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Japan like germany and italy, moved to authoritarian government and territorial expansion, important differences japan played only a minimal role in wwi, at versailles, japan was an equal participant on the winning side, they could have had a democracy, but the elites were not for it, the great depression hit japan hard, japan was less repressive than germany or italy,. The axis powers (german achsenmächte italian potenze dellasse japanese sjikukoku), also known as romeberlintokyo axis (also nicknamed with the italian name roberto, from the initials of rome, berlin and tokyo), were the nations that fought in world war ii against the allies. The axis powers agreed on their opposition to the allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity. The relations between germany and japan (japanese , romanized nichidokukankei, german deutsch-japanische beziehungen) were officially established in 1861 with the first ambassadorial visit to japan from prussia (which predated the formation of the german empire in 18661870). Japan modernized rapidly after the meiji restoration of 1867, often using german models through intense intellectual and cultural exchange. Then in 1937 japan invaded the mainland of china and bombed shanghai and guangzhou. On september 27, 1940, japan signed the tripartite pact with germany and italy, thus entering the military alliance known as the axis (website 3). Japan also started to become friendly with great britain at this time, which would affect the relationship between japan and germany during world war i. Diplomatic record office of the ministry of foreign affairs (japan). Adolf hitler rose to power in german politics as leader of the national socialist german workers party, also known as the nazi party. Hitler was chancellor of germany from 1933 to 1945, and served as dictator from 1934 to 1945. Italy simply stated, mussolini was disgusted by the cowardice, weakness and treachery of the western democracies, particularly england and to a lesser extent france. Five times over a 15 month period, the three nations signed agreements to form a. On september 27, 1940, the axis powers are formed as germany, italy, and japan become allies with the signing of the tripartite pact in berlin.