Why did Japan want to expand their empire in Asia? Explain in detail using ALL the documents provided in images below.

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The desire of Japan to build a modern industrial civilization is what drove their desire at expansion.  Document 1A, which is the resource map of Japan, demonstrates that the country was limited with regards to vital materials necessary for industry.  This includes a lack of petroleum, limited iron ore, and scarce coal mines.  Nagai Ryutaro argues in Document 2 that four major powers have essentially shut Japan out of the global market through spheres of influence and high tariffs.  He feels that Japan's only response is to use force to gain access to materials and opportunities necessary to Japan's success.  Document 3 describes the designs that Japan had for colonizing Korea and the importance that it placed on the peninsula a decade before World War I.  This document seems to make the United States complicit in the early imperial ambitions of Japan because it was a conversation that involved the American Secretary of War.  In Document 4, the desire of Japan to create a new Asian order in China is communicated.  The Japanese feel that they are the only ones that can protect China from communism that could migrate from the Soviet Union.  The Japanese also want to eliminate Western influence in China to establish their own markets and influence.  Jiang Jieshi, the nationalist leader of China, does not feel that this patriarchal relationship will benefit his people.  

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