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This is an issue that is the subject of some controversy. There are ways in which the Japanese militarists resembled the fascists, but there are other ways in which they did not.
The Japanese militarists were like the fascists in that they wanted a very unified country that could then unite behind an aggressive foreign policy. They did not like the democratic system any more than the fascists did. They wanted everyone in the country to think alike. All of these are hallmarks of fascism.
However, there were major differences as well. There was not as much domestic suppression of dissent in Japan as in Germany, for example. There were no Japanese concentration camps. This is partly because Japan was more homogeneous to begin with. Another major difference was the absence of a “leader” figure in Japan. In Germany, Italy, and Spain, there were prominent leaders who were given dictatorial power. This was not true in Japan. There was never a Japanese figure to rival Hitler or Mussolini or Franco.
Thus, Japan’s militarists shared some of the goals of the European fascists, but the systems were not identical.
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