The Triumph of Imperialism in Asia: Japan Among the Powers

By chenwv
  • Ito Hirobumi born

    the leading statesmen of Meiji Japan and a typical figure of the period was born in one of the outer daimyo domains in southwestern Japan.
    His career encapsulates the successive stages of Meiji attitudes and actions. As a youth he wanted passionately to save his country from foreign threat, and at age 21 (see 1862) he tried to burn the newly established British embassy in Tokyo.
  • Ito Hirobumi tries to burn British Embassy in Tokyo

    However, when he visited Britain in 1963, he realised that it was impossible to drive the WEsterners out and returned to work for Japan's modernisation. After Meiji restoration, he went with government missions to Europe and America to learn how to make his country strong
  • Meiji Restoration replaces Tokugawa rule

    ushered in a period of rapid change and Westernization.
  • Japan starts to modernize

    Japan showed little hesitation om transforming or abolishing traditional institutions in favour of those that could give the country the modern strength it needed to survive
    Western transformation (Fukoku Kyohei, meaning Enrich the coutnry, Strengthen the military)
  • Ito Hirobumi becomes Japan's first prime minister

    under the new Western-style government. A later mission to Prussia convinced him that the Prussian constitutional monarchy was best suited to Japan.
  • Establishment of Meiji Constitution

    Constitution adopted, but with very little voting rights
    Modified constitutional monarchy with a parliament and a largely Western-derived legal system.
    The machinery of governemnt and law was modeled on a judicious combination of Western systems.
    Only about 1% males allowed to vote.
    Minister of war in the cabinet must be a servinf officer,
    constitution modeled consciously on that of Prussia, a military-dominated state
  • Ito Hirobumi the chief architect of new constitution

    proclaimed by the Emperor, which contained many Prussian ideas.
    He understood, however, that constitutional government and the cooperation of the new parliament could not be made to work without political organisation and popular support
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    Oligarchs lose power

    power slipped away from the oligarchs and their proteges and into the grasp of party politicians. 1890s: compromises between oligarchs and parties
    1900: establishment of Seiyukai (Ito Hirobumi)
    1913: establishment of Doshikai
    1913: appt of Hara Takashi to head party cabinet following the rice riots of 1918
  • Japan had a modern navy and army and a fast-growing industrial base to support it

    Japanese steamships had won a major place in East Asian trade, and its merchants had acquired a rising share of the China market. Exports to the west now included silk and tea.
  • Britain agrees to relinquish unequal clauses of old treaty

    To counter Russia's growth Clauses like allowing all Brits to trade freely in Japan.
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    Japan Invaded Korea (First Sino-Japanese War)

    Japanese fleet demolished Chinese forces protecting Korea
    Japan joined the other imperialist powers (Western) in colonial conquests. Korea was the handiest target.
    The peace treaty (see 1894) made Japan dominant in a still nominally independent Korea; the Chinese also ceded to them the island of Taiwan (Formosa), a huge indemnity, and the right to operate factories in the China treaty ports.
  • Treaty of Shimonseki

    Korea turned into Japan protectoriate
    They are under Korean rule but take orders from Tokyo
    Liaodong peninsular & Taiwan were given to Japan
    France, Britain and Russia force Japan to return Taiwan & Liaodong back to China.
    Russia wanted Korea and didn't want Japan to be too powerful.
  • Russia builds Port of Dairen

    only first stage completed when Russo-Japanese War started.
    see 1904.
  • Ito Hirobumi leaves office

    to form a political party to rally support for Prussian ideas, which was dominant until 1941
  • Old Treaty relinquished

    see 1894
  • Anglo-Japanese treaty

    Anglo-Japanese Alliance
    There was widespread British, American and German support for Japan in this period, as an apt pupil who made all the proper moves but also as a counter-weight against Russia and China.
    Japan had been encouraged to attack Russia by the Anglo-Japanese treaty of alliance and friendship signed in 1902, which was welcomed in Japan also as a mark of international wquality with Western powers.
    Theoore Roosevelt saw the Japanese as promising allies.
  • RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR: Japan attacks Manchuria

    Just like Pearl Harbour (1941) and Korea (1895)
    The Russians were still extending their influence, railways, and concession areas in Mancuria, leasing its southern tip from China and developing the port of Dairen there. The Japanese saw this as a threat to their position in Korea.
    Japanese declared war and won a series of land and naval battles against Russia (then the world's largest military power) by a combo of sneak attack, dash, and willingness to take heavy casualities

    check individual events. this period inaugurated a period of new pride, confidence and continued economic progress Japan meets its principal need as building strength against the foreign threat of dominance, and such a policy had been rewarded in Japan's dramatic victories against Russia. Japan had become a great military power and treated as an equal; nearly all Japanese welcomed this military dominance and believed that the militrary must still be supported
  • Japanese agrees to peace with Russia

    The Russians were far from their home base and inadequately prepared; in time, their much greater resources would have worn out, but the Japaese wanted to quit while they were ahead, and agreed to a epace arranged by the Americans under President Theodore Roosevelt that was signed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
    Russians receive first stirrings of revolution, and the war was expensive and unpopulat.
    Japan inherits the Russian position in Manchuria and tightens grip on Korea.
  • Empress Dowager Cixi dies

  • Japan's population reaches 50million

    Japan is a small country which made it easy to integrate as a unit.
    Its population was about the size of one of China's larger provinces, but some 90% of the Japanese lived in the area between greater Tokyo and greater Osaka.
    What was decided in Tokyo was quickly carried out everywhere as national policy.
  • Korean becomes an outright colony of the now-extensive Japanese Empire

  • Japanese PM tries to cut military budget

    defence minister resigned.
  • China's government falls

    due to incompetence and lack of national unity and shared political purpose, after more than 2000 of empirical rule. This opened the way for fundamental change in the years ahead.

    Leading to the Treaty of Versailles
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    Japan joined the Allies, portrayed as an equal partner, although it took no part in the fighting in Europe apart from sending a few destroyers to join the British Mediterranean fleet.
    The opportunity was instead used to take over the German concession areas in China, centered in the province of Shantung in eastern north China.

    including the stationing of troops and of Japanese "advisers" to the Chinese governent, that would have made China in effect a Japanese colony.
    By such greedy and bullying tactics, Japan quickly lost the admiration and goodwill built up by its progress since 1869.
    The demands also infuriated Chinese patriots and more than any other event sparked the rise of genuine Chinese nationalism on a widening basis.
    Demands were rejected, although Japan hung on to the German concessions in Shantung.
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    The Dark Valley

    Japanese term for the fateful years leading to the military takeover of Manchuria in 1931 and to the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941
  • Russian Revolution

    Manchuria is seen as important to Japan as a buffer against Russian power; feelings strengthened after Revolution Japanese trade and Revolution in Manchuria were very large, and some 100 000 Japanese had moved there, mainly as officials and managers,
    Japan was busy developing Manchuria's extensive resources and building it up as a major industrial complex.
  • Japan sends troops to Siberia

    along with the other Allied forces and United States to try to fight against the new revolutionary governent of Russia
  • Movement to have all male vote fails

    An emphasis on what was called internationalism began to replace earlier stress on militarism and conquest.
    These sentiments were largely related to students, intellectuals, and writers and a few journalists, liberal-minded politicans, and labor leaders. at the same time, however, there was a growing movement to extend the vote to all adult males, supported by most of the new white-collar middle class
  • British and Americans meet in Washington

    Obliged the Japanese to limit their navy, now seen as a threat, to a proportion of three capital ships to the British five and the American five
  • Japanese Communist Party founded

    many students found its message appealing, but the government was alarmed, and in 1925, passed a Peace Preservation Law
  • Japan stays in Siberia

    long after the other Allied forces had withdrawn, at great expense and at the further cost of growing resentment among most Japanese, especially since this intervention came to nothing. An emphasis on what was called internationalism began to replace the earlier stress on militarism and conquest
  • Allies force Japan to give up some concessions in Shantung

    Economically, the war and postwar years were a period of great prosperity and general confidence
  • Great Kanto Earthquake

    100 000 dead
    60% homes destroyed in Tokyo
    all factories and workshops levelled
  • Kenseikai and Seiyukai captured nearly all the Diet seats in elections held in spring

    The Genro saw little choice but to acquiesce to the appoinment of Kato Takaaki, head of the majority Kensaikai, as prime minister. Kato presides over the routinization of party government
  • Japanese Exclusion Act

    USA does not allow Japanese immigration into the US
  • new Japanese govt elected

    see 1925
  • Universal adult suffrage

    After the election of 1924 the new governmentt passed an electoral law in 1925 creating univerasal adult male suffrage for those over 25 years old, increasing the electorate from 3 million to more than 12 million, although this was not exercised until the elections of 1928. There was still concern in Japanm as in the West, about the spread of "bolshevism," in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the activities of the Communist International.
  • Peace Preservation Law

    The governent was alarmed by the Japanese Communist party, so while broadening the electorate, it also passed a Peace Preservation Law, which included strong "anti-aubversive" measures
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    Wakatsuki Reijiro: financial crisis

    during the financial crisis
  • only less than 6% of adult males allowed to vote

  • Assassination of Zhang Zuolin

    Anti-Japanese protests in Manchuria and China continue, and Japanese officers in Manchuria assassinate a Chinese Warlord, Zhang Zuolin, hoping to use his son as a more obliging puppet.
  • ruling in Manchuria

    Japanese General Stagg occupies position directly under emperor, and its officerse in the field act independently, reflected in Great Depression.
  • US stock market crash

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    Population was generally happy, westernization seeded in Japan and growing gradually.Politically speaking, there was liberation, moving from Genro and oligarchies to political parties—democratizedJapan is on track to becoming an imperial power: colonization of Korean and turning her into province of Japan, then moving into ManchuriaSpreading their influence and taking their resourcesJapan still playing the part as a responsible world powerHowever within the next ten years within 1930, Japan
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    Reached Japan in 1930 and severely damaged economy
    Exports dropped by half, real wages fell steeply, unemployment soared, massive individual suffering.
    Govt blamed unreasonably.
    Renewal of support for the military, considerable admiration for German and Italian fascism,which had come to power under similar circumstances of eceonomic disaster.
  • London Naval Conference

    Impact on Japan: rejected and ended participation in the Washington Naval TreatyRatio of Naval of forces as unfairRacial inequality
  • Bomb explosion north of Shenyang

    A bomb exploded on the JApanese railway north of Mukden (Shenyang). It seems clearly to have been a Japanese plot to provoke an incident; the commanding officer on the spot had told the General Staff that was his intention, and there was no objection. in any case, the entire Japanese army in Manchuria launched a full-scale attack on Chinese troops. Still civilian cainet in Tokyo tries fruitlessly to stop the army.

    : Bomb exploded on the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railway near Mukden that nightA train containing Japanese and other passengers still managed to pass due to bad timing. (Pretended that it was blown up to increase the blame?)
  • Manchuria under Henry Pu-Yi

    Machuria taken over and proclaimed an independent state, niminally under Henry Pu-yi, the pretender to the Qing throne who as a small boy had become the last emperor when the empress dowager Cixi died in 1908. Pu-yi was never more than a Japanese puppet, but his new "kingdom" was called Manchukuo (country of the Manchus) and his role was designed to give some sort of legitimacy to the Japanes takeover.
    League of Nations severe ties with Japan
    Japanese troops occupy large parts of Inner Mongolia
  • Lytton Commission

    led by 2nd Earl of LyttonJapan forced out of the LoN as a result of the Mukden IncidentVote: 42 (League) : 1 (Japan) and 1 absentee (Siam)Matsuoka Yosuke and his delegates walked outJapan was able to reject condemnation of the League which led to other treatiesJapan-ManchukuoTanggu TruceHe-Umezu and Doihara-Qin AgreementRise of Japan’s Military PowerRise of Japan EmpireDependence on Military PowerDemise of Party Government (no longer exerted control over domestic situation) led to mil
  • Discipline and Unity reestablished in the Japanese army

    under principal leadership of General Tojo, who later led Japan into World War II.
    Those accused of leftism or"liberalism" were persecuted, jailed or executed. The nominally civilian govt, though with a cabinet now dominated by military men, increased measures for the control of "dangerous thoughts" and continued to raise the military budget
    At the end of 1936 Japan signed an Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany, aimed of course at Russia but giving the Japanese a further link European fascism
  • Japan Elections: pro-democracy wins

    Courageous memebers of the Diet periodically poke against the army's interference in governemnt and against the "forward policy: in China, and in the elections of 1936 a "prodemocracy" group won the largest bloc of seats, and various opposition groups collectively dominated the Diet. Unfortunately the Diet no longer controlled foreign policy.
  • Nanking Massacre

    Nanking was the capital of China but didn’t have a strong defenceHypothetical: Japanese wanted to teach Chinese a lesson for the defeat at ShanghaiAfter this the whole situation became a stalemate and things calmed downCKS had no resources to take the city back, while Japan didn’t bother furthering their conquests.
  • Battle of Shanghai

    CKS wanted to prove to the world that China wasn’t a pushover. He had a showdown with the Japanese, who resolved to invade the whole of China in 3 months, but failed to take Shanghai done after 3 months
  • Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Boxer Rebellion

    It wasn’t the intention of both parties to go to warBoth China and Japan’s _______ were friends, but it is suspected that Chinese communistsJapan was thinking of a way to pull out of China because they wanted to focus their military efforts on Russia and fighting China would bog them down because China is a huge country, and fighting would not reap any economic benefits.Boxer rebellion:Communists were sick of influx of foreigners and started wreaking havoc and burning up property.
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    WWII; Japan's defeat

    The ruling party in the Diet now appointed as prime minister a navy admiral; he was followed in 1934 by by another admiral, and cicilian control over the military was irretruevably lost until Japan's defeat in 1945. The mood of internationalism went into eclipse, and most Japanese began to close ranks behind the military, who were to lead them into what the JApanese now call "the dark valley", which ended at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Nomonhan Incident

    Not very well-known, but strongly significantFought in Nomonhan, Inner Mongolia (China)Japan lost, developed a phobia of fighting USSRRussians always wanted Port Arthur because it was the only Port that doesn’t freeze during winter
  • Hitler signs non-aggression pact with Soviet Union

    In August 1939 Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, thus freeing German to attack westward (though he was later to invade Russia as well).This was a heavy blow to the Japanese, who had counted on the Germans to help contain Russian power. Even before the pact, during summer of 1939 to September, Japanese troops had probed further into Mongolia and became involved in a major though undeclared war with several Soviet/ Mongol divisions.
  • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Germany and USSR)

    Germany and USSR hated each other but decided to split Poland up half-half between each other, so they signed the pact.Japan hated USSR as well because the only thing separating Germany and Japan was USSR
  • Germany invades Poland (start of WWI)

  • USSR invades Poland

  • Nazi victories in Europe during Spring

    made a German conection seem even more valuable to Japan, especially since the Americans were growing increasingly concerned about Japanese actions in China and unwilling to accept any of the Japanese claims.
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    The Dark Years

  • Germany invades Scandivanian countries

  • Germany invades Belgium, Netherland & France

  • France surrenders; only Britain is left


    Germany spent a quality 3 years in China trying to build up their industry/ forces(Japan and China are not friends, Germany is friends with both China and Japan, Japan told Germany not to be friends with ChinaJapan was very different from Italy and Germany, but what she perceived as the right decision was to sign the treaty in order to expand her power, but in doing so she signed herself up as the world’s enemy
  • USA moves pacific fleet form San Diego to Pearl Harbour

    to discourage Japan from moving eastwards
  • Japanese signs Neutrality Pact with USSR

    the Japanese negotiated a pact of newtrality with the Soveit Union; Russia feared a Nazi invasion and was willing to trade stabilisation in the East for a stronger defense in the West.
    Japan manged to neutralise its most feared opponent, Russia, and to link up with a conquering Germany, which many Japanese thought represented the wave of the future for the West. Only British and United States were obstacles to the plans.
  • Pearl Harbour attack

    Germany turned against Soviet Union: Operation BarbarossaIf Japan had attacked USSR, they would’ve been helping USA because USA was anti-communist, but they stayed out of it, so USA decided to cut off sanctions to Japan, hence Pearl Harbour attack.
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    Japan went on to more SEA victories. The Allied forces were retreating as the Japanese invaded more land, and the Japanese ventured as far as the Indian Ocean, where they sunk a British aircraft carrier.By early 1942 the Japanese were near Australia and conducted air raids on the city of Darwin.Pacific War battles mainly took place in the Pacific Ocean, so Naval and Air Force superiority was extremely importantAtlantic separates Europe from Asia: European theatre of war vs. Pacific
  • Battle of the Coral Seas

    USA tries to stop Japanese advances to Australia. Australia didn’t have a good military because it wasn’t a militarized zone.America and Japan sink one aircraft carrier each.First time Allies manage to put off an attack, not a victory, but like a stalling.
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    Battle of Midway -- TURNING POINT IN WAR

    Carelessness in planning and sheer bad luck led to Japanese’s defeat. From 1942 onwards Japanese were on the defensive, and had no more resources to build up another attack.The Japanese had the best air force in the world, flew the Mitsubishi zero fighters, which were the most advanced propeller planes.Americans knew what the Japanese were up to because they’d broken the code (Magic?) The aircraft carriers were sunk because the battleships didn’t move fast enough.Japanese didn’t discover the
  • Cairo Conference

    *Cairo declaration—allies to wage war against Japan till her unconditional surrenderAllies are not to give up until the Japanese surrenderChiang Kai Shek, Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt.
  • Teheran Conference

    talking about war situation in Europe
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    US Occupation of Japan

  • Yalta Conference

    Germany is on the verge of surrenderDiscussion on how they will organize Europe immediately after Germany’s surrenderRussia gains power. Russian Army defeats German army and starts flooding Eastern Europe. There are 3 times as many Russian soldiers as European soldiers*Roosevelt got Stalin to agree that after 3 months of Germany’s surrender USSR has to wage war on Japan
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    British controlled large divisions of Indian soldiers and brought them over to fight Japanese in Singapore. Japanese managed to recruit Indian patriots who were against British colonization, and convinced them to form the Indian National Army to fight the British, then exploited them to invade Myanmar.By now Germany was on the verge of surrender and America had an Island-Hopping strategy. The Japanese still dreamed of a huge battle so they build a mega battleship Yamato, hoping to get the USA t
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    Major counter attack in China

    China able to get back large amounts of territory
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    Chinese Civil War

    Mao Zedong vs. Chiang Kai Shek
  • Burma liberated

  • Battle of Okinawa

    Part of Ryokyu islands*Allies get closer to JapanHigh casualty rate of Japanese due to fanatic resistance. Brainwashed of America’s evil doings, so civilians committed suicide when faced by the Americans. Miscommunication led to suicide.Plan to attack Kyushu: Biggest southern island just after Honshu (Hokkaido is the smallest of the 3 main islands)
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    Potsdam Conference

    Potsdam Declaration (Ultimatum to Surrender)America has invented the atomic bomb. Britain knows but USSR doesn’tUSSR has spies in America who find out about the atomic bombAnd towards the end of the conference, America tells USSR but USSR already knows, and quite unhappy
  • Little Boy bombs Hiroshima

    Russia invades JapanJapan’s conditional surrender proposal:Japan to preserve KokutaiImperial headquarters in charge of demilitarizing armyAllied forces cannot occupy Japanese home islands, Korea orOnly Japanese government has the right to prosecute their own war prisonersAllies don’t agree, they want unconditional surrender, so they bomb Nagasaki
  • Fat Man bombs Nagasaki

    together with hiroshima: 20000 casualties
  • Japan's unconditional surrender

  • Start of female suffrage in Japan

    Although there was no female sufffrage until 1947 under the American occupatino after the Pacific War, and less than 6% of the adult males could vote until the electino of 1928, this was a considerable change from the first Japanese constitution in 1889 whe only about 1% were enfranchised
  • Korean War starts

    so Japan was rearmed againLaw was passed authorizing the creation of National Police Reserve, which was 75 000-men strong, armed with American weaponsMacArthur dismissed, someone else took over and planned to guide Japan towards independence
  • Taiwan's economy grows

    due to Japanese foundations in irrigatino, fertilizer, rail and road systems, power supplies, coal mines, education, and industry.
    In Manchuria, the Japanese build the largest single industrial complex in Asia, centered on heavy manufacturing, a dense rail net, and a highly productive commercialised agriculture generating large surpluses of wheat and soybeans for export to Japan and to world markets through the port of Dairen.
  • Japan signs San Francisco Peace Treaty

    Official peace treaty to end the war (technically, the war was still going on from 1945 to 1951)US-Japan Security TreatyTreaty that allowed indefinite stationing of American troops in Japan
    turned Japan into a highly pro-Western, closely aligned with American policy“subordinate independence”: Japan as a free nation, but militarily dependent on AmericaAmerican troops are still in Japan today maintaining the Pacific fleet, so that they can mobilize immediately to settle disputes in Asia