Planning an Expedition to Taiwan
This chapter describes how Japan’s foreign minister Soejima Taneomi appropriated a justification for colonization that was developed by an American diplomat Charles LeGendre. After Soejima hired LeGendre as an advisor to the Japanese government, Soejima adapted the argument for use as the basis for a Japanese expedition to Taiwan, expanding its scope and making it more aggressive. The adaptation assumed that the Japanese could appropriate methods and ideas from Western imperialism and use them preemptively to exploit the indigenous territory of Taiwan. At Soejima’s request, LeGendre drafted plans for an expedition, but some government leaders objected to it and favored a more cautious approach. Soejima also developed a comprehensive approach for dealing with problems of territorial authority in areas that lay between China and Japan.