The Japanese Informal Rule Over China Between The First And Second Sino Japanese Wars

1438 WordsJan 11, 20166 Pages
The high degree of importance of an informal empire to the well-being of the formal one is not always as apparent as people initially think. Informal empires can be compared to an iceberg, which is larger under the water level and therefore the actual base without which the whole iceberg would go down (Duus et al., 1989). The case of the Japanese informal rule over China between the First and Second Sino-Japanese Wars is an example of how this type of rule was immensely beneficial to the expansion of the Japanese empire itself. There are three main things that Japan and the colonies of Japan profited from: economically important trade and investment on Chinese soil, having great political influence on the Chinese government in order to…show more content…
With the creation of the informal empire the Japanese started exporting tons of goods for China’s vast population and importing raw materials and resources which were valuable for the Japanese Empire and its expansion. They also gained rights over the Manchuria Railways and different cotton mills. Japan benefitted more from the trade in China that the other foreigners there because of the proximity of the two so the “shipping costs were lower for Japanese manufacturers than for goods shipped from the West” (Duus et al., 1989, p.xiii). At first, maintaining an informal empire was seen as a better alternative than annexing China, in order for Japan to avoid paying the high cost of annexation and maintenance and incurring the wrath of the anti-Japanese patriots. Because China and Japan had cultural similarities it was easier for the Chinese to accept the Japanese presence in their country: “it may well be that this greater familiarity with Chinese culture gave advantages to Japanese enterprises that the Western firms did not enjoy” (Duus et al., 1989, p.9). As the instability had weakened the Chinese government, in 1915 Japan saw that as the perfect opportunity to impose further demands (The Twenty-One Demands), even though they did not gain much of it and ruined their relationships with the British and the Americans. Therefore, the Japanese became more and more dependent on China and eventually the Japanese grew
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