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What were the effects of the policy of isolation in Japan?

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From the Meiji Restoration in 1868 up until Japan's growing imperialist aggression in the 1930s, the country became increasingly isolated from the outside world—but not completely, because a lack of raw materials necessitated their import from Western countries such as Germany and the United States. The Japanese also drew upon Western know-how in the realms of science and technology to modernize their economy and provide the foundations for military expansion.

That said, increased trade with the West did not lead to the development of a more open mindset among the Japanese—quite the opposite, in fact. The Japanese simply took what they needed from the West and used it for the furtherance of their own interests.

The militarization of society went hand in hand with an increasingly strident nationalism based on a fanatical belief in Japanese racial and cultural superiority. Inevitably, such an ideology served to isolate Japan from the wider world. When Japan finally did engage with the world around it, it was as an imperialist force bent on carving out a vast new empire in East Asia.

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