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"Yukikaze and Japan's War in the South Pacific"

The destroyer Yukikaze escorting the battleship Yamato during Operation Ten-Go in April 1945. In this revisionist history of Japan's naval campaign in the South Pacific (1941-45), Brett L. Walker, Regents Professor of History at Montana State University, explores the Imperial Japanese Navy’s operational strategies through the lens of recent writings on “resource wars” by telling the story of the war from the vantage point of the cramped bridge of Yukikaze, the only destroyer of her class to survive the war. Yukikaze’s busy mission log reveals a destroyer heavily involved with the most epic naval battles of the Pacific War, but also protecting the resources of the Dutch East Indies, including escorting lumbering tankers from southern oil fields to the home islands. With this topic, Walker's contention will be that this Pacific context remains central to understanding Japan’s modern history and, given such threats as Chinese maritime ambitions, depleted fisheries, and sea-level rise, it has direct bearing on the archipelago’s past, present, and future security.