- from Age of Imperialism
Japan, like China, preferred isolation for centuries. At first, the island nation had no desire for foreign trade. When forced to open its markets, however, Japan embraced the change.
Emperor Meiji Tennō was determined to make his nation the equal of Western nations. So he helped launch Japan’s own Industrial Revolution. Industrialization and westernization put Japan on the world stage for the first time. This period, called the Meiji Restoration, saved Japan from being colonized. It also set Japan on the path of imperialism, along with European nations.