History of Imperial Japan - World War II and Fall


Do you know the history of Imperial Japan? How was your fall and events in the second world war? In this article, we will answer all of those questions. We recommend that you read our article on imperial Japan by clicking here.

In 1929, with the Great Depression caused by the stock market crash, Japan, like many other countries, was affected by the economic crisis and, to continue with industrialization, Japan had to import the necessary material since, there was a great shortage of this material in the Japanese lands.

Importing iron, rubber and oil from the Americans, Japan was able to rebuild itself economically and, in order to remain so in the midst of an economic depression, the Japanese saw an opportunity to obtain such materials from China (more specifically in the Manchuria region).

The Second Sino-Japanese War

On the pretext of freeing the Manchu people from that region, Japan, in 1931, invaded and conquered China, establishing a marionette state called Manchukuo.


In 1937, there was the Second Sino-Japanese War, which for China was a terrible time to go to war because the Chinese already had their own internal conflict, with nationalists and communists vying for control of the country.

During this conflict, the Empire of Japan, on December 13, 1937, committed an atrocity, still not very well recognized by the Japanese themselves until today, which became known as the Nanjing Massacre.

The episode took place in the Chinese capital of Nanjing where troops from the Imperial Japanese Army murdered a total of 300,000 soldiers and civilians and still committed rape and pillaging throughout Nanjing.

História do japão imperial - segunda guerra mundial e queda

Pacts with the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy

During the years 1938 and 1939, Japan tried to invade and take the lands of the Soviets, however, the Red Army managed to prevent the Japanese troops from going further and managed to defeat the 7th and 23rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Since invading the Soviet Union was futile and unviable, the Japanese signed a neutrality pact with the Soviets in 1941 to avoid future conflicts.


After the invasion of China and the atrocities committed by the Japanese in the country, the Americans started to turn against the Japanese and public opinion became unfavorable to Japan.

In 1940, Imperial Japan signed the Tripartite Treaty with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and thus, the three countries became the powers of the Axis.

História do japão imperial - segunda guerra mundial e queda

The Fall of the Japanese Empire

In 1941, with the attack on Pearl Harbor and, with the hope of destabilizing the Americans, the Japanese saw an opportunity to extend their empire across Asia.

However, this proved the opposite since the Americans managed to recover from the attack in a short time and decided to declare war on Japan. As a result, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

In 1942, Japan began to suffer significant losses in battles over air, land and sea. Japanese military strategists began to become aware of the unfavorable difference between the industrial potential of the Empire of Japan and that of the United States.

In 1943, Japan began to fight on the defensive and remained so for the rest of the war. In 1944, the Allied forces had already neutralized all Japanese strategic bases, which left the Japanese economy in shambles and the country was no longer able to supply its armies. And then, the Americans launched a bombing campaign in Japan, starting with incendiary bombs.


In 1945, with the intention of making the Japanese surrender, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, respectively. With the war already lost, on August 15, 1945 the Empire of Japan surrenders to the United States and thus, Japan recognized its defeat in the Second World War.

História do japão imperial - segunda guerra mundial e queda

Post-war Japan

After Japan's surrender, the United States occupied the country, initiating a process of reconstruction and demilitarization of Japan. With this, the Empire of Japan was dissolved in 1947 and a new constitution was established, abolishing the Meiji Constitution of 1889, giving rise to to Modern Japan.

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