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History, Imperial Expansion

unequal treaties, Extraterritoriality, national wealth, Western powers, motives

By the mid-1890s the Meiji leaders had succeeded in convincing the Western powers to renegotiate the unequal treaties, returning full diplomatic equality to Japan. Extraterritoriality ended in 1899, and treaty tariffs, in 1910. The Meiji leaders sought to buttress their new international position by building a colonial empire. Their motives were mixed: First, in the competitive climate of global imperialism, they wanted to improve Japan’s national security by building a defensive buffer of colonial territories. In addition, only “civilized” countries, such as Britain and France, possessed colonial empires, so the acquisition of colonies was a marker of international prestige. Finally, having built up their own national wealth and strength, many Japanese felt that they had a mission to spread modernization among their Asian neighbors.

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Article key phrases:

unequal treaties, Extraterritoriality, national wealth, Western powers, motives, modernization, Britain, France, strength, countries, mission, addition, Japanese

 
 

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