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But she wanted peace. She wanted
to develop her material resources and to accumulate some measure of
wealth without which she must remain insignificant among the nations.

Two pacific programmes offered and she adopted them both. Russia,
instead of trusting time to consolidate her tenure of Manchuria, had
made the mistake of pragmatically importuning China for a
conventional title. If, then, Peking could be strengthened to resist
this demand, some arrangement of a distinctly terminable nature might
be made. The United States, Great Britain, and Japan, joining hands
for that purpose, did succeed in so far stiffening China's backbone
that her show of resolution finally induced Russia to sign a treaty
pledging herself to withdraw her troops from Manchuria in three
installments, each step of evacuation to be accomplished by a fixed
date. That was one of the pacific programmes. The other suggested
itself in connexion with the new commercial treaties which China had
agreed to negotiate in the sequel of the Boxer troubles. These
documents contained clauses providing for the opening of three places
in Manchuria to foreign trade. It seemed a reasonable hope that the
powers, having secured commercial access to Manchuria by covenant
with its sovereign, would not allow Russia to restrict arbitrarily
their privileges. Both of these hopes were disappointed. When the
time came for evacuation, Russia behaved as though no promise had
been given. She proposed new conditions which would have strengthened
her grasp of Manchuria instead of loosening it.

NEGOTIATION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND JAPAN

China being powerless to offer any practical protest, and Japan's
interest ranking next in order of importance, the Tokyo Government
approached Russia direct. They did not ask for anything that could
hurt her pride or impair her position. Appreciating fully the
economical status she had acquired in Manchuria by large outlays of
capital, they offered to recognize that status, provided that Russia
would extend similar recognition to Japan's status in Korea; would
promise, in common with Japan, to respect the sovereignty and the
territorial integrity of China and Korea, and would be a party to a
mutual engagement that all nations should have equal commercial and
industrial opportunities in Manchuria and in the Korean peninsula. In
a word, they invited Russia to subscribe the policy originally
enunciated by the United States and Great Britain, the policy of the
open door and of the integrity of the Chinese and Korean empires.

Thus commenced negotiations which lasted five and a half months.
Japan gradually reduced her demands to a minimum. Russia never made
any appreciable reduction of hers. She refused to listen to Japan for
one moment about Manchuria. Eight years previously, Japan had been in
military possession of the littoral of Manchuria when Russia, with
the assistance of Germany and France, had expelled her for reasons
which concerned Japan much more than they concerned any of these
three powers. Now, Russia had the assurance to declare that none of
these things concerned Japan at all. The utmost she would admit was
Japan's partial right to be heard about Korea. At the same time, she
herself commenced a series of aggressions in northern Korea. That was
not all. While she studiously deferred her answers to Japan's
proposals, and while she protracted the negotiations to an extent
visibly contemptuous, she hastened to make substantial additions to
her fleet and her army in far-eastern Asia. It was impossible to
mistake her purpose. She intended to yield nothing, but to prepare
such a parade of force that her obduracy would command submission.
The only alternatives for Japan were war or permanent effacement in
Asia. She chose war.

EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION

Before passing to the story of this war, it is necessary to refer to
two incidents of Japan's foreign relations, both of which preceded
her struggle with Russia. The first was the restoration of her
judicial autonomy. It has always been regarded as axiomatic that the
subjects or citizens of Western countries, when they travel or reside
in Oriental territories, should be exempted from the penalties and
processes of the latter's criminal laws. In other words, there is
reserved to a Christian the privilege, when within the territories of
a pagan State, of being tried for penal offences by Christian judges.
In civil cases the jurisdiction is divided, the question at issue
being adjudicated by a tribunal of the defendant's nationality;
but in criminal cases jurisdiction is wholly reserved. Therefore
powers making treaties with Oriental nations establish within
the latter's borders consular courts which exercise what is called
"extraterritorial jurisdiction." This system was, of course, pursued
in Japan's case. It involved the confinement of the foreign residents
to settlements grouped around the sites of their consular courts; for
it would plainly have been imprudent that such residents should have
free access to provincial districts remote from the only tribunals
competent to control them.

This provision, though inserted without difficulty in the early
treaties with Japan, provoked much indignation among the conservative
statesmen in Kyoto. Accordingly, no sooner had the Meiji Restoration
been effected than an embassy was despatched to the Occident to
negotiate for a revision of the treaties so as to remove the clause
about consular jurisdiction, and to restore the customs tariff to the
figure at which it had stood prior to Sir Harry Parkes' naval
demonstration at Hyogo. The Japanese Government was entitled to raise
this question in 1871, for the treaties were textually subject to
revision in that year. No time was lost in despatching the embassy.
But its failure was a foregone conclusion. The conditions originally
necessitating extraterritorial jurisdiction had not, by 1871
undergone any change justifying its abolition. It is not to be
denied, on the other hand, that the consular courts themselves
invited criticism. Some of the great Western powers had organized
competent tribunals with expert judicial officials, but others, whose
trade with Japan was comparatively insignificant, were content to
entrust consular duties to merchants, who not only lacked legal
training but were also themselves engaged in the commercial
transactions upon which they might, at any moment, be required to
adjudicate magisterially.

ENGRAVING: DANJURO, A FAMOUS ACTOR, AS BENKEI IN KANJINCHO (A PLAY)

It cannot be contended that this obviously imperfect system was
disfigured by many abuses. On the whole, it worked passably well, and
if its organic faults helped to discredit it, there is no denying
that it saved the Japanese from complications which would inevitably
have arisen had they been entrusted with jurisdiction which they were
not prepared to exercise satisfactorily. Moreover, the system had
vicarious usefulness; for the ardent desire of Japanese patriots to
recover the judicial autonomy, which is a fundamental attribute of
every sovereign State, impelled them to recast their laws and
reorganize their law courts with a degree of diligence which would
otherwise have probably been less conspicuous. Twelve years of this
work, carried on with the aid of thoroughly competent foreign
jurists, placed Japan in possession of codes of criminal and civil
law in which the best features of European jurisprudence were applied
to the conditions and usages of Japan. Then, in 1883, Japan renewed
her proposal for the abolition of consular jurisdiction, and by way
of compensation she promised to throw the country completely open and
to remove all restrictions hitherto imposed on foreign trade, travel,
and residence within her realm.

But this was a problem against whose liberal solution the
international prejudice of the West was strongly enlisted. No
Oriental State had ever previously sought such recognition, and the
Occident, without exception, was extremely reluctant to entrust the
lives and properties of its subjects and citizens to the keeping of a
"pagan" people. Not unnaturally the foreigners resident in Japan, who
would have been directly affected by the change, protested against it
with great vehemence. Many of them, though not averse to trusting
Japan, saw that her reforms had been consummated with celerity
amounting to haste, and a great majority fought simply for consular
jurisdiction as a privilege of inestimable value, not to be
surrendered without the utmost deliberation. The struggle that ensued
between foreign distrust and Japanese aspirations often developed
painful phases, and did much to intensify the feeling of antagonism
which had existed between the Japanese and the foreign residents at
the outset and which even to-day has not wholly disappeared. The
Government and citizens of the United States of America never failed
to show sympathy with Japanese aspirations in this matter, and, as a
general rule, "foreign tourists and publicists discussed the problem
liberally and fairly, perhaps because, unlike the foreign communities
resident in Japan, they had no direct interest in its solution."

The end was not reached until 1894. Then Great Britain agreed that
from July, 1899, jurisdiction over all British subjects within the
confines of Japan should be entrusted to Japanese tribunals, provided
that the new Japanese codes of law should have been in operation
during at least one year before the surrender of jurisdiction. Japan,
on her side, promised to throw the whole country open from the same
date, removing all limitations upon trade, travel, and residence of
foreigners.

Tariff autonomy had been an almost equal object of Japanese ambition,
and it was arranged that she should recover it after a period of
twelve years, an increased scale of import duties being applied in
the interval. It will be observed that Great Britain took the lead in
abandoning the old system. It was meet that she should do so; for, in
consequence of her preponderating commercial interests, she had stood
at the head of the combination of powers by which the irksome
conditions were originally imposed upon Japan.



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