So your question, why did Japan fight on the side of the Axis in WW II, is a good one from a European point of view. But if you are Japanese (or Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, and so on) a better question would be 'Why did the Axis powers join the Japanese side during WW II?' Anyway, long answer.
The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity. The Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany, Italy, and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936.
The Axis powers united to take on the Allied forces and, in July of 1937, the war spread to the Pacific with the Japanese invasion of China. The Axis alliance grew out of the Anti-Comintern Pact, signed by Germany and Japan to refute Communism. Italy joined this pact in November of 1937.
Japan did not side with the Axis intentionally. Japan wanted to expand its power in Asia and the Pacific. This brought it in conflict with Britain in Asia, and the United States in the Pacific.
Japan joined the axis because the axis did not get in the way of its plans to dominate Asia, whereas the U.S. and Britain did. Germany allowed the Japanese to join soley to give the U.S. a thorn in its side if war should come.
And that was when Germany declared war on the US, in solidarity with Japan. It's too simplistic to say that Japan joined the Axis as if it was a committee decision. Instead what happened was that Japan happened to be fighting against some of the same countries Germany and Italy were fighting against. So Japan was only too happy to take ...
Finland, although it did not formally join the Tripartite Pact, cooperated with the Axis because of its opposition to the Soviet Union (to which Finland had been forced to cede territory in 1940) and entered the war in 1941. This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor.
On July 7, 1937, Japan invaded China to initiate the war in the Pacific. The German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, unleashed the European war. Italy entered World War II on the Axis side on June 10, 1940, as the defeat of France became apparent. Germany Pressures other States to Join the Axis
Japan did not side with the Axis intentionally. Japan wanted to expand its power in Asia and the Pacific. This brought it in conflict with Britain in Asia, and the United States in the Pacific. On the other side of the world Britain was fighting Germany but this fight had nothing to do with Japan.
Why Did Japan Join Forces With Germany During World War II? CULTURE; ... To understand the 1940 Tripartite Act which created the Axis powers, one has to go deeper into Japanese-German relations. First, I think it is important to note that modern Japan and Germany are fairly similar.