By 1937 Japan was already involved with two wars: against Manchuria and against China. The Japanese were looking for military expansion in the Asian-Pacific region in order to prepare for World War II. After exploring and taking over other Southeast Asia countries, the Japanese stumbled upon the newly liberated Philippines "Japanese troops landed at the Lingayen Gulf on December 22, 1941 and advanced across central Luzon towards Manila. The Japanese occupied Manila on January 2, 1942" (World War II and Japanese Occupation, para. 4).
The Japanese ruled over the Philippines for three years, putting most of the lives of the natives in serious peril. The Filipinos formed many guerrilla organizations to over throw the Japanese. They also received aid from the United States. Finally on September 2, 1945, the people of the Philippines were able to liberate themselves from Japanese rule.