A Justification for Colonization

  • Robert EskildsenEmail author
Part of the New Directions in East Asian History book series (NDEAH)


This chapter describes the origins of the justification for colonization that the Japanese government later used in its diplomatic arguments about the indigenous territory of Taiwan. The Japanese government appropriated an argument developed by an American diplomat named Charles LeGendre. He applied an interpretation of international law to the requirements of the Chinese government under the unequal treaties to argue that the Chinese government had an obligation to establish civil authority over southern Taiwan in order to validate its claim to sovereignty there. LeGendre developed the argument in response to a massacre of Americans in southern Taiwan in 1867, and the Japanese government later appropriated it and applied it by analogy to a similar massacre that happened to dozens of people from Ryūkyū in 1871.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Christian UniversityMitakaJapan

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