Japan and The Influence of Imperialism Essay

1006 Words5 Pages
Japan, an isolated island located in the Pacific Ocean in East Asia,

surprised the world when it first opened its doors to Western

influence in 1854. While it had a strict policy about maintaining its

isolation, it had no choice but to succumb to imperialism. When

Commodore Matthew Perry visited, Japan realized that isolation had

resulted in their inability to develop economically and militarily

with the industrialized world. Thus from 1854 to 1914, the Japanese

changed from being under the influence of imperialism to becoming an

imperialist nation, as well as coming out of feudalism and going to

into modern militarism. Despite all these changes in its economy and

military, Japan had managed to consolidate its
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Japan was able to build factories and set up

private organizations more rapidly because it did not need to

experiment with or invent anything new. By 1914, Japanese imperialism

had become a threat to the United States to the point that it had to

place an embargo in order to stop it from invading neighboring

countries such as Australia. The reason why Japan changed from being

threatened by Europeans and Americans to being as threatening as they

are is because they were motivated to become a powerful nation. Their

initial decision to open up trade with the West was prompted by their

desire to posses modern technology. Their motivation was caused by the

lack of resources, to earn its reputation as a strong nation and to

avoid to be manipulated by the West. The formation of the Greater East

Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere created an independent capable of

eliminating imperialism from Asia and to develop a sufficient economy

in order to compete with the Europeans. This is different from what

was occurring in another East Asian country, China. Although both

nations were exposed to imperialism and were taken advantage of by the

Western nations, Japan avoided victimization and embraced imperialism.

As Japan became an industrialized power, the traditional feudal

society was replaced by a period of enlightened rule and eventually by

military dictatorship. In
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