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Japan's diplomacy for ending the Sino-Japanese War and East Asian international relations : Japan and Great Britain from the outbreak of war to the formation of the "Triple Intervention"


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  • 日清戦争終結に向けた日本外交と国際関係 : 開戦から「三国干渉」成立に至る日本とイギリス
  • ニッシン センソウ シュウケツ ニ ムケタ ニホン ガイコウ ト コクサイ カンケイ カイセン カラ サンゴク カンショウ セイリツ ニ イタル ニホン ト イギリス

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The aim of the present article is to analyze the process by which Japan brought about a settlement in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) focusing on the settlement's interaction with both the changing power relations among the Great Powers and diplomatic trends of the Qing Dynasty, in order to show a clear transition taking place in Japan's diplomatic strategy at that time. The War has been pointed to as an event within a 19th century East Asia characterized by the coexistence of the traditional Chinese tribute system and modern treaty organizations that led to the final destruction of the former. However, the research to date has proceeded to discuss the process of Japan's conclusion of the War without sufficiently analyzing movements of the British-centered Great Powers, which supported the establishment of one single international order in East Asia. The main thrust of the research to date is the view that the diplomacy conducted by the Great Powers towards Japan constituted "external pressure" for Japan to wage war against the Qing Dynasty, but has neglected such aspects as Japan's international position and its influence to the Great Powers. For this reason, the present article attempts to analyze Japanese diplomacy within the interrelationship between the activities of the Great Powers and the Qing Dynasty from the standpoints of both Japan and Great Britain. Japanese diplomacy aiming at a conclusion to the War unsettled the leadership role of Great Britain which intended to maintain the cooperation among the Great Powers in East Asia. To begin with, Japan's announcing its intention to continue the War isolated Great Britain, who desired a quick end to the hostilities. Secondly, Japan's choice of the United States, who favored independent action among the Great Powers, as its intermediary with the Qing Dynasty not only elicited a request for negotiations, as Japan was winning on the battlefront, but also kept Great Britain out of the whole affair altogether. Finally, Japan's submission of a peace treaty draft brought to light the changes that had occurred in the interrelationships among the Great Powers. Under such conditions, Great Britain ended up agreeing with Russia, Germany and France in urging Japan to return the Liaodong Peninsula to the Qing Dynasty, in an attempt to reestablish its hegemony in the region. On the other hand, Japan's announcement to accept the advice enabled the exchange of the Shimonoseki Treaty ratification with the Qing Dynasty. Consequently, Japan was able to avoid the disadvantages of a prolonged war by settling the conflict. Japanese diplomacy up to the end of the War was not only directed at settling its dispute with the Qing Dynasty over the Korean Peninsula, but also simultaneously brought about a situation in which arrangements of cooperation among the Great Powers in East Asia centered around Great Britain fell into dysfunctionality.



    SHIGAKU ZASSHI 120 (9), 1493-1527, 2011

    The Historical Society of Japan


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