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BHIE-142: Applied Econometrics

BHIE-142: Applied Econometrics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

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Assignment Code: BHIE-142/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BHIE-142

Assignment Name: History of Modern East Asia: Japan

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment – I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) Write a note on the Tokugawa rule in Japan.

Ans) The Tokugawa rule, also known as the Tokugawa shogunate, was a significant period in Japanese history that lasted for over two and a half centuries, from 1603 to 1868. This era is characterized by the rule of the Tokugawa family, which established a centralized feudal government in Japan, bringing about a period of relative peace and stability after centuries of civil war and unrest.


The Tokugawa shogunate was founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu, who emerged victorious in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. In 1603, he was appointed as the shogun by the emperor, establishing his rule in Edo (present-day Tokyo). This marked the beginning of the Edo period, which would last until 1868.


One of the key features of the Tokugawa rule was the strict control of the centralized government over the various feudal domains and the establishment of a strict social hierarchy. This hierarchy was known as the "sakoku" policy, which aimed to isolate Japan from the rest of the world, particularly European powers, in order to maintain internal stability. Trade with foreign countries was heavily restricted, and foreigners were prohibited from entering Japan. The only exception was the Dutch, who were allowed to trade with Japan on a limited basis in the city of Nagasaki.


The Tokugawa shogunate also implemented a system of alternate attendance, or "sankin-kotai," which required daimyo (feudal lords) to spend every other year in Edo, while their families remained in the city as hostages. This system helped to keep the daimyo in check and prevented them from amassing too much power in their own domains.


Economic development and urbanization were significant aspects of the Tokugawa era. Edo, which eventually became Tokyo, grew into one of the largest cities in the world during this time. The economy thrived through agricultural advancements, increased trade within Japan, and the growth of a merchant class. The emergence of a thriving merchant class challenged the traditional samurai and aristocratic classes, as they gained economic influence.

Cultural development and the flourishing of the arts also marked the Tokugawa era. The Edo period saw the rise of kabuki theatre, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and the spread of literature and poetry. It was a time of great cultural innovation and the development of a unique Japanese identity.


Despite the relative peace and prosperity of the Tokugawa era, there were challenges and sources of discontent. The strict social hierarchy and isolationist policies generated some discontent among various social groups. Additionally, economic disparities and corruption within the government also led to periodic uprisings and protests.


The Tokugawa shogunate eventually ended during the late 19th century as a result of internal and external pressures. The arrival of American Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 forced Japan to open up to foreign trade, undermining the sakoku policy. Internal unrest and political changes also contributed to the shogunate's decline.


In 1868, a group of pro-imperial forces known as the Meiji Restoration succeeded in overthrowing the Tokugawa shogunate and restoring the emperor to a more central role in Japanese politics. This marked the beginning of the Meiji period and the modernization of Japan.


The Tokugawa rule in Japan was a transformative period that brought stability, economic development, and cultural flourishing to the nation. However, it was also a time of social constraints and isolationist policies that would eventually be challenged and lead to significant changes in Japan's political and social landscape.



Q2) What were the political and economic reforms that contributed towards the modernization of Japan?

Ans) The modernization of Japan, often referred to as the Meiji Restoration, was a profound transformation of the country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It involved a series of political and economic reforms that catapulted Japan from a feudal and isolated society into a major industrial and imperial power.

Political Reforms:

a)     Restoration of Imperial Power: The Meiji Restoration marked the return of political power to the emperor, who had been largely symbolic during the Tokugawa shogunate. The emperor was declared the supreme authority, and this shift in power legitimized the government's efforts to enact reforms.

b)     Abolition of the Samurai Class: The traditional samurai class was abolished, and the government sought to create a more meritocratic society. Samurai were given a stipend in exchange for surrendering their hereditary privileges and the right to carry swords.

c)     Centralization of Power: The Meiji government centralized power in the hands of the emperor and established a modern administrative structure, which included ministries modelled after Western governments. This allowed for more efficient governance and decision-making.

d)     Constitutional Development: The Meiji leaders drafted a new constitution in 1889, which established a bicameral legislature and granted certain civil rights. While the emperor retained significant power, this marked a significant step toward constitutional monarchy.

e)     Universal Conscription: The government introduced universal conscription in 1873, which created a national army and promoted a sense of national identity among the Japanese people.


Economic Reforms:

a)     Land Reforms: The government introduced land reforms, including the dissolution of the samurai's landholdings and their redistribution to tenant farmers. This increased agricultural productivity and reduced the power of the rural elite.

b)     Industrialization: The Meiji government actively promoted industrialization, investing in infrastructure such as railways, telegraph lines, and ports. They also encouraged private enterprises and foreign investments, which led to the growth of industries like textiles, steel, and shipbuilding.

c)     Banking and Currency Reforms: The government established a modern banking system and introduced a stable national currency. This facilitated capital flow and investment in industry.

d)     Education Reforms: The government invested in education, both by sending students and scholars abroad to study Western ideas and technologies and by creating a modern, compulsory education system. This educated workforce contributed to Japan's industrial and technological advancement.

e)     Trade Liberalization: Japan opened up to foreign trade, eliminating the isolationist policies of the Tokugawa era. The Treaty of Kanagawa with the United States in 1854 and a series of subsequent treaties with other Western powers facilitated international commerce.

f)      Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The government actively encouraged entrepreneurship and innovation. It established research institutes, promoted the transfer of foreign technology, and supported inventors and scientists.


Assignment – II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3) Discuss the Meiji political order.

Ans) The Meiji political order, established during the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century, marked a profound transformation of Japan's political landscape. It replaced the feudal and isolationist Tokugawa shogunate with a modern, centralized government.


Emperor's Central Role: The emperor was elevated to the position of the supreme authority in Japan, signifying the restoration of imperial power. While the emperor's role remained largely symbolic, the government derived its legitimacy from the imperial institution.


Bicameral Legislature: In 1889, Japan adopted a constitution that established a bicameral legislature, known as the Imperial Diet. It consisted of an elected lower house (House of Representatives) and an appointed upper house (House of Peers). This represented a significant step toward constitutional monarchy.


Executive Leadership: The government was led by a small group of oligarchs, often referred to as the Meiji oligarchy. These were senior statespeople who held key positions and had a strong influence on policymaking. They played a crucial role in steering Japan's modernization efforts.


Centralization of Power: The Meiji government concentrated power at the centre, in Tokyo (formerly Edo). It established a modern administrative structure, including various ministries, to effectively govern and enact reforms.


Legal Reforms: The legal system was reformed, adopting elements of Western legal codes and institutions. This included the establishment of a judiciary, which played a key role in enforcing new laws and regulations.


Universal Conscription: The government introduced universal conscription, creating a national army. This was a significant shift away from the samurai warrior class, ensuring the loyalty of a broader cross-section of society to the imperial government.


Q4) Write a note on the process of Japanese imperialist expansion in the early twentieth century.

Ans) In the early 20th century, Japan underwent a significant period of imperialist expansion, driven by a combination of political, economic, and strategic factors. This expansion had profound consequences for both Japan and its neighbouring countries.


Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905): Japan's imperialist ambitions were first demonstrated in the Russo-Japanese War, where it sought to challenge Russian influence in East Asia. Japan's victory in this conflict established it as a major regional power and expanded its territorial holdings.


Annexation of Korea (1910): In 1910, Japan formally annexed Korea, which had been under Japanese influence for years. This marked a significant expansion of Japanese imperial control and brought Korea under Japanese colonial rule until the end of World War II.


Territorial Acquisitions: Japan continued to expand its territorial holdings in the early 20th century, acquiring areas like Taiwan and the South Pacific islands. These acquisitions provided Japan with resources and territories for economic and strategic purposes.


Twenty-One Demands (1915): Japan issued the Twenty-One Demands to China during World War I, seeking to expand its influence and control over various aspects of Chinese territory and government. While not all the demands were accepted, this action demonstrated Japan's expansionist agenda in East Asia.


League of Nations Withdrawal (1933): Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933 after facing international criticism for its invasion of Manchuria in 1931. This marked a turning point in its imperialist expansion, as it sought to establish the puppet state of Manchukuo.


Pacific Expansion (1930s): Japan expanded further into the Pacific region during the 1930s, occupying parts of China and Southeast Asia. The invasion of China in 1937 marked a significant escalation of hostilities and further expansionist ambitions.


Q5) Discuss the Anglo-French rivalry in Japan.

Ans) The Anglo-French rivalry in Japan, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflected the broader imperialist competition between Western powers for influence in Asia. Both Britain and France sought to expand their economic and political interests in Japan, and this rivalry had several notable dimensions:

a)     Economic Interests: British and French commercial interests in Japan were significant. They competed for access to Japanese markets and resources, as Japan was undergoing rapid modernization and industrialization during the Meiji era. Both nations sought advantageous trade agreements and concessions.

b)     Treaty Negotiations: Both Britain and France engaged in negotiations with the Japanese government to secure favourable treaties. These negotiations aimed to establish commercial privileges and ensure that their respective nationals received equal treatment in Japan.

c)     Military Presence: Western powers established military bases and naval facilities in Asia to safeguard their interests. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902, which aligned Britain with Japan, was partly aimed at countering the perceived threat of French expansion in Southeast Asia.

d)     Indirect Competition: The rivalry between Britain and France was often conducted indirectly through the competition between their respective nationals and companies operating in Japan. British and French businesses, banks, and trading companies vied for influence and economic opportunities.

e)     Imperialist Ambitions: The rivalry was part of a broader imperialist game in Asia. Both Britain and France aimed to strengthen their colonial and imperial holdings in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, which indirectly affected their policies and interests in Japan.


Assignment – III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q6) Japanese Constitution

Ans) The Japanese Constitution, also known as the "Constitution of Japan" or "Kenpō," was promulgated on November 3, 1946, as part of the post-World War II reforms. It established Japan as a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. Key features include Article 9, renouncing the use of war and the maintenance of a standing military, and the guarantee of fundamental rights and freedoms. The constitution was imposed by the Allied Occupation authorities and remains in effect to this day, making Japan one of the world's few nations without a military. It has played a crucial role in shaping Japan's post-war democratic and pacifist identity.

Q7) Samurai

Ans) Samurai were Japanese warrior-nobles who emerged during the feudal era of Japan, around the 12th century. They followed a strict code of conduct called "bushido," emphasizing loyalty, honour, and self-discipline. These skilled and well-trained warriors served feudal lords and played pivotal roles in Japan's medieval history, participating in battles, enforcing law, and maintaining order. The samurai class was known for their distinctive armour, katana swords, and horseback combat. With the onset of the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century, the samurai class was abolished, marking a significant transformation in Japan's social and political structure as the nation moved toward modernization.


Q8) Russo-Japanese War

Ans) The Russo-Japanese War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan from 1904 to 1905. The war primarily revolved around territorial disputes in East Asia, with both nations vying for control of Manchuria and Korea. The Japanese surprise attack on the Russian Pacific Fleet at Port Arthur in 1904 marked the beginning of the conflict. The war witnessed significant naval battles, including the famous Battle of Tsushima, and land engagements. Japan emerged victorious, marking the first time an Asian nation defeated a European power in a modern war. The Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 mediated by the United States ended the war, granting Japan control of Korea and parts of Manchuria, establishing it as a major imperial power.


Q9) Japanese Foreign Trade in the Inter-War Period

Ans) During the inter-war period (1918-1939), Japanese foreign trade experienced notable changes. The Great Depression of the 1930s led to a decline in global trade, affecting Japan's export-oriented economy. To mitigate the economic impact, Japan adopted protectionist measures and focused on increasing self-sufficiency.


The government promoted domestic industries, such as textiles and steel, through subsidies and tariffs. Japan also expanded trade with its East Asian neighbours to compensate for the reduced Western demand. This shift contributed to Japan's imperial expansion and its efforts to secure resources in Manchuria and China. These foreign trade policies played a role in the lead-up to World War II and strained international relations.


Q10) Zaibatsu

Ans) Zaibatsu were powerful Japanese business conglomerates during the pre-World War II era, comprising a network of companies operating in various industries. The term means "financial clique" and included family-controlled conglomerates like Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo, and Yasuda. Zaibatsu played a pivotal role in Japan's industrialization and economic growth, dominating key sectors such as banking, mining, and manufacturing.


These conglomerates also had significant influence over the Japanese government and were criticized for their close ties to political elites. After World War II, the Allied Occupation authorities disbanded the zaibatsu, as they were seen as contributing to Japan's militaristic past, and they were broken into smaller, independent companies.

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