Japan's Rise to Authoritarianism and World Power Status
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Soon, extreme nationalism in the country emerged and the government increasingly reflected right wing thinking. The Japanese became more dedicated to foreign expansion as a means of gaining resources and to prove that it is a major power.
Japan was on a steady path to a military dictatorship, which only needed a spark to ignite. This significant event was the Great Depression. As economic depression spread globally, the demand for Japan’s silk and exports shrunk, causing millions of Japanese to be unemployed and starving.
Since the Diet was not improving the peoples’ lives, the military blamed the government for depending on the West. Soon, the people started to doubt the effectiveness of parliamentary democracy and started favoring a stronger military government.
Therefore, an authoritarian government emerged. By creating large public works, it succeeded in bringing Japan out of the economic depression and gained the support of many people. However, censorship increased and a single news agency distributed all national information.
Although Japan became recognized as a major power when it joined the League of Nations, it did not get along with the Western nations. When Japan invaded Manchuria and made it a colony called Manchukuo, the West was appalled. This forced Japan to leave the League of Nations and convinced Japan to become even stronger.
Japan’s relationship with countries in Asia was also not very good. When Japan began imperializing more territories in Asia, they killed 100,000s of Chinese in what is known as the Nanking Massacre. They looked down on other cultures and impacted the lives of people it conquered in political and social aspects. However, through imperializing more countries, Japan was able to protect itself from being imperialized by the West and rise to world power status.
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