Mirei Yogi, celebrated war correspondent reports directly from Japan on why Japan went to war!

Read more about causes from Jessica Zhu

The Great Depression in the United States, which lasted from the end of 1929 until the early 1940's, was the worst and longest economic collapse in the history of the modern industrial world.


In 1919, Japan was unhappy about the Treaty of Versailles, which took place in France, because the French and the British did not treat the Japanese as equal partners. The Great Depression also played an important role in Japan causing it to become angry and aggressive. This meant that by 1941, Japan was at war with China, America, Britain and the USSR as well.

What was Japan unhappy about with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919?

In fact, Japan was well rewarded by the Treaty of Versailles. Japan was found to take over Germany's rights in Shandong Province, which is in China, and govern the South Sea Islands (Palau, Saipan, etc) north of the equator in the former German possession. Japan felt that the Treaty of Versailles had failed. The French and British did not treat the Japanese as equal partners because Japan did not take part in the World War I. In answer to racism, these unequal treatments are based on unequal participation in war.

Prolonged recession

The Great Kanto Earthquake,which happend in 1923, at the end of the Taisho era made the post-World War I recession even more serious. This recession continued even after the Showa era.

In 1927, the financial crisis that banks went broke one after another and in 1929, when the Great Depression caused by a large drop in stock prices in New York (United States), companies that went broke one after another, and the Japanese economy. The crisis has become serious.

The Great Depression, which was at 1929, was a serious economic crisis that appear worldwide in the 1930s, starting with the United States.

How did the Great Depression in 1929 affect Japan?

The Great Depression, which happend in 1929, warned to backup Japan. Its main export silk to the USA, but USA was buying less silk so, Japan had less money to buy food and raw materials. They decided to build an empire by taking over weaker countries that had raw materials Japan needed, so they started attacking Manchuria.

1941, Relations between Japan and the United States, which have continued their stand of expanding into the south, have failed. The government continued to agree with the United States, but failed and when Hideki Tojo from the Army became Prime Minister, he finally enter on a war with the United States.

December 8, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the British Malaya Peninsula, causing the Pacific War.

This reporter interviewed to the common people about The Great Kanto and they replied that "The Great Kanto was very scary and lot of my friend die because of this."

Treaty of Versailles starts at 1919 and Japan was unhappy about this because French and British did not treat the Japanese as equal partners. The Great Depression start at 1929 and end at 1930, begin in the United States and spread all over the world.


Manchurian incident,which happend in 1931, and the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 was between Japan and China. It happend in China, Manchuria, and Japan attacked Manchuria because Japan wanted iron, coking coal, soybeans, salt and above all land.

Manchurian Incident, 1931

In 1931, a Japanese-owned Manchuria Railway track exploded near Lake Liutiaohu near Mukden, which is the current Shenyang, in Manchuria (Liutiaohu Incident). This was caused by a part of the Japanese army in Manchuria called the Kwantung Army, but Japan occupied the Manchurian area as a work of the Chinese army and founded Manchuria in 1932. This series of movements is called the Manchurian Incident.

Manchuria was an independent country headed by the last emperor of the Qing dynasty in Puyi, but the Kwantung Army was in control of politics.

Why did Japan want to attack China?

Japan attacked Manchuria because Japan wants iron, coking coal, soybeans, salt and above all land.

Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937

In 1937, an armed clash between the Japanese and Chinese forces occurred at the Marco Polo Bridge on the outskirts of Beijing, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. This triggered the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the war spread throughout China. In 1937, the capital, Nanjing, was occupied by the Japanese army, but at that time many citizens were involved and received great international criticism (Nanjing Massacre).

Establishing a wartime system

As the Second Sino Japanese War prolonged, the shortage of soldiers and supplies became noticeable in Japan. Therefore, the government enacted the National Mobilization Law in 1938, which allowed the people to be mobilized to soldiers and the munitions industry by order of the military and to give priority to resources such as coal for military use in 1938. With the national mobilization as a trigger, a distribution system has begun in which the state restricts the distribution of daily necessities of the people.

Red paper (temporary convocation letter)

As the war worsened, a temporary convocation letter was issued to make up for the missing soldiers. The warrant was called “red paper” because of its colour. This caused many boys to go to war and reduced rice production in rural areas.

Why did WW2 start?

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy were under the control of the people and dictated politics in Europe.

In the wake of Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939, a Second World War broke out between Germany and Italy, Britain and France...

Attack on Pearl Harbor

On December 7th, 1941 in the morning, a Japanese fighter plane attacked Pearl Habor, which is place in Hawaii. It was because America was in Pearl Habor and all the times Japan were pressured by America so Japan wants to revenge America.

This reporter spoke to a Japanese soldier, who is fighting against the Chinese soldier. When asked Do you think Japan was right to go to war? , Nakamura replied that "I don’t think it was an great idea to participate War world two because lot of people die because of this."

Manchurian Incidents was at September 18th, 1931 and Japan explode Manchuria Railway track, and it end at 1933.

Second Sino-Japanese War start at 1937 and end at 1945. This War end because United States detonated nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Learn about leader from David Yang

When he was born, his grandfather was emperor. But his grandfather died when he was 11, and he became crown prince. In 1921, he visited Europe, being the first crown prince to travel abroad.

Learn about key battle from Allen Qi

The attack on Pearl Harbor happened from ('started on' is correct) December 7th, 1941. Our army and the US army had a battle on the island (Pearl Habor).

Learn about homefront from Bryant Hong

Rationing is something in limitation for example: butter, rubber, cheese, metal container, and food. The country will give you rationing book and stamps, which helps you to get things that you want; stamps work in the same as the money we use today.

The rise of Japan militarism

At 1930 in Japan, Japan militarism, which led to atrocities that still haunt East Asian directions, started. Japan militarism started because it was argued that the rapid growth of Japan's population, which stood at close to 65 million in 1930, necessitated large food imports.

Rise of militarism was considering war of diplomacy, the idea or ideology that prioritizes military power.

The rise of Japan militarism in 1930 were distinguished by China and at 1920 officers in the Guangdong Army stationed in Manc (north-eastern China) had led unauthorized attacks. At May 15th 1932, Japanese Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was assassination by Navy youth officer and because of this Political party politics ended.

On February 26th, 1936, part of the Army occupies Tokyo and political reform are assassination. This rebellion ended in failure but after this rebellion, the military intervened stronger remarks against the military politics.

This reporter spoke to a Ordinary people, who is living with their family. When ask How do you think about Japan militarism, Nakamura replied that "It was not good because the war will start and lots of people die or became harder to live."

Militarism is a belief that a strong military force should be maintained and used aggressively to promote national interests and that the military should play a central role in society. Great Depression affected Japan and led a rise in Militarism.

Japanese militarism caused two major events in Japanese history : in 1931, the Japanese army exploded the Manchuria Railway Track, which is known as the Manchurian incidents. In 1937, the Japanese army also armed clash between the Japanese and Chinese (Second Sino-Japanese War) and finally in 1941 the war between Japanese and America started.

League of Nations

At 1920, League of Nation, which was international organization founded after the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, was formed at Geneva, Switzerland. League of Nation failed because there had to be unanimity for decisions that were taken.

Inauguration of the League of Nations, 1920

In 1920, at the suggestion of President Wilson of the United States, the League of Nations, headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland), was established. Japan joined the League of Nations, and Inazo Nitobe has been active as the deputy secretary general.

*The United States did not join the League of Nations in opposition to Congress. In addition, Germany and the Soviet Union were not allowed to participate.

Withdrawal from the League of Nations, 1933

When the Manchurian Incident occurred, China appealed to the League of Nations. The League of Nations discovered a research team headed by the British Lytton and had them report on the cause of the Manchurian Incident. Lytton issued a report that after transforming Manchuria into China, a government would be established in Manchuria under the guidance of foreigners to place Japanese people. When this was agreed at the League of Nations General Assembly, Japan opposed this distant move and withdrew from the League of Nations. As a result, Japan became isolated from the international community.

Source 1 Japan militarism

Source 2 League of Nation

Source 3 Manchurian Incidents

Source 4 Great Depression

Source 5 Japan Militarism (2)