Japan-American Diplomatic Relations in the Meiji-Taisho Era

By Kamikawa Hikomatsu | Go to book overview

Translator's Preface

The present nationalistic sentiment and some conditions of newborn nations in other parts of the East remind one of Japan of one hundred years ago. When Commodore Perry knocked the door of Japan, a feeble and tiny country in the Far East, secluded from the outside world nearly three hundred years, the people as well as the government were thrown into consternation. A seething nationalistic sentiment exploded into frequent attacks on foreigners. The one thing common to both seclusionists and advocates for opening the country was their recognition of the poor national defense and their anxiety over the fate of Japan.

Able statesmen of vision, however, steered deftly and carefully, though precariously, the puny vessel of Japan through oceans of hardships and troubles, political and financial, until her development by rapid adoption of the Western civilization landed her on the safe shore of a world power after the Russo- Japanese War.

The international relations between Japan and the United States can be divided into two periods. In the first period, the United States held out her warm helping hands to Japan whenever Japan was faced with national crisis, such as the Sino-Japanese War and The Tripartite Intervention, her enthusiastic sympathy climaxing in the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. In the second period after Japan came to be a world power, a dark cloud began hang over the international relations between the United States and Japan regarding the problems of China and Japanese immigrants in California, which gradually developed into a lightning storm of the Pacific War.

Each part of the original book was written by different writers under the editorship of Emeritus Professor Kamikawa Hikomatsu og Tokyo University: Part One by Professor Maru

-vii-

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