1st Edition

Japanese Diplomacy and East Asian International Politics, 1918–1931

By Ryuji Hattori Copyright 2024
    336 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides an overall picture of East Asian international politics during the early interwar period and examines the various foreign policy trends of the major powers involved, including Japan, China, Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Based on extensive original research, it posits that East Asia experienced four waves of international change during the interwar period: the transition to the post-World War I international order; the appearance of Nationalist China and the Soviet Union as actors in East Asian international politics; the Japanese invasion of Manchuria; and Japanese implementation of the North China Buffer State Strategy. It considers the new challenges brought about by each of these waves, how the powers – particularly Japan, Britain, and the United States – were able to meet these challenges by working together, and how this became more difficult as time went on. It argues that the Washington System – the international order established at the 1921–1922 Washington Naval Conference – was not a break with the past, as is frequently argued, on account of new forms of foreign policy, including the ideological approaches of the United States and the Soviet Union, but that rather spheres of influence diplomacy continued as before. In addition, in discussing Japanese foreign policy, the book provides a comprehensive picture of the diversity of views towards China among Japanese actors and the ways these shifted over time.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

    List of illustrations


    Usage Notes

    Name Equivalencies


    Introduction: Japanese Diplomacy and Interwar East Asia’s “Four Waves of International Change”

    1 The First Wave of International Change and Hara Diplomacy: September 1918 to November 1921 – The Hara Government

    2 The Creation of the Washington System and the Second Wave of International Change: November 1921 to January 1924 – The Takahashi, Kato- Tomosaburo - , and Yamamoto Governments

    3 New Movements in China and the Soviet Union and the First Era of Shidehara Diplomacy: January 1924 to April 1927 – The Kiyoura, Kato- Takaaki, and Wakatsuki Governments

    4 The Establishment of the Nationalist Government and Tanaka Diplomacy: April 1927 to July 1929 – The Tanaka Government

    5 The Second Era of Shidehara Diplomacy and the Third Wave of International Change: July 1929 to December 1931 – The Hamaguchi and Wakatsuki Governments

    Conclusion: International Changes and Policy Trends




    Ryuji Hattori is a Professor in the Faculty of Policy Studies at Chuo University, Japan and has a Bachelor’s from Kyoto University, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. from Kobe University.

    Graham B. Leonard is an Independent Translator and Researcher based in Seattle, Washington, USA.