Second Sino-Japanese War

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The Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945, is widely considered to begin with the Marco Polo Bridge incident of July 1937 and end with the Japanese surrender in September 1945. I would argue that to understand the motives as to why Japan invaded China, it is essential to grasp their previous history of conflicts and tensions, beginning with the Japanese claim of Taiwan from China’s Qing Dynasty after the First Sino-Japanese war in 1895, right through to the invasion of Manchuria in 1931. This conflict between the two marked a culmination of near a half century of growing Japanese imperialist policies, aimed at the creation of a new order in East Asia through dominating Chinese politics and militaristically in order to exploit their natural resources. …show more content…
The annexation and absorption of Taiwan into the Japanese Empire in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki, I would argue, were the first steps in implementing the Japanese “Southern Expansion Doctrine”. As the Japanese’s first external colony much effort went into creating Taiwan into a model economic, political and social state, while also being a strategic staging post for the Japanese penetration of Chinese markets. The loss of Taiwan became a rallying point for the Chinese Nationalists in later years. The capture of Taiwan is significant to understanding the Japanese mentality; racial superiority was preached based on the nature of Yamato-Damashii, stating that Taiwanese civilians, as well as Koreans, were similar enough to the Japanese for them to be absorbed into Japanese society. The beginning of Pan-Asianism. Shortly after this, in 1905, Japan sought the rights to control the Liaotung Peninsula and the South Manchurian railway, allowing a foothold for the Japanese on the continent for the exploitation of labor and raw materials. Japan also replaced the Russian authority in Manchuria as an outcome of the Russo-Japanese war. The Japanese presence in Manchuria would expand considerably over the next thirty …show more content…
Fear mongering lasted six weeks with the estimate of over 300,000 murdered. After the elimination of prisoners of war, the Japanese turned their attention to women. Women held little to no hope if they were captured by the Japanese for death immediately followed once they had been raped, as seen in source 1. It is interesting to note that the Japanese government, and some war veterans, still deny that the massacre took place, stapling it to Japanese nationalism. As the Japanese had now taken the capital, Chiang relocated the government’s heart

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