List of territories acquired by the Empire of Japan

This is a list of regions occupied or annexed by the Empire of Japan until 1945, the year of the end of World War II in Asia, after the surrender of Japan. Control over all territories except most of the Japanese mainland (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and some 6,000 small surrounding islands) was renounced by Japan in the unconditional surrender after World War II and the Treaty of San Francisco. A number of territories occupied by the United States after 1945 were returned to Japan, but there are still a number of disputed territories between Japan and Russia (the Kuril Islands dispute), South Korea and North Korea (the Liancourt Rocks dispute), the People's Republic of China and Taiwan (the Senkaku Islands dispute).

Members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; territory controlled at maximum height. Japan and its allies in dark red; Thailand and Free India. Occupied territories/client states in lighter red. Korea, Taiwan, and Karafuto (South Sakhalin) were integral parts of Japan.
Maximum extent of the Japanese empire



Occupied territories

World War II

Territory Japanese name Date Population est. (1943) Notes
South SakhalinKarafuto Prefecture (樺太庁)1905–1943406,000Elevated to naichi status in 1943.
Mainland ChinaChūgoku tairiku (中国大陸)1931–1945200,000,000 (est)Manchukuo 50 million (1940), Rehe, Kwantung Leased Territory, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Shandong, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, plus parts of : Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Fujian, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia
Japan propernaichi (内地)1868-194572,000,000Present day Japan, South Sakhalin (after 1943), and Kuril Islands
KoreaChōsen (朝鮮)1910-194525,500,000
TaiwanTaiwan (臺灣)1895-19456,586,000
Hong KongHon Kon (香港)December 12, 1941 – August 15, 19451,400,000Hong Kong (UK)
:: East Asia (subtotal)Higashi Ajia (東アジア)306,792,000
VietnamAnnan (安南)July 15, 1940 – August 29, 194522,122,000As French Indochina (FR)
CambodiaKanbojia (カンボジア)July 15, 1940 – August 29, 19453,100,000As French Indochina, Japanese occupation of Cambodia
LaosRaosu (ラオス)July 15, 1940 – August 29, 19451,400,000As French Indochina, Japanese occupation of Laos
ThailandTai (タイ)December 8, 1941 – August 15, 194516,216,000Independent State but Allied with Japan
MalaysiaMaraya (マラヤ), Kita Boruneo (北ボルネオ), Marai (マライ)March 27, 1942 – September 6, 1945 (Malaya), March 29, 1942 – September 9, 1945 (Sarawak, Brunei, Labuan, North Borneo)4,938,000 plus 39,000 (Brunei)As Malaya (UK), British Borneo (UK), Brunei (UK)
PhilippinesFiripin (フィリピン)May 8, 1942 – July 5, 194517,419,000Philippines (US)
Dutch East IndiesHigashi Indo (東印度)January 18, 1942 – October 21, 194572,146,000Dutch East Indies (NL)
SingaporeSyōnan-tō (昭南島) February 15, 1942 – September 9, 1945795,000Singapore (UK)
MyanmarBiruma (ビルマ)1942–194516,800,000Burma (UK)
East TimorHigashi Chimōru (東チモール)February 19, 1942 – September 2, 1945450,000Portuguese Timor (PT)
:: Southeast Asia (subtotal)Tōnan Ajia (東南アジア)155,452,000
New GuineaNyū Ginia (ニューギニア)December 27, 1941 – September 15, 19451,400,000As Papua and New Guinea (AU)
GuamŌmiya-tō (大宮島)January 6, 1942 – October 24, 1945from Guam (US)
South Seas MandateNan'yō Guntō (南洋群島)1919–1945129,000from German Empire
NauruNauru (ナウル)August 26, 1942 – September 13, 19453,000Occupied from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand
Wake Island, USŌtori-shima, -jima (大鳥島)December 27, 1941 – September 4, 1945nilUS
KiribatiKiribasu (キリバス)December 1941 – January 22, 194428,000from Gilbert Islands (UK)
:: Pacific Islands (subtotal)1,433,000
:: Total Population463,677,000

Disclaimer: Not all areas were considered part of Imperial Japan but rather part of puppet states & sphere of influence, allies, included separately for demographic purposes. Sources: POPULSTAT Asia[2] Oceania[3]

Other occupied World War 2 islands:

Areas attacked but not conquered

Raided without immediate intent of occupation

See also


  1. Leonard A. Humphreys (1995). 'The Way of the Heavenly Sword: The Japanese Army in the 1920s. Stanford University Press. p. 26.
  2. Archived 2020-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Populstat ASIA
  3. Archived 2020-02-25 at the Wayback Machine Populstat OCEANIA
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