Imperial Japan History - World War II and Fall

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Do you know the history of Imperial Japan? How was your fall and the events of the second world war? In this article, we will answer all these 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, as well as several other countries, was affected by the economic crisis and, in order to proceed with industrialization, Japan had to import the necessary material since, there was a great scarcity of this material in the Japanese lands.

Importing iron, rubber and oil from the Americans, Japan managed to recover economically and, in order to stay that way 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

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

In 1937, there was the Second Sino-Japanese War, which for China was a bad time to go to war as 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 well recognized by the Japanese themselves to this day, which became known as the Nanking Massacre.

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

History of Imperial Japan - World War II and Fall

Pacts with the Soviet Union, Germany and Italy

During the years of 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 any further and managed to defeat the 7th Division and 23rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Since invading the Soviet Union was futile and unfeasible, 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 began 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 Axis powers.

History of Imperial Japan - World War II and Fall

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 throughout Asia.

However, this proved the opposite as 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 take significant losses in air, land and sea battles. Japanese military strategists began to become aware of the unfavorable gap between the industrial potential of the Empire of Japan and that of the United States.

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

In 1945, with the intention of getting the Japanese to 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 surrendered to the United States and thus, Japan acknowledged its defeat in World War II.

History of Imperial Japan - World War II and Fall

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post war japan

After the surrender of Japan, 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 Modern Japan.

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