The Reasons Why Japan Embarked on an Aggressive, Militaristic Foreign Policy and Assess the Extent to Which This Was Successful in the First Half of the 20th Century.

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The Meiji Restoration was a great change to Japan. It bought an end to isolation an introduced them to westernisation with the industrial revolution. It was the end of feudalism and the beginning of a new government system known as “the diet” which was modelled around a German government system. Japans rapid rate of westernisation influenced them to want more and more power particularly after adopting the slogan “rich country, strong military”.

Japan had built itself up so well as a country that it was able to defeat both China and Russia in two successful wars, Sino-Japanese war (1894-95) and the Russo-Japanese war (1904-05) and annexing Korea in 1910. These successes boosted Japans reputation on the world stage. Japan had quickly gained a power which it had never had before. It was new to them. Since the Sino-Japanese war, Japan had proven to China that they could not be defeated and China was becoming weaker and weaker due to the Japanese. Japan took even greater advantage of China during the Great Depression. The Great Depression convinced many Japanese to protect their “special interests” in China at all cost. As a result the Japanese military provoked and incident in China allowing them to create a full-scale invasion of Manchuria, renaming it Manchukuo. The military re-installed the former Emperor of China, Pu-yi, as the first ruler. Pu-yi was known as a “puppet ruler” as the military had complete control over each decision he made, meaning that they were able to do what they liked with the area. The people of Manchukuo were not completely appose it as they had a Manchurian leading them, the military did not appear to be involved. The militaries bullying tactics of taking over China are similar to those of the Americans when they came to Japan, under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry, practically demanding Japan to go ahead with what President Fillmore wanted of them.

The next stream of events that proved success for Japan was World War 2. Japan...
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