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The Start of Japanese Imperialism in China

On July 8th, 1853, the US sailed a squadron of black hulled warships into Edo harbor (now known as Tokyo). Commodore Matthew Perry sought to present the Treaty of Kanagawa from President Finnamore to the Emporor demanding concessions from Japan. When told that the emperor could not take in the treaty directly, on July 14th the ships sailed around the habor and displayed the firepower of their cannons thirteen times. Then Perry warned that he could return with more ships. The Tokugawa shogun had no choice but to sign the treaty. The treaty allowed America two Japanese ports from which to take supplies, as well as an embassy in Japan. In this show of force and power by the US, the Japanese realized that they need to increase their industrialization and make up for what they were technologically lacking in order to maintain power. Japan's self-imposed isolation lasted for over two centuries, and now that was to all be turned around completely. Ultimately, the Japanese took what they thought was the best of Western civilization, and adopted it to their own ways. This led to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, that saw much economic development and industrialization. Japan was developing at an incredibly rapid rate, and needed both an overseas market and a source of raw materials for their quickly developing industrial base; this is what led to the defeat of China in 1895. The first Sino-Japanese war broke out in August 1894, when China broke the signed treaty that stated that neither they nor Japan would send troops to Korea. While China's navy seemed much more powerful and many assumed that China was going to win, the supposedly massive Chinese army could not match the progress made in Japan following the Meiji restoration. The Japanese destroyed the Chinese Navy with a few months, and a peace treaty between the two countries was signed in 1895. Japan now had control over Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands, and was well on its way of establishing its status as a powerful international force.

Russo-Japanese War
At this point in time, many Western civilizations were trying to gain control of Asia. Russia was especially expanding into China, taking over Vladivostok and completing the Trans-Siberian railway. As Russia's penetration into Manchuria continued, Japan became fearful of their expansion and declared war. This was to become known as the Russo-Japanese War, which started in 1904 and ended in 1905. The Japanese Navy proved powerful again as it destroyed the Russian Navy, and many of the land battles that were fought also left Russia defeated. Japan's win was accompanied by the Treaty of Portsmouth, which granted Japan all of the capture territories and forced Russia to withdraw. Japan now held a great amount of power and influence in its hands, which brings us to Japanese imperialism in Korea.
In the past, when Korea was faced with danger, it had chosen to be the "younger brother" of China. But by the late nineteenth century, China had been buffeted by western powers, particularly by Britain and Russia, and it faced a major threat in the growing power of a rapidly industrializing Japan. Japan created a modern army and navy and viewed Korea and Manchuria as areas for industrial and agricultural expansion. The Korean government, under the Choson Dynasty, moved more slowly toward reform and still looked to China for protection. This protection, however, looked less promising after China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War (1895).

Japan further established its influence over Korea when it triumphed in the Russo-Japanese War (1905). Western powers, like the United States and Britain, did little to interfere with Japan's efforts to establish its sphere of influence in Korea. The Koreans, however, resisted attempts to limit their independence.
Through a series of maneuvers, which included the assassination of members of the Korean royal family, the Japanese gained influence in Korea. In 1910, Japan officially took control of Korea and renamed it Chosen.

Effect on Korea
Japanese occupation of Korea lasted until 1945 when the Japanese were defeated in World War II.Under Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945, Koreans struggled to maintain their culture. The Japanese banned the teaching of the Korean language and history and burned many historical documents. Koreans were forced to take Japanese names and to speak and teach in the Japanese language. Many Korean farmers were forced off their lands while others had to fulfill grain quotas for Japan's needs. Buildings were taken over for Japanese military and government purposes, and Korean businesses were handed over to Japanese officials.
During World War II, Japan employed Koreans in its military efforts. Koreans were drafted into the Japanese army or had to work under dangerous, slavelike conditions. The Japanese military kidnapped thou- sands of Korean girls and women and forced them to serve as comfort women who were raped by Japanese soldiers. Japan still refuses to accept responsibility for this policy, creating a bitter issue between Korea and Japan.

Korea today
Korean nationalists were divided and could not maintain a united policy of opposition. Some groups wanted close ties to the West and called for reforms based on western ideas.Others, influenced by the 1917 Russian Revolution, preferred a Korea founded on communist ideals. These divisions are still present in Korea today.
After the defeat of Japan in 1945, Korea recovered its independence. But the long and painful history that Korea and Japan share remains a cause of contention to this day.

Done by- Tina Johnson and Aleks Likhtarova