Prior to World War II, Japan’s position in the international community was dependent on its power and status in Asia. From the time of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it was essential for Japan to have considerable stature within Asia so that the country could associate on equal terms with Western nations and assume a position of influence in the international community. This was a historical imperative rooted in Japan’s determination to protect its independence against Western colonial rule in Asia.

Japan’s domestic modernization, however, which was implemented under the slogan “Enrich the country and strengthen the military,” was not always conducive to entrenching democratic institutions, and Japan undertook a colonialist expansion into Asia, creating a pattern in which it used Asia as a steppingstone to major-power status.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.