Imperial Japanese Army

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From the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Imperial Japanese Army was the land forces military of Japan. In a culture that regarded its military highly, the Army and Imperial Japanese Navy gained increasing political power from 1900 onwards. The Army tended to be the more expansionistic and radical of the two.

Aritomo Yamagata was its chief architect, under the Meiji Restoration.

Its three principal leaders were the Army Minister (Japan), Chief of Staff (Imperial Japanese Army), and the Inspector General of Military Education. Under the Cabinet Law of 1900, the Army Minister had to be a serving general nominated by the Army, giving it, and comparably the Navy, veto power over forming a government.

Germany was the most influential Western nation on the Army's development, in contrast with Britain's influence on the Navy. Prior to World War II, the Army saw the Soviet Union as its expected final opponent, although Army units, operating autonomously, had started the Second Sino-Japanese War.