By late 1941 this latter policy caused direct confrontation with the United States and its allies and to defeat in (1939–45).
The backbone of the region is aligned north to south.
The Chishima arc enters Hokkaido as three volcanic chains with elevations above 6,000 feet (1,800 metres); these are arranged in ladder formation and terminate in the heart of the region.
These land blocks are the result of intense faulting (movement of adjacent rock masses along a fracture) and warping (bending of the Earth’s crust); the former process is regarded as dominant.
One consequence is that mountain blocks are often bounded by fault scarps and flexure slopes that descend in step formation to the adjacent lowlands.
The reopening of the country ushered in contact with the West and a time of unprecedented change.
Japan sought to become a modern industrialized nation and pursued the acquisition of a large overseas empire, initially in Korea and China.
The movements of these plates have formed six mountain arcs off the northeastern coast of Asia: from northeast to southwest, the Chishima Range of the Kuril Islands; the Karafuto (Sakhalin) Mountain system of Hokkaido; the Northeast, Southwest, and Shichito-Mariana ranges of Honshu; and the Ryukyu Island formations.
The Hokkaido Region was formed by the coalescence of the Chishima and Karafuto arcs.
The first steps at political unification of the country occurred in the late 4th and early 5th centuries in the 8th century and then at Heian-kyō (now Kyōto) from the late 8th to the late 12th century.
The seven centuries thereafter were a period of domination by military rulers culminating in near isolation from the outside world from the early 17th to the mid-19th century.
There are no sizable structural plains and peneplains (large land areas leveled by erosion), features that usually occur in more stable regions of the Earth.