Instead, it was a political journey that allowed a semi-democratic nation to transform itself into a military dictatorship.
History[ edit ] Rise of militarism[ edit ] The military had a strong influence on Japanese society from the Meiji Restoration. Almost all leaders in Japanese society during the Meiji period whether in the military, politics or business were ex- samurai or descendants of samurai, and shared a set of values and outlooks.
The rise of universal military conscriptionintroduced by Yamagata Aritomo inalong with the proclamation of the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors in enabled the military to indoctrinate thousands of men from various social backgrounds with military-patriotic values and the concept of unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor as the basis of the Japanese state kokutai.
Yamagata like many Japanese was strongly influenced by the recent striking success of Prussia in transforming itself from an agricultural state to a leading modern industrial and military power.
He accepted Prussian political ideas, which favored military expansion abroad and authoritarian government at home. The Prussian model also devalued the notion of civilian control over the independent military, which meant that in Japan, as in Germany, the military could develop into a state within a state, thus exercising greater influence on politics in general.
Meckel made numerous recommendations which were implemented, including reorganization of the command structure of the army into divisions and regiments, thus increasing mobility, strengthening the army logistics and transportation structure with the major army bases connected by railways, establishing artillery and engineering regiments as independent commands, and revising the universal conscription system to abolish virtually all exceptions.
Japan felt looked down on by Western countries during the late 19th century. Economic factors[ edit ] During the 19th century, Great Power status was considered dependent on resource-rich colonial empiresboth as a source of raw materials for military and industrial production, and international prestige.
Due to the lack of resources in Japanese home islandsraw materials such as iron, oil, and coal largely had to be imported. The success of Japan in securing Taiwan and Korea had brought Japan primarily agricultural colonies.
However, the army was at variance with the zaibatsu financial and industrial corporations on how to manage economic expansion, a conflict also affecting domestic politics. This office was independent of, and equal and later superior to the Ministry of War of Japan in terms of authority.
These General Staff offices were responsible for the planning and execution of military operations, and reported directly to the emperor. As the Chiefs of the General Staff were not cabinet ministers, they did not report to the Prime Minister of Japanand were thus completely independent of any civilian oversight or control.
The Army and the Navy also had decisive say on the formation and survival of any civilian government. Since the law required that the posts of Army Minister and Navy Minister be filled by active duty officers nominated by their respective services, and since the law also required that a prime minister resign if he could not fill all of his cabinet posts, both the Army and the Navy had final say on the formation of a cabinet, and could bring down the cabinet at any time by withdrawing their minister and refusing to nominate a successor.
In reality, while this tactic was used only one time ironically to prevent a General, Kazushige Ugakifrom becoming Prime Minister inthe threat always loomed large when the military made any demands on the civilian leadership.
Patriotic education also strengthened the sense of a hakko ichiuor a divine mission to unify Asia under Japanese rule.
A turning point came with the ratification of the London Naval Treaty of Prime Minister Osachi Hamaguchi and his Minseito party agreed to a treaty which would severely limit Japanese naval power. This treaty was strongly opposed by the military, who claimed that it would endanger national defense, and was portrayed by the opposition Rikken Seiyukai party as having been forced upon Japan by a hostile United States, which further inflamed growing anti-foreign sentiment.
The Japanese system of party government finally met its demise with the May 15 Incident inwhen a group of junior naval officers and army cadets assassinated Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi. In Juneadventurist officers of the Kwantung Army embarked on unauthorized initiatives to protect Japanese interests in Manchuria, including the assassination of a former ally, warlord Zhang Zuolinin hopes of sparking a general conflict.
The Manchurian Incident of September did not fail, and it set the stage for the Japanese military takeover of all of Manchuria. Kwantung Army conspirators blew up a few meters of South Manchurian Railway Company track near Mukdenblamed it on Chinese saboteurs, and used the event as an excuse to invade and seize the vast territory.
In Tokyo one month later, in the Imperial Colors Incidentmilitary figures failed in an attempt to establish a military dictatorshipbut again the news was suppressed and the military perpetrators were not punished. In JanuaryJapanese forces attacked Shanghai in the First Shanghai Incidentwaging a three-month undeclared war there before a truce was reached.
Various army factions contended for power amid increasing suppression of dissent and more assassinations. The revolt was put down by other military units, and its leaders were executed after secret trials.
Increases were seen in defense budgets, naval construction Japan announced it would no longer accede to disarmament treatiesand patriotic indoctrination as Japan moved toward a wartime footing. Inall political parties were ordered to dissolve into the Imperial Rule Assistance Associationforming a one-party state based on totalitarian values.Japanese militarism (日本軍國主義 or 日本軍国主義, Nihon gunkoku shugi) refers to the ideology in the Empire of Japan that militarism should dominate the political and social life of the nation, and that the strength of the military is equal to the strength of a nation.
Although there were the rise of militarism due to internal factors, there were also externally factors causing the rise of militarism. Firstly, externally, in political aspect, the impact of totalitarianism was one of the factor that led to the rise of militarism.
The early years of the 20th century saw tremendous growth in Europe of both population and prosperity. With arts and culture flourishing, few believed a general war possible due to the peaceful cooperation required to maintain increased levels of trade as well as technologies such as the telegraph and railroad.
Militarism Militarism denoted a rise in military expenditure, an increase in military and naval forces, more influence of the military men upon the policies of the civilian government, and a preference for force as a solution to problems.
Militarism was one of the main causes of World War I - Militarism Author. World War I Militarism Militarism denoted a rise in military expenditure, an increase in the policies of the civilian government, and a preference for force as a solution to problems.
Militarism was one of the main causes of the First World War. Increase in military control of the civilian government After , there was an increase in. The Factors that Gave Rise To Japanese Militarism Japan's political journey from its quasi-democratic government in the 's to its radical nationalism of the mid 's, the collapse of democratic institutions, and the eventual military state was not an overnight transformation.