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Japanese Expansion

  • Meiji Constitution

    Meiji Constitution
    Created by the Privy Council, it stated that the Emperor was the divine head of state and government authority came from him and created a parliament called the Diet, consisting of the House of Representatives and the House of Peers.
  • Japan Overtakes Korea

    Japan Overtakes Korea
    When the Korean government asked China for assistance in dealing with a revolt, Japan declared that Korea violated the Japan-Korea Treaty and occupied the capital with 8000 troops and installed their own government, thus leading to war with China
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    First Sino-Japanese War

    The Qing Dynasty declared war on Japan after increased tensions between them and Japan's interference in Korea. Japan had a modernized military and drove China's troops out of Korea by October and then invaded Manchuria as well as Port Arthur. By March, they had also captured islands off of Taiwan. China then decided to agree to Japan's terms of peace after multiple losses.
  • The Treaty of Shimonoseki

    The Treaty of Shimonoseki
    These are the terms of peace that both Japan and China signed ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The treaty gave Korea full independence from China, gave Taiwan to Japan, made China pay a lot of money to Japan, and gave Japan access to operate ships on the Yangtze River. Russia, Germany, and France disagreed with this, though.
  • Tripartite Intervention

    Tripartite Intervention
    Russia, Germany and France disagreed with the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Russia took control of the Liaodong Peninsula and Port Arthur, while Germany took control of the Shantung Peninsula. Japan was humiliated, but had to agree to the demands.
  • Anglo-Japanese Alliance

    Anglo-Japanese Alliance
    The Anglo-Japanese Alliance between Japan and Britain was the first modern military alliance for Japan. It stated that Japan and Britain would aid each other's military if either was fighting with two or more countries, but would remain neutral if they were only fighting one country. This alliance was directed to protect against Russia.
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    Russo-Japanese War

    Japan was threatened by Russia's forces in Manchuria tried several diplomatic approaches with Russia, however Russia did not respond and Japan severed relations with Russia. The war started when Japan attacked Port Arthur and Russia's navy was unable to reach Port Arthur and Manchuria in time.
  • Treaty of Portsmouth

    Treaty of Portsmouth
    This treaty ended the Russo-Japanese War and was negotiated by the U.S. It stated that both Russia and Japan should remove all troops from Manchuria, that Japan can leave the Liaodong Peninsula, Port Arthur and the Southern Manchurian Railway.
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    World War I

    Britain's requested Japan's help against Germany in August of 1914. Japan moved against the Germans in the Shantung Peninsula as well as various other German colonies.
  • The Twenty-One Demands

    The Twenty-One Demands
    While Europe was busy with the war, Japan made 21 demands to China insisting that they only lease territory to Japan, they allow Japanese control over the Shantung Peninsula and Manchuria, allow Japan to have a role in the government and in infrastructure, and allow free movement for Japanese citizens. Japan threatened war with China so China signed a reduced copy.
  • Paris Peace Conferences

    Paris Peace Conferences
    Japan attended the Paris Peace Conferences and became a founding member of the League of Nations and demanded a clause against racial discrimination.
  • Washington Naval Conference and treaties

    Washington Naval Conference and treaties
    The USA, Britain, and Japan met to discuss naval limitations. The Five-Power Treaty halted battleship construction for ten years, allowed Japan to only have 3 capital ships for every 5 Britain and the US were allowed, and they also agreed to stay out of the Pacific except for Pearl Harbor.
  • Earthquake in Tokyo

    Earthquake in Tokyo
    When an earthquake and fire destroyed destroyed Tokyo, the capital encouraged banks to loan money at low interest to help with the rebuilding. This created more jobs and income and led to economic prosperity.
  • The Peace Protection Law of 1925

    The Peace Protection Law of 1925
    A law made that the government could arrest anyone who wanted to change the government system. This was later amended in 1928 for people to be executed. This was directed at communists and socialists. Communism appealed to millions of unemployed workers in Japan at that time.
  • Bank Failures and Collapse

    Bank Failures and Collapse
    In 1927, the banks failed because of the low-interest loans of 1923. People could not afford to pay back the banks, and banks that did survive mainly stopped lending money. The economy quickly shrunk and many were left unemployed.
  • Japan's Positive Policy towards China

    Japan's Positive Policy towards China
    Japan's government decided that they would treat Manchuria as a special case not related to China. They would no longer let international powers interfere with their interest in Manchuria as they felt it their duty to keep Manchuria and not appear weak.
  • Great Depression Hits

    Great Depression Hits
    When the Great Depression occurred, many countries including the USA raised trade barriers, which meant that Japan was stranded without their greatest trading partner, the U.S. Their GNP declined by 20% between 1929 and 1931 and stocks on the Tokyo Stock Market lost half their value. Many became unemployed and communism became more popular.
  • London Naval Conference

    London Naval Conference
    Britain, the USA, Japan and others met in London to revisit their earlier compromises on their navies. They decided that Japan could now have a 69.75% ratio on their battleships, but their cruisers were still limited to 60%. Japan's government accepted this, but the navy objected vehemently. Japan's prime minister was shot after signing this treaty.
  • The Mukden Incident

    The Mukden Incident
    On September 18, 1931, the South Manchurian Railway near Mukden was bombed near a bunch of Japanese soldiers. Even though it is largely believed that Kwantung army officers planted the bomb, Japan blamed the explosion on the Chinese army. The Kwantung Army used this as an excuse to occupy all of Manchuria and created the puppet state of Manchukuo.
  • The Lytton Commision

    The Lytton Commision
    The League of Nations formed the Lytton Commision to investigate the Mukden Incident. It recommended that Japan pull its forces back.
  • 15 May Incident

    15 May Incident
    Japan's government was unaware of the Kwantung's army move to occupy Manchuria. They were concerned with the army's disobedience and ordered the perpetrators to be arrested. Instead, the army refused and the prime minister was shot on May 15th and the military took over the government.
  • Japan leaves the League of Nations

    Japan leaves the League of Nations
    After The League of Nations votes to condemn Japan as an aggressor state because of the Manchuria occupation, Japan leaves the League of Nations and suffers no consequences.
  • The Tanggu Truce

    The Tanggu Truce
    Japan and China signed an agreement with China recognizing that Japan controlled Jehol and Manchuria and promised not to fight Japan for that. It also created a neutral zone.
  • The Marco Polo Bridge Incident

    The Marco Polo Bridge Incident
    In July, China and Japan fought briefly at the Marco Polo Bridge. Japan demanded an apology and when they didn't get one, war broke out.
  • The Nanjing Massacre

    The Nanjing Massacre
    Japan forces overtake China's capital, Nanjing, after a siege. Prince Asaka was an ultranationalist and ordered any Chinese person be killed. Thousands of Chinese civilians were tortured and killed.
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    The Second Sino-Japanese War

    Japan and China fought in a long war after tensions built up between Japan and China as Japan kept slowly taking more of China's land, especially Manchuria. Japan thought it would be over quickly, but it lasted for a long time and drained their resources.
  • The Tripartite Pact

    The Tripartite Pact
    This was an alliance between Germany, Italy, and Japan to strengthen their relationships. Japan was able to expand into French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies because of Germany.
  • Japan Occupies French Indochina

    Japan Occupies French Indochina
    France's colonies were vulnerable in 1940, so when Japan requested permission to occupy French Indochina so as to cut off China's supply lines, the French government agreed.
  • The Oil Embargo Against Japan

    The Oil Embargo Against Japan
    The U.S. banned their oil sales after Japan took over French Indochina. They were the largest oil supplier for Japan which meant Japan needed to have another source of oil in 18 months.
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor

    The Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor by damaging and sinking battleships, destroying 188 aircraft, and killing over 2400 people with many other injured. Japan sustained minimal losses. At the same time, they also attacked the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, and Malaya.