Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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should be given through Tokio or with her concurrence
or approval. Just as the United States enjoys a special
position with regard to Mexico, so Japan claimed similar
special interest in China. Commenting on this fact,
the Yamato of Tokio said: "Moreover, America must be
aware of the superior position enjoyed by America in
Mexico. Yet while Japan has abstained from taking any
step whatever in Mexico, in deference to America's spe-
cial position there, America has interfered in China's
domestic politics by ignoring Japan's position there." 7

Taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the
Wilson note and emulating the example of other Powers
in sending War Missions to the United States, the Japa-
nese Government ent a on to America under
the leadership of Viscounl [shii. Prior to the arrival
of the [shii mission, a confidential report reached the
rtmenl of State, which clearly heralded the inten-
tion and purpose of the mission: "Japan has no ulte-
rior motives in respect to the integrity of China; that
she adheres to her Open Door pledges; that nothing Mil>-


versive of China's integrity is contemplated; that Japan's
sole object is, by means entirely pacific, to bring order
out of chaos in China with no special privileges in view;
that Japan understands China better than any other na-
tion, and owing to her geographical proximity and special
political position and interests in the Far East, she should,
therefore, when essential, take the leading role in dealing
with China as the United States does with the nations
of the Western Hemisphere." 8 Thus, the ostensible pur-
pose of the mission, as it related to China, was to seek
recognition from the United States of a similar position
for Japan in the Orient as she, herself, enjoyed in the
Western Hemisphere.

After the landing of the Japanese Mission, in August,
1917, and while the negotiation was in session, Viscount
Ishii openly announced the Asiatic Monroe Doctrine in
a speech delivered in New York, September 29, 1917, and
again amplified it in another speech made in the same
city, October 1, 1917, which constituted the first official
pronouncement of the Japanese "Asiatic" Monroe Doc-
trine. We quote extracts from his addresses :

"\\ e wish to be, and to always continue to be, the
sincere friend and helper of our neighbor, for we are
more interested than any one else except China in good
government there, and we must at all times for self-
protection prevent other nations from doing what we have
no right to do. Not only will we not seek to assail the
integrity or the sovereignty of China, bin we will eventu-
ally be prepared to depend and maintain the same in-
tegrity and independence of China against any aggressor.
For we know that our own landmarks would be threat-
ened by any outside invasion or interference in China." 8

"In a speech delivered on Saturday night I made par-
ticular reference to the policy of Japan with regard to
China. This reference took the form of a repetition of
the pledge and promise that Japan would not violate the
political independence or territorial integrity of China ;


would at all times regard the high principle of Open
Door and equal opportunity. Now I find that this utter-
ance of mine is taken as the enunciation of a 'Monroe
Doctrine in Asia.' I want to make it very clear to you
that the application of the term 'Monroe Doctrine' to
this policy and principle, voluntarily outlined and pledged
by me, is inaccurate."

"There is this fundamental difference between the
'Monroe Doctrine' of the United States as to Central
and South America and the enunciation of Japan's atti-
tude toward China. In the first place, there is on the
part of the United States no engagement or promise,
while in the other Japan voluntarily announces that Japan
will herself engage not to violate the political or terri-
torial integrity of her neighbor, and to observe the prin-
ciple of the Open Door and equal opportunity, asking
at the same time other nations to respect these princi-
ples." 10

Thus, Viscount Ishii, as official spokesman of Japan,
announced, in essence, that his country would respect the
territorial integrity and political independence of China
and would eventually be prepared to defend the same.
He also pointed out the difference between the American
Monroe Doctrine and Japan's doctrine in that the United
States did not pledge abstention or protection, while
Japan voluntarily engaged not to violate the sovereignty
and integrity of China, while, at the same time, asking
the other Powers to do likewise. While Ishii did not
definitely brand the doctrine as "Asiatic" Monroe Doc-
trine, the principles he enunciated were such as to con-
stitute a real "Asiatic" Monroe Doctrine — that is, Japan
undertook not to violate the sovereignty and integrity of
China, nor permit other nations to do so.

Mr. Lansing's statements further substantiate what
Viscount Ishii proclaimed and declared it to be nothing


less than the principles of an Asiatic Monroe Doctrine.
In his statement to the press, he declared that the agree-
ment introduced a new principle — that i-. the principle
of non-intervention, which is the cardinal principle of
the American Monroe Doctrine." In his statement to
the Chinese Government. Mr. Lansing reiterati ! the sig-
nificance of the introduction and recognition of the
principle of non-interference. 1 - His testimony before
the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations further
strengthened the belief that the special interests of Japan
which he recognized in China were not different from
the special interests of the United States in Canada or
Mexico. In other words, he recognized Japan's claim
to an Asiatic Monroe Doctrine, if it were based on the
same principle :

"Senator Borah. In view of the twenty-one de-
mands, what construction did you place upon the ques-
tion of Japan's special interest in China?

"SECRETARY Lansing. Only the special interest that
comes from being contiguous to another country whose
peace and prosperity wen- involved.

"Senator Borah. No different special interest from
that which we have in Canada?

"Secretary Lansing. No.

"Senator Borah. Or which we have in Mexico?

"Secretary Lansing. Exactly."

Lansing also testified that Viscount Ishii, in insist-
ing on the inclusion of a recognition of Japan's special
interests, did mention that t!;> uld Ik- a Monroe

Doctrine for the Far East, in response to which Mr.
Lansing explained that what special interests tin- United
States had in the Latin-American Republics was not
paramount influence, nor exclusive nor special privi-
. but rather the preservation to these Republics of
the power of self-development and immunity from out-
side interference :


"At another interview we discussed the phrase 'special
interest,' which the Japanese Government had been very
insistent upon, and which, with the explanation I have
made, I was not very strongly opposed to, thinking that
the reaffirmation of the < >pen Door policy was the most
essential thing that we could have at this time; and
we discussed the phrase which appeared in the draft note
'special interest.' and I told him then that if it meant
'paramount interest,' I could not discuss it further; but
if he meant special interest based upon geographical po-
sition, I would consider the insertion of it in the note.
Then it was, during that same interview, that we men-
tioned 'paramount interest' and he made a reference to
the Monroe Doctrine, and rather a suggestion that there
should be a Monroe Doctrine for the Far East.

"And I told him that there seemed to be misconcep-
tion as to the underlying principle of Monroe Doctrine,
that it was not an assertion of primacy or paramount
interest by the United States in its relation to the Ameri-
can republics ; that its purpose was to prevent foreign
Powers from interfereing with the separate rights of
any nation in this hemisphere, and that the whole aim
was to preserve to each republic the power of self-
development. I said further that so far as aiding in this
development the United States claimed no special privi-
leges over other countries." 14

It is, therefore, clear that the special interests which
Lansin uized as Japan's in China, are no more

than, and not different from, the special interests of
the United Stale, in the other American republics. It
o plain that the essential principle that he empha-
sized in the understanding was the principle of non-
interference, with the territorial integrity and political
independence of ( Ihina, either by Japan or other Powers —

line cardinal principle which the American

Monroe Doctrine. It i consequently not unsafe td con-
clude that in n Japan' I interests in

China, due to the geographical proximity, Secretary


Lansing inadvertently extended his recognition to Japan's
"Asiatic" Monroe Doctrine.

Let us now compare and contrast Japan's "Asiatic"
Monroe Doctrine with the American Monroe Doctrine
and try to discover the similarities and differences of
the two policies. With respect to similarities, both arc
based on the principle of self-preservation. Just as the
United States would not permit further extension of the
European system in the Western hemisphere, for fear
that such an occurrence would endanger her own peace
and safety, 15 so Japan would not permit any further
European aggression in China and Eastern Asia lest it
should menace her own tranquillity and well-being.
Again, both doctrines are founded on the fundamental
principle of non-interference. While permitting the usual
intercourse based on international law and even war for
redress of wrong, collection of debts, vindication of jus-
tice, so long as such acts do not affect territorial integrity
and political independence, the United States would not
allow other non-American states to interfere with the
territorial integrity of sister American Republics, by con-
quest, or colonization or extension of boundaries, or
transfer by purchase ; nor would she allow any non-
American interference with the political independence
thereof by destruction of existing governments, or estab-
lishment of new governments, or control of government
through political and financial concessions. Likewise,
Japan would, while permitting usual commercial and po-
litical intercourse, put a similar injunction, as far as pos-
sible, on any further European aggression in China and
Eastern Asia that would interfere with the territorial
integrity and political independence of the same.

With respect to differences, however, there are two
fundamental distinctions. In the first place, the Ameri-
can Monroe Doctrine carried a corollary of non-inter-
ference in the affairs of purely European or Asiatic


concern. Hence the policy of no entangling alliances.
In other words, as the United States would not permit
non-American states to interfere with affairs of purely
American concern, so the United States reciprocates the
measure by abstaining from affairs of purely European
or Asiatic concern. Thus the American Monroe Doc-
trine is founded on the principle of the Golden Rule.
This, however, does not place an absolute bar on the
United States with reference to intervention in affairs of
Europe or Asia. If her own interests should be involved
or the cause of humanity at stake, she would not hesitate
to intervene — a right sanctioned in international law.

But the "Asiatic" Monroe Doctrine carries no such
corollary ; at least it does not up to the present moment.
Japan did not abstain from affairs of European concern.
Instead of avoiding entangling alliances, she entered into
an alliance with Great Britain, and another with Russia
in 1916. Instead of standing aloof from affairs of
European concern, she participated in the World War,
not as a disinterested belligerent but as an active ally of
Great Britain, ousting Germany from Shantung and
guarding the transportation routes between Great Britain
and India and Australia. Once more, she concluded
agreements with Russia in 1907 and 1910, allowing
Russia to perpetrate in Outer Mongolia and North Man-
churia what she herself intended to do in Eastern Inner
Mongolia and South Manchuria.

In the second place, the American Monroe Doctrine
prohibiting non-American states from interference in
the Wotcni hemisphere applies the similar injunction on
herself with equal force. That is to say, in preaching
to other nations the doctrine of non-interference she prac-
tices the doctrine herself and thus sets the example.
Further, she docs not claim any primacy or paramount
interest or special privileges. This restriction upon her-
self, however, does not preclude the possibility of inter-
vention, when her own interests are involved, or when


the Monroe Doctrine is jeopardized. Thus, she tempo-
rarily took over the Governments of Haiti and San
Domingo, not to extinguish the political independence of
these states, but rather to preserve the same, and thus
to safeguard the sanctity of the Monroe Doctrine.

But Japan did not place the same restriction upon her-
self. Instead of observing the doctrine, she assaulted
the sovereignty of China by the presentation of Group V
of the Twenty-one Demands. Instead of protecting the
territorial integrity of China, as Ishii pledged, she enter-
tained territorial designs upon South Manchuria and
Eastern Inner Mongolia, and attempted to acquire the
sovereignty thereof by the demand for police power.
Instead of preserving the Open Door in China for the
trade of the world, she resorted to unfair means to attain
commercial predominance, to the exclusion and therefore
detriment of the merchants of other foreign states. Thus,
she did not abstain from interference with the sovereignty
and integrity of China, which she asks the other powers
to do. In short, she did not practice what she preached,
thus failing to set the necessary example.

The conclusion can, therefore, be reached that Japan's
"Asiatic" Monroe Doctrine is like the American in that
it is based on the principles of self-preservation and
non-interference, but unlike the American in that its
promoter did not reciprocate its spirit by refraining from
interference in affairs of European concern, nor set the
example of applying the same restriction on herself.


1, 2. Japan's Mighty Mission, by Honorable Mr Iichiro
Tokutonn, the chiet editor and proprietor f the Kokumin
Shimbin, Crown Member of the House of Peers of Japan,
Peking Post, Feltruary 10, 1917, Japan Chronicle, January 19,
1 { >17, quoted in T. Das, Is Japan a Menace to Asia?, Appendix,
p. 121 et seq.

3. The Sino-Japai otiations, 1915, p. 21; China Year

Book, 1919, p. 567.


4. The Sino-Japanese Negotiations, 1915, p. 28.

5, 6. Ibid., p. 22; pp. 69-70; the China Year Book, 1919, pp.

7. Millard, Democracy and Eastern Question, p. 119.

8. J. W. Kuks. lapan in Action, North American Review,
Sept., 1919. pp. 318 319.

9. The Imperial Japan n to the United States, 1917,
Carneui I I for International Peace; Current History,
Vol. 7. 1917-18, p. 356; New York Times, Sept. 30, 1917.

10. The Imperial Japai on to the United States, 1917,
Carnegie Endowra . pp. 103-104; Current History, Vol. VII,
1917-1 : New York Times. October _'. 1917.

11. Hearings on the Treaty of Peace with Germany signed
at Versailles on June 28, 1919, before the Senate Committee on
Foreign Relati' sixth Congress, First Session, Senate
Document No. 100. p. 226.

12. Millard, Democracy and the Eastern Question, pp. 162-163,
Paul S. Reinsh's Letter to the Chinese Government, Nov. 8, 1917.

13. Hearings, ibid., p. 147.

14. Hearings, ibid., pp. 223-224.

15. Me-sage of James Monroe, Dec. 2, 1823, American Foreign
Policy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Di-
vision of Intercourse and Education, Publication No. 17, pp. 5-6.



So far we have considered the five policies of Japan
in China — economic exploitation, territorial expansion,
paramount influence, political control and the Asiatic
Monroe Doctrine. We shall now examine an historic
document which bears all the earmarks of these five
policies and which has since become the best exponent
thereof ; I mean the original Twenty-one Demands.

This document was produced under conditions of world
politics which rendered it the fullest and clearest revela-
tion of Japan's intentions and desires in regard to China.
It was presented to the Chinese Government, as we all
know, on January 18, 1915, when the World War was
raging in Europe. In consequence of the war, the great
Powers receded from the international rivalry in China
and plunged into a life-and-death grapple on the battle-
fields of Europe, with practically no energy left for
further aggressions or exploitation in China. The only
great neutral Power as yet not involved was the United
States, but she was none the less absorbed in the prog-
ress of the European War and had little attention to give
to affairs of the Far East. It was this crisis in the
world situation, when the tide of European aggression
had just ebbed, and when the United States had just
relaxed in her resolution to enforce her Open Door doc-
trine in China, that Japan took advantage of.

When the Powers were present, or free from wars
among themselves, Japan dared not disclose her designs
as to China, for fear she might meet the united opposi-
tion of the Powers ; and so she had to wear the mask



and fall in line with the Powers in their common policy
of international cooperation, and he contented with her
spheres of influence, limited as they might be. But
when the World War came she took advantage of the
unusual opportunity, or such an opportunity would "not
occur for hundreds of years to come." 1 Casting aside all
ordinary restraints, and counting upon success in her
measure, in a mad rush to solve the Chinese Question
at this juncture, she unpremeditatedJy discarded her
mask and exposed her full intentions and designs re-
garding China, as we shall see in the original Twenty-
one Demands.

Further, the original Twenty-one Demands represented
the common attitude of the majority of the Japanese
in regard to China. While there were some who had
the moral courage and conviction to denounce them, the
demands were nevertheless, on the whole, well supported
by the greater part of the electorate. When the nego-
tiations rspecting the Twenty-one Demands were in ses-
sion, Count Okuma dissolved the Diet on an issue of
army increase, and appealed to the people for a new
House of Representatives that would support him. 2 In
his campaign, he purposely avoided the issue of army in-
crease, but founded his plea for support on the value
and importance of his China policy. The returns gave
him an overwhelming victory. Supporting the Govern-
ment were the Doshi-kai with 150 votes, the Chusai-kai
with 36 and the Independents with 62 most of whom
were favorable to the Government. Opposing the Gov-
ernment were the Seiyu-kai with 106 votes and the Koku-

minto with 27, thus giving the Government a clear ma-
jority of about fifty. And when the special session con-
vened on May 27, 1915, while it was too late to pass
upon the China policy, as the negotiations respecting the
Twenty-one Demands had already heen concluded by the
Treaties of May 25, 1915, the House nevertheless passed


the budget estimate for increasing the appropriations for
army and navy." Thus, the policy upon which Count
Okuma had insisted in December of strengthening the
armed forces of the country "in order that our diplo-
matic dealings may become more effective" received the
legislative sanction, 4 or in other words, Count Okuma's
China policy as represented by the Twenty-one Demands,
or in short, the Twenty-one Demands themselves, re-
ceived the support of the majority of the Japanese elec-
torate. It can, therefore, be said that the Twenty-one
Demands represented the common attitude of the Japa-
nese people regarding China, excepting possibly a small

Besides, when the failure to impose on China Group V
of the Twenty-one Demands had subsequently exposed
Japan to the bitter antagonism and hatred of the Chinese
and the censure of the Powers, the criticism of the
Japanese was directed upon the way in which the de-
mands were presented and negotiations handled, rather
than upon intrinsic right or wrong of the demands them-
selves. It can be said that the majority of the Japanese,
even after the failure of Group V, still believed that
the Twenty-one Demands wire right and necessary from
the point of view of the welfare of Japan, and what
criticism they offered was therefore aimed at the means
by which the ends were to be attained, rather than the
ends themselves. As a fair illustration, let US note the
statement: "Not that these demands were in principle
wrong and unjustifiable, but because they were pressed
upon China in utter disregard of the susceptibilities of
the nation whose friendship she had been professing to
value."'' And this attitude, as we have noticed, was
reflected in the policy of Count Terauchi, who, succeed-
ing Count Okuma, changed the tactics from a direct
and open attack through diplomatic channels to a covert
and indirect assault through loans, arms deal, and alli-
ance with pro-Japanese officials in Peking.


When we submit the original Twenty-one Demands to
a close scrutiny, we find that the division into five groups
was done in rough correspondence with the five policies
of Japan. Whether the Japanese statesmen who drafted
them originally did so consciously or unconsciously, we
cannot tell, but whatever may be the original purpose of
the division, the fact remains nevertheless significant that
the fivefold division should coincide roughly with Japan's
fivefold policy, as we shall see.

The first group relating to Shantung, which extends
Japanese influence into that Province, represents the pol-
icy of paramount influence. The second group regarding
South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia exempli-
fies the policy of territorial expansion. The third group
as to the Hanychping Company symbolizes the policy of
economic exploitation. The fourth group dealing with
the non-alienation of China's coast represents the "Asi-
atic Monroe Doctrine." The fifth group represents the
policy of political control.

If, however, we should group the demands according
to the five policies, then the conclusion is all the more
evident that they embody all the five policies of Japan
and therefore constitute the best exponent thereof. 7

The Policy of Economic Exploitation

group II

Article 4: The Chinese Government agrees to grant
Japanese subjects the right of opening the mines in South
Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia. As regards

what mines are to be Opened, they shall be decided upon


Article 1 : The two < 'ontracting Parties mutually agree

that when the opportune moment arises the Hanyehping

Company shall lit: made a joint concern ot the two iu-


tions, and they further agree that without the previous
consent of japan, China shall not by her own act dispose
of the rights and property of whatsoever nature of the
said company nor cause the said company to dispose
freely of the same.

Article 2: The Chinese Government agrees that all
mines in the neighborhood of those owned by the 1 tanyeh-
ping Company shall not be permitted, without the con-
sent of the said company, to be worked by other persons
outside of the said company; and further agrees that if
it is desired to carry out any understanding which, it is
apprehended, may directly or indirectly affect the inter-
ests of the said company, the consent of the said company
shall first be obtained.

The Policy of Territorial Expansion

group II

Article 2 : Japanese subjects in South Manchuria and
Eastern Inner Mongolia shall have the right to lease or
own land required either for erecting suitable buildings
for trade and manufacture or for farming.

Article 3: Japanese subject- shall be tree to reside and
trade in South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 20 of 39)