Japanese Imperialism During World War II

1415 WordsApr 21, 20156 Pages
Japanese imperialism had taken flight and hoped to expand its influence and control over various parts of Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, over the course of a decade, Japan only taunted the world with their idea of self-sustainment and colonial expansion. The underlying principle to their failure was the theory of Imperial overstretch, as Hook explains, “a pattern in which great powers have consistently expanded their foreign commitments beyond their ability to remain economically solvent and militarily secure” (Hook 2014, 12). Throughout my analysis of the U.S.’s responses to Japanese actions prior to the U.S.’s involvement in World War two, we see Japan try to expand their empire in Southeast Asia, but sequentially results in failure. There are various theories that help explain the U.S. actions taken in response to Japan. These theories help explain the factors that lead Japan to imperial overstretch. By 1931, Japanese-U.S. relations had spoiled. Japan’s strategy of colonial expansion echoed with the European paradigm, ultimately ending with the catastrophe of the Second World War. The Japanese invasion of Manchuria in late 1931 placed U.S. secretary of State Henry M. Stimson in a difficult position. It was clear that the Kellogg-Briand Pact had no impact on either the Chinese or the Japanese, and President Herbert Hoover did not primarily agree with his proposals. The Japanese had a huge investment in Manchuria and they relied heavily on U.S. exports for the necessary
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