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WhyJapan Colonized Korea

Aroundthe 18thand 19thcentury, the governments from the countries in the west were tryingto negotiate and influence the economic and political wealth of theAsian countries through use of protectorate and concession. Thismethod minimized conflict between the European powers that werecompeting. However, Japan was the only Asian country that the westdid not colonize. In addition, it was able to be on the same level asthe west countries in terms of industrialization and became one ofthe colonial powers. It was able to conquer the neighboring islands,Korea, and Taiwan. The following were reason why it desired tocolonize Korea, this was because of wanting different routes to tradewith other countries, it wanted people to work in its industries, andsoldiers to help in wars. Its greed to control the Korean naturalresources, farms, and fisheries. Its desire to be recognized as asuper country as others that were colonizing in Asian continent andthe desire to help Koreans come out of their primitiveness and bereformed. It led to them signing a treaty for Japan to protect themand hence colonized them.

Oneof the main reasons as to why Japan desired to colonize Korea wasbecause of trade. It wanted to expand the routes that it would use tobe able to trade with other countries (Dudden39). It achieved this through the treaties that the two countriessigned of Ganghwa, which allowed the Japanese to use three of Koreansports to trade. The treaty also gave the Japanese citizens privilegesover the Koreans, as they were able to cut down trees and transportto their factories. Secondly, the other reason as to why the Japanesecolonized the Koreas was the need for more people to work as laborersin their countries industries dealing with mines, building of shipand constructions (Dudden 42). In addition, Japan needed moreworkforces in term of soldiers to fight during wars against nationssuch as China and Russia. Japan government also used the Korean womenas comfort women who served the soldiers in military brothels.

Thirdly,other reason as to why japan wanted to colonize Korea was due to theKorean’s natural resources such Gold, coal iron and tungsten(Castley 40). Japan exploited it for the benefit of its own country.The Japan government also exploited the land that the Koreas used tofarm for their own interests. It is evident by the way the Japanesechased the Koreans from their land that was later on given to theJapanese citizens for farming (Castley 68). The japan government alsotook control of the Korean fisheries. Fourthly, the other reason forcolonization the Koreans was that Japan wanted to be a country torecognized and noticed upon by its allies in the west, who were alsolooking for countries to colonize in Asian continent (Mc Namara46).Japan achieved this through conquering its neighboring islands. Inaddition, this was evident when japan defeated China around 1894 and1895. Its victory made Britain to reward Japan by becoming friendsand made them equal in powers and status. Secondly, it was evidentwhen it was able to defeat Russia in the Russo Japanese war. Theother power countries recognized its authorities. Therefore, itdesired to colonize Korea to prove the point of its status but theother colonial powerful countries made it hard for japan to colonizeit. However, it did in the end.

Anotherreason was that the Japanese’s felt that the Koreas were arroganttowards them and did not respect their leader and that they shouldapologize for it. However, the opposition from other powers did notallow them to succeed (Mc Namara 50). In addition, the Japanese sawthe Koreans as a deteriorating and primitive nation that needed to bereformed. As the desire to enlighten them grew, they began to protectKorea from foreign countries invasion to their country. This led toJapan going to war with Russia to protect Korea. In the process, itled to the Japan government take over Korea through the signing of atreaty and made it part of its empire (Mc Namara 86). It was evidentby the way the Japanese took action against peninsula and the Chinesegovernment surrendered to the Japanese through signing theShimonoseki treaty. However, in the process the Koreans had acceptedto be protected by the Japans.

Inconclusion, there are different reasons as to why Japan desired andwas able to colonize Koreans. This is through the Japans desire totrade with other countries. Its desire to be recognized as a powerfulcountry by the west through the colonization of its neighboringcountries. Japan also faced a shortage of its workforce hence theneed to colonize Korea to be able to get people to work as soldiersand in its industries. It also wanted to control the naturalresources, farms, and fisheries that were part of the Korean economy.It also saw Korea ad a primitive country that need to be reformed andtherefore decided to help them. It was able to fulfill its goal bymaking Korea sign a treaty that made Japan to become its protector.


McNamara,Dennis L.. Imperialexpansion and nationalist resistance Japan in Korea, 1876-1910.Michigan: university, 2005. Print.

Castley,Robert. Korea`seconomic miracle: the crucial role of Japan.New York: St. Martin`s Press, 2007. Print.

Dudden,Alexis. Japan`scolonization of Korea: discourse and power.Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2005. Print.