The end of the Cold War years has brought tumultuous change. Revolutionary changes, however, are not new to the Japanese.
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Upon it, we have created a free and democratic country, abided by the rule of law, and consistently upheld our vow never to wage a war again. While taking silent pride in the path we have walked as a peace-loving nation for as long as 70 years, we remain determined never to deviate from this steadfast course. Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war.
In order to manifest such feelings through concrete actions, we have engraved in our hearts the histories of suffering of the people in Asia as our neighbors: This position, articulated by previous Japanese cabinets, will remain unshakable into the future. However, no matter what kind of efforts we may make, the sorrows of those who lost their family members, and the painful memories of those who experienced immense suffering caused by the destruction of war, will never be healed.
How much emotional struggle and effort must have must have been necessary for the Chinese people, who underwent all the sufferings of the war, and for the former POWs, who experienced unbearable torment caused by the Japanese military, to be so tolerant? Thanks to such manifestations of tolerance, Japan was able to return to the international community in the postwar era. Taking this opportunity of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, Japan would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all the nations and all the people who made every effort for reconciliation. We must not let our children, grandchildren, and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize.
And yet we Japanese, across generations, must squarely face the history of the past. We have the responsibility to inherit the past, in all humbleness, and pass it on to the future. The future they brought about is the one our current generation inherited and the one we will hand down to the next generation. Together with the tireless efforts of our predecessors, this has been possible only through the goodwill and assistance extended to us that by a truly large number of countries, such as the United States, Australia, and European nations, which Japan had fiercely fought as enemies.
We must pass this down from generation to generation into the future. We have the great responsibility to take the lessons of history deeply into our hearts, to carve out a better future, and to make all possible efforts for the peace and prosperity of Asia and the world.
We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan attempted to break the deadlock it faced with force. Upon this reflection, Japan will continue to uphold firmly the principle that any disputes must be settled peacefully and diplomatically, based on respect for the rule of law, and to reach out to other countries in the world to do the same. As the only country to have ever suffered the devastation of atomic bombings during war, Japan will fulfill its responsibility within the international community, aiming at the non-proliferation and ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons. We will engrave in our hearts the past, when the dignity and honor of many women were severely injured during wars in the twentieth century.
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We will engrave in our hearts the past, when forming economic blocs sowed the seeds of conflict. We will strengthen assistance for developing countries, and lead the world toward further prosperity. Prosperity is the very foundation of peace. Japan will make even greater efforts to fight against poverty, which also serves as a hotbed of violence, and to provide opportunities for medical services, education, and self-reliance to all the people in the world.
We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan ended up becoming a challenger to the international order. Heading toward the 80th, 90th, and centennial anniversaries of the end of the war, the Japanese people are determined to create such a Japan. This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum. Businessmen walk behind a Japanese national flag at a convention centre in Tokyo.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. Why the circular economy must link up the whole supply chain Daniel Schmid and Will Ritzrau 20 Sep More on the agenda. Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis. And, 70 years ago, Japan was defeated. We must never again repeat the devastation of war. Thus, we must take to heart the following: Nearly 3, Japanese children left behind in China were able to grow up there and set foot on the soil of their homeland again.
Only three Russian vessels escaped to Vladivostok. The defeats of the Russian Army and Navy shook up Russian confidence. Throughout , the Imperial Russian government was rocked by revolution. The population was against escalation of the war. The empire was certainly capable of sending more troops but this would make little difference in the outcome due to the poor state of the economy, the embarrassing defeats of the Russian Army and Navy by the Japanese, and the relative unimportance to Russia of the disputed land made the war extremely unpopular.
Both sides accepted the offer of Theodore Roosevelt , the President of the United States , to mediate; meetings were held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire , with Sergei Witte leading the Russian delegation and Baron Komura , a graduate of Harvard, leading the Japanese delegation. After courting the Japanese, Roosevelt decided to support the Tsar's refusal to pay indemnities, a move that policymakers in Tokyo interpreted as signifying that the United States had more than a passing interest in Asian affairs.
Russia recognized Korea as part of the Japanese sphere of influence afterall, the Treaty of Portsmouth had established Japan's exclusive domination over the Korean Peninsula  and agreed to evacuate Manchuria. Japan would annex Korea in Japan—Korea Treaty of , with scant protest from other powers. Russia also signed over its year leasehold rights to Port Arthur, including the naval base and the peninsula around it, and ceded the southern half of Sakhalin Island to Japan.
Roosevelt earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his effort. Mowry concludes that Roosevelt handled the arbitration well, doing an "excellent job of balancing Russian and Japanese power in the Orient, where the supremacy of either constituted a threat to growing America. On 5 September the Hibiya incendiary incident as the anti-American riots were euphemistically described erupted in Tokyo, and lasted for three days, forcing the government to declare martial law. Sources do not agree on a precise number of deaths from the war because of a lack of body counts for confirmation.
The number of Japanese Army dead in combat or died of wounds is put at around 59, with around 27, additional casualties from disease, and between 6, and 12, wounded. Estimates of Russian Army dead range from around 34, to around 53, men with a further 9, - 19, died of disease and around 75, captured. The total number of dead for both sides is generally stated as around , to , During many of the battles at sea, several thousand soldiers being transported drowned after their ships went down. There was no consensus about what to do with transported soldiers at sea, and as a result, many of the ships failed or refused to rescue soldiers that were left shipwrecked.
This led to the creation of the second Geneva Convention in , which gave protection and care for shipwrecked soldiers in armed conflict. This was the first major military victory in the modern era of an Asian power over a European nation. Russia's defeat was met with shock in the West and across the Far East. Japan's prestige rose greatly as it came to be seen as a modern nation. Concurrently, Russia lost virtually its entire Pacific and Baltic fleets, and also much international esteem.
Russia was France's and Serbia 's ally, and that loss of prestige had a significant effect on Germany's future when planning for war with France, and in supporting Austria-Hungary's war with Serbia. Though there had been popular support for the war among the Russian public following the Japanese attack at Port Arthur in , that popular support soon turned to discontent after suffering multiple defeats at the hands of the Japanese forces.
For many Russians, the immediate shock of unexpected humiliation at the hands of Japan caused the conflict to be viewed as a metaphor for the shortcomings of the Romanov autocracy. Twelve years later, that discontent boiled over into the February Revolution of In Poland, which Russia partitioned in the late 18th century, and where Russian rule already caused two major uprisings , the population was so restless that an army of ,—,—larger than the one facing the Japanese—had to be stationed to put down the unrest.
In Russia, the defeat of led in the short term to a reform of the Russian military that allowed it to face Germany in World War I. However, the revolts at home following the war planted seeds that presaged the Russian Revolution of This was because Tsar Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto , which included only limited reforms such as the Duma and failed to address the societal problems of Russia at the time.
Japan had become the rising Asian power and had proven that its military could combat the major powers in Europe with success. Most Western powers were stunned that the Japanese not only prevailed but decisively defeated Russia. In the Russo—Japanese War, Japan had also portrayed a sense of readiness in taking a more active and leading role in Asian affairs, which in turn had led to widespread nationalism throughout the region.
Although the war had ended in a victory for Japan, Japanese public opinion was shocked by the very restrained peace terms which were negotiated at the war's end. Riots erupted in major cities in Japan.
Two specific requirements, expected after such a costly victory, were especially lacking: The peace accord led to feelings of distrust, as the Japanese had intended to retain all of Sakhalin Island , but were forced to settle for half of it after being pressured by the United States, with President Roosevelt opting to support Nicholas II's stance on not ceding territory or paying reparations. The Japanese had wanted reparations to help families recover from lost fathers and sons as well as heavy taxation from the government. S held strength in the Asian region from aggravating European imperialist encroachment.
To Japan, this represented a developing threat to the autonomy of the region. The effects and impact of the Russo—Japanese War introduced a number of characteristics that came to define 20th-century politics and warfare. Many of the technological innovations brought on by the Industrial Revolution first became present on the battlefield in the Russo—Japanese War.
Weapons and armaments were more technological than ever before. Technological developments of modern armaments, such as rapid-firing artillery and machine guns, as well as more accurate carbine rifles, were first used on a mass scale in the Russo—Japanese War. The improved capability of naval forces was also demonstrated. Military operations on both sea and land demonstrated that warfare in a new age of technology had undergone a considerable change since the Franco-Prussian War of — The advanced weaponry led to massive casualty counts.
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Neither Japan nor Russia had prepared for the number of deaths that would occur in this new kind of warfare, or had the resources to compensate for these losses. This also left its impression on society at large, with the emergence of transnational and nongovernmental organizations , like the Red Cross , becoming prominent after the war.
The emergence of such organizations can be regarded as the beginning of a meshing together of civilizations through the identification of common problems and challenges, a slow process dominating much of the 20th century. Arguments that are favorable toward this perspective consider characteristics specific to the Russo—Japanese War to the qualities definitive of " total war ". Encompassed on both ends was the mass mobilization of troops into battle. For both Russia and Japan, the war required extensive economic support in the form of production of equipment, armaments, and supplies at such a scale that both domestic support and foreign aid were required.
To the Western powers, Japan's victory demonstrated the emergence of a new Asian regional power. With the Russian defeat, some scholars have argued that the war had set in motion a change in the global world order with the emergence of Japan as not only a regional power, but rather, the main Asian power. The US and Australian reaction to the changed balance of power brought by the war was mixed with fears of a Yellow Peril eventually shifting from China to Japan.
Du Bois and Lothrop Stoddard saw the victory as a challenge to western supremacy. To stop the Japanese "Yellow Peril" would require drastic changes to society and sexuality in the West. Certainly the Japanese success increased self-confidence among anti-colonial nationalists in colonised Asian countries — Vietnamese, Indonesians, Indians and Filipinos — and to those in declining countries like the Ottoman Empire and Persia in immediate danger of being absorbed by the Western powers.
We regarded the Japanese victory as our own victory". Even in far-off Tibet the war was a subject of conversation when Sven Hedin visited the Panchen Lama in February A great European power had been defeated, thus Asia could still defeat Europe as it had done in the past. In Europe, subject populations were similarly encouraged. James Joyce 's novel Ulysses , set in Dublin in , contains hopeful Irish allusions as to the outcome of the war.
Painted following demonstrations against the war and Russian cultural suppression, and in the year of Russia's defeat, its subtly coded message looks forward to a time when the Tsarist masters will be defeated in Europe as they had been in Asia. The significance of the war for oppressed classes as well as subject populations was clear too to Socialist thinkers. And it's in this that the real meaning of the current war resides for social-democracy, even if we set aside its immediate effect: This war brings the gaze of the international proletariat back to the great political and economic connectedness of the world, and violently dissipates in our ranks the particularism, the pettiness of ideas that form in any period of political calm.
It was this realisation of the universal significance of the war that underlines the historical importance of the conflict and its outcome. Russia had lost two of its three fleets. Only its Black Sea Fleet remained, and this was the result of an earlier treaty that had prevented the fleet from leaving the Black Sea. Japan became the sixth-most powerful naval force by combined tonnage, while the Russian Navy declined to one barely stronger than that of Austria—Hungary. The cost of military re-equipment and re-expansion after pushed the economy further into deficit, although the size of the deficit was obscured.
The Japanese were on the offensive for most of the war and used massed infantry assaults against defensive positions, which would later become the standard of all European armies during World War I. The battles of the Russo—Japanese War, in which machine guns and artillery took a heavy toll on Russian and Japanese troops, were a precursor to the trench warfare of World War I.
However, his over-reliance on infantry in offensive campaigns also led to a large number of Japanese casualties. Military and economic exhaustion affected both countries. Japanese historians regard this war as a turning point for Japan, and a key to understanding the reasons why Japan may have failed militarily and politically later. After the war, acrimony was felt at every level of Japanese society and it became the consensus within Japan that their nation had been treated as the defeated power during the peace conference. Furthermore, Japan's substantiated interests in Korea and Liaodong led to the creation of a Kwantung Army, which became an autonomous and increasingly powerful regional force.
Only five years after the war, Japan de jure annexed Korea as part of its colonial empire. Two decades after that, the Kwantung Army staged an incident that led to the invasion of Manchuria in the Mukden Incident ; the Kwantung Army eventually came to be heavily involved in the state's politics and administration, leading to a series of localized conflicts with Chinese regional warlords that finally extended into total war between China and Japan in As a result, most Chinese historians consider the Russo—Japanese War as a key development in Japan's spiral into militarism in the s—30s.
Following the victory of the Battle of Tsushima , Japan's erstwhile British ally presented a lock of Admiral Nelson's hair to the Imperial Japanese Navy, judging its performance then as on a par with Britain's victory at Trafalgar in The naval war confirmed the direction of the British Admiralty 's thinking in tactical terms even as it undermined its strategic grasp of a changing world. Tactical orthodoxy, for example, assumed that a naval battle would imitate the conditions of stationary combat and that ships would engage in one long line sailing on parallel courses; but more flexible tactical thinking would now be required as a firing ship and its target maneuvered independently.
Military and civilian observers from every major power closely followed the course of the war. Most were able to report on events from the perspective of embedded positions within the land and naval forces of both Russia and Japan. In-depth observer narratives of the war and more narrowly focused professional journal articles were written soon after the war; and these post-war reports conclusively illustrated the battlefield destructiveness of this conflict. This was the first time the tactics of entrenched positions for infantry defended with machine guns and artillery became vitally important.
Both would become dominant factors in World War I. Even though entrenched positions had already been a significant part of both the Franco-Prussian War and the American Civil War , it is now apparent that the high casualty counts, and the tactical lessons readily available to observer nations, were completely disregarded in preparations for war in Europe, and during much of the course of World War I. Despite its gold reserves of The country had large budget deficits year after year, and was largely dependent on borrowed money. Russia's war effort was funded primarily by France, in a series of loans totalling million francs These loans were extended within a climate of mass bribing of the French press made necessary by Russia's precarious economic and social situation and poor military performance.
Although initially reluctant to participate in the war, the French government and major banks were co-operative since it became clear that Russian and French economic interests were tied. In addition to French money, Russia secured a loan in the amount of million marks Conversely, Japan's pre-war gold reserves were a modest Schiff, in response to Russia's anti-Jewish pogroms and sympathetic to Japan's cause, extended a critical series of loans to the Empire of Japan, in the amount of million US dollars The Russo—Japanese War was covered by dozens of foreign journalists who sent back sketches that were turned into lithographs and other reproducible forms.
Propaganda images were circulated by both sides, often in the form of postcards and based on insulting racial stereotypes. War photographs were also popular, appearing in both the press and in book form. In Russia, the war was covered by anonymous satirical graphic luboks for sale in markets, recording the war for the domestic audience. Around were made before their creation was banned by the Russian government.
Their Japanese equivalents were woodblock prints. These had been common during the Sino-Japanese war a decade earlier and celebrations of the new conflict tended to repeat the same imagery and situations. But by this time in Japan postcards had become the most common form of communication and they soon replaced prints as a medium for topographical imagery and war reportage.
In some ways, however, they were still dependent on the print for their pictorial conventions, not least in issuing the cards in series that assembled into a composite scene or design, either as diptychs , triptychs or even more ambitious formats. However, captioning swiftly moved from the calligraphic side inscription to a printed title below, and not just in Japanese but in English and other European languages. There was a lively sense that these images served not only as mementoes but also as propaganda statements.
War artists were to be found on the Russian side and even figured among the casualties. Vasily Vereshchagin went down with the Petropavlovsk , Admiral Makarov's flagship, when it was sunk by mines. However, his last work, a picture of a council of war presided over by the admiral, was recovered almost undamaged. Other depictions appeared after the event. On either side, there were lyrics lamenting the necessity of fighting in a foreign land, far from home.
One of the earliest of several Russian songs still performed today was the waltz "Amur's Waves" Amurskie volny , which evokes the melancholy of standing watch on the motherland far east frontier. Two others grew out of incidents during the war. Originally only the music was published, and the words by Stepan Petrov were added later. The second song, Variag , commemorates the Battle of Chemulpo Bay in which that cruiser and the gunboat Korietz steamed out to confront an encircling Japanese squadron rather than surrender.
That act of heroism was first celebrated in a German song by Rudolf Greintz in , which was quickly translated into Russian and sung to a martial accompaniment. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov also reacted to the war by composing the satirical opera The Golden Cockerel , completed in Although it was ostensibly based on a verse fairy tale by Alexander Pushkin written in , the authorities quickly realised its true target and immediately banned it from performance.
The opera was premiered in , after Rimsky-Korsakov's death, and even then with modifications required by the censors. Some Japanese poetry dealing with the war still has a high profile. General Nogi Maresuke 's "Outside the Goldland fortress" was learned by generations of schoolchildren and valued for its bleak stoicism.
Even the Emperor Meiji himself entered the poetic lists, writing in answer to all the lamentations about death in a foreign land that the patriotic soul returns to the homeland. European treatments were similarly varied. Oakley attempted an epic treatment of the conflict in 86 cantos. Politovsky's Letters Home Fictional coverage of the war in English began even before it was over. There is great admiration for the Japanese, who were British allies.
Russia is in turmoil, but the main impetus towards war is not imperialism as such but commercial forces. The causes which formerly led to war between nation and nation have ceased to operate" p. The true villain plotting in the background, however, is the German Emperor, seeking to destabilise the European balance of power in his country's favour.
Towards the end of the novel, the narrator steals a German submarine and successfully foils a plot to involve the British in the war. The submarine motif reappeared in George Griffith 's science fiction novel, The Stolen Submarine , although in this case it is a French super-submarine which its developer sells to the Russians for use against the Japanese in another tale of international intrigue.
Though most English-language fiction of the period took the Japanese side, the Rev. Walker's Canadian novella, Alter Ego , is an exception. It features a Canadian volunteer in the Russian army who, on his return, agrees to talk about his experiences to an isolated upcountry community and relates his part in the Battle of Mukden. Various aspects of the war were also common in contemporary children's fiction. Categorised as Boys' Own adventure stories, they offer few insights into the conflict, being generally based on news articles and sharing unreflectingly in the contemporary culture of imperialism.
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Kobo told from the Japanese side,  and Brown of Moukden viewed from the Russian side. Two other English-language stories begin with the action at Port Arthur and follow the events thereafter: A Soldier of Japan: Two more also involve young men fighting in the Japanese navy: Another literary genre affected by the outcome of the war was invasion literature , either fuelled by racialist fears or generated by the international power struggle.
It is the story of an armoured ram-armed submarine involved in a Russo-Japanese conflict.
The scenario there is an attack by German and Japanese allies which the US and British navies victoriously fend off. Published in Berlin in , it was translated into English the following year. Kirmess first serialised his The Commonwealth Crisis and then revised it for book publication as The Australian Crisis in Most Russian fictional accounts of the war had a documentary element. Alexey Novikov-Priboy had served in the Baltic Fleet and wrote about the conflict on his return, but his early work was suppressed.
It was not until the changed political climate under Soviet rule that he began writing his historical epic Tsushima , based on his own experiences on board the battleship Orel as well as on testimonies of fellow sailors and government archives. The first part was published in , the second in , and the whole novel was later awarded the Stalin Prize. It describes the heroism of Russian sailors and certain officers whose defeat, in accordance with the new Soviet thinking, was due to the criminal negligence of the Imperial Naval command.
A German novel by Frank Thiess , originally published as Tsushima in and later translated as The Voyage of Forgotten Men , covered the same journey round the world to defeat. Later there appeared a first-hand account of the siege of Port Arthur by Alexander Stepanov — He had been present there as the year-old son of a battery commander and his novel, Port Arthur: The work is considered one of the best historical novels of the Soviet period.
Centred on the life of Vladimir Kokovtsov, who rose through the ranks to admiral of the Russian fleet, it covers the period from the Russo—Japanese War through to the February and October Revolutions. A much later Russian genre novel uses the period of the war as background. The closely researched story spans the decade from the Sino-Japanese War to the Russo—Japanese War and went on to become the nation's favourite book. See also film list about the Russo—Japanese War. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Russo-Japanese War Clockwise from top: Battle of Port Arthur. Siege of Port Arthur.
Battle of Yalu River Battle of the Yellow Sea. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Battles of the Russo-Japanese War. Casualties and Medical Statistics of the Great War. Losses of Life Caused By War. Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century. Rose publisher not identified. Primary Causes of Japanese Success".
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