AEImperialJapan - Siddharth Kumaran 6th An Analytical...

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Siddharth Kumaran 6th An Analytical Examination: Imperial Japan Understanding causes: The rise of militarists 1. Why did militarism become so prominent in Imperial japan? Japanese militarism developed for a number of reasons. The Japanese march towards imperialism had begun after the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in 1938. However, the push towards militarism in Japan had begun as far back as the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. The overarching reason why militarism became so prominent in Imperial Japan was due to Western Imperialism. One specific reason militarism became so prominent in Imperial Japan was an aspiration for Western-style imperialism. Meiji leaders sought to make Japan as powerful and prestigious to that of foreign powers. Japan also wanted to expand it territory and IMPERIALIZE on other countries similar to what britain, Germany, and America had done. However, in order to do so Japan needed a stronger military. Therefore, the oligarchs wanted to make their military more modern. Japan rapidly began to increase its military expenditure between 1895 and 1904 after the Japanese had to give up the Liaotung Peninsula to the military powers of Germany, France, and Russia. Furthermore, the reason for militarism was due to safety concerns . The Japanese noticed the superior military and naval power of western countries. And in fear of being imperialized, the Japanese wanted to build a military as quickly as possible. More so, since China was very weak militarily in the 19th century, the Japanese feared that Western powers would march right through China and capture Japan. China served as a buffer state for the
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Siddharth Kumaran 6th Japanese. Another reason for militarism is the Japanese belief in Asian leadership roles. Many 19th century Japanese writers such as Fukuzawa Yukichi wrote that it was Japanese “manifest destiny” to free countries that have been imperialized by the west. In order to do so, the Japanese need to grow their military. Japanese first demonstration of a strong military was during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. This encouraging win, pushed the Japanese now had a chance against the Western powers. Also, the provocation by Western powers influenced the Japanese to push for militarism. From the 1850s to the 1930s, Japan had signed a number of unfair treaties simply because Western Powers had more military strength than them. Such examples include the 1921 Washington Conference naval treaties and the London Naval Conference Treaty of 1930. All of these treaties restricted the power of Japan because Japan could not fight back. Furthermore, many countries declined racial equality for the Japanese. The League of Nations refuse to add the racial equality phrase for the Japanese in 1919 and the Americans passed the Japanese Exclusion Act in 1924. As a result, the Japanese wanted to grow their military to assert their dominance. Finally, the Japanese needed resources. The 1920s brought a huge recession for the
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