Essay on Japan: Emergence of Japan as a strong military power

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For a long time, Japan pursued a policy of isolation. She first came in contact with the Western world through Christian missionaries, who came to Japan in the sixteenth century.

Her first commercial contact with the West was in the nature of a permission to the Dutch for facility to carry on trade with Japan, even though the commerce at this stage was strictly regulated. It. was only in the mid-nineteenth century that the foreign powers succeeded in gaining a foothold in Japan and secured trade con­cessions.

The contact with the West resulted in adoption of European calender in 1873, and the introduction of Western legal and judicial sys­tem. Japan also adopted the educational system, Britain and institutions of Europe. As a result, Japan got Westernized within a short span of a quarter century and emerged as a strong power.

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By the close of the nineteenth century Japan embarked on imperialist policy and thus got embroiled in the rivalry of the powers.

Japanese Mjjonalism received further fillip following her victory over Russia in the Ktrulapanese War of 1904-45. Thereafter Japan started competing for territories with other Western countries. In 1910 Japan annexed Korea. By the time First World War broke out, Japan had become a dominant power in the Far East.

During the War Japan took advantage of the pre­occupations of other Great powers and occupied Manchuria, Shantung, Inner Mongolia and Fukien. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, the Japanese soldiers occupied the whole of Siberia in co-operations ‘ with the American forces. At the end of the war, Japan succeeded in retaining some of her gains with the support of Britain, France and Italy.

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