Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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Door policy, and of the effect of the recent demands made on

"With this statement on the diplomatic record, the State De-
partment will wait until the end of the war. Then it is planned
t take up the question of Japanes* ons in China with all

«'i the world Powers who are actually or tacitly committed to
the Open Door policy. State Department officials believe that in
this way an effective una in.' the Chinese situation can

Ived withoul complicating the issue." -Washington Tost,
Sept. 17, 1916; Patrick Gallagher, America's Aims and Asia's
Aspirations, pp. 199 200.

55. It is within reason I that, in the Disarmamenl and

m Conference, the Open Door Doctrine wdl !.



X. The Development of Japan's Policy in

XI. Policy of Economic Exploitation.

XII. Policy of Territorial Expansion.

XIII. Policy of Paramount Influence.

XIV. Policy of Political Control.

XV. The "Asiatic Monroe Doctrine."

XVI. The "Twenty-one Demands" as an Illustra-
tion of Japan's Policies ix China.

XVII. The Wisdom of Japan's Policy in China.




The development of Japan's policy in China turned
on three successive wars — the Chino-Japanese War
(1894-1895), The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and
the World War (1914-1918). At each of these succes-
sive milestones, it has taken a new turn and a new de-

The first stage of Japan's policy was reached in the
Chino-Japanese War. It was characterized by the in-
tense national desire to recover judicial and tariff au-
tonomy, and to achieve the status of national equality.
Thus the policy of this period, both internal and external,
was directed primarily to the upbuilding of a new Japan
which could stand on the footing of equality with the
Western Powers. In 1897, when the goal of national
equality had been reached, Count Okuma said in the
House of Representatives: "The national policy, the so-
called opening and development of the country, or in
other words, this principle of attaining an equal foot-
ing with the Powers was. 1 firmly believe, the motive
that has enabled Japan to become a nation advanced in
civilization and respected by the world." 1

During this period, while the primary concern of Japan
was her own development, she was none the less con-
cerned with the independence of Korea, and this because
the independence of Korea is indispensable to her safety.
Kona is so located geographically in relation to fapan

that any attempt to invade the latter from the mainland
must firsl Conquer Korea and make that nation a step-
ping-stone to Japan's subjugation. So, to allow any for-



eign Power to hold Korea therefore was, as the Japanese
Statesmen put it, to allow that Power t hold a dagger
at the lu-art of Japan. For measures of self-defense,
therefore she must maintain the independence of Korea.

I folding such a policy, Japan's first ohject of attack was
naturally China, who claimed suzerainty over Korea. To
free Korea from the control of China was therefore one
of the cardinal principles of her foreign policy. As we
have seen,- as early as 1876, she had concluded a treaty
with Korea ; recognizing the independence of that state,
thus ignoring the suzerainty of China. Again, in 1884,
to settle the collision between the Chinese and the Japan-
ese troops in Korea, a convention was arranged that, in
case of despatching troops to Korea, previous notice in
writing had to be given each to the other,* thus success-
fully limiting the suzerain rights of China, and mean-
while asserting Japan's joint influence over Korea. Fi-
nally, in 1894, when, on account of the Tonghak Rebellion,
the forces of the two states were brought face to face in
Korea, and although the rebellion had already been sup-
pressed by the Korean soldiers, and China had already
suggested a simultaneous withdrawal. Japan nevertheless
refused to retire. On the contrary she insisted on coop-
erating for the reformation of the internal administration
of Korea, to which China refused to accede. Conflict
could have been avoided, had Japan so desired, hut she
had already determined on her policy which was to ex-
tinguish the suzerain claims of China, achieve the in-
dependence of Korea, attain a footing of national equality
with a defeated China. Thus resolved, and the incident of
Kowshing having offered the pretext.' she forced the

Having demonstrated her national prowess, she made
good use of her victories to consolidate her own position
of national equality. By the treaty of Shimonoseki, apart
from the recognition of Korean independence, the cession


of the Pescadores, Formosa and Liaotting, and the in-
demnity of 200,000,000 Kuping tads, she obtained the
abrogation of all previous treaties and the conclusion of
new ones to be based on "the treaties, conventions and
regulations now subsisting between China and European
powers," ° thereby placing herself on a par with the
Western Powers in relation to China. Subsequently, in
pursuance of the provision, she concluded the Treaty of
Commerce, signed at Peking, July 21, 1896. by which she
secured extraterritorial jurisdiction 1 and the most fav-
ored nation treatment. 8 Meanwhile, vis-a-vis the West-
ern Powers, she concluded one treaty after the other, re-
covering her judicial and tariff autonomy, until June 30,
1899, when "the operation of all the old treaties came
simultaneously to an end and for the first time in his-
tory, large, rich and intelligent European communities
became subject to the unfettered jurisdiction of an
Oriental Non-Christian Power." 9

Although the goal of national equality had been
reached, a new menace, more threatening than Chinese
influence in Korea, arose upon the horizon of the Japan-
ese mind, and dominated the second stage of the develop-
ment of Japan's policy. This new menace was the Rus-
sian advance in Manchuria. In concert with France and
Germany, Russia interposed the tripartite intervention
against Japan's possession of Liaotung, which compelled

her tn disgorge tlie territory for an additional indemnity

of 30,000,000 Kuping taels. 10 This act of intervention,
initiated by Russia, 11 so incensed Japan that thence-
forth, she made the grim resolve to face the new

"It became to her as dear as daylight that tlie new
position she had acquired in the Orient by her victory

ov«r ( liina could be maintained, and even her independ-
ence must be guarded, only by an armament powerful


enough to give her a voice among the first class Powers
of the world. If she could not retire into herself, and
finally cease to exist, she must compete with the greatest
nations, not only in the arts of peace, but also in those
of war. Moreover, a far vaster conflict than she had
over known in her history, excepting the Mongol invasion
of the thirteenth century, was seen to be awaiting her
. . . . The only course to save her seemed to be, now
as at any other recent crisis of her life, to go forward
and become equal to the new expanding situation." u

Actuated by this high resolve, she bent all her energy
on the day when she would come to grapple with the
new menace.

Working day and night in preparation for the coming
crisis, Japan abandoned her old hostility toward China
and espoused the Open Door policy. Responding readily
to Secretary Hay's circular note of 1899, she gave her
"assent to so just and fair a proposal of the United
States, provided that all the other Powers concerned
shall accept the same." l;; During the Boxer Uprising, her
soldiers exemplified both courage and orderly conduct,
and in the negotiation for settlement, she sided, mainly,
with Great Britain and the United State-." As against
the Russian Convention in regard to Manchuria, and
the Seven Articles, joining Great Britain and the I "nited
States, she entered repeated protests. 111 During the nego-
tiations attending the conclusion or the Anglo-Japanese
Alliance Count Hayashi, in r< isponse to Lord Lansdowne's
inquiry as to Japan's policy in China, replied: "As I
have before stated, we entirely agreed with the British
policy in Eastern countries. '1 hat is to say. we wish to
maintain the territorial integrity of China and the princi-
ple of equal opportunity." M And when the Alliano
concluded, the preamble read :

"The governments of Great Britain and Japan, actuated
solely by a desire to maintain the status quo and general


peace in the extreme East, being moreover specially in-
terested in maintaining the independence and territorial
integrity of the Empire of China and the Empire of
Korea, and in securing equal opportunities in these coun-
tries for the commerce and industry of all nations, hereby
agree," etc. 17

Finally, in the negotiation with Russia just prior to
the declaration of war, Japan repeatedly insisted on the
integrity of China in Manchuria, the observance of which
Russia repeatedly refused to pledge. Thus, during the
period, when she was feverishly preparing for her clash
with Russia, Japan was a consistent upholder of the Open
Door doctrine in China.

After the victories she achieved in the Russo-Japanese
War, the policy of Japan took a radical turn in China.
Instead of setting her face against Russia, she set it in
the direction of the mainland of Asia. In other words,
she launched her policy of continental expansion. When
Komura left for Portsmouth, he had already formulated
the plan of a Greater Japan.

"On the Asian continent he would create a Greater
Japan. . . . Manchuria and the road to Europe must be
won. In the Portsmouth deliberations, August 10 to
September 5, 1905, Russia agreed to share with Japan all
her special rights in the Chinese Empire and, accordingly
turned over to her the texts of all her previous treaties
with China . . . what was wanted was that which could
guarantee Japan's future — a foothold on the Continent,
control of high seas to Europe, preponderance in the de-
velopment of Manchuria, the .subordination of China, and
the friendship of Russia . . . all their ends for which the
war had been fought — had been settled in Komura's
mind before leaving [apan and were won at Ports-
mouth." 1S

Upon bis transfer from London to the Japanese For-
eign Office, Hayashi, like Komura, laid down the policy,


that was to be carried out by all diplomatic agents of
Japan. This policy was a peaceful penetration of China

by means of commercial and economic expansion, hacked
by diplomatic pressure and armed force, with a view to
eventual political control. Industrial expansion was to
be assisted by political expansion, and vice versa. With-
out commercial expansion, political control would be hol-
low ; without political control commercial expansion would
be unsafe and unstable. 10

To execute this policy of continental expansion, Japan
had to make certain strategic moves. The first was the
subjection and annexation of Korea. Just as any power
attempting to invade Japan from the direction of the
mainland must first conquer Korea, so likewise Japan
must first subjugate and control Korea and make that
state a first step toward the domination of Eastern Asia.
After her declaration of war on Russia, she established
her protectorate over Korea,* appointed advisers to con-
trol finance and foreign relations,- 1 and took over the
communication systems — post, telephone, telegraph —
amalgamating them with her own.- 1 ' Immediately upon
the conclusion of the war, she took over the foreign re-
lations of Korea, as the first step towards final annexa-
tion. 23 In the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, dated August
12, 1905, she obtained the recognition of her paramountcy
over Korea and of her right "to take such measure of
guidance, control and protection in Korea as she may
deem proper and necessary" -' (Art. .^). In his letter
to Sir C. Hardinge, the British Ambassador to Russia, 25
Lord Lansdowne said: "It has, however, become evi-
dent that Korea, owing to its close proximity to the
Japanese Empire and its inability to stand alone, must
fall under the control and tutelage of Japan." In 1907
the administration of Korea was placed under the con-
trol of the Japanese Resident-General.*" In 1910, the
annexation pf Korea was consummated.- 7 Thus, Japan
completed her first step in continental expansion.


Having made Korea a stepping-stone, she was ready
to pursue her policy in China. She wanted to exploit
the latter's natural resources. She desired to dominate,
if not actually to annex. South Manchuria and Eastern
Inner Mongolia; she was anxious to displace foreign in-
fluence in China by her own paramount influence ; she
yearned to establish an Asiatic Monroe Doctrine, and,
above all, designed to obtain the control of the Peking
Government. All these things she aimed to do, but she
found there was one great obstacle in her way, and that
was the presence in China of the European Powers. Be-
cause of the balance of power, she was not able to move
in the direction she wished, without arousing the jealousy
and opposition of the other Powers. She had to wait
for the opportunity.

But the Great War came in 1914, and the chief atten-
tion of the rival Powers was transferred to the battle-
fields of Europe. By Japan, this was regarded as an
opportunity sent by Providence. A Black Dragon Society
appeared and urged the government to solve the Chinese
question at the opportune moment, 28 by the formation of
a defensive alliance with China, based on a set of terms,
which well reflected those of the subsequent Twenty-
one Demands :

"Now is the most opportune moment for Japan to
quickly solve the Chinese question. Such an opportunity
will not occur for hundreds of years to come. Not only is
it Japan's divine duty to act now, but present conditions
in China favor the execution of such a plan. We should
by all means decide and act at once. If our authorities
do not avail themselves of this rare opportunity, great
difficulties will surely be encountered, in future in the
settlement of this Chinese question. Japan will be iso-
lated from the European Powers after the war. and will
be regarded by them with envy and jealousy just as Ger-
many is now regarded. Is it not then a vital nee.
for Japan to solve at this verv moment the Chinese ques-
tion?" 29


Tapan struck while the iron was hot. She ousted Ger-
many from Shantung and made herself that nation's suc-
cessor, thus extending her influence over the Yellow River
Basin. She then lowered the mask she had been wearing
because of the presence of the other Powers in the Orient,
and revealed her real intentions regarding China. She
nted the Twenty-one Demands which form the best
single document expo an's policy in China (this

subject will be discussed in a subsequent chaj I lav-

ing failed to force Group Five on the Chinese Govern-
ment, she changed her tactics and resorted to indirect
attack, through indiscriminate loans and the manipulation
of the Pro-Japanese Anfu Club then in control of the
Peking Government. This, however, also failed, because
of the termination of the World War and the consequent
return of the Powers, and especially because of the vic-
torious arms of General Wu Pai-fu who destroyed the
power of the Anfu Club and saved the Peking Govern-
ment from its deadly grip. When, therefore, llara came
to office in 1918, he was compelled once more to put on
the mask which Okuma had discarded, and resumed the
policy toward the Powers of international cooperation.

During this period, Japan supplemented her policy of
advance in China by various agreements with the Powers

so as to avoid unnecessary conflicts. This was one of the
policies laid down by Hayashi — the policy of simultaneous
political and economic ion, facilitated by interna-

tional agreements. 31 Discarding her old hostility, there-
fore, and adopting a policy of friendliness toward Russia,
she concluded the agreemenl of 1907, pledging to main-
tain their respective status quo.** As a result of this
understanding, she failed to protest against the Russian
establishment of the municipal administration in Har-
bin in 1907, which right she had denied Russia before
the Russo-Japanese War. Reacting against the intrusion
of the Knox neutralization plan, she entered the second


agreement with Russia, on July 4. 1910, engaging to take
common measure against outside interference with their
interests within their respective spheres of influence. "
During the War. she entered into a secret treaty of alli-
ance with Russia in 1916, mutually promising armed as-
sistance in case of war/' Likewise in 1907, she arranged
an agreement with France, 88 Russia's ally in the Dual Al-
liance, for mutual support in their respective spheres in
Asia, therein - incidentally facilitating the flotation of her
loans in Paris and promoting her own trade in Annam.

Meanwhile, her relations with the United States be-
came more and more unsatisfactory and, at times, even
strained. In launching her policy in China, she realized
that the power that would most likely stand in her way
of achievement was the United States, who with her
espousal of the Open Door doctrine, stood as a guardian
over China. She took offense at the terms of the Ports-
mouth Treaty, and, more so, at the Anti-Alien Land Law
and the California School Incident. In concert with
Russia, she rejected the neutralization plan of Secretary
Knox. During the World War, resenting Wilson's
friendly note of 1917 to China which it was claimed,
ignored the special position of Japan in China, she des-
patched the Eshii .Mission and obtained recognition from
the United States Government of her special interests in

Likewise, her relation with Great Britain became less
cordial. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1911 exempted
the United States from the force of the Alliance — the
very nation against whom she would have the Treaty
direct its application M (Article 4). Article five of Gn up
Five of the Twenty-one Demands asked for rail-
way concessions in the Yangtze Valley which con-
flicted with British int< Article 5, Group 5). 81 The

general aggre jive nature of the Twenty-one Demands,

especially Group I ughl forth a storm of pi

in the British pn . A a reaction, especially after the


failure f Group Five, the Japanese press conducted an
anti-British campaign" and the Japanese entered mean-
while, in 1916, into a secret alliance with Russia. Above
all, the Japanese ambition of winning trade predominance

in China conflicted irrcconciliahly with the British |

of maintaining commercial supremacy.

Summing up the development of Japan's policy in
China, it may be said that, during the first stage culmi-
nating in the Chino- Japanese War, this policy was di-
rected primarily to the achievement of national equality
and the independence of Korea; that during the second
period, ending with the Russo-Japanese War, it
tered on the coming struggle with Russia and the main-
tenance of the Open Door Doctrine in China; hut that,
with her victory over Russia, came a sharp change in her
policy, and she launched upon a career of continental ex-
pansion, treading down a martyred Korea and menacing
the integrity of China.


1. Alfred Stead, Japan by the Japanese, p. 219.

2. Vide supra, chapter on the Loss of Dependencies.

3. State Papers, Vol, 67. pp. 530-533.

4. State Papers, Vol 76, pp. 297-298.

5. Vide supra, chapter on the Loss of Dependencies.

6. Hertslet, Vol. 1, p. 364. Art. 6.

7. Hertslet, Vol. 1, p. 379 et seq.. Arts. 20, 21, 22.

8. Hertslet, VoL 1, p. 38L Art. 25.

9. J. 11. Longford, The Evolution of Japan, p. 81.

10. Vide supra, chapter on the [nternational Struggle for

11. Counl Witte, Mv Dealings with the Li Hung Chang,
World's Work, Jan.. 1921, p. 300 el

12. K. A-akaua, The Russo-Japanese Conflict, p. 79-80.

13. I'. S. Foreign Relations, 1899, p. 139, Viscount Aoki to
Mr. Buck, Dec. 26, 1899.

14. Morse, The [nternational Relation of the Chinese Empire,
Vol. 3, Chapters Hi, 11. 12.

15. Vide supra, chapter on the International Struggle for


16. A. M. Pooley, The Secret Memoirs of Tadasu Hayashi,
p. 134.

17. State Papers. Vol. r '5. pp. 83-84.

18. Dr. W. E. Griffith's statement in New York Sun, May 30,
1915, quoted in Bash lord, China an Interpretation, p. 387 et seq.

19. Pooley, Japan's Foreign Policy, p. 47 et seq.

20. State Papers, Vol. 98, p. 842, Protocol of Seoul, February
23, 1904.

21. State Papers, Vol. 98, p. 843, Agreement of Aug. 22, 1904.

22. State Papers, Vol. 98, pp. 1137-1139, Agreement of April 1,

23. State Papers, Vol. 98, pp. 1139-1140.

24. State Pap 98, pp. 136-138.

25. Millard, Our Eastern Question, Appendix L, p. 452, the
Marquess of Lansdowne to Sir C. Hardinge, Sept. 6, 1905.

26. State Papers, Vol. 101, p. 280, Agreement of July 24, 1907.

27. State Papers, Vol. 103, p. 992, Treaty of Annexation, Aug.
22, 1910.

28. Putnam Weale, The Fight for the Republic in China, p.
125 et seq.

29. Weale, ibid., p. 128, Memorandum of the Black Dragon

30. See chapter on The Twenty-one Demands as an Illustra-
tion of Japan's Policy in China.

31. Pooley, Japan's Foreign Policy, p. 47.

32. MacMurray, 1907/11.

33. MacMurray, 1910/1.

34. MacMurray, 1916/9.

35. MacMurray, 1907/7; Millard, Our Eastern Question, App.
M, pp. 457-458.

36. State Papers, Vol. 104, p. 174; Millard, Our Eastern Ques-
tion, p. 456.

37. The Sino-Japanese Negotiations, Chinese Official State-
ment, 1915, p. 22.

38. Millard, Our Eastern Question, p. 239 et seq.

39. Ibid., p. 247 et seq.


The present policy of Japan toward China has five
clearly defined objectives in view. They arc-: Economic
Exploitation, Territorial Kxpansion, Paramount Influ-
ence, Political Control and the adoption of an Asiatic
Monroe Doctrine.

Moreover, this policy turns on two fundamental prob-
lem- : The first is that of Japan herself, arising out of
her growing population and the limitations of territory
and natural resources of the islands. This results in
the adoption of the policy of territorial expansion, and
the policy of economic exploitation. The other problem
is that of China arising out of the international struggle
for concessions and the latter's apparent inability to
resist Western aggression. This predominance of West-
ern influence endangers the safety of Japan. The second
problem leads to the adoption of a policy of paramount
influence, political control and an Asiatic Monroe Doc-

As already stated, the policy of economic exploitation is
one of two alternative ways of meeting the population
problem. As population increases, territory must be ex-
panded, and the art of living raised : otherwise the stand-
ard of living will be lowered. Excluding consideration
of allowing the standard of living to deteriorate, increas-
ing population must be met either by territorial expan-
sion and economic exploitation abroad, or industrial de-
velopment at home, or by both. Japan chooses to solve
tin- problem by both mean-.

The population in Japan proper is 57,070,936 * (on
December 31, 1918), and the land area of Japan proper



amounts only to 148,756 square miles. 2 Dividing the
land area by the population, the density of population per
square mile is 384. In comparison with this density in
other nations, Japan ranks next only to Belgium with
659.4 and Holland with 474.3, and rivals Great Britain
with 370.8. 3 Adding to this density, the annual net in-
crease is about 700,000, or 12.75 per thousand. 4 At this
rate, the present population will be doubled in about
half a century.

Closely associated with the problem of increasing popu-
lation, and in fact constituting an integral part of the
same problem, is the question of food supply. It has
estimated that in Japan the per capita consumption
of rice in a year is one Koku ( 5.11 () 02 bushels U. S. A. ).'
Calculating on this basis, and Japan's population num-
bering 57,070,936, the consumption in 1918 was therefore
reckoned at approximately 57,070,936 Koku. "Against
this, the total yield of rice in a normal year is 52,000,000,"

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 15 of 39)