Political Instability In Japan

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1.0 Introduction Japan’s military extremism experienced during the 30s arose from political instability and economic depression of the time. The country barely escaped the World War I and would benefit from this as one of the main suppliers of the world owning to Europe’s slump due to effects of the war. But despite this opportunity, Japan had scarce natural resources and the population was increasing at an alarming rate - something that led to the migration of its citizens to countries such the US in the early twentieth century. Also, as the government shifted from liberal to more conservative ideologies that supported the annexation of additional territory to gain the needed resources, the military section of the government gained more…show more content…
Political instability has been defined as “the inability of the central government to maintain political control over a region”. The Japanese government was western-styled (parliamentary democracy) whereby it consisted of the executive, legislature and judiciary. The executive arm of government – which was headed by a prime minister and where the military falls under, was weak. For instance, the navy minister would report to and consult with Emperor Showa instead of the respective prime minister, weakening his…show more content…
These views stemmed from the victory of the Russian Revolution where democracy trounced autocracy, labour unrest during post World War 1 recession, and the 1918 Rice Riot. The social democratic parties that came to power in the late 20s and early 30s – most of whose values were founded on Taisho democracy (1912-1926) downplayed the role of military something that conflicted with the Japanese tradition of Samurai.5 In fact, the social democratic parties endorsed the disarmament policies that had been upheld by the leaders reigning during the Taisho era.4 These parties advanced democratic reforms that focused on justice, equality, Marxism and anarchism. This progress was not accepted by the young military officers, who later established political parties and military opposition to counter the growing influence of liberalism.4 The rejection of liberalism led to the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Osachi Hamaguchi and the assassination of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi in 1932 (both of whom supported liberalism over militarism), and the latter’s whose death marked the end of civilian political

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