Episode 25: Why Did Japan Attack So Many Southeast Asian Countries in WW2
July 24, 2020 Japan’s “Meiji Restoration”—which spelled the end of the country’s isolation from the West during the reign of the Tokugawa Shoguns--allowed it to embark upon a campaign of modernization and westernization. Within the scope of a few decades, Japan modernized and became the most powerful country in East Asia, with that result cemented in blood by the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War. Thereafter, Japan decided to emulate the Western Powers that colonized or subdued most of the non-Western world in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; in other words, Japan became an imperial power in East Asia. It annexed Formosa (Taiwan) in 1895, Korea in 1910, and the Caroline and Mariana Islands after World War I.