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Germany’s ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE) has scored international distribution rights to “Inside Japan’s War,” a new four-part docu-series from Wildbear Entertainment.

“Inside Japan’s War” combines archive material, first-person accounts, interviews with historical and cultural experts, modern graphics and contemporary images to lift the veil on why it was that Japan went to war in the first place.

Having built one of the world’s largest empires, Japan’s political structure at the time stoked the flames of zealous nationalism and racial tensions to fuel a well-hidden military build-up that set the world reeling after the surprise attacks of 1941.

In a few short weeks, Japan cast a shadow greater than at any other point in its history, with citizens back home rejoicing in the country’s tremendous success. But, as fast as the country’s influence grew, infighting between the Imperial Army and Navy quickly helped turn the tides of war.

“Inside Japan’s War” continues through the empire’s rapid decline, the failure of the country’s industries to meet military demands and the incredible effects that strategic blockades had on the island nation. Despite a highly motivated propaganda machine, Japan’s population was becoming aware that momentum was fading as families were forced to live without many of the things to which they’d become accustomed.

The series finishes with the U.S. bombing of Japan and the devastating fallout after, as well as exploring topics such as suicide bombings, slave labor, treatment of POWs and Japan’s eventual surrender.

“We know so little about Japan’s experience in WWII, the country’s strategy and objectives, and even less about what it was like for its people living through these tumultuous times,” said Ralf Rueckauer, VP at ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises. “’Inside Japan’s War’ will give viewers a fascinating insight into a country that went from wielding vast power to suffering total devastation.”

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Cabinet of Hideki Tojo 1941 Credit: ZDFE