How far would you agree that it was the world economic crisis which caused Japan to fall under military rule in the early 1930s?
Published: March 20, 2017
The world economic crisis of 1929 affected Japan badly. Japan’s economy ran through the exports and other countries increased the import duties for foreign goods, the worst affected was the export of raw silk. The price of silk fell to one-fifth in 1932 as compared to the prices in 1923. Most of the silk was exported to USA but after the crashing of Wall Street, USA greatly reduced the import of silk from Japan. The prices of rice also fell due to the crisis and surplus production. More than half of the Japanese farmers were dependent on the export of the raw silk and rice.
As a result of the crisis there was rise in poverty in Japan. The farmers and the factory workers blamed the government and the big business for the rise in poverty. Many army recruits came from the background of farming, they were very moved by it. There were various instances of politicians accepting bribes from big businesses and due to this, the functioning of the parliament was affected and was becoming inefficient. This is why the many army officers were planning to capture power and establish a nationalist government.
Japan had invested in Manchuria and it was a trading destination for Japan. In 1931, fearing that the Chinese will throw the Japanese out of Manchuria, army invaded the Manchuria without the permission of PM to preserve Japanese economy. When the PM resisted, he was killed by an army officer and then army ruled the country.