Why did Japan want to take over China and other places in Asia?

1 Answer
Jul 1, 2016

They needed access to strategic bases and raw materials to sustain their imperial objectives.


The militaristic culture of Japan in the 1930's meant an aggressive foreign policy aimed at establishing Japanese hegemony in the Far East and Pacific.

Therefore the Japanese would have thus invaded these countries as part of these objectives. However the Japanese also needed access to raw materials, particularly oil and rubber to sustain a war economy.

They had already invaded China in 1937 and after the outbreak of World War 2 the Japanese blitzkrieg saw them sweep through South East Asia, conquering Malaysia, French Indo-China, the Dutch East Indies, Burma the Philippines and SIngapore.

However their failure to destroy the American fleet at Pearl Harbour and their miscalculation assuming that the Americans would swiftly sue for peace meant their eventual defeat as they could not compete with America's economic might.