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Japanese Nationalism and Imperialism
Transcript of Japanese Nationalism and Imperialism
in World War II
It was believed that the Meiji period Japan was planned to develop nationalist ideology comprising a merger of inherent and western political philosophies. Among the Japanese, this was essentially developed by the Meiji government to uphold national unit among the Japanese, to defend the nation against colonization, and to attain equality with the powerful Western nations.
The Meiji government was determined to spare their country from suffering the same fate as its neighboring countries. To inculcate nationalism in the minds of the people, The Meiji Era tried to develop extreme commitment and support from their people for their expansionist foreign policy. Thus, the growth of Japan as a powerful competitor of the European powers in the age of territorial expansion.
The Rising Sun Flag was originally used by feudal war lords in Japan during the Edo period. On May 15, 1870, as a policy of the Meiji Restoration, it was adopted as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army, and on October 7, 1889, it was adopted as the naval ensign/war flag of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It is still used in Japan as a symbol of tradition and good fortune, and is incorporated into commercial products and advertisements. It is currently flown by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and a modified version is flown by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. It is viewed as a symbol associated with Japanese imperialism in the early 20th century in South Korea, China, and by some veterans in the United States due to its use by Japan's military forces during that period.
Meiji Constitution Promulgation
(woodblock print by T. Chikanobu)
The Meiji period, also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 8, 1868 through July 30, 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan during which Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudal society to its modern form. Fundamental changes affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations.
Factors that Led to Japanese Imperialism
The Great Depression of 1929
Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, age 32, a mother of seven children, in Nipomo, California, March 1936
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the 1930s. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century.
Worldwide GDP fell by 15% from 1929 to 1932. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline. The depression originated in the United States, after the fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).
The Great Depression had devastating effects in countries rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%.
Largely dependent on foreign markets Japan suffered severely with the depression. It hindered Japan's economic growth. The Japanese Empire's main problem, then, wasthat rapid industrial expansion had turned the country into a major manufacturing and industrial power that required raw materials. However, these could only be obtained overseas because the country lacked the natural resources that it needed.
In the 1920s-1930s, Japan imported raw materials such as iron, rubber, and oil. However, these materials came from the Untied States. To continue with their growth, the Japanese felt that aquiring resource-rich territories would establish economic self-sufficiency and independence. They hoped to jump-start the nation's economy in the midst of the depression. As a result, Japan set its sights on East Asia
A Japanese woman and her child during the Great Depression.
During the Great Depression no countries were looking to spend on luxuries. This led for Japan's economy to suffer and from 1929 to 1931, Japanese exports dropped by 50%. Over three million Japanese people were unemployed. Since there were no good harvests for citizens, it led to begging and starvation. This was only from a 8% shrink in the Japanese economy
Widespread Belief in Facism
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. Influenced by national syndicalism, fascism originated in Italy during World War I, combining more typically right-wing positions with elements of left-wing politics, in opposition to liberalism, Marxism, and traditional conservatism. Although fascism is often placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum, several academics have said that the description is inadequate.
Fascists have identified World War I as having been a revolution that brought revolutionary changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology, as the advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant whereby a "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved to the military in some manner during the war
International impact of the Great Depression and the buildup to World War II
The conditions of economic hardship caused by the Great Depression brought about an international surge of social unrest. According to historian Philip Morgan, "the onset of the Great Depression...was the greatest stimulus yet to the diffusion and expansion of fascism outside Italy".
Benito Mussolini (left) and
Adolf Hitler (right).
Influences of European Fascism in Japan
During the 1920s and 1930s, Japan received the visits by members of European fascist parties, and there were small German and Italian communities in Tokyo and other parts in Japanese empire. Germany even began to call for an alliance with Japan, which would further Germanys strategic control of Eurasia, with the naval power of Japan protecting Germany's insular position.
The influence of German ideology in terms of Lebensraum (territory believed to be necessary for national existence or economic self-sufficiency) can be seen in the works of some of the greatest political minds Japan had to offer in the 1920s. Some ideologists, such as Kingoro Hashimoto, borrowed concepts of social justice mixed in with militarism, in proposing a single party dictatorship, based on the European fascist movements.
Japanese political theorists also added European fascist elements to conform their movement to one similar to European style dictatorships, where there exists one leader very similar to the Führer (Hitler in Germany) or Il Duce (Mussolini in Italy). A dictatorship centralizes all political and military power to a single leader and allows the nation to conduct an "inner ideological revolution" against traditionalists and political holdouts.
These geopolitical ideals were then developed into the Amau Doctrine
(a 1934 Asian Monroe Doctrine), stating that Japan assumed total responsibility for peace in Asia. The doctrine was first put into action when the document was used to justify Japanese expansion into northern China (also known as Manchuria) as the creation of "a special zone, anti-communist, pro-Japanese and pro-Manchukuo" that was a "fundamental part" of Japanese national existence.
* To be discussed further
Japanese invasion of Manchuria
The Japanese invasion of Manchuria began on September 19, 1931, when the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria immediately following the Mukden Incident. The Japanese established a puppet state called Manchukuo, and their occupation lasted until the end of World War II.
Japanese troops marching into Mukden on September 18, 1931
Date 18 September 1931 – 27 February 1932 (5 months, 1 week and 1 day)
Location Manchuria, Republic of China
Result: Japanese victory
The Chinese-Japanese dispute in July 1931 (the Wanpaoshan Incident) was followed by the Mukden Incident, on September 18, 1931. The same day as the Mukden Incident, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, which had decided upon a policy of localizing the incident, communicated its decision to the Kwantung Army command. In violation of orders from Tokyo, Kwantung Army commander in chief General Shigeru Honjō ordered his forces to proceed to expand operations all along the South Manchurian Railway. Under orders from Lieutenant General Jirō Tamon, troops of the 2nd Division moved up the rail line and captured virtually every city along its 730 mile length in a matter of days, occupying Anshan, Haicheng, Kaiyuan, Tiehling, Fushun, Szeping-chieh, Changchun, Kuanchengtzu, Yingkou, Antung, and Penhsihu.
Resistance to the Japanese invasion
Using the repair of the Nen River Bridge as the pretext, the Japanese sent a repair party in early November under the protection of Japanese troops. Fighting erupted between the Japanese forces and troops loyal to the acting governor of Heilongjiang province Muslim General Ma Zhanshan, who chose to disobey the Kuomintang government's ban on further resistance to the Japanese invasion.
Despite his failure to hold the bridge, General Ma Zhanshan became a national hero in China for his resistance at Nenjiang Bridge, which was widely reported in the Chinese and international press. The publicity inspired more volunteers to enlist in the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies.
Occupation of northern Manchuria
With southern Manchuria secure, the Japanese turned north to complete the occupation of Manchuria. As negotiations with Generals Ma Zanshan and Ting Chao to defect to the pro-Japanese side had failed, in early January Colonel Kenji Doihara requested collaborationist General Qia Xi to advance his forces and take Harbin.
The last major Chinese regular force in northern Manchuria was led by General Ting Chao who organized the defense of Harbin successfully against General Xi until the arrival of the IJA 2nd Division under General Jirō Tamon. Japanese forces took Harbin on February 4, 1932.
By the end of February Ma had sought terms and joined the newly formed Manchukuo government as governor of Heilongjiang province and Minister of War.
The Monroe Doctrine
The Monroe Doctrine was a US foreign policy regarding Latin American countries in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention.
President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The term "Monroe Doctrine" itself was coined in 1850.
The Japanese Monroe Doctrine
THE political principle expressed in the phrase "a Japanese Monroe Doctrine" has been used more and more frequently by the Japanese to interpret and to justify their policy in the Far East. Occasionally other terms are employed to express much the same idea, such as "paramount interest," "special interest," "Asia for the Asiatics," "Japanese leadership," and "the right to live." Whatever the name, a fundamental doctrine or policy has developed, and it constitutes a major factor in the affairs of Eastern Asia; it goes far to explain Japan's specific actions in China as well as her general attitude toward the Powers in matters concerning the Far East.
Secretary of State John
, author of the Monroe Doctrine
The Japanese Government has made official announcement of this Japanese Monroe Doctrine. "Japan is responsible for the maintenance of peace and order in the Far East," is the statement of the Japanese delegation in its report of February 21 to the Assembly of the League of Nations. Count Uchida, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, in his address to the Imperial Diet on January 21, referred to Article XXI of the League Covenant, which recognizes the validity of the Monroe Doctrine under the designation of a regional understanding, and said: "The League of Nations Covenant very wisely provides that regional understandings shall be respected. In this sense, our Government believes that any plan for erecting an edifice of peace in the Far East should be based upon the recognition that the constructive force of Japan is the mainstay of tranquillity in this part of the world." Although this phraseology is vague and diplomatic, the intent of the Japanese Government to claim the rights of a Monroe Doctrine for the Far East is perfectly clear. Viscount Ishii, when acting as the special ambassador of Japan at Washington in 1917, spoke of a Monroe Doctrine for Asia and asked Secretary Lansing to recognize that Japan had a "paramount interest" in China. In his recently published Memoirs, this distinguished Japanese statesman writes: "From our point of view, Japan possesses interests superior to other Powers in China as a whole, especially in the contiguous regions, much as the position of your country in the Western Hemisphere, especially in Mexico and Central American countries."
A caricature representing the Japanese Monroe Doctrine, also known as the amau doctrine which stated that Japan assumes total responsibility for peace in Asia.