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Background of the Japanese Occupation in Korea

The Japanese victory after the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/1905 was a major boost to the political power of Japan in the international scene. The Japan exuded power that made the country exercise its authority over the Korean Peninsula. The dominance of the Japanese over Korea was negotiated until the two nations agreed to sign The Treaty of 1905. The treaty was very significant as it gave Japan the authority to control Korean internal matters. The Koreans protested against the Japanese authority over their land but they were forced to stop the protests using force.  

In 1910, the Japan appointed a new governor to rule over the new territory. The invading Japanese continued their operation in Korea and took over the Korean police authority. In addition, they also took charge of the mainstream media, and Korea was now a full colony of the Japanese. Japan established their rule in in Korea with their  appointed governors. The governors were pointed from  admirals by the Japanese emperor. The Japanse ensured that they stamped their authority in almost all aspects of in Koreans  people.  In this regard, the Koreans  were denied the f freedom of assembly,  the freedom of association, the freedom of  the press, as well as freedom of  speech. The Japanse ensured that all  private schools in Korea were  closed. This is because they did not meet the Japanese educational standards. This left Koreans under the discretion of their master. The  colonial administrators set  their own  educational school system as a technique for assimilation in  Korea . Therefore, a lot of emphasis was put on learning  the Japanese language. Japanse rule in Korea was authoritative and suppressed. This is because the Koreans were deprived several rights in their own land. It is noted that the Japanese used assimilation method to ensure that they conquer  Korean. Koreans on the other hand were not happy with the oppressive nature of Japanese rule. Therefore, they  started revolting against the Japanese rule.



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It is prudent to note that  the Japanese Emperor and his government officials  relied  on the support  and goodwill of foreign allies to maintain the territorial boundary of Korea. The Korean  government was unable to  defend itself against the Japanese influence and control in the country. Towards this, the people violently reacted by waging an attack on  the government. This is because  the people felt that the government had  ineffective internal and external policies. However it was risky affairs, the people fought to regain their country’s  independence and freedom. The revolution was organized and led by the elite class in the Korea since had learnt about liberal ideas in western countries. Korea fought hard to gain their independence from the Japanese. However, it was difficult for the Japanese to surrender, it forced them to do so amidst pressure from other external forces.

The similarities between Japanese rule in Korea and French rule in Vietnam

The Japanese rule in Korea and French rule in Vietnam involved oppression of colonialism. There was a lack of freedom of expression, association among other restrictions. The two colonists attempted to assimilation technique on their subject. This is to say that the Japanese tried to assimilate Koreans just like French tried to assimilate Vietnamese. The two colonists were interested in their colony’s resources. Japanese and French used their military power and might to exert their authority among the colonies. Both the colonist used their subjects to establish business relation and empire with other countries.

The difference between Japanese rule in Korea and French rule in Vietnam

The French rule in Vietnam led to a big social stratification in the society. This class stratification  inevitably  led to divisions in Vietnamese societal boding. Towards this most  tracks of land were held  by a few  landlords and their relatives. Vietnam which was originally a communist society  slowly embraced capitalistic system.  However, the Japanese rule in Korea did not lead to a wide societal gap and stratification. Korean society did not change so much with the inversion of Japan like Vietnamese made under French rule. The most disliked between the two colonist, that is Japanese and French, was the French. This is because they introduced  stiff rule and regulation in the lives of the Vietnamese.

Vietnam under French Rule

French under the rule of Louis-Napoleon in the late 1850 was convinced that the invasion was the best way to take over territories (Eagle, 1997). The French warships were given orders to invade and take over Tourane without further negotiations with the Vietnamese. Comparing the Japanese takeover of Korea, there is a striking difference that can be noticed. The French invasion was more forceful than the Japanese invasion. The latter was procedural and took quite some years to be achieved.

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Vietnam is a term meaning the ‘non-Chinese speakers of the south’. The French continued to push for the capture of the Chinese territory for until China gave up fighting the French Army. The Chinese were forced to sign a treaty, which officially recognized the French rule in China. At this point, there is a notable similarity between the Japanese and French invasions. They both forced their subjects to sign treaties that would give them the power to take over the territories.

The economic benefit of Vietnam was profitable to the French as they could get transferred resources , like coal, zinc, rubber, and tin to France. In addition, the Vietnamese provided a ready market for their manufactured goods. The French built infrastructure to ease the flow of goods in and out of Vietnam. As a result, the French were able to establish a trade empire with the Vietnamese as France became the biggest importer of goods into Vietnam.

The timeline of the French invasion to Vietnam differed from that of the Japanese conquest of Korea. While the former took place between 1854 and 1884, the Japanese invasion was in the 1900s. Vietnam was part of the French Indochina that sought for independence in 1887. Vietnam became independent after World War II (WWII). Nonetheless, the French still held on to power until the Ho Chi MINH led Communist force intervened to fight the French in 1954.

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After the defeat of the French colonies, Vietnam remained divided because of the Geneva Accord of 1954. The South Vietnam was anti-Communist while the North side was a Communist. The United States boosted the economy of the South through economic and military interventions until the withdrawal of the US troop after the ceasefire agreement of 1973. The South and the North Vietnamese were reunited after the North Vietnamese troops overpowered the South. The country was reunited once again under Communist rule.

The French invasion in Vietnam was a success to the people because of the trade benefits that accrued to them. Vietnam was gaining from French imports as France became the biggest importer of manufactured goods in Vietnam. In addition, the infrastructural development done by the French was a major boost to the economy of Vietnam. In the contrary, the Vietnamese also suffered from the French rule because of the number of people who were killed in the Vietnam conquest. In conclusion, colonialism significantly influenced Korea and Vietnam in both positive and negative manner.


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