Towards the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century Japan was able to become a Colonial Power because of the following reasons: Taking part in the Corean War, the defeat of Soviet Russia, and the ideals of the Meiji government in terms of Japan’s interest. With this chain of events that were going in Japan’s favor is what only a matter of time before Japan started its global campaign. The catalyst for Japans rise to power started with the disputes with its neighboring country china over the politics of Korea.
At the time China was known as the dominant force in all of Asia and Japan was now beginning to take part in Asian politics, but there was friction between Japan and China. “If the well-known prosperity of china-man to cheat foreigners had its most conspicuous exercise, it was during the two months that proceeded the first day of 1894. Our neighbor was treacherous to the last degree and civilly failing to carry out our point, we decided upon war” (Uchimaru, Pg. 72). Japan was fighting to defend the newly independent nation of Korea to exert its influence on them while China was trying to keep its sphere of influence over the region. In the end Japan was successful and defeated China thereby gaining more confidence of its own power.
The next step that Japan took on its conquest for power domination is challenging a European super power and coming out winning. Japan went to war with Russia because it did not like the amount of power it had gained with the treaty it made with China as well as distrusting any foreign intrusion into the Asia region. “Russia seems to have miscalculated Japanese determination and thought that it would be able to compel Japan to succumb to its will by threat alone” (Okamoto, Pg.105). This statement shows that Japan was prepared for War and was not going to stop until it was successful. Upon defeating the Russians Japan became the first Asian power to gain entry on to the world stage as major power.
With Japan now having reached the status of a world power it was only natural that Japan would try and colonize other nations in Asia. “They claimed a special place for Japan as a divine realm that “constitutes the head and shoulders of the world and controls all nations”. The New rulers of Meiji Japan drew on such attitudes as they looked to secure Japan’s position in Asia and enshrine the emperor as the pillar of the domestic order as well” (Gordon, Pg.122). This attitude that Japan is now of a divine position and had the right to conquer other nations is similar to what other western nations were doing much earlier in history. Japan at this point was in position of both political and military power that its own confidence was more than enough to colonize other countries and expands its sphere of influence.
Over all Japan had become a military power prior to World War II and therefore it was only natural for Japan to expand. I am certain that the number of victories that Japan had gained at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century were more than enough to give rise to Nationalism in Japan. Japan had gone from nation building after the Meiji Restoration and industrial revolution and it became a Military type country that wanted to expand into other countries as the dominant force in Asia.