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Word Count: 643
Up until the 1650s Japan had been isolated from the rest of the world where its government and society were rigidly hierarchical Moreover its emergence as a modern world power from 1867 to 1914 was to a certain large extent due to its contact with Western nations among other factors These other factors included Japans own willingness to adopt western ideas and technologies its success in wars against China and Russia as well as its strong centralized government and the influence of ideas such as militarism nationalism and imperialism Additionally Japan was inspired by the Western nations to pursue for the independence that these nations had and at the same time to defend themselves against them The need to defend themselves was brought about their realization that they were politically weak when compared with the higher powers within this time period Firstly the foreign powers obtained many privileges from Japan such as the right to apply their own law to their stay in Japan which lead them to firmly believe that Japans national right had been violated Secondly the foreign imports into Japan increased notably due to the low tariff fixed by the unequal treaties which meant that Westerners received more privileges as Japan was suffering from debt Subsequently Japan believed they were in danger of foreign attack and needed to stabilize themselves politically and hence took to drawing up Japans first constitution - bringing the Charter Oath into effect promoting the new policy of modernization Many western technologies and ideas were also adopted as the Japanese leaders encouraged the people to take on a more Westernised lifestyle unlike in China where the idea was instead strongly discouraged forbidden China had confidence and refused to destroy its traditional values Japan however saw that perhaps the reason why the Western nations were so significantly more powerful than the Asian nations may have had to do with some aspects of their culture they also saw
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