Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations during World War I

Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations during World War I

Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations during World War I

Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations during World War I

Synopsis

Although events in East Asia were a sideshow in the great drama of the First World War, what happened there shattered the accord between Japan and the United States. This book pursues the two-fold question of how and why U.S.-Japanese tensions developed into antagonism during the war by inquiring into the historical sources of both sides. Kawamura explains this complex phenomenon by looking at various factors: conflicts of national interests--geopolitical and economic; perceptual problems such as miscommunication, miscalculation, and mistrust; and, most important of all, incompatible approaches to foreign policy. America's universalism and the unilateralism inherent in Wilsonian idealistic internationalism clashed with Japan's particularistic regionalism and the pluralism that derived from its strong sense of racial identity and anti-Western nationalistic sentiments.

Excerpt

At the close of the twentieth century, having witnessed two catastrophic world wars and the half-century-long Cold War, we see how diverse the world is and how complex relations are among nations. Those in search of a new world order as a universal solution to international conflicts have been trying to resurrect the rhetoric of Wilsonian liberal internationalism. Yet, everlasting violence and frictions among nations remind us that the centrifugal forces that divided nations during the First World War still seem to be at work. President Woodrow Wilson might have been ahead of his time, but it is also possible that his vision of a new world order was based on a tenuous premise with limitations and fundamental flaws that prevented it from developing into a truly workable international system.

This study examines the reasons for increasing tensions between Japan and the United States during World War I as part of an effort to identify some of those centrifugal forces that frustrated the emergence of international federalism. We have a good understanding that the shortcomings of Japan’s continental policy eventually led the country astray in the 1930s and resulted in the Fifteen Years War in Asia and the Pacific. But do we really know the consequences of the failings or limitations of Wilsonian internationalism? Although the main concern of this book is the effectiveness of President Wilson’s policy in the Pacific, the book does not really concentrate on the analysis of Wilsonian foreign policy making itself. Instead, the troubling transformation in Japanese foreign policy that challenged the Wilsonian foreign policy ideals is discussed in detail. The examination of the motives and circumstances behind Japan’s actions and how Washington

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.