The Importance Of Japan And The Creation Of The Second World War

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Japan’s aggressive military state was one of the main perpetrators in the creation of the second World War, especially in the Pacific. However, it can be argued that Japan was not essentially responsible for becoming a military state during its emergence as a world power. First, Japan seems to be the main instigator in the Pacific ten years before the actual beginning of World War II. Second, the West may be held accountable for creating this industrialized beast. Nevertheless, Japan is still undeniably a major player in the war. After the United States had helped put Japan on the path to industrialization, Japan decided to imitate the Western powers which included involvement in imperializing other nations. Therefore, the creation of World …show more content…
Before 1852, Japan was a severe isolationist nation. Contact with the West was limited to trade with the Dutch in Nagasaki, and Western influences were strongly discouraged (Kingsberg, Harold). When Commodore Matthew Perry sailed to Edo Bay to “demand as a right, and not to solicit as a favor, those acts of courtesy which are due from one civilized country to another,” he demanded to speak to government representatives in 1853. He delivered a letter from President Millard Fillmore desiring trade and diplomatic relations. After the Japanese politely accepted, Perry left, and they took time to ponder the implications of resisting American technologies with samurai warriors. When Perry returned in 1854 with a large military squadron, the Shogun had no match for them. He showed his hosts American technologies like the steam train, printing press, and telegraph. The West dominated the Japanese and had obvious technological superiority, as well as benefits that could be derived from trade (Fredriksen, John). Perry’s actions and forceful signing of treaties made the Japanese feel unequal with a sudden realization of the negative consequences of isolation. This destroyed the Japanese morale that they had a strong country (Kingsberg, Harold). The Japanese signed the Treaty of Kanagawa, which insisted upon human treatment of castaways, creation of two trading ports for the United …show more content…
In 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Axis Powers Germany and Italy. Seeking to restrain aggression and force withdrawal of Japanese forces from China, the U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Japan, which caused them to seize the resources of Southeast Asian countries (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). In late July 1941, the United States “froze” Japanese assets and established an embargo on oil and gasoline exports to Japan. War was needed in order to expand the Pacific into a Japanese hub, and semi-isolationist America was a sleeping giant waiting to be provoked. War preparedness would soon be followed by a decision for war. In the meantime, diplomatic efforts were pushed to attempt possible avoidance of the war. However, Japan insisted that if the following needs were not met, war would come. First, Anglo-American forces must refuse to aid Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Guomindang regime both economically and militarily. Second, the Allied powers must refrain from establishing military bases in East Asia. Finally, the United States must provide Japan with necessary resources by restoring trade relations and offering “friendly cooperation.” Prime Minister Hideki Tojo privately expressed that the United States would insist on Japan withdrawing from Asia in order to have Open-Door policies, but this was unacceptable to the army based off of determined Japanese culture. In exchange for all of these unreasonable

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