At that time, Japan was also affected by this worldwide economic problem.
During the Great Depression, the economy of the entire world faced a decline. At that time, Japan was also affected by this worldwide economic problem. Added to that, Japan's population had rapid growth, around 65 million people in 1930, requiring large food imports. To have money to import food, Japan needed to earn money by exporting goods, but the Western tariffs limited their exports. Another alternative would be emigration, but discriminatory legislation and anti-Japanese racism served as a barrier against this goal. Japan also tried to secure racial equality in the League of Nations, but it was denied by Western statesmen. This crisis scenario brought to Japan the urge to do something to get back on track. Not seeing another option, Japan visualized expansion through military conquest as the only possible solution to solve its economic problems (Sakamoto et al., 2023).
To these problems was added the military's distrust of party government. Several policies adopted by the civilian government was seen as weakness by the military forces. The Manchurian incident in 1931 was a marking point for military forces in Japan. As stated by Sakamoto et al in 2023, in the article about Japan, accessed at the Encyclopedia Britannica website, "A Kwantung Army charge that Chinese soldiers had tried to bomb a South Manchurian Railway train (which arrived at its destination safely) resulted in a speedy and unauthorized capture of Mukden (now Shen-yang), followed by the occupation of all Manchuria. The civilian government in Tokyo could not stop the army, and even army headquarters was not always in full control of the field commanders". Beginning with the Manchurian incident in 1931, the military take over foreign policy and started being its rulers. The Manchurian Incident launched Japanese aggression in East Asia.
In conclusion, there was a rise of militarism in Japan in the 1930s because of Japan's necessity to expand its economy, and they could not see another alternative unless doing it by military conquest, using force. The military group, stronger in power than the civilian government, became dissatisfied with the direction that the civilian government was taking in international relationships and after killing some people it took over foreign policy.
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