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The Russo-Japanese War And The Emergence Of The Notion Of The ‘Clash Of Races’ In Japanese Foreign Policy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses the roots of racial notions in Japanese foreign policy and examines the effects of European 'Yellow Peril' propaganda on and in Japan. It discusses the following questions: How, if at all, did Japan react to this kind of propaganda? How did Japanese foreign policy change as a consequence of it? Race played an important role in the Pacific War, and not much attention has been paid to the emergence of racial notions in Japanese foreign policy. There were warning voices, in Japan, pointing out the character of the idea of a 'clash of races' as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Until the Russo- Japanese War, leaders of the Asian independence movements still had applauded Japan's successes, but soon thereafter, Japan was harshly criticized as becoming a colonialist power herself and as becoming the 'public enemy' (kōteki) of Asia.

Keywords: clash of races; European yellow peril propaganda; Japanese foreign policy; Russo-Japanese War



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