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Crisis and Conflict

An Enquiry Approach to Modern World History

Secondary 3

Chapter 5: Authoritarian Regimes ² Case Study: Fascist Japan

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Was the rise of Fascism in Japan inevitable?

What led to the failure of the democratic government in Japan?

What led to the rise of Fascism in Japan?

Factors that contributed to the failure of democracy in Japan
Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan
Copyright 2006

Factors that assisted the rise of Fascist factions to gain control of Japan

  Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Fascism grew to be a popular alternative to democracy. Fascist ideas were strongly influenced by its powerful military.3 In a Nutshell    The 1920s saw the spread of Fascist ideas around the world. In Japan. Another idea advocated by the Japanese Army officers was Japanese superiority over other Asians. People began to lose confidence in democratic leaders when they saw that they were not able to handle the economic problems that came after the 1930 Great Depression.

Fascists also believed that a nation¶s goal was to grow strong and expand. People began to feel that Fascism gave them a sense of belonging to a great nation. 1919. Events such as World War I and global unemployment increased the popularity of Fascism. was first used by Mussolini who founded the Fascist movement in Italy. Power and violence were advocated by the Fascists. Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Fascists believed that all individuals and groups in a nation should put aside their interests and look after the needs of the nation first. These seemed very attractive to young people and World War I veterans.4 The beginnings of Fascism      The term Fascism.

5 What led to the failure of the democratic government in Japan? The Diet¶s limited power Corruption damaged democracy¶s reputation Democratic leaders failed to solve economic problems Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .

The Diet did not have the power to make decisions or policies.6 The Diet²s limited power      The Diet/Parliament was set up in late 19th century. Ba ck Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . The members of the Diet did not even have control over the nation¶s budget. Furthermore the Diet could not control the ministers as they were directly under the control of the Emperor. Limited power of the Diet made it possible for the military faction to grow unchecked. Real power however remained in the hands of the Emperor and genro.

In order to fund their election campaigns. These zaibatsus were able to influence the policies of the government. Ba ck Copyright 2006    Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan .7 Corruption damaged democracy²s reputation   Corruption among the politicians was common during the 1920s. companies. Such close ties led to many rumours of corruption within the government. for sponsorship. The Diet was hence unable to gain support of ordinary Japanese due to its negative image. or powerful and wealthy Japanese companies. many democratic leaders turned to zaibatsus.

8 Democratic leaders failed to solve economic problems The workers¶ difficult working conditions The farmers¶ difficult living conditions Democratic leaders failed to solve economic problems Trade imbalance Great Depression Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .

rice prices fell sharply.  Disputes between tenant farmers and landlords were common throughout the 1930s. further reducing farmers¶ earnings.9 The farmers difficult living conditions Less than half of the farmers had less than one and one quarter acres of land.  Ba ck Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .  Most of the land belonged to landlords who rented out the land at exorbitant prices.  Between 1920 and 1929.

Many joined trade unions. miserable conditions. Such activities affected the government¶s stability. Frequent strikes were common. some of which were supported by Communists.10 The workers difficult working conditions  The workers in Japan were unhappy with the democratic government for lack of improvement in their working and living conditions.     Ba ck Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Workers lived in crowded.

11 Trade imbalance      While Japan¶s economy was growing. The trade imbalance grew further when Japan had to import more food to feed its growing population. Most of the raw materials had to be imported. Japan¶s exports were electronic products. there was a trade imbalance. However Japan needed many raw materials for their major industries. Ba ck Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . china. porcelain and textiles.

countries such as the USA imposed high taxes on Japanese goods like silk. Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . many farmers joined the Army or patriotic societies.12 Great Depression 1929      The Wall Street Crash in the USA triggered a world wide economic depression. Silk farmers in Japan suffered the most. As economic problems mounted. Due to protectionism. This led to a fall in demand for silk. It also led to a fall in Japan¶s exports due to protectionism (especially in the USA).

13 Great Depression 1929 Crash Loss of paper profits Less demand Lower prices Less bank credit Less money in circulation Less employment Less production Less building of factories and homes Less employment Depression Ba ck Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .

14 What led to the rise of Fascism in Japan? External reasons Internal reasons Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .

American businessmen had taken interest in doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.    Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . American control spread to the Philippines. By 1930s. AsiaThe USA took control of many tiny islands and used them as bases for American trading ships.15 American expansion in Asia-Pacific Asiaregion threatened Japanese plans to control the region  Since 1853. Japanese militarists believed that the economic and military interests of Japan and the USA would run into conflict over who would control this region.

1919   Japan had fought alongside the Allies during World War I. During the Paris Peace Conference. This was however rejected making Japan feel discriminated.  Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Japanese representatives made a request that the League of Nations formally recognise that all races were equal.16 Paris Peace Conference.

Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Many Japanese felt that this was an unfair treaty aiming at restricting Japanese power. The Conference aimed to reduce naval forces of major naval powers. The ratio of warships that were allowed for Japan was lower than that of the USA and Britain.17 Washington Naval Conference. 19211921-1922     This was held between 1921 and 1922.

1930   This was held in 1930. He was accused of being too soft and trying to betray Japan. Many Japanese were unhappy that PM Hamaguchi Osachi agreed to further limit the number of Japan¶s battleships as he wanted to improve ties with China.   Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . In addition to that.18 London Disarmament Conference. he tried to solve the problems of the Great Depression by reducing spending on the Army.

made many Japanese turn away from democracy. the USA tried to prevent Asian immigration as part of its isolationist and protectionist policies. This combined with other factors such as the Great Depression. Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . They saw such laws as regarding them as being inferior. Asian immigrants could not become citizens even if they had stayed in the USA for a long time. the California Alien Law ordered that all Asian children attend schools separate from the Americans. In California. Such laws angered the Japanese who formed the main bulk of the immigrants.Immigration laws in the USA in the midmid-1920s       19 In 1924.

Frequent strikes and boycotts of Japanese goods hurt Japan¶s economy. China had been weakened by many internal struggles. Ba This was supported by many Japanese. General Chiang gained control of China and demanded an end to all concessions that foreign powers had enjoyed in China. The Kwantung Army stationed in Manchuria proposed that Japan occupy Manchuria and North China before antianti-Japanese feelings became too strong. This however changed in 1927 when the KMT and CCP formed an alliance to eliminate all internal enemies like the Chinese warlords. ck Copyright 2006 Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan .20 Resurgence of Chinese nationalism       Since 1894.

Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . This movement produced youths who were blindly loyal to the nation. the education system of Japan emphasised nationalism. This further developed Japan¶s militarism.21 The Showa Restoration      From the 1930s. selfselfsacrifice and obedience. This movement characterised all things Western in a negative light and stressed the glorification of the Emperor. loyalty to the Emperor. Japan¶s response to the Great Depression and foreign opposition to Japan¶s growing empire was the inauguration of the Showa Restoration.

Many of them had close connections with the Army.    Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Some societies such as the Black Dragon Society wanted to eliminate democratic leaders so that Japan would adopt a more aggressive foreign policy. They were extremely nationalistic and wanted Japan to adopt an aggressive foreign policy.22 Patriotic societies  Patriotic societies had been growing since the 1920s in Japan.

Leaders who did not support the military ambitions were often the subjects of assassination attempts. they had been pressing the government to acquire more colonies like what the Western nations were doing. Military successes in Manchuria and parts of China made them even more ambitious to pursue an expansionist policy. Since the late 19th century.23 Army s and Navy s great influence over the government   The Army and Navy had great influence over the government.   Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .

1915 : Japan issued 21 Demands on China. 1914 : Japan joined the Allies in World War I and occupied German territories in Shantung and parts of the Pacific Islands. Japan was the first Asian 1904± Russopower to defeat an European power. 1910 : Japan gained full control of Korea. It also gained the southern Sakhalin Island. Japan gained Taiwan and 1894± Sinoparts of the Liaodung Peninsula. 1905 : Japan gain rights to build a railway in Manchuria.24 Army s and Navy s great influence over the government      1894±1895 : Sino-Japanese War. 1904±1905 : Russo-Japanese War. Ba ck Copyright 2006  Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan .

The considerable successes of the military made many people in Japan think that supporting the military would solve many of Japan¶s economic problems. 25 Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .

   Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . the Army brought down Hamaguchi¶s government. In May 1932. He died a year later of the wounds. Succeeding PMs either felt pressured to support the Kwantung Army or were already strong supporters themselves especially after the Mukden Incident in 1932. the Army assassinated PM Inukai for criticising the Kwantung Army¶s actions in Manchuria. He was shot and wounded.26 Military takeover of Japan  In 1930. Hamaguchi¶s assasins were left off with a light jail sentence.

Japan became more aggressive in its foreign policy. Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 . Furthermore they had a common enemy in the Communists. They were hence generally more cordial. Britain and France These countries were too preoccupied with the Great Depression. For China Japan became bolder towards China and took steps to expand Further into China. Most importantly.27 Impact of growth of Fascism in Japan on the World For Japan For the next 13 years. For the USA. it was the growth of Fascism in Japan that led Japan into World War II. It disregarded the Washington Naval Conference and expanded its Navy. For Germany and Italy Japan started to forge closer ties with these Fascist States.

28 Failure of democratic government ‡ Weakness of the Japanese parliament ‡ Corrupt politicians ‡ Lacked support of workers and farmers Summary Impact of economic problems ‡ Problems at the end of World War I ‡ 1929 Great Depression What led to the rise of Fascism in Japan? Fear of Chinese Nationalism ‡ Anti-Japanese protests Anti- Unhappiness with Japanese leaders who wanted friendly ties with former Allied Powers Unhappiness with former Allied Powers ‡ 1919 Versailles Treaty ‡ 1921±1922 Washington Naval Conference 1921± ‡ Mid-1920s immigration issues Mid- Crisis and Conflict: Fascist Japan Copyright 2006 .