Non-Western History Project:
Axis Power of Japan During World War 2
By: Kaeli Blanchfield
World History Period six
Tuseday, March 11, 2014
The Empire of Japan, a constitutional monarchy ruled by Hirohito, was the principal Axis power in Asia and the Pacific. The Japanese constitution prescribed that "the Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution" (article 4) and that "The Emperor has the supreme command of the Army and the Navy" (article 11). Under the emperor were a political cabinet and the Imperial General Headquarters, with two chiefs of staff.
At its height, Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Proserity Sphere included Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, large parts of China, Malaysia, French Indochina, Dutch East Indies, The Philippines, Burma, some of India, and various Pacific Islands in the central Pacific.
As a result of the internal discord and economic downturn of the 1920s, militaristic elements set Japan on a path of expansionism. As the Japanese home islands lacked natural resources needed for growth, Japan planned to establish hegemony in Asia and become self-sufficient by acquiring territories with abundant natural resources. Japan's expansionist policies alienated it from other countries in the League of Nations and by the mid-1930s brought it closer to Germany and Italy, who had both pursued similar expansionist policies. Cooperation between Japan and Germany began with the Anti-Comintern Pact, in which the two countries agreed to ally to challenge any attack by the Soviet Union. Blanchfield 2
Japan entered into conflict against the Chinese in 1937. The Japanese invasion and occupation of parts of China resulted in numerous atrocities against civilians, such as the Nanking massacre and the Three Alls Policy. The Japanese also fought skirmishes with Soviet-Mongolian forces in Manchukuo in...