Final Score: Japan 16, Netherlands 4.
World Baseball Conflict of the Game: Japanese enslavement of the Dutch people during World War II.
Japan went through a rough patch during World War II, in terms of having their people sent to POW and internment camps, and whatnot. But in the grand scheme of it all, the universe always seems to even things out. And what better way to say I’m sorry to Japan for having your people enslaved, than for the universe to give them the chance to enslave groups of people as well.
While the Koreans were enslaved in the millions, they were embarrassed early on in the World Baseball Classic so lets ignore that horrible human rights violation. Instead, lets look at the much smaller case of how Japan enslaved settlers in the Dutch colony of Indonesia. Only 40,000 Dutch settlers were captured as opposed to the many more Koreans, which is ironic considering the phrase “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.”
Japan invaded Indonesia in 1942 and dominantly expelled the Dutch from the region. The influence of the Netherlands took a great hit in Asia, much like it did because of the Japanese baseball victory. The Netherlands suddenly found themselves on the brink, and had to readjust in order to maintain power in the continent.
The colony of Indonesia, much like a win in this round 2 WBC game, would prove to be a very valuable capture for the Japanese nation. The island provided Japan with many valuable raw materials, while the win provided them with a trip to the semifinals of the WBC.
Japan’s baseball team differed from their army by actually giving the Dutch mercy, as the game ended after 7 endings. Although I’m pretty sure I saw Andruw Jones dressed in a tunic giving a foot massage to the Japanese manager after the game, so they might have taken just one of the Dutch players, which I think is plenty fair if not very generous.