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The Rise of Japan

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    Timeline of the Rise in Japan Militarisim

  • The Imperial Rescript

    The Imperial Rescript
    Due to westernization, the Meiji government reinforced a document called the Imperial Rescript on Education to emphasize Japanese nationalism. Public education in the country indoctrinated students with ideas of nationalism and traditionalist ideas of self-sacrifice and obedience. This was originally a method of propaganda in support of the government but was easily diverted to form a strong support for foreign militarism.
  • The First Sino-Japanese War

    The First Sino-Japanese War
    The defeat was a success in eliminating Chinese influence over Korea and illustrated that it was the result of the modernization and western-style military that ultimately led to the success. It demonstrated the superiority of Japanese tactics. This enabled Japan to be foreseen as the dominant power in Asia and a threat for the West.
  • The Russo-Japanese War

    The Russo-Japanese War
    The war broke out due to disputes over dominance of the region of Manchuria and Korea. The army of Japan was growing in confidence and Russia’s poor economy caused the Japanese to be victorious. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt mediates the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, giving Japan control of Korea. It was the first major military success of East Asia over Western powers. This definitely made Japan to be ever more recognised.
  • Japan enters World War I

    Japan enters World War I
    Japan was in alliance with Entente Powers - France, Great Britain and Russia. This was a counterweight for the powers of Austria-Hungary and Germany. Japan took the opportunity to expand its sphere of influence in China and secure its world wide recognition as a great power, to do this, they must secure the sea lanes in the West Pacific and Indian Oceans against the Imperial German Navy. Japan would fill orders for war materials for its European allies.
  • WWI Peace Settlement at Versailles

     WWI Peace Settlement at Versailles
    Here, Japan was recognized as being the five greatest powers alongside France, Britain, Italy and the US. This was a clear sign that they have indeed made it to be recognised although the Big Four were more dominant in the conference. Tokyo gained a permanent seat on the Council of the League of Nations (a result of the conference and her war efforts).
  • Japan's Proposal : "Racial Equality Clause"

    Japan's Proposal : "Racial Equality Clause"
    The rejection of the clause by the United States, Britain and Australia caused unrest in Japan. This turned the initial Japanese cooperation to focus on nationalism and its expansionary ideas. This conveyed that their war achievements did not last very long and their resources were used up without any rewards.
  • The Immigration Act

    The Immigration Act
    The act was imposed by the US targeted toward Chinese and Japanese civilians. This heated up tensions between Japan and the US as “immigrant” is being publicly labeled as an outcast. It implies that Japan is far from achieving the same racial superiority as the west.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    The depression did not affect Japan as badly as Takahashi (Japan’s Finance Minister) managed to evaluate the situation and helped the economy. Exports plummeted and led to suspicion and doubts towards the west and and helped promote expansionism targeted towards the rest of Asia. However, to avoid inflation Takahashi reduced the deficit by cutting spending on armaments and caused nationalists to be upset - led to his assassination.
  • Invasion of Manchuria

    Invasion of Manchuria
    Following the Great Depression, Japan looked towards Manchuria as they had commercial interests in the region. Nevertheless, it seemed to be under threat by Chinese nationalists and the military of Japan took notice and found that the imperial government is willing to cooperate to move in on Manchuria. When the Kwantung army invaded the region, it was betraying the League of Nations conditions depicting that ties between the West and Japan was indeed faulty.
  • Assassination of Inukai Tsuyoshi

    Assassination of Inukai Tsuyoshi
    The military decided to get rid off the prime minister as he attempted to intervene with the Manchuria attack. Manchuria was adopted as a puppet state and the emperor of China was put in place to be emperor of the state under the rule of the Kwantung army. The military evidently boasted its power in international and domestic politics.
  • Japan withdraws from the League of Nations

    Japan withdraws from the League of Nations
    China raised the issue of Manchuria to the League and Japan used the allegation to withdraw its membership. This led to a full on invasion of Northern China as Japan did not have to follow the rules of the League and would then lead to the country invading other countries.
  • The Anti-Comintern Pact

    The Anti-Comintern Pact
    An agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan was signed against the Communists, specifically the Soviet Union. The pact indicated that Japan was considered to be a major power and seen as helpful to Germany with its successes against China. In case Soviet Union decided to attack, the countries will support one another and promises to not be involved with the Soviet Union politically. In return, Germany agreed to recognise the ideals of Manchukuo.
  • Second Sino-Japanese War

     Second Sino-Japanese War
    The Japanese army drew forces into China and used the excuse of Mukden Incident to initiate a full scale war. Japan captured Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing. It can be said that the brutalities that the troops did to Chinese civilians was the largest exodus as the Rape of nanking resulted in the rape of 20,000 women and deaths of 250,000 to 300,000 people. Although the Japanese was preparing for a war with the Soviet Union, they became over confident and underestimated the power of China.
  • The Axis Powers

    The Axis Powers
    Japan joining the Axis Powers alongside Germany and Italy was due to two common interests. First, territorial expansion by military conquest and the overthrow of the post- World War I international order and lastly, to abolish Soviet Communism. The Axis powers were in battle with the Allies of Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Invasion of French IndoChina

    Invasion of French IndoChina
    After Nazi Germany invaded France in May 1940, the French colonial government in Vietnam was forced to abide with Japanese demands. The occupation of Vietnam was beneficial for Japan as it was a tactic to close off China’s border by interrupting its supply of weapons and materials. This was the start of creating a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” where countries like Vietnam, China and Korea would also be puppet governments and used to extract resources for Japan.
  • Attack on Pearl Habor

    Attack on Pearl Habor
    Japan organized a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in the midst of discussions of peace with the United States. This ultimately pushed the United States (and the Allies) to declare war with Japan and Germany. This was due to the support that the United States kept aiding China with. Japanese expansionism inched closer to the United States interests and tensions grew between the two countries.
  • The Pacific War

    The Pacific War
    The Dutch East Indies were significant for Japan because of its rich resources of oil reserves, however, embargos were placed by the Allies to try and stop Japanese militarism. Given the choice of economic collapse or international conquest, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters confidently picked to aggravate a war, invading Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. As well as, Guam and Wake Island.