Japan was warring intensely against China, the U.S. and other countries.
During early Showa, Japan was in a deep depression and the people
were increasingly dissatisfied with the government. Some militarists
believed that having access to the abundant natural resources in north-eastern
China (the province of Manchuria) forcibly created the country Manchuria,
intending to rule it as they pleased. The Chinese people began to
resist fiercely. Thus Japan and China began a war that dragged on
over ten years
Also, in 1941, Japan carried out a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
in Hawaii, declaring war against the U.S., Britain, and other countries.
This was the beginning of what was called the Pacific War.
The Japanese army had the advantage initially, but then lost
a succession of battles for Pacific islands and Southeast Asian regions.
In 1944, American warplanes began invading Japanese air space and
dropping bombs on Japanese cities.