Modern World History 9.4: Imperial Japan

What was Japan's role as an aggressor during WWII, and did they forge an alliance Godzilla?

LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:26

year Commodore Matthew Perry of the TV show friends mm sorry of the US Navy

00:32

sailed to Japan and forced that country to open itself to trade from the West

00:37

well the Industrial Revolution was going full-steam after all in the US had

00:41

stuff to sell not that we or any other Western nation treated Japan very well [Man opens door and crates fly through the door]

00:46

once they opened more doors to us there were treaty ports and Westerners

00:50

you know didn't have to submit to Japanese law and there were tariff

00:54

restrictions left and right the Japanese were of course not thrilled with any of

00:58

this and they ultimately decided that the only way to get themselves out from [Japanese sailor transforms into a suit]

01:02

under the thumb of the West was to take on all the trappings of a Western nation

01:07

well they opened universities and established a universal education policy

01:11

they built factories they wrote a constitution and adopted a

01:15

european-style legal system and they modernized their military you know

01:19

everything was like kings and queens and feudal lords and all that stuff before

01:22

then well pretty soon as any country on the rise tends to do Japan started [Man appears on Japan on a map]

01:27

looking around and wondering where its Empire was all-powerful nations have em

01:31

right and Japan wanted one too - well then maybe the West would finally buzz off

01:36

well in the 1870s Japan began to fight with China for control of the Korean

01:40

Peninsula it also annexed the island of Okinawa in 1894 Japan and China fought

01:46

the first sino-japanese war... Japan kicked China to the curb winning the island of

01:51

Taiwan and opening up a Pandora's box that haunts East Asian affairs to this

01:56

day... ten years later Japan went to war with

01:58

Russia and won Port Arthur and the southern half of Sakhalin Island well in

02:05

1910 Japan annexed Korea 1931 it took over Manchuria you see where this is

02:11

going right? Japan had successfully made itself a [Pacman eating land]

02:14

modern country and it was eating up territory left and right there were

02:18

elements which in Japanese society who were all for this kind of aggressive

02:21

behavior they could frequently be found in yes the military and then there were

02:26

those who favored a more peaceful route who wanted to find a way to cooperate

02:30

with the United States and other Western powers, trade with them and other stuff... By the

02:34

1930s aggression and nationalism were the order of the day in Japan though and

02:38

Japan felt that they had been bullied long enough by the West and they weren't

02:42

gonna put up with it anymore so 1937 the second sino-japanese war

02:46

began and the Japanese started racking up a body count to rival Germany's looks

02:51

like the West and the East had a commonality to bond over after all

03:01

you