February 9: The Conquest Begins


Written by Matthew Mendez, Historian

February 9, 1904 CE. Japanese forces land at Inchon, Korea, beginning the Japanese conquest of Korea and parts of Northern Asia. In an attempt to legitimize Japanese power in the Pacific and gain acceptance among the imperial powers of the West, the newly modernized Japanese nation begins its bloody conquest on the Korean Peninsula. Initially seeking to only establish a protectorate of the Japanese Empire, the Korean peninsula soon saw full annexation by 1910 as a result of the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty. The northern portion of China known as Manchuria followed, with the deposed Chinese emperor, Puyi, being set up as puppet emperor of the region. Ultimately, Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula proved a stepping stone for their conquest of the rest of Asia and their aggressive foreign policy in World War II as a whole.