Japan has always been a proud and self-reliant nation. They do not cherish the Western civilization and they have always tried o maintain their own, only borrowing form the west as a means to an end. Japan wanted only to become "equal to the powers" and Japan was irate over unfair trade agreements. The leaders at the time realized that they needed more natural resources to achieve the goal of becoming a world power. The Japanese leaders were impressed with more with the German authoritarian rule, rather than the liberal government of England and the democratic United States. They believed these nations to be weaker because their styles of government allowed divisions, and modeled their institution after the stronger German style.
To achieve equality Japan knew they had to exploit their wealthy agriculture, then quickly lay the ground work for modern industry. Strengthening the army became a priority to gain acceptance in the international community. The army, controlled by the emperor, was looking to depose the Japanese government and the invasion of Manchuria was the tool in which this could be accomplished. On September 18, 1931, Japanese army conspirators in Manchuria faked a sabotage of the Japanese-owned South Manchuria Railroad. Blaming it on the Chinese, the Japanese forces overran Manchuria immediately with out any approval from the Japanese government. The civilian government could do nothing as the masses of Japan applauded the conquest, instilling the with national pride.
On that fateful September day, Japan stepped toward their quest for an empire and into the bloodstained decade that would proceed World War II.By Andy "The Bear" Johnston