The need for self-preservation was the motivating force behind Japan’s territorial ambitions. ” In my opinion,self-preservation refers to the preservation of Japan’s territories as well as the achievement of self-sufficieny(autarky). Thus, I feel that Sources B,C and D support the statement while Sources A and E do not. Source B supports the hypothesis. It states the two reasons why Japan went to war and is reliable because it is a report of the Japanese government conference held in 1941.
Source B states that Japan will “seek to establish a solid basis for security and preservation of the nation”and “advance south”. This shows that Japan wanted to protect its territories like China and sought to establish its military so that it could conquer more territories for more natural resources to reduce reliance on other countries . Also, Japan needed to “establish a solid basis for security” so that it could protect itself from external threats. Japan felt that in order to be more powerful, it needed to conquer more territories and preserve its current territories.
To Japan, power was the key to self-preservation and thus, in order to satisfy its need for self-preservation, Japan became hungry for power and this ignited Japan’s territorial ambitions. Source B also states that Japan’s main reason for expanding its territories was the “policy that resulted in the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”. Thus, I can infer from Source B that Japan conquered other territories because it wanted to achieve self-sufficiency.
From my contextual knowledge,Japan established the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere on the pretext of wanting all the economies in East Asia to prosper together. However, Japan’s main aim was to control the economies and trade and at the same time, the countries’ natural resources. By doing so, Japan was able to gain more natural resources for its growing industries and population as well as use the Southeast Asian countries as overseas markets for Japanese goods. Hence,I feel that Source B shows that the motivation behind Japan’s territorial ambitions was its need for self-sufficiency.
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