Japan’s road to militarism commenced immediately after the topple of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration during 1868, as well as the Meiji oligarch’s embracing of a policy of fukoku kyohei. Even though,the Meiji oligarchs confirmed restraint in on-look expressions of militarism and imperialism in the early period of the Meiji era from 1868 to 1890, this does not show they disapproved the goals of foreign growth and military development. They initially paid attention to modernization and financial development to get along with Western industrial powers before they advance towards taking vital measures to expand Japan’s impact in foreign matters. The oligarch’s take on Saigo’ Takamori’s advice to attack Korea in 1873 depicts this philosophy. Even though, the Meiji oligarch did not oppose principally with Saigo’s suggestion, they carefully decided against the attack because of its extreme expense. They also considered the need to major on economic modernization, and the anticipated negative response from Western powers. The Meiji’s initial inclination toward militarism and imperialism is despicable by the Conscription Law of 1878, which necessitated male to active roles in the military for at least three years and reserve role for extra four years, and by various territorial possessions in the 1870s, for instance he Ryukyu Islands, and Kurile Islands (Serfati, 2003).
Early Meiji authority regarded Japan as intimidated by western imperialism, and among the major motivations for the Fukoku Kyohei ruling was to enhance Japan’s financial and industrial bases, so that powerful military could be put up to guard Japan against outside threats.
Domestic concerns within premature Meiji Japan also necessitated for a power...
ful military. The premature Meiji authority exposed to internal uprising, for instance the Saga Rebellion and Satsuma Rebellion, and various upcountry peasant revolts.
Japanese militarism and imperialism gradually advanced for five main reasons. Even though, all five reasons were present from the initial stages of the Meiji era to the start of war in China in 1937, the corresponding significance of these reasons varied owing the time (Serfati, 2003). The top two reasons, Japan’s aspiration to be a Western-style imperialist authority and Japan’s worry for its security and protection, took on important duties in development of militarism until the end of the Russo-Japanese conflict 1905. The subsequent two reasons, Japan’s string faith in its leadership position for Asia and Japan’s recurrent provocations by Western powers, resulted in a growth of militarism and imperialism from 1905 up to 1930s. The last reason, Japan’s wish to safeguard its economic interests, enhanced in significance as Japan encountered the decade of the 1930s (Serfati, “Militarism and imperialism in the 21st century”).
Western imperialism acted a big role in an essential part in Japan’s hostility towards foreign nations. In some instances, Japan pursued the examples of the Western imperialist countries, and in other instances, Japan required frustrating or protecting against the activities of Western authorities. The inflexible and provocative acts of the imperialist Western countries toward Japan offered a good environment for Japan’s proceed toward militarism and imperialism, which eventually led to World War II (Serfati, “Militarism and imperialism in the 21st century”).
Aspiration for Imperialism
The Meiji authorities wanted to mak
a first-rate country, which encompassed the prestige and power linked with foreign defensive possessions. In the 19th century, the Western authorities of Britain, Germany, America, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, as well as Italy were involved in various territorial possessions, occasionally through military ways. Having knowledge of the long history of Western imperialism, which commenced during the 16th century, the Meiji oligarchs yearned to join the Western authorities in claims for rights and civil liberties in other Asian nations. On the other hand, the oligarchs recognized that the nation ought to modernize and reinforce its military before it tried to assert its quest to the Western authorities (Kelly, “Causes of Cold War”).
Although Japan had been reinforcing its military for many years, Japanese authorities recognized in 1895 that the nation still had not attained the same rank as the imperialist Western authorities. Even though, Japan triumph in the Sino-Japanese War during 1894-95 and consequently got hold of Formosa and obligated China to settle a huge indemnity, Japan could not face other Western authorities when Russia, Germany, and France obligated Japan in the Triple Intervention to surrender the Liaotung Peninsula acquired in the conflict. This exposed Japan to a sharp increase in military spending between 1895 and 1904.
Owing to Japan’s overreliance of external trade, the global depression that commenced in 1929 led to great economic difficulties for the Japanese citizens. This great global depression emerged on the soon after the devastating Kanto earthquake in 1923 and financial stagnation in the 1920s, which targeted affected farmers and laborers in small shops. During the 1930s, financial purposes for Japan’s imperialism got strong in order to guarantee continued external trade (Kelly, “Causes of Cold War”).
Financial growth necessitated high value export markets for Japanese textiles and various commodities. Various Asian nations, specifically China, offered the most excellent market opportunities for Japanese export commodities, therefore, the Japanese authority required to make sure that this trade interference by their acquisition of commercial and transportation rights in China. Japan’s financial system also needed import of raw materials to gather for its manufacturing factories.
Manchuria’s vast land area and enough natural resources for instance iron and coal offered an instance solution to Japan’s overpopulation concerns and its desire for raw materials to supply its huge industries, which specialized on military equipmnt manufacture. Japan captured Manchuria in 1931 in search for raw materials. Japan then advanced into various in south Asia to guarantee enough raw materials to sustain its self-sufficiency. For instance, Japan required oil from Dutch East Indies to sustain its industry and military supplies.
Japan’s road to imperialism was inevitable. Japanese recognized they would attain an advantageous level to renegotiate the trade agreements, and be less probable to face impositions, if they take on western ways. This is for instance, imperialism, industrialization, militarization, as well as modernization. Japan underwent various changes to cope with the Western powers.
In Meiji restoration, Shogun was obligated to surrender power and officially handed to the Emperor Mutsuhito. His time in power finally called “Meiji.” After Japan was westernized, it quickly started to work on drafting a constitution. It
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