Japan Comes of Age: Mutsu Munemitsu and the Revision of the Unequal Treaties


"In the sweltering summer of 1894 Foreign Minister Mutsu Munemitsu knelt before the Japanese emperor Meiji to report that Japan's "long nightmare" was over at last. After forty years of humiliation, Japan was ridding itself of the hateful "Unequal Treaties." These treaties had been imposed upon a politically divided and militarily weakened nation by powerful mercantilist Western nations in mid-century. The treaties had hindered Japan's economic development because of discriminatory tariff restrictions, they had poisoned Japan's foreign relations, and they had truncated its legal sovereignty by virtue of extraterritoriality. The final six months of negotiations are carefully examined, employing Mutsu's extensive personal and official correspondence as well as telegrams and secret British and Japanese documents." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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