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World War 2

``World War Two'' is a Western term and as such doesn't fit so well into Asian history. Usually it is accepted to mean the war between Japan and America, Britain, Australia, and a few other `Western' countries. It started in December of 1941 with the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, and, soon after, on various British and Dutch holdings (read `colonies') in South-East Asia. Thus, World War Two is generally considered seperate from the Japanese war in China, although it should be understood more as an expansion of that war. In this chapter, we will follow general practice and start World War 2 in Asia with the events leading up to Pearl Harbor.