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Empire AscendantThe British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894-1914$
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Cees Heere

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198837398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198837398.001.0001

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Empire and Exclusion

Empire and Exclusion

The Japanese ‘Immigration Crisis’

(p.100) 4 Empire and Exclusion
Empire Ascendant

Cees Heere

Oxford University Press

Japanese expansion after the Russo-Japanese War was dynamic and multi-directional, and manifested itself in the growth of trade and emigration across the Pacific as well as territorial acquisition in Asia. The fourth chapter explores the Japanese ‘immigration crisis’ of 1906–8, when an increase in the number of Japanese immigrants sparked a panic on the Pacific coast of North America. Its central focus is on the Vancouver riots of September 1907, the largest incidence of anti-Asian violence during this period. Mass rioting against Japanese immigrants placed the Canadian government in in a difficult position, as it attempted to reconcile the clamour for a ‘white Canada’ with its position in the empire. This chapter analyses British and Canadian efforts to manage the migration crisis. It also dwells on the crisis’s transnational dimension, which expressed itself through declarations of racial solidarity between Canada and the United States.

Keywords:   Racism, Japanese emigration, Canadian–Japanese relations, 1907 Vancouver Riots, Wilfrid Laurier, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Theodore Roosevelt, imperial relations

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