.
23 Edward S. Miller, War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897- 1945 (Annapolis US Naval Institute Press, 1991), p.54.