Westernization In Japan

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Westernization in Japan

Westernization in Japan


Japan governing authorities had successfully implemented a strict and limited foreign policy, which heavily focused on protecting the cultural roots and the nationalistic pride of the nation. The countries governing authorities viewed the western influences in a negative context, where they believed that they must safeguard the national economy and the social factors, so as to establish an independent entity. Although this policy was successful in mantling the socio economic status quo in the country, the economic progress experienced by the western countries forced Japan to change their traditional perspectives. In the majority of the early 1899th century, the western superpowers had attempted to form economic links with Japan; considering its vast resources and strategic location in the Asian region. The western countries such as Britain, France, Russia and America, had already ventured into the Asian region for its trade links, however the refusal of the Chinese and the Japanese countries to open their ports presented a essential dilemma. Due to the lack of trade ports, these countries had to face several dilemmas, while travelling to the Asian region.

In 1853, Commodore Mathew Perry' famous arrival at Japan, finally convinced the Japanese that they had to abolish their independent foreign strategy and formulate strong relations with the western countries. The four steam powered ships that arrived in Japan, commanded by Commodore Perry; made the Japanese realize the benefits of opening positive relations with the west. The Japanese did not possess the maritime technology and the advanced weaponry that the crew commanded by Commodore Perry possessed. It was due to this reason that the Japanese authorities readily accepted the proposal presented by Commodore Perry, and initiated the relations with America. The letter of economic collaboration drafted by the US president Millard Fillmore was accepted by the Japanese, and thus the trade relations between Asia and the West were initiated. This economic pact was essential for the countries in both of the regions, because the opportunity cost for non alliance strategy was enormous. The Japanese modernization era was fuelled by the technological expertise and the knowledge present with the western countries. This alliance also helped the country acquire an essential strategic advantage in the regional perspective, as an alliance with the western countries was a considerable strategic advantage.


Commodore Perry's Arrival

President Fillmore had developed a detailed letter for the relevant Japanese authorities, which focused on developing strong socio economic links between both of the countries. The letter was primarily addressed to the Japanese Shogun, and it politely encouraged the formation of strong bilateral trade alliance between Japan and America. The letter which was transferred to the Japanese authorities, by the credible maritime crew of Commodore Perry, was to be followed by an even bigger crew which would arrive to collect the Japanese reply.

The Reaction to Perry's Proposal

Shortly after the departure of Commodore Perry, the Japanese governing authorities had fallen into an intense debate regarding the future of the country and its foreign relations ...