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Japanese Foreign Policy 1855-1905 Notes from Barnhart and Duus

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From sakoku to empire. Japanese Foreign Policy 1855-1905 Notes from Barnhart and Duus. Meiji restoration 1868-1912. Japan opens up. Treaty of Kanagawa opens up two ports to Western powers This was followed by a series of unequal treaties

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japan opens up
Japan opens up
  • Treaty of Kanagawa opens up two ports to Western powers
  • This was followed by a series of unequal treaties
  • 1858 treaty of Edo was a blow to the power of the Shogun and led to the eventual downfall of the Shogunate
  • 1864 Confrontations between the British and Choshu clan and the Shogun is forced to intercede
  • 1868 downfall of the Shogun, the Meiji Restoration
meiji restoration 1868
Meiji restoration 1868

Japan’s foreign policy goals

  • The Emperor is a figurehead with little or no control over foreign policy
    • Aim of the Oligarchs: to rid Japan of the Unequal treaties
    • A search for security and removal of the western restriction on Japanese sovereignty
    • Foreign policy success hinged on success of domestic reform
japan s policy in the 1860 s
Japan’s policy in the 1860’s
  • Attempts to invade Korea in 1863 were cancelled
  • This was partly responsible for the Satsuma rebellion in 1878
  • 1867 Japan creates a ‘situation’ in Japan , an example of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ whereby Korea is forced to sign the Treaty of Kanghwa – an unequal treaty
  • Attempt to take Taiwan fails.
  • Japan sent a mission to China in 1870 to secure an Unequal treaty, it failed but at least secured a treat y of friendship which placed Japan and China on an equal footing, diplomatic representation…etc
japan and russia
Japan and Russia
  • In the 1870’s Japan begins a more assertive foreign policy albeit under the watchful eyes of western powers
  • Japan begins expansion to the North…beyond Hokkaido
  • To secure diplomatic recognition of the new northern border, in 1875 Japan signed a treaty with Russians. Japanese claims over Hokkaido accepted in return for abandonment of Japanese claims over Sakhalin
conquest of taiwan
Conquest of Taiwan
  • Taiwan invaded in 1874 to punish Taiwanese fisherman for their attacks on Ryukyu Islands
  • Taiwan accepted suzerainty of China but also accepted to be as vassal of the Satsuma
  • In 1874 China recognized Japan’s claims to Taiwan and agreed to pay an indemnity
  • In 1879 Ryukyu islands annexed by Japan
opening up of korea
“opening up of Korea”
  • Wanted to do to Korea what the US had done to Japan
  • Pretext: Korea attacks the crew of a Japanse survey boat
  • Gunboat despatched to establish normal diplomatic and trade relations
  • Korea chose negotiation over war and signed the Treaty of Kanghwa
    • Recognised Korea as an independent sovereignty
      • Diplomats exchanges
      • 3 Korean ports opened Pusan, Ichon and Wonsan
policy in the 1880 1890
Policy in the 1880-1890
  • Japanese foreign policy becomes more aggressive
  • Japan sees Korea as its zone of expansion
  • It tries to minimize China’s influence on Korea
  • In 1882 it gets involved in Korea when the refoms of Kojong affect the army
  • 1884 Japan tries to engineer another coup but fails
  • In 1884 Japan signs the Convention of Tientsin or the Li-Ito convention
  • China maintains its troops in Korea, and the resident is Yuan Shih Kai
  • A foreign policy failure for Japan
what was japan s role in korea in the 1890 s
What was Japan’s role in Korea in the 1890’s
  • Japan seen as the role model for the reform faction
  • Japan chose to support this, Japans minister in Korea was involved
  • Japan deliberately chose to antagonise China
  • It was a way for the Japanese government to divert attention away from domestic tenisons
  • Russian presence in Manchuria also worried the Japanese
what role did the oligarchs play
What role did the Oligarchs play?
  • Yamagata felt Japan needed to play an assertive role
  • He saw Russia as the threat and not China
  • He saw in victory a chance to abrogate the Unequal treaties
  • Also it would prove to be a test for the new national army
sino japanese war 1894 1895
Sino Japanese War 1894-1895
  • Korea the prize for Japan and China
  • Korea is also targeted by Russia who sees it an area to gain access to the Pacific Ocean
  • Murder of Kim Ok Kyun also raised tensions
  • Tonghak rebellion in Korea a factor that led the Chinese to take action to quell the rebellion
  • Japan protested and used this to attack China
  • China defeated on land and in the naval battle
treaty of shimonoseki
Treaty of Shimonoseki
  • Ito in a hurry to negotiate
  • War had cost Japan financially
  • So Japan in a hurry to negotiate
  • Treaty in April 1895
    • Korea’s independence recognized by China
    • Formosa
    • Liaotung Peninsula of China
    • 80 m Yen as war indemnity
    • MFN status for Japan in China
what was the significance of the treaty
What was the significance of the treaty?
  • Marks the beginning of Japan’s dominance in East Asia and the beginning of the end of China’s dominance
  • Japan had clearly come of age.
  • Japan was not yet in control but clearly a contender here
  • The other contender was Russia and Japan was not yet strong enough to deal with Russia
great power politics by 1895
Great power politics by 1895
  • Russia was intervening in this region for political gain and GB was suspicious of Russia
  • GB ambiguous about Japan’s role here vis-a-vis Russia
  • USA was involved in the region too..Hawaii and the Philippines
  • Germany wanted an empire and was willing to grab lands in China and also because it wanted to weaken the newly formed Russia and French alliance against it
  • GB wanted to preserve the integrity of China as it had been there the longest and had investments in China
  • Japan wanted to be regarded as an equal of the great powers and also gain lands at the cost of a weak China
impact of the treaty of shimonoseki in japan
Impact of the treaty of Shimonoseki in Japan
  • Japanese public were furious
  • Felt cheated and let down by its politicians
  • The public did not recognize that the war was a huge drain on Japan’s resources
  • This impact led to some instability in Japanese politics
the triple intervention
The Triple Intervention
  • By 1895 GB began to see Japan as a pawn against Russia
  • Russia did not want to see Japan in mainland China
  • IN this Russia had the support of other European powers. Each was uneasy at Japan’s power
  • Russia, France and Germany joined in the Triple Intervention a week after Shimonoseki had been signed
  • Japan had to give up the Liaotung Peninsula. It wanted Port Arthur but failed to keep it
  • Japan not strong enough to take on three powers
impact of sino japanese war
Impact of Sino Japanese war
  • Despite Triple Intervention, Japan recognised as a rising power
  • The balance of power in East Asia began to shift
  • Russia and Japan now in China
  • Domestically TI sparked off a huge protest
  • They saw the TI as yet another humiliation
impact of the boxer rebellion in china
Impact of the Boxer rebellion in China
  • Japan wanted to weaken China further, hence it encouraged the Hundred Days Reform in China and gave asylum to its leaders when the reform collapsed
  • Was willing to support western powers to quell the Boxer rebellion
  • This gave it the much needed recognition as an equal of the western powers
  • Alliance with GB
japan comes of age
Japan comes of age

Phase 2 of Japan’s Foreign policy

the russo japanese war long term causes
The Russo Japanese War : Long Term Causes
  • Russian view that China would fall to the Russians
  • Russia would build its railway and Port Arthur would be its Pacific terminus
  • Russia preferred to have China and leave Korea to Japan
  • Japan especially Ito favoured peace with Japan and therefore compromise
  • Japan’s confused policy of this period a result of its tumultous politics
russo japanese war short term
Russo Japanese war: Short term
  • Anger at Triple Intervention
  • Confirmation of Japanese rights over Korea
  • Nishi Rosen agreement only recognized Korea’s independence and non interference in Korea’s affairs
  • British occupation of Weihaiwei provided Japan with an ally
  • Increasingly Britain seen as an ally in its fight with Russia
anglo japanese drift
Anglo Japanese drift
  • Drift towards an alliance with England
  • Britain recognizes Japan’s right to Taiwan in return for occupation of Weihaiwei
  • Also during this time US occupies Hawaii and thus stakes a claim as a Pacific power, Japan accepts this
  • Likewise Japan accepts American control of the Philippines
at the turn of the century
At the turn of the century….
  • In 1900 Russia acquire Masampo from Korea and this angered Japan
  • In the Boxer Rebellion, Japan deliberately supported England, in the hope that Russia alone could not do much mischief
  • Thus with Japanese meddling it was an allied force that led the fight against the Boxers
  • Germany wants Russia to be busy, so that French Russian alliance is weakened
  • GB does not want China to be partitioned
domestic situation in japan
Domestic situation in Japan
  • Splits in the political parties
  • Okuma withdraws from Kenseito
  • New party called Kenseihonto is set up
  • Yamagata Aritomo becomes PM and there is a return to genro influence
  • Yamagata no friend of political parties and struggled to limit their influence
  • Key members of cabinet. from army and navy
  • Senior members of govt. to be selected by exam system
  • Yamagata marks the beginning of the patronage that is so typical of Japanese politics
yamagata calculations
Yamagata calculations
  • Yamagata allinace with Kenseito worked
  • Patronage system helped to secure military defence budgets
  • Yamagata did this because he was certain that Russia was a major menace
  • Japan wanted rights to build railways in Korea more to prevent Russia from doing so
japan s foreign policy calculations
Japan’s foreign policy calculations
  • Aid to Allied efforts to deal with Boxers in China to prevent anti Japan coalition
  • Japan was clearly planning empire and power
  • China and its plight did not figure in Japan’s calculations
  • Japanese felt that they must have recognition from Western powers
  • US and GB Open Door Policy not popular with Japan because it did not get much indemnity payment
manchuria 1900 1905
Manchuria 1900-1905
  • Russians had manoeuvred themselves into Northern Manchuria and occupied it
  • This annoyed the Japanese who wanted to contain Russia
  • However in Japan the party politics intervened
  • Yamagata afraid that Ito would negotiate with Russia in return for Korea
  • Also Japan afraid that once the Railway was built Russia too strong for Japan to fight
  • Also Japan saw GB as an ally
  • So Japan now protested the treaty with China, Russia backed down
anglo japanese alliance
Anglo Japanese Alliance
  • Japan capitalised on growing Russianand British tensions
  • In London negotiations were opened
  • The treaty that followed was that each was to remain neutral in the event of a fight, but if two or more were involved then the alliance would work
  • Marked the end of unequal treaties
  • Recognition of Japan’s military and naval prowess
  • Recogniton of Japanese imperial aims
  • Japan now has great power status
anglo japanese alliance marius b jansen
Anglo Japanese Alliance: Marius B Jansen
  • Became the mainstay of Japanese diplomacy for 20 years
  • Recognition of Japan on the international stage
  • Gave Japan the security to engage in serious negotiations with Russia and stand up to them
  • Russians underestimated Japan, the genrofavoured caution while the younger generation wanted action
  • In 1904 Japan attacked…the horrors of the war are dwarfed by the scale of WW 1
countdown to war
Countdown to war
  • In 1903 Russia refused to withdraw troops from Manchuria
  • Japan makes a Korea-Manchuria exchange offer
  • Russia’s railway now complete, next plan to connect Vladivostok with Seoul
  • Russia then proposed a division of Korea along 39th parallel
  • Russia meantime continued to fortify Manchuria and placed battleships in port of Niuchuang
  • Russia occupies Mukden
  • Japan tries to negotiate by offering Yalu river as a boundary between Japan and Russian interests
why was japan able to defeat russia
Why was Japan able to defeat Russia?
  • Japan had to placate UK and US who wanted no division of China
  • Russia was not expecting Japan to fight back
  • Japan attacked Port Arthur
  • China remained neutral
  • Mukden fell to Japan
  • Japanese leaders aware that they could not sustain a long drawn out war
  • Japan sealed the war with the defeat of the Russian Baltic fleet in the Battle of the Tsushima Straits


the treaty of portsmouth
The treaty of Portsmouth
  • Theodore Roosevelt of USA keen to negotiate peace
  • Japan financially exhauated but did not want to have that revealed
  • The treaty consolidated Japanese influence on the Asian continent
  • Russia recognizes Japanese influence in Korea
  • Japan received southern Sakhalin, Liaotung peninsula, and the raliway line between Mukden and Port Arthur
  • Japan came of age. This was a sigificant and decisive victory for Japan
the annexation of korea
The annexation of Korea
  • 1905 Ito negotiated with the Korean court for a protectorate
  • Japanese took charge of Korea’s diplomatic efforts
  • Japanese advisors despatched to Korea
  • Japanese settlers poured into Korea too
assessment of japan s foreign policy peter duus
Assessment of Japan’s Foreign Policy ( Peter Duus)
  • Sino Japanese war marked the position of the Emperor as the country’s paramount military leader
  • In 1904 too , the Emperor played a visible role as war leader
  • Military victory first over China and Russia fed a new surge of national pride
  • Feeling that ‘Japan’ had joined the ranks of the civilized
  • Japanese attitudes towards its neighbours changed too…arrogance towards China and Korea
  • Japanese began to disavow Chinese heritage
  • However, failure of massive gains in the treaty of Portsmouth angered the Japanese and this led to serious rioting
  • Growing feeling in Japan was in a positions to help its backward neighbours
john benson and takao matsumura japan 1868 1945 from isolation to occupation
John Benson and Takao Matsumura:Japan 1868-1945From Isolation to Occupation
  • The treaty marked Japan as a regional power and as a major player
  • The establishment of formal empire had begun with the process of acquiring Taiwan,

Acquisition of Southern Sakhalin and finally a protectorate over Taiwan