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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Though a Japanese resident general in Seoul


Under

the Portsmouth treaty these advantages were transferred to Japan by Russia, the railway, however, being divided so that only the portion (521.5 miles) to the south of Kwanchengtsz fell to Japan's share, while the portion (1077 miles) to the north of that place remained in Russia's hands. China's consent to the above transfers and assignments was obtained in a treaty signed at Peking on the 22nd of December, 1905. Thus, Japan came to hold in Manchuria a position somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, she figured as the champion of the Chinese empire's integrity and as an exponent of the new principle of equal opportunity and the open door. On the other, she appeared as the legatee of many privileges more or less inconsistent with that principle. But, at the same time, nearly all the great powers of Europe were similarly circumstanced. In their cases, also, the same incongruity was observed between the newly professed policy and the aftermath of the old practice. It was scarcely to be expected that Japan alone should make a large sacrifice on the altar of a theory to which no other State thought of yielding any retrospective obedience whatever. She did, indeed, furnish a clear proof of deference to the open-door doctrine, for instead of reserving the railway zones to her own exclusive use, as she was fully entitled to do, she sought and obtained from China a pledge to open to foreign trade sixteen places within these zones.

For the rest, however,

the inconsistency between the past and the present, though existing throughout the whole of China, was nowhere so conspicuous as in the three eastern provinces (Manchuria); not because there was any real difference of degree, but because Manchuria had been the scene of the greatest war of modern times; because that war had been fought by Japan in the cause of the new policy, and because the principles of the equally open door and of China's integrity had been the main bases of the Portsmouth treaty, of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, and of the subsequently concluded ententes with France and Russia. In short, the world's eyes were fixed on Manchuria and diverted from China proper, so that every act of Japan was subjected to an exceptionally rigorous scrutiny, and the nations behaved as though they expected her to live up to a standard of almost ideal altitude. China's mood, too, greatly complicated the situation. She had the choice between two moderate and natural courses; either to wait quietly until the various concessions granted by her to foreign powers in the evil past should lapse by maturity, or to qualify herself by earnest reforms and industrious developments for their earlier recovery. Nominally she adopted the latter course, but in reality she fell into a mood of much impatience. Under the name of a "rights-recovery campaign" her people began to protest vehemently against the continuance of any conditions which impaired her sovereignty, and as this temper coloured her attitude towards the various questions which inevitably grew out of the situation in Manchuria, her relations with Japan became somewhat strained in the early part of 1909.

JAPAN IN KOREA AFTER THE WAR WITH RUSSIA

Having waged two wars on account of Korea, Japan emerged from the second conflict with the conviction that the policy of maintaining the independence of that country must be modified, and that since the identity of Korean and Japanese interests in the Far East and the paramount character of Japanese interests in Korea would not permit Japan to leave Korea to the care of any third power, she must assume the charge herself. Europe and America also recognized that view of the situation, and consented to withdraw their legations from Seoul, thus leaving the control of Korean foreign affairs entirely in the hands of Japan, who further undertook to assume military direction in the event of aggression from without or disturbance from within. But in the matter of internal administration, she continued to limit herself to advisory supervision. Thus, though a Japanese resident-general in Seoul, with subordinate residents throughout the provinces, assumed the functions hitherto discharged by foreign ministers and consuls, the Korean Government was merely asked to employ Japanese experts in the position of counsellors, the right to accept or reject their counsels being left to their employers.


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