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During this period, the major reforms came after the Meiji Restoration. There were reforms in politics, in economics, and in society. Socially speaking, the major reform was the abolition of the samurai as a separate and privileged class. Politically, the major reform was that the feudal system was abolished. Areas that had once been ruled by daimyo as their fiefs became prefectures that were run by governors appointed by the national government. Economically, Japan started to industrialize. This was accomplished largely through government orders. The government encouraged and pushed industrialization because it knew that it needed to industrialize in order to catch up to the military power of the West.
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