JAPAN BECOMES A WORLD POWER
Japan and the mainland --declaration of war on Germany --the Twenty-one Demands--relations with the Allies --peace settlement--the Wlashington Conference
WHEN A MAJOR war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Japan, by virtue of the progress she had made in the previous fifty years, was for the first time in a position to intervene in European questions. By 1918, when the war ended, doing so had made her a world power, with a military and naval establishment capable of giving substance to the rights she claimed, as well as an economy far enough developed to support her forces, population and prestige. Thus at Versailles Japan's delegates ranked next in importance to those of Britain, France and the United States. In the League of Nations she had one of the permanent seats on the Council. Finally, at Washington in 1922 her activities became the subject of international agreements which sought to restrict the Japanese advance in China and elsewhere, an event that constituted a tribute, if an unwelcome one, to the speed at which her strength and influence were growing.
This was a situation very different from that which the Tokugawa had faced, or the Meiji leaders, yet the policies that brought it about were nevertheless a development of, rather than a departure from, those of the nineteenth century. The fear of Western encroachment still lingered in Japanese thinking on foreign affairs, bringing an almost universal acceptance of the need for national strength. Behind it lay the same ambivalence of reaction, paralleling, though in a new context,
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Publication information: Book title: The Modern History of Japan. Contributors: W. G. Beasley - Author. Publisher: Frederick A. Praeger. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 196.
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