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This paper is going to discuss several aspects of the Second World War which broke up in 1939 and ended in 1945, and the effects it brought to Japan, although Japan was a well established country before the beginning of the Second World War, it was brought down to the ground during this war. This brought down her economy and she had to strategize on how to bring it back. This also had several effects to other the outside world; using China as an example, it lost most of its islands and cities. The rise of Japan will also be seen to have been dated back to 1914 and the years before, this was during the First World War where it conquered several countries and gained fame. The final defeat of Japan is also found to have been contributed by several factors which included lack of superior weapons as compared to those of their allies.
Before the Second World War, Japan had been a country whose economy and standards had grown miraculously, apart from the economy, Japan had a well developed Army and had defeated in all the wars she had gone. Although Japan had little contribution in the First World War, its victorious war against Russia brought about its prosperity. The little and successful influence in the first World War made her ready to enter into the Second World War. Japan won a series of battle before it was defeated by the US Army. This brought down her economy because most of her industries were bombed and her big cities including Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also bombed. Japan had to lift its economy after the Second World War although she had to import most of the materials especially for her manufacturing industries.
The rise of Japan, how it entered the Second World War and its final defeat has been a good subject for discussion by many authors, well G. for example, in his book (1866-1946) says that Japan having been locked out for more that two centuries was able to miraculously improve her culture and organization to the same level as the European power within a very short time immediately it was opened to interact with the world.
William Craig in his book, 'the fall of Japan' has also addressed the surrender of Japan when the war was inevitable. He has addressed on the reasons why the Japanese could not have won the war with the US army and how she rebuilt the destroyed nation after the Second World War. Other writers like Black Dragon also said Japan had become very superior and was in a position to take Asia's leadership in order to eliminate foreign power.
In his journal 'profound forces in the making of Modern Japan' published in.2006, Kenneth addresses on the factors that led to the rise of Japan, he explains that due to her good governance, principles, and international norms, Japan has been able to undergo through magnificent changes.
Until the sixteenth century, Japan is known to have lived in exclusion from the rest of the countries in the world. During this period, Japan had a bad government system and it followed a policy which excluded foreigners in the country, various representatives from the western had unsuccessfully tried to form business relationships with her for many years. The United state was however anxious to get supplies and fuel for its merchant fleet in Pacific and it therefore had to force Japan to open up the country. No foreigners had been allowed into the country and it was in 1540's when the first Portuguese preacher went there to convert them to Christianity, he was welcomed without hesitation and he was followed by others who influenced the Japanese in different ways. Some of them preached against other denominations and after sometime, there were conflicts between these foreigners and the Japanese had to do away with the Europeans. This decision made them to be excluded from the rest of the world for more than 210years.It led to stagnation of her economy and the outside world was developing, in 1850's messages were sent to the Japanese rulers to sign a treaty which later in 1865, a ratification was imposed and Japan was opened to the world.
Japan made a very remarkable stride in bringing back its organization and culture. Its intelligence and energy was so astonishing because within a span of one year, they were at the level of the powers of the European. It was completely westernized and during the 1894 war with China, it had an efficient army and the United States and Britain treated her like a European state. Japan became the first country in Asia to overcome a western power when she defeated Russia in 1905 Russo-Japanese War. Many of her leaders believed that she was powerful enough to free other countries from Western Powers and to lead them to collective prosperity and strength.
The rise of Japan started in the time of First World War. It took the advantage of the destruction of Germany with the Europeans war and wanted to expand its territory to china; it declared war on Germany and occupied the territories leased to the Germans in China. The fact that Japan had a well organized navy, it sent some to the Mediterranean Sea for rescue. Besides occupying the German leased -territories, it was jointly in ownership of the metallurgical and mining complex in the central part of Pacific. During this period, she proposed a racial equality clause which was rejected before being discussed in a peace conference in Paris; this rejection was an advantage to her because it kept her away from the cooperation with the west.
The intervention by Siberia was another factor for Japan rise. The Russian civil war gave Japan an opportunity to send her troop which was part of a coalition of more than 20,000 troops which was planned to support the Siberia Force. This was meant to recover the losses that had gone to Russia, and to clear up the 'northern problem' in her security by creating a defense state.
Democratic reforms in Japan which was promoted by then elected Prime Minister was also of great contribution to the rise of Japan, these democratic reforms ended up in passage of male suffrage bill which allowed all the male individuals who had lived in the country and were not homeless to vote, and this increased the electorate, on top of this, the election of colonial people expanded democracy in Japan.
There also existed important links between both political and military organizations and the government. Araki Sadao acted as a link and he was of great importance as a founder of the Army party, due to his knowledge and creative thinking, he was able to mould the Japanese Army and they had developed enough and were ready for the Second World War. Japan did not enter the Second World War until 1941 when she entered and immediately achieved a chain of victories. This provided her the opportunity to occupy most parts of south-west of Asia and other regions of the Pacific. She also got support from the Mediterranean campaign by AIF veterans who had started coming home. Before the end of the Second World War and the destruction of Japan, it already was in possession of many cities and islands in the Pacific, these includes; Bura, Aleutians, Phillipines, and the Solomons. Being in these places, it enjoyed an advantage of communication lines but it was a loophole for the allies because they had extended themselves to a greater area. After a long time of battle, Japan was finally defeated, several factors led to the defeat. One of the factors which contributed to this fall is the division within the leaders. When the leaders found out that the battle was going beyond their capability, they decided that they should surrender; this was not accepted by some of them because of their past history. Japan had neither been defeated in war nor invaded. Although they had always wanted to have a solution to the war, they could not come into agreement on the best means of ending it. It ended up into two groups where one wanted a diplomatic step in settling Japan and the Allies while another wanted more battle which will be severe enough to make the allies put down their arms.
The Japanese were defeated in the war by the US Navy; they could not overcome them because they did not have enough ships and planes to defend themselves. They seized her navy and few ships, and this made Japan weak and easily defeated. It was at this point that the bombers stroke Japan. In 1943, the US navy went through central Pacific and captured two islands in a war which took four days and cost lives of more than 2900 people. In 1994, western and central marshal were invaded and three islands were seized. Still in this year, a task force captured an air base belonging to the Japanese which was located in Engebi.
At the same time, an attack on Truk had been launched; this was a main Japanese fortress in Pacific. From this raid, it was found that the Japanese had left it as a marine base and it was not assaulted as planned but an attack on Marianas was considered which was to be followed by emergence to the western. In June, the Marianas was invaded but the Japanese had her troop in place. When they lost Saipan, there emerged a crisis in Tokyo and marked the end of the Cabinet of Tojo. The Japanese went ahead to the north to battle with the US fleet in defense of the Marianas, this battle was unsuccessful because they fully depended on ships and therefore lacked air support on the land. The US navy having planes, were able to seize their planes and carries.
The battle led to loss of above 400 planes by the Japanese which was higher than the less than 29 of the Americans. During this battle, the Americans lost only three ships which were destroyed but the victory was a path to succession of the Marinas and independence in the central and southwest Pacific regions. Having captured the marinas, the Americans were in a position to completely destroy Japan. They started building airfields which were to accommodate the B-29 bomber and in the end of 1944 they began bombing Japan.
Capture of two other places was not yet done, at this point. Japan was no longer in a position to defend herself because the entire air force had been taken, and now incendiary bombs were used to burn her cities. It was the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima that made the Japanese leaders to realize the unavoidable. All had come down for Japan and Hirohito the Emperor announced the surrender of Japan and instructed her forces to stop the battle. This was in September 2nd 1945 and it was the end of a great war in history.
After the Second World War, Japan was in a complete ruin. Two of the countries manufacturing centre had been completely destroyed by the atomic bombs; this had also lead to death of several thousands and hundreds of people. This made Japan become a less competitor to other nations, regardless of this Japan dared several economists and forged ahead. They elected a cabinet system and a new constitution was put in place. The public gave a hand to the government and it started limiting its spending in military and increased importation of their products. The citizens dedicated themselves to work for long hours and this resulted to many deaths. It pioneered in development of new technologies and even began refining those developed in other countries. Research and developments were highly funded and they were soon major exporters of technology all over the world.
Apart from technology, Japan invented hydro-electricity as an energy source alternative during the crisis of OPEC in the 70's.she was therefore able to provide power for her manufacturing industries, she also became and innovator especially in improving the working conditions of workers by introducing air conditioners in their factories even before their offices, this was primarily aimed at improving the working conditions of an average worker. It was a step a head of other nations where offices were more comfortable compared to the workers' environment. This made Japan a better working place compared to other countries and the there were no complains from her workers as was experienced in other countries, the workers in other countries worked in very hot conditions and used poor equipment in performing their duties. This brought a lot of complains to their managers and a general poor growth was experienced.
Immediately after the end of Second World War, there was an increase in oil consumption world wide, it was during this time that Japan was working hard to be economically independent. Although prices of oil remained low, OPEC increased the price of their oil as a political weapon to bring down the ally country. At this time Japan had invaded China, the oil ban was not of much influence to Japan because it already had a hydroelectric power source. On the other hand, Japan also targeted particular industries which were less costly and majored in manufacturing industries which they could perform best. The small scale companies which were underfinanced were found to be of no effect in uplifting the economy and they were therefore sold to private financiers and well off individuals.
With its dependence on foreign trades, the Japanese people experienced a high economic hardship due to the depression which began in 1920's. This was immediately after the earthquake which brought a lot of losses to farmers and small scale shops. A very strong export market was required in order to gain an economic growth. There was an opportunity for her exports in China and other countries in Asia, this had to be maintained and the Japanese government therefore had to obtain transportation and commercial rights from china, other than these the Japanese had manufacturing industries and they had to import raw materials in order to boost their economy. Japan was an overpopulated country but it was not a major problem to it because there were a lot of natural resources in the extensive Manchuria land which was seized from china before they went into war against each other although it still had to import other resources to uphold its self-dependency.
Besides, the cohesiveness level in the Japanese society was high; this corresponded to its goals which were centralized. This cohesiveness was boosted by the democratic views of the government in controlling the economy which is founded on communal stability. In the period that the country was closed from the outside world, a good environment for its industrial policy was created, and a lot of characteristics which promotes cohesiveness were established. Achievement of national goals was emphasized by ensuring that a safe relationship existed between business and the government.
In this paper we find that Japan, was one of the countries which were stable and well established before the beginning of Second World War. The establishment of Japan had been so quick such that it was welcome with surprise by the European countries. Japan having all the advantage of her strong Army entered the Second World War and made several victories over China before she was defeated. Several people lost their lives in bombings and industries were destroyed. We therefore find that the growth of a country like Japan depended on the intelligence and creativity among other factors.