Japan 's national slogan during the Meiji period, Fukoku kyōhei “Enrich the country, strengthen the military,” holds as a primary piece of information for the cultural mentality at the time, power to the military. This also symbolized a growth in nationalistic policies. As a result of the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese military had a strong influence on society. This is because almost all leaders in Japanese society during this period were either ex-samurai or descendants of, who held the same values and beliefs, making them the military nobility of preindustrial Japan. The early Meiji government were threatened by western imperialism, fearing the fate of 19th century China. This acted as a driver for Japan to westernise and gave power to the military, in order to defend form external forces. The Great Depression increased the internal instability and also contributed to the idea that expansion was essential. After the defeat of the Russians and the German navy, along with the fall of China in the Opium wars, Japan became rather conceited seeing itself as the leader of Asia. This view of oneself, being leader of a continent, is rather ultra-nationalistic, hence we see the Japanese nationalism beginning to foster. But when this growth manifested itself, is truly when militarism took control from the government entirely, and the desire to be considered a world power, planted the seeds of ultranationalism.
In the 1890 's, the education system indoctrinated children in the ideas of nationalism and loyalty to the emperor, along with traditionalist ideas of self-sacrifice...
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..., Japan accelerated its search for more secure sources of vital raw materials. The United States responded with a complete embargo on scrap iron, but this was followed the very next day by the formal announcement of the Axis pact. The United States continued to expand its embargo, extending it to tools, iron, steel, copper, bronze, and many other critical metals. Roosevelt decided to stop Japanese expansion. He issued an order freezing all Japanese assets in the United States, most critically, oil. When the British and Dutch joined the oil embargo, it cut off the vital Southeast Asian sources of raw materials as well. With only a two-year supply of petroleum, Japan either had to give up the war in China or secure its own sources of supply. Withdrawing from the war would have been against their moral code, thus damaging their nationalistic view, so Japan declared war.
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