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The Tokugawa family representing the emperor had ruled Japan during the nineteenth century. Japan was isolated from the outside world. In 1854, American Naval Commander Commodore Perry secured trading rights from Japan.

The Japanese resented the forcible intrusion of the foreigners into the country as well as the imposition of unequal treaties over them. They supported the emperor and rallied to expel the foreigners from Japan.

The restoration of Meiji brought revolutionary changes and astounding advances were made in all the spheres of life of the nation. Japan modernised its economy on western model and prospered. Rapid industrialisation was witnessed. Currency was reformed and a new constitution was framed. A new era began in the history of Japan known as the ‘Enlightened Rule’. Soon Japan turned into an expansionist country. It defeated China and conquered Korea. It also attacked Russia in 1905.

During World War I, Japan entered on the side of allied powers for territorial gains. In 1931, Japan occupied Manchuria and came in conflict with China over this issue. In World War II, Japan took sides with Germany and made the famous alliance known as Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis. In 1937–1938, it attacked China and conquered Indo-China in 1940. Japan became over-ambitious and attacked Pearl Harbor, the American Naval base. America entered the war and bombed the two cities, Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. With this, World War II came to an end. Japan came under the allied occupation.

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