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The switch of Japan’s position, and its sudden acts of aggression surprised almost all countries. Previously an isolationist country, Japan remained peaceful, and posed no threat to the current peace upheld and maintained by the League of Nations. However, on September 18, 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria, a city located in China, massacring opposing Chinese soldiers, and a number of civilians. The Japanese claimed the invasion to be an act of self-defence, blaming the Chinese Nationalists for the bombing and sabotage of the railways located in Mukden, a city in China. More annexations ensued, and eventually, during the 1930’s to the 1940’s, Japan seemed determined on colonizing all of Asia. It seized large amounts of land, and various islands; and in addition to Korea, which Japan had already annexed, it succeeded in adding: Manchuria, coastal China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Singapore, Malaya (Malaysia), Thailand, New Guinea, Brunei, Taiwan, and much more. Japanese invasions even reached Australia to the South, in the East, it reached the US territory of Hawaii, as for the North, The Aleutian Islands, and in the West, Japanese attacks reached British India in the Kohima campaign.

As Japanese attacks continued, battles and wars broke out, one being the Second Sino Japanese War. Considered as the largest Asian war in the 20th century, the Second Sino Japanese War, a series of attacks and invasions of Chinese territory, was one of the most devastating events that took place in the Pacific. Invasions within the Sino Japanese War such as: the 1937 Full-scale Invasion of China, and the Rape of Nanking/Nanjing led to the destruction of homes and villages, and devastating amounts of casualties. Furthermore, other attacks such as the Invasion of Thailand and Malaya offered no resistance, and only increased Japan’s territory and power. With every new country annexed, Japan’s economy grew, along with their armies and territory.



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