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Political Party Consolidation, Oligarchic Reaction and the Emergence of New Forces, 1905–18

  • Richard Sims
Chapter

Abstract

The Russo-Japanese War was a landmark in Japanese political history not only because it led to the formation of a new cabinet by the president of the main political party — with the genro playing a passive role — but also because it transformed Japan’s international position. Before 1904 Japan had been little more than a minor Far Eastern power; by the end of 1905 it had acquired a strong foothold on the Asian continent, with Korea coming under its protection (a prelude to annexation in 1910) and with the establishment of a Japanese sphere of influence in southern Manchuria. For some years the threat of a war of revenge by Russia exercised Japanese military men, but this possibility came to seem less likely when Japan and Russia signed a series of local agreements in 1907; and the process of Russo-Japanese rapprochement was further advanced in 1910 by an agreement to cooperate in protecting their railway interests in Manchuria against the threat of American capital.

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© Richard Sims 2001

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  • Richard Sims

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