Why did Japan seek an empire?

1 Answer
Jun 8, 2017

Fundamentally lack of resources


Japan has very limited supplies of raw materials and was an importer of coal, iron ore and rubber etc.
As Japans industrialisation in the 1920s grew pace the shortages of resources was highlighted.
The invasion of China in the mid 30's was principally to take control of the coal fields of Manchuria. The invasion led to a economic blockade of japan led by the US.
An effective blockade of raw materials over a sustained period left Japan with two options - Bit to US pressure and give in and withdraw China or Seize the areas in the eastern pacific rim where the raw materials were to be found (Malaya etc)