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Mastering the International Laws of War

  • Douglas Howland

Abstract

A new body of multilateral treaties sought to limit the possibilities for the outbreak of war and to curtail the scope of warfare. Japan signed the 1856 Declaration of Paris and the Geneva Convention of 1864 in the 1880s, and participated prominently in the two Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Japan’s facility with the international laws of war was put to the test in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. Japan demonstrated to the West that its “civilized warfare” respected Japan’s commitments to the laws of war, and Japan’s exploitation of gaps in the law was put to good use at The Hague, when Japan helped to revise the laws of neutrality, maritime warfare, and declarations of war in order to change the rules of what had formerly been an exclusive European club.

Keywords

Geneva Convention Home Port Surprise Attack Japanese Officer Neutral Power 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Theodore D. Woolsey, Introduction to the Study of International Law, 4th ed., revised and enlarged (New York: Scribner, Armstrong, & Co., 1874), 29–32. Woolsey’s treatise was translated into Chinese in 1877 and that translation reprinted in Japan in 1878 and 1879.Google Scholar
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© Douglas Howland 2016

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  • Douglas Howland

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