Japanese Empire

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    Early expansion by the Japanese state incorporated adjacent island regions fully into the national territory. From the middle of the 19th century, Japan began to see a colonial empire on the Western model as one of the attributes of state power and political modernity. Though in competition with Western powers, it was able to seize Taiwan (1895) and Korea (1910) as colonies. Japanese colonial policy was generally more assimilationist and developmentalist than many Western colonial policies, but sharp policy changes, internal contradictions, and a willingness to resort to violence made Japanese policies appear capricious and insincere. After a brief attempt to create a colonial empire in Siberia, Japan focused its attention on China, expanding its control incrementally over two decades. It was unable to prevail, however, in full-scale war against China from 1937, and its attempts to control the situation led it into catastrophic conflict with the United States, though it was briefly able to establish an empire encompassing most of Southeast Asia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Empire
    EditorsJohn MacKenzie
    Place of PublicationUnited States
    PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    ISBN (Print)9781118440643
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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