Japan-American Diplomatic Relations in the Meiji-Taisho Era

By Kamikawa Hikomatsu | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR AND THE ATTITUDE OF THE UNITED STATES

I. Causes of the War

The Russo-Japanese War was in actuality caused by a clash of interests through Russian invasion of Manchuria and Korea and Japanese expansion in its struggle for existence. The war can be traced back to the Russian Far-Eastern Policy subsequent to the Sino-Japanese War. A short outline of the Russian invasion into these areas is given here for a better understanding of the situation.

Toward the end of the 19th century, Russia experienced its industrial revolution. As a result of the Russo-French Alliance, French capital poured into Russia and stimulated a sudden development in the Russian economy. Russia, under the rule of Alexandrovitch Alexander III, projected the construction of the Siberian Railway based on Sergei Julievitch Witte's plan. The Sino-Japanese war which broke out soon afterward spurred Russian ambitions in the Far East. After the Tripartite Intervention, Russia demanded exorbitant rewards. One of the demand was the concession permitting the construction of the Siberian Railway through Manchuria. On June 3, 1896, when Li Hung-chang attended the coronation ceremony of Alexandrovitch Nocolas II in Russia, he was half forced to sign a protocol for the construction of the Siberian Railway. The Siberian Railway was essential, militarily and economically, to the territorial integrity of China. Because Li Hung-chang strongly insisted that the construction and operation of the railway be left in the hands of a private enterprise, the East-China Railway Company was born. However, it was actually under the control of the Russian government. The other payment exacted was

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