Japan and the West • Post WWI • Received Germany’s Pacific islands north of the equator • Third largest naval power after Great Britain and the U.S. • Bitter towards the west; not viewed as an equal. • League of Nations refused to accept Japan’s statement on racial equality. • US banned further Japanese immigration. • Japanese staged demonstrations • Boycotted American goods • Angered by West’s refusal to support Japanese policy in China.
Social and political tensions • Population explosion • 35 mil in 18872 to 60 mil in 1925 • Industrial growth • Emphasis on manufacturing and foreign trade • Hoped it would provide employment • Encourage expansion of heavy industry, but needed capital • 1920s and 1930s—industry grew rapidly and manufactured goods flood world markets. • But this stimulated the need for raw materials—forced to look elsewhere.
Social and political changes • Rural labor moved to urban industries • Labor unions become more powerful • Working class demanded more social changes • Western influences were changing the urban landscape. • 1925, universal male suffrage; women in 1947
Political weaknesses • Hirohito; constitutional monarch. • Military leaders were opposed to democratic reforms. • Great Depression devastated Japan. • Silk industry and other industries were hurting and millions of workers lost their jobs. • Workers and people turned to strong military leaders– emperor just a figure head. • Militarism flourished. • Opposition of western ideas—clothes, etc. • School children carried out military drills in schools.
Military expansion • September 1931, Japan expands into Manchuria. • 1932, military leaders would kill anyone who opposed their viewpoints—Prime minister • By 1937, the army and the government were one.