a1 Old Dominion University
The initial alignment, by means of the Anti-Comintern Pact, of the Japanese government with the Third Reich in 1936 was made possible by the extraordinary activities of Ōshima Hiroshi, then military attaché to Berlin. Colonel Ōshima, whose diplomatic role far transcended his early rank and authority, moved from the rank of Colonel and position of attaché in 1934 to Lieutenant General and Ambassador by 1938. Ōshima, both daring and enterprising, had the full support of his military superiors and certain pro-Axis Japanese; thus his role in Germany proved crucial to the making of major changes in Japanese foreign policy. He both represented and expressed military and totalitarian tendencies in the Japanese army, government, and society, helping those tendencies to reach dominance in Japan by 1940.