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Modern History of Japan - Essay Example

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This paper describes the ideas of the right-wing radicals of the 1930s, answers why did party government come to an end, and what were the goals of the military cabinets, what is 2-26 and replies would it be fair to say that Japan became a fascist, totalitarian state in the era 1931-41…
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Modern History of Japan
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21 December 2007 Modern History of Japan Describe the ideas of the right-wing radicals of the 1930s.
The general idea held on by the right wing radicals is the advancement of the plight of the countryside. Advocating agrarianism, the right-wing activists of Japan are also “alarmed by the spread of ‘degenerative habits’ and ‘dangerous ideas’ in the cities like the hedonistic doctrine of individualism and divisive ideas of class struggle” (Tipton 115). The origin of right-wing activists is therefore geared into addressing the social and economic problems which is brought about by rapid industrialization. This group asserts that the solution of these problems is the retention and revival of Japan’s culture while it strongly opposes the “Europocentric view” of the modern world and the spread of Western culture and tradition.
(2) Why did party government come to an end, and what were the goals of the military cabinets?
The party government ended in 1932 with the murder of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi. It should be noted that very that the Japanese government has experienced violence from the military groups gaining the reputation that Japanese politics is “government by assassination.” Young military officers have assassinated two prime ministers, cabinet leaders, and entrepreneurs in their pursuit of bringing about change in the overall situation of Japan. The main idea of the violence propagated by young officers is that coup d’état can lead to a “martial situation in which higher military leaders would emerge to take charge of constructing a new society” (117). They believe that military officers will have the leading role in reconstruction recognizing the politicians are corrupt and lack understanding of the true plight of the Japanese citizens.
(3) What was 2-26?
The February 26 incident refers to the usurp of the government by young military officers which led to a nearly successful rebellion. This starts when these young military officials took over key Tokyo government officers and planned to assassinate key cabinet members, bureaucrats, and army leaders. They have waited for three days with the hope of Kohoda general coming forward to lead. However, this became unsuccessful after the emperor expressed his dismay at these soldiers seeing their action as a breach of army discipline.
(4) Would it be fair to say that Japan became a fascist, totalitarian state in the era 1931-41? Why or why not?
Yes, I believe that it would be fair to say that Japan became a fascist totalitarian state in the era of 1931-41. It should be noted that fascism can be used to refer to “extremist and nationalist movements with authoritarian and tightly hierarchical structures and anti-democratic, anti­-liberal and anti-socialist ideologies which founded authori­tarian or totalitarian regimes, or aimed to do so” (Schieder 282). Looking at the history of Japan, the young military officers who dominated during the considered period are nationalistic which hindered the democracy in the country by using violence and propagating the changes that they think is necessary without consulting the general public. In this situation, totalitarianism is apparent because of the important decisions are made by only few.
Works Cited
Elise Tipton, “Modern Japan: A Social and Political History,” 2002. Routledge: Japan
Wolfgang Schieder, "Fascism", in C. D. Kernig (ed.), Marxism, Com­munism and Western Society:A Comparative Encyclopedia, Vol. 3 ( 1972 ). New York, p. 282. Read More
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