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Empires at War1911-1923$
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Robert Gerwarth and Erez Manela

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702511.001.0001

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The Japanese Empire

The Japanese Empire

(p.197) 10 The Japanese Empire
Empires at War

Frederick R. Dickinson

Oxford University Press

For Japan, the First World War was a golden opportunity to expand both formal and informal empire in the Asia/Pacific region. Japanese troops occupied China’s Shandong province (1914 – 1922) and Siberia (1918 – 1922), the Japanese navy assumed control of German Micronesia (from 1914) and the “Twenty-One Demands” granted Tokyo extensive political and economic privileges throughout China (June 1915). Like many of its allies, Japan in 1919 struggled to maintain the integrity of its formal empire in the face of new appeals for self-determination. In East Asia, however, the most salient imperial concern raised by the First World War was not the prospect of decolonization but the enormous new potential displayed by this relative newcomer to the imperial game, Japan. The Washington Conference (1921-2) accentuates just how inadequate the Paris Peace Conference was in dealing with this most critical new imperial question in Asia.

Keywords:   Japan, First World War, East Asia, Washington Conference, Shandong

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