The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868-1910: A Study of Realism and Idealism in International Relations

The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868-1910: A Study of Realism and Idealism in International Relations

The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868-1910: A Study of Realism and Idealism in International Relations

The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868-1910: A Study of Realism and Idealism in International Relations

Excerpt

When this book was originally published in 1960, it stirred considerable controversy among East Asian specialists as a "revisionist" study of matters central to the modern history of Japanese relations with northeast Asia. The debate it engendered was touched off by a thirty-six page review in the Korean Research Center's Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (Seoul, June 1961) entitled, Can Aggression be Justified and Imperialism Rationalized by 'Realism'? which strongly suggested that the study had attempted to "justify" the Japanese annexation of Korea on these grounds.

Korean scholars, who naturally felt an intensity of bitterness at the half-century (1895-1945) domination of their country by Japan, were not at that stage ready nor willing to accept research results indicating anything less clear-cut than long range Japanese national scheming to seize Korea. The study, based largely on Japanese sources, shows considerable diversity in Japanese attitudes and approaches to Korea, some favorable, and concludes that Japanese national security concerns (Realism) rather than deliberate aggression motivated Japanese policy makers. This seemed insufficiently accusatory to the Koreans. The fact that American annexations of Hawaii and the Philippines were utilized as cross references for comparison was deemed a further attempt to "justify" Japan.

However, a wide ranging discussion by defenders and critics of the study, held at Columbia University and reported in the . . .

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