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Japan Modernization
The Meiji Era
¥ Meiji was known as the enlightened era. It reigned from
1867 to 1924.
¥ Emperor Meiji cooperated with Oligarchy, and
commanded them to except change.
¥ Emperor Meiji sent people to study in Europe, North
America, and Germany. Because they seemed the
strongest in the world because of a constitution.
¥ In 1910 Japan imposed the annexation of Korea
¥ In the 1800’s Japan forced open their trade with the U.S.
and other Western Powers, because technology and
political systems where lagging far behind.
Why Japan Invaded other Asian
¥ In 1895 Japan improved its strength with the
international community by defeating China, and
annexed Taiwan.
¥ Russia and Japan started to fight over the control of the
Korean peninsula and Manchuria in 1905 it was called
the Russo-Japanese war.
¥ Japan won the war and became confident that they could
rival Western powers.
¥ The Japanese people began to feel the duty to protect
their Asian neighbors from Western colonial
More on Japan invading other
¥ Korea was officially annexed in 1910, while they
still tried to control Manchuria.
¥ Japanese politics became increasingly dominated
by military.
¥ The militarists pushed to take control over
China, and in 1920 due to many economic and
social upheaval led many Japanese farmers to
move to Manchuria to release tensions in Japan.
Japan ends isolation
¥ In 1853 Japans seclusion with the arrival of the United States
¥ fleet commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry, he was
instructed to open Japans foreign trade and diplomatic contact.
¥ The Edo bakufu recognized the United States military superiority
signed a treaty of friendship during Perry's second visit in 1854.
¥ The Netherlands, Russia, Britain, and France followed the lead of
the U.S. By 1859 the bakufu was pressured into signing a series of
“ unequal treaties” by opening several Japanese ports to foreign
¥ Western nationals were given the right of extraterritoriality, or
exemption from local law, tariff rates were established so the
Japanese government could not alter anything
Many Japanese regarded the surrender to the west as a national
humiliation and the bakufs authority declined.
Japanese Modernization
¥ During the 1870s the army quelled a number of
rebellions by former samurai who objected to rapid
¥ The ill-fated Satsuma rebellion of 1877 led by Saigo who
resigned from the government in 1873, It was also the
last major challenge to the new regime.
¥ The imperial government also laid the foundations for
an industrial economy.
¥ Modern money and banking systems were introduced,
railroads, telegraphs, and telephone lines, factories were
built, using the newest technology, and private
enterprises were subsidized, and laws permitting private
ownership of land were enhanced
More on Modernization
¥ Leaders like Arinori Mori helped create a modern
educational system.
¥ In 1827 compulsory universal education was instituted.
¥ By 1905 nearly 95% of Japanese school-age children were
in school, and Japan soon achieved one of the highest
literacy rates in the world.
¥ By the 1890’sJapan’s rapid modernization had made it
the most powerful nation in Asia, by 1899
extraterritoriality was relinquished by Britain, the
United States, and other western powers.
¥ Using its growing economic and military power Japan
sought to build an empire of its own.
Timeline of Major Events in Japan
¥ 1854- The forced Treaty of
Kangawa is signed between
Japanese and U.S. Admiral
Perry, opening trade between
Japan and a western nation for
the first time in nearly two
¥ 1855- Russia and Japan
establish diplomatic relations
¥ 1864- British, French, Dutch,
and American warships
bombard Shimonoseki and
open even more ports to
international trade.
¥ 1868- Shogun Yoshinobu
resigns and the Tokugawa
dynasty ends. The emperor or
“Mikado” Meiji is restored,
and the capital now located in
Edo (Tokyo).
¥ 1870- Meiji dismantles the
feudal system and forbids
landlords from retaining
private armies.
¥ 1872- The first railway line
between Tokyo and Yokohama
is inaugurated.
¥ 1873- Japan grants religious
freedom and adopts the
Gregorian calendar.
¥ 1875- Russia exchanges the
Kurile Islands for the Island of
Sakhalin with Japan.
¥ 1889- Emperor Meiji
promulgates a parliamentary
Timeline Cont.
¥ 1894- Japan invades China
(first sino-japanese war)
¥ K. 1895- Japan defeats China
and gains Taiwan as well as
supremacy over Korea.
¥ 1902- Japan signs the London
Treaty with Britain that
recognizes Japan’s rights in
Korea and Britain’s rights in
¥ 1904-Japan attacks Russia in
Manchuria, destroying the
Russian fleet at Port Arthur
and invades Korea
¥ 1905- 100,000 soldiers die in
Battle of Mukden between
Russian and Japan. Japan
destroys the Russian navy in
The battle of the Tsushina
Straits. Russia withdraws
from Manchuria, loses
Sakhalin, and recognizes a
Japanese protectorate over
Korea (Treaty of Portsmouth),
the first time that a nonEuropean country defeats a
European power.
¥ 1910- Japan annexes Korea and
thereby terminates the Choson
U.S.-Japanese Diplomatic Relations Then
¥ 1. Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy
forced the opening of Japan to the West with the
Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.
¥ 2. When he returned in February 1854, the
Japanese, aware that none of their armaments
was a match for Perry's warships, agreed to
admit U.S. ships to the ports of Shimoda and
Hakodate and to accept a U.S. consul at
¥ 3. The Treaty of Kanagawa was the first of the
treaties signed between Japan and other Western
countries in the 19th century.
U.S. Japanese Diplomatic Relations Now
¥ The United States' close and
cooperative relationship with
Japan is the cornerstone of U.S.
policy in Asia and the basis of
a strong, productive
partnership in addressing
global issues.
¥ Despite different social and
cultural traditions, Japan and
the United States have much in
common. Both have open,
democratic societies, high
literacy rates, freedom of
expression, multiparty
political systems, universal
suffrage, and open elections.
Both have highly developed
free-market industrial
economies and favor an open
and active international
trading system.
¥ The U.S. supports Japan's goal
of obtaining a permanent seat
on the United Nations Security
¥ Together the U.S. and Japan
account for a little more than
30% of the global economy’s
GDP and 60% of the Western
industrialized nations' GDP
¥ Japan also is the largest foreign
market for U.S. agricultural
products, with total
agricultural imports valued at
close to $17 billion in 1996.
¥ The U.S. currently maintains
over 40,000 forces in Japan,
more than half of whom are
stationed in Okinawa.