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ISBN: 9781771861359-01

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The Empire of Japan

From: Patriots, Traitors and Empires


Chapter One The Empire of Japan/i> focuses on the rise of Japanese imperialism and colonialism in Korea. As an emerging industrial power, Japan required access to vital raw materials necessary for its industrial development. Unlike the United States and Russia, whose expansive continental empires contained almost all the raw materials a modern industrial economy needed– or France and Britain, whose vast overseas empire steamed with vital natural resources– Japan lacked almost every input the country’s industrialists required, with the exception of coal. The Korean peninsula in comparison was rich in resources, and as the Chinese influence wained in the region, Japan set eyes upon the region. With Korea under its control, Japan could offer its manufacturers a guaranteed source of raw materials, as well as cheap labor. What’s more, Korea could furnish Japan with a secure supply of agricultural goods. The chapter focuses on the rise of Japan as an imperialist nation, the history of imperial competition on the Korea peninsula, Japanese colonization and occupation, the Korean struggle for freedom, forced labour, Japanese sexual slavery “Comfort Women”, and the Second World War from a Korean perspective.



Stephen Gowans

Stephen Gowans is an independent political analyst whose principal interest is in who influences formulation of foreign policy in the United States. His writings, which appear on his What’s Left blog, have been reproduced widely in online and print media in many languages and have been cited in academic journals and other scholarly works.