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How did World War I influence Japan’s economy and society?

World War I significantly boosted Japan's economy and led to societal changes, particularly in urbanisation and women's roles.

World War I had a profound impact on Japan's economy, transforming it from a debtor to a creditor nation. The European powers, preoccupied with the war, were unable to maintain their Asian markets, providing Japan with an opportunity to fill the void. Japan's exports quadrupled between 1913 and 1918, leading to a period of economic prosperity known as the "Taisho Democracy". The war also stimulated industrialisation, with the expansion of heavy industries such as shipbuilding and steel. This economic boom led to increased urbanisation, as people moved to cities for work, leading to the growth of cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

The war also had significant societal impacts. The rapid industrialisation and urbanisation led to changes in the social structure. The middle class expanded, and there was a rise in consumer culture, with increased demand for goods such as radios, newspapers, and cinema. This period also saw the rise of mass political parties and increased political participation, with the introduction of universal male suffrage in 1925.

Furthermore, the war led to changes in women's roles in society. With men away at war, women were needed in the workforce, leading to increased employment opportunities for women. This, in turn, led to a shift in societal attitudes towards women's roles and rights. The war also led to the emergence of the women's suffrage movement in Japan, although women did not gain the right to vote until after World War II.

In conclusion, World War I had a significant impact on Japan's economy and society. It led to economic prosperity and industrialisation, changes in social structure and consumer culture, and shifts in women's roles and rights.

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