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Title: The influence of British and Japanese mercantile circles upon the Anglo-Japanese Alliance 1994-1902
Author: Uruma, Mayumi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 5879
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the influence of British and Japanese mercantile circles and other pressure groups upon the formation of the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance in the period, 1894-1902. Contrary to the contemporary conception that the Alliance was concluded largely for the benefit of Japan, the thesis argues that Britain needed the Alliance more than Japan from a commercial perspective. The varied support for an alliance, incorporating business groups, naval experts and the press, provides evidence for this interpretation. Examination of the influence of such sectors has been somewhat neglected in the existing literature, owing to the alliance being assessed largely in strategic and diplomatic terms. The thesis argues that it was within the context of great power rivalry that such groups acted in fostering an atmosphere of Anglo-Japanese cooperation. British mercantile circles generally supported Japanese imperial policies in East Asia, especially in opening up new markets in East Asia and improving infrastructure in Korea and Taiwan. Compared to Britain, Japan's economic development was in her infancy. Together with the absence of serious commercial rivalry, this contributed towards the view held by many in Britain that an alliance would be beneficial in terms of protecting British interests. Whilst the Alliance was enthusiastically welcomed in Japan, the thesis argues that this owed little to Japanese mercantile circles, who, owing to the lack of substantial commercial interests in China, failed to recognize the Russian threat to Japanese interests. As a consequence, they did not see the necessity of an alliance with Britain. Nevertheless, the thesis argues that at official and commercial levels, Japan always wished to receive Britain's political and financial support for Japan's further development. The fundamental thrust of the thesis, based on an extensive primary source research in Japanese and British archives, is that commercial opinion and activities did contribute towards the conditions that made the Anglo-Japanese alliance possible.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available