Modern history of Japan.The Pacific War - Essay Example

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The extreme jingoism fostered by the influence of the Meiji and Showa imperial rule was inflamed further by Japanese militaristic rule making it difficult for more moderate voices to be raised. Japan was imagined to lead the movement to resurrect Asia. Territorial occupation by force was the objective of the military leaders. Paper reveals start of The Pacific War…
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Modern history of Japan.The Pacific War
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MODERN HISTORY OF JAPAN – THE PACIFIC WAR The extreme jingoism fostered by the influence of the Meiji and Showa imperial rule was inflamed further by Japanese militaristic rule making it difficult for more moderate voices to be raised. Hard liners in the military pointed to the Samurai martial traditions and accused bureaucrats and the armed forces command of being irresponsible to the cause of Japanese military expansionism. Japan was imagined to lead the movement to resurrect Asia. Territorial occupation by force was the objective of the military leaders. After the Japanese takeover of Manchuria Japanese territorial ambitions spread wings and its expansionism was drawn to the southern territories in the Pacific for supplies, food and raw materials. The south eastern colonies of Britain, Netherlands and France were to be seized without due consideration to other interests. (Lamb, 198-9)
As part of the bounty for its victory over Spain in the war with Spanish American War, America had acquired more than six thousand islands in the Philippines archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Japan viewed this with hostility as it apprehended that American presence in the region would deter its aggressive intent. A military confrontation was planned by Japan to gain influence. Sensing this, Britain, Australia, America and the Dutch government in exile put an embargo on steel, oil and coal to try and curb the aggressive intent of Japan. As the embargo threatened to cripple Japan’s military, it spurred more aggression and hunger for conquest over other territories. It made plans for war on Allied interests in the Pacific and the time was opportune. (Lamb, 214)
With the onset of World War 2 in Europe, many of the Allies were busy fighting German forces and the Axis powers, with little or no focus on the Pacific Ocean. This was a strategic loophole Japan could exploit. It assumed that the situation was conducive to achieving its objectives as the Pacific theatre was virtually off everybody’s sights for the war in Europe. This would give Japan the covert advantage for invading territory which was virtually left unguarded. However the US had long sensed Japanese military designs over region around the Pacific and had concentrated on building up its presence through its naval fleet in the Philippines, hoping to deter Japan. It was also a move designed to protect the US’s own commercial, not military interests in the region. (Lamb, 239)
On December 7th, the Japanese naval fleet attacked Pearl Harbor which was a naval base for the US navy. By doing so, the Japanese military government hoped to bring America to its knees and force it to accept a negotiated settlement enabling it to gain undiluted control over the region. But it misread the situation which bloomed into a full scale conflict with America entering World War 2 after Pearl Harbor. The Japanese, defeated in the battle of Midway, were forced to surrender to America. However, the full terms of the surrender came into operation a year later because sporadic resistance in parts of the Japanese colonies prolonged resistance. (Lamb, 234)
Works Cited:
Lamb, Davis. Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization on the Strategic Strata. Wellington: National Book Trust. 2004. Read More
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