History Optional Paper-2 Solution – 2014: Q.5 (e)
Q.5 (e) “The Russo-Japanese War helped in the rise of Japan as a great power.” Critically examine.
The Russo-Japanese War (1904 –1905) was fought between the Russia and Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea.
This War helped in the rise of Japan as great power because of the following factors:
(1) A victorious Japan forced Russia to abandon its expansionist policy in the Far East, becoming the first Asian power in modern times to defeat a European power. Japan proved that its military could defeat the major powers in Europe.
(2) Most Western powers were stunned that tiny island Japan not only prevailed but decisively defeated Russia. Japan had won every battle fought during the war on land and sea.
(3) In the Russo-Japanese War, Japan had also portrayed a sense of readiness in taking a more active and leading role in Asian affairs, which in turn had led to widespread nationalism throughout the region.
But the rise of Japan as a great power faced resistance from other powers like the USA. Japan could not obtain territorial gains and monetary reparations from Russia due to oppositions from other powers. Inspite of this, War increased the prestige of Japan and helped in the rise as a great power
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