Japan has emerged as one of the economic and political powers globally. This has been quite a remarkable success in todays modern history. Its rise to success can be attributed to its long history of innovation and impactful political revolutions of its time. The period between 1868 -1945 was the most rapid transformation time in the country's history. It underwent a series of events that depict the todays current Japan. Transformations internally led to an overhaul of economical, economical and socially (Meyer, 2009). Due to the factors Japan changed to be among the most powerful nations in the world. It was the weakest nation that progressed over the years to become a world power by the end of the 19th century
The quest was like a long journey of many negative happenings of what made the todays Japan. During this time Japan began a conquest that had with no doubt disastrous repercussions for most of the Southeast and East Asia with Japan included as well. This essay will touch on all aspects of developments that made Japan to reach this far (Meyer, 2009). This includes political, social and economic issues that saw the country prosper to become a free sovereign state after years of struggle and bloodshed that its people devoted for the redemption of its people. A serious consequence of wars and revolutions are very much alive in the minds of its people and it is seen in the permanent scars on the bodies.
Politically, Japan began new ways of leadership systems in the early 1860’s. The period of feudalism way of leadership ended and its political arena was transformed in the Mejji period. Democracy was now more embraced than before and all aspects of good governance were implemented as the country prepared to take the rest of the world in a competitive approach (Meyer, 2009). Prior to this democracy was problematic as the country had a powerful military that was not fully independent and was controlled by external forces in the country. Its involvement in the world world war had serious implication and caused fatal deaths in the country. The two atomic bombs and the soviet invasion in 1945 forced the country to surrender. Occupation of the U.S in the country after the end of the war saw them control most of its resources economically. It stagnated during this period until it regained its independence. Although this period took a long time it shaped the focus of the country.
The economy of Japan was greatly accelerated by its natural resources and minerals. Exploration of oil has been the greatest boost to its economy (Meyer, 2009). Good governance policies that were implemented led to the realization of most of these economic advancements. Availability of jobs to most of its citizens led to their contributions in economic developments. The spirit of ones and hard work of its people is greatly attributed to the countries pas events and occurrences.
Social developments are part and parcel of the realization of the country's dreams in development. Its diplomatic and maintenance of good coexistence relationship greatly impacted support from other countries that advocated for its independence after the world war (Meyer, 2009). After the discovery of mineral resources and oil led to exploitation and ready markets for the oil. This correlation provided a ready market for its resources which promoted trade globally. From the tribulations and long periods of war prepared Japan for its conquest in the world.
One of the revolutionary changes that came with the Meiji restoration was revolutionary changes that led to the growth of Japan’s militarism. This was achieved through modernization of the army and upgrading of its weapons system. Through the leadership of Yamagata, the strength of the military was divided into regular, reserves and national army. Several factors led to the rapid improvement of the military. One, the samurai tradition which inculcated the spirit of nationalism, this furthered the pursuit of military supremacy through the ingredient of loyalty. Second, is the increase in population and the mountainous terrain which is largely inhabited, this led to the need to look for new lands to settle the population. To conquer any new land, the Japanese had to be better and stronger militarily to overpower their perceived enemies. Lastly, is the need for raw materials and market for finished products. Japan under the Meiji era witnessed tremendous industrialization; the industries needed raw materials, which could not be supplied by the resource limited japan. Industrialization meant that production went high and surplus products were eminent. This meant that japan had to go beyond its borders to secure enough supply of materials to its industries and markets for the finished products. Japanese goods faced tough and market prohibitive laws in the America and some European colonies in Africa; therefore, Japan had no option but to establish its own colonies. This led to military improvement.
The Meiji restoration saw the successful revision of treaties signed with foreign powers. This largely affected the Japanese foreign policies. Anglo – Japanese alliance is one of the remarkable alliances in history. It is significant because it was the first alliance out of equal ground between Asian force and the European. This gave Japan a step ahead of China which was the main rival in the fight for supremacy in the Asian territory. The relationship led to the signing of a secret treaty with Russia, France, Britain and Italy in 1916-1917. The treaty recognized dominion of Japan over southern Manchuria and inner Mongolia. In this event, USA sympathized with China which further widened the relationship with USA. It is evident that japan enforced its policies with china and other foreign nations through military. After a series of wars, which Japan lost in some, they decided to change the approach in its foreign policy implementation. In 1927, Eastern regions conference was summoned by Tanaka, Japanese prime minister. It was agreed in the conference that, japan needed to conquer China by use of economic penetration. To japan, conquering china was like conquering the world. Japan furthered its push to establish control, which consequently made them take opposite sides with USA. The differences between the two reached the epitome, consequently an end, in 1945 through the atomic attack of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the USA.
Meyer, M. W. (2009). Japan: A concise history. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.