Japan’s occupation of Southeast Asia placed enormous stocks of the region’s industrial crops under Japanese control. English language Japanese newspaper reports from the Philippines suggest that the invaders grossly under-utilized this vast storehouse of agricultural wealth. Washington’s pre-war oil embargo severely crippled military and civilian transport services throughout the war, and Japan’s conversion of cane sugar into fuel alcohol and butane for aviation fuel failed to generate successful outcomes. Also, as the Pacific War eliminated cotton imports from the United States, India, and Egypt, placing numerous Japanese textile factories in jeopardy, Tokyo attempted to replace Philippine cane sugar plantings that previously served US markets with raising raw cotton for Japanese textile interests. In the Philippines, however, multifarious bottlenecks crippled all of Tokyo’s wartime farm projects. Though the Japanese occupation was short-lived, it demonstrated Tokyo’s intention to adjust the Philippine economy into a dependent relationship with Japanese industries.

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