The tradition of militarism in Japan was quite ancient. The system of allotment of fief to the officer and civil servants was prevalent in Japan for their maintenance. As a result feudalism emerged in Japan whose chief job was military service. In the 12th century during the regime of Yoritoma, era of powerful lords came into existence and the port of Shogun was considered most significant during this time. It was allotted to the most powerful feudal lords who had absolute control over army. The emperor of Japan ruled through Shogun. Since then the nature of government of Japan turned to be militarist. Gradually it took the shape of such a system as was similar to the nature and ideals of feudalism of Medieval Europe. The system was named as Bakufer whose head was entitled on Shogun. Both these titles were originally pertaining to Military. The army code of Japan was known as Bushido.
ORGANISATION OF NATIONAL ARMY
This system continued upto the middle of 19th century but in 1968 with the restoration of Meiji, this practice came to an end and the emperor took over the power. After the abolition of Shogunate, a new army was organized. So far Samurai feudal organized the army of Japan and perform military duties under different feudal lords. Common masses were not recruited in the army but the Meiji ruler organized a national army in place of feudalist army. In this army the efficiency was preferred to caste. With the implementation era emerged in the history of Japan. Thus the tendency of militarism had improved in Japan by the end of 19th century. Japan also wanted to improve his naval power equal to the status of England.
SUPREMACY OF EMPEROR OVER MILITARY ORGANISATION
In 1898 A.D. Prince Yamagath, the chief organizer of Modern army got issued another ordinance for fear of transfer of military power to the hands of civil officers due to parliamentary conflict that only a military officer of high rank could be the Minister of war and navy. A slight amendment was also made in this ordinance in 1912 A.D. according to which the retired Military officer could be appointed on the most of minister. Thus, supremacy of the emperor was established on the military service.
EXPERIMENT OF NEW POWER AND SINO-JAPANESE WAR
Japan was a close neighbour of China. She wanted to establish central over China-Japan also wanted to occupy Korea because of several causes:
- Japan wanted to test her new military power.
- The Korean ruler was weak, inefficient and supreme. There was internal conflict in Korea, so it was a golden opportunity for her to interfere. In 1884 and 1894 Korea sought the help of China for the suppression of revolt and China sent an army to Korea. Japan accusing China for the violation of the terms of treaty also sent a Japanese contingent in Korea. Japan wanted war with China on the issue of Korea. He wanted to let the countries of Europe know of her military strength. Besides Japan and China, other countries of Europe were also interested in Korea in 1894 A.D. The aim of England was oust Russia from Korea before establishing her foot in Korea. Japan had control over the trade of Korea. China also wanted to check her progress in China so Sino-Japanese war broke out.
Sino-Japanese war continued for nine month. Japan ultimately attained victory over land and water against China and forced China for the treaty of Shimonoski which proved very beneficial to Japan. Russia opposed it vehemently for she wanted to establish her control over Liotung. France and Germany were also jealous of the victory of Japan. All these countries pressurized Japan to give up her control over Liotung but received rupees seven crore in lieu of it from China.