Essay on Why Did Japan Turn to Militarism?

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- Why did Japan turn to militarism and drift away from democracy in the 1930s and the 1940s? How did US occupation authorities seek to prevent Japan from relapsing into the past system of military expansion? The root of Japan’s militarism started out from the developments of the Meiji era that was established by imperial restoration after Edo period. The idea of the Meiji Revolution, to boost morale and to extricate Japan from the idea of Tokugawa feudalism, had been carried over to turn Japan into militarism. In 1930s, a lot of external and internal influences such as Western Powers, Japan’s victories of war in Asia, economic depression and Japan’s oversea expansion with the successful Meiji modernization had caused the rise of…show more content…
(Benson, 77) Though worldwide economic depression incited the rise of Japan’s militarism, another factor that caused the militarism was that western threat to sign unequal treaties in the 1850s before the Restoration. (Pyle, 82) At the time of the West’s imperialism, Japan had lots of diplomatic disadvantages because of the West’s unequal treaties. These facts taught Japanese the realities of power politics that strong military force is necessary to strengthen the country and to enrich the colonial success. Therefore, Japan strongly advocated militarism and imperialism and practiced the West’s same imperialistic force to Asian countries such as China, Japan and Russia. Japan’s attempt to overthrow the world with German and Italy grew large and in 1941, Japan attacked United States’ territory. Japan’s aggressive actions and German and Italy’s rage led to World War II that global attention was on Pacific. Until the United State revenged back with much powerful military force on Japan’s mainland, it seemed to be that Japan’s power and military force is predominant. However, the United State not only incurred massacre of Japanese citizens but also destroyed every buildings, structures, military base, etc. It was the beginning of collapse of imperialism and militarism of Japan which eventually led to demilitarization and disarmament. At the same time, Japan’s colonies such as Korea were emancipated from
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