Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan: The Three Careers by Stewart Lone (auth.)

By Stewart Lone (auth.)

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Additional resources for Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan: The Three Careers of General Katsura Tarō

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Katsura was, however, always ready to advocate force for practical ends. The fundamental problem for japan was the need to spend 48 Army, Empire and Politics in Meiji Japan heavily in order to kickstart Taiwan's modem economy and cut the burden of subsidies from Tokyo. To achieve this, the problems of insurgency or political opposition, he insisted, would have to be dealt with severely; without order, there would never be the investment and migration from japan necessary to make improved roads, rail, port facilities and sanitation viable in Taiwan.

Given that colonialism and conflict were to see many more of them later spread across Asia, it may be Imperial Japan at War, 1894-95 33 useful in understanding Japanese imperialism if we briefly consider the experience and attitudes of these forces at the time. One should note that Japan had only superficial wartime control of Korea and part of Manchuria and that there were clear differences in aims and activities: behind the lines in Korea, mass socio-political reform was attempted by a wave of Japanese civilian advisers pressed on the Korean government; in southern Manchuria, ongoing frontline hostilities meant the army was more directly involved with local affairs but predominantly with the twin aims of guaranteeing supplies and minimising resistance.

Any outrage against Western residents could either bring foreign intervention against Japan or hinder ongoing deliberations in the US for revision of Japan's unequal treaty. Well aware their forces were seen as representatives of Japanese culture, army commanders issued strict warnings on discipline. In Manchuria, Katsura told his men: Scattered ahead of us are foreigners, especially missionaries. A cross marks their dwellings. If they are not fully protected, it will cause diplomatic trouble and dishonour the Japanese army before the world.

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