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Military Fascism in pre-WWII Japan Essay

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Updated: May 21st, 2019

Fascism represents a kind of a political system whereby the state possesses total power. As such, every citizen is required to work for the country as well as the government. The head of state for such a state is a dictator or some other powerful individual who uses police force and strong army to maintain law and order. Fascism was first seen in Japan during the period in which it used to export most of her goods, mostly silk and luxury items (Tsutsui, 2009).

At the beginning of the great depression, luxuries were foregone and this left Japan incapable of fueling her factories. In order to put a stop to the depression, Japan had two choices to make; invading China for some more resources or closing down their factories. During this time the Japanese government was being ruled by Emperor Hirohito and his army referred to as ‘a diet’ that was slowly becoming fascists.

This permitted the military together with the factory proprietors to have great influences over the decisions of the country; thereby opting to invade China and Manchuria. It was at a later time that the Japan’s government began to closely conform to the Army Nationalistic objectives. Thence, as time went by, military fascism developed in japan (Tsutsui, 2009).

With control over the government and, essentially, the whole country, the army pushed Japan further and further into the pacific war and ultimately led to more war with the west. A number of other reasons contributed to this Japans military fascism and one such reason was thirst for power.

The Meiji restoration unleashed massive changes in Japan. This was a period of revolutionary modernization and as a motivation from these, came forth the desire for prestige, power and wealth as a way to redress the enforcement of unequal treaties placed upon them by the western powers during the past (Tsutsui, 2009).

Moreover, the Sino-Japanese War victory, gave Japan a first real bridgehead on the continent of Asia, forcing China to acknowledge the independence of Korea and giving up Taiwan and Liaotung peninsula (Tsutsui, 2009). However, Russia, Germany and France dissented that the intrusion of Japanese to Liaotung would stage a constant jeopardy to China thence, forced a deeply chagrined Japan to desolate the peninsula.

Furthermore, the Japanese exertions to incorporate their economy into a liberal global order became futile earlier on in the 1930’s when the economies of the west that were depressed placed a hindrance upon the Japanese trade so that they could guard against the markets of their colonies. The structure of international peace that was substantiated in the League of Nations was thought of by the Japanese to have favored the nations of the west who were controlling the resources of the world.

Moreover, the west had played in a hypocritical way when they barred Japanese out-migration via the anti-Asian in-migration laws of the 1920’s. These series of events caused the Japanese to deflect from democracy and indorse fascism and its extension to the japans empire (Tsutsui, 2009).

In conclusion, the slowly burning aggression of Japan was steered with frustrations with a world whose governance appeared inclined in preference of the west. The military fascism was a way of expressing the Japanese economic, power and policy dissatisfaction by the west, and it hence contributed in some ways to the rise of World War II. They charged their hardship upon the western countries and the incompetent government.

Most citizens of Japan likewise conceived that the government did almost nothing to help them, despite the fact that it stood for democracy. They therefore began to buy into what the Nationalistic patriotic societies were embracing- military strength, reconstruction and respect for autonomy. They started to join these patriotic societies and the army, consequently resulting to the rise of military fascism in pre-WWII Japan.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Military Fascism in pre-WWII Japan." May 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/military-fascism-in-pre-wwii-japan-essay/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Military Fascism in pre-WWII Japan'. 21 May.

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