The Road to Singapore: Japan’s View of Britain, 1922–41

  • Ikeda Kiyoshi


The news of the signing of the alliance with Britain, announced by the Japanese government on 12 February 1902 was received in Japan with great excitement and stimulated a ‘festive outburst’, which soon swept across the country. One of the opinion-leading magazines, Tōyō Keizai Zasshi, pointed out in an editorial that as the nation was being ‘carried away in euphoria ... the prices of the national flags of Great Britain and Japan as well as those of champagne have doubled’, and recorded that ‘the people, both in government and civilian life, are busy congratulating one another constantly’.1 Another magazine, Jiji Shimpo, expressed its delight on the signing of the alliance as follows:

It was only forty or so years since Japan had opened its doors to the world community, and barely five or six years earlier that it had demonstrated its power to the world in the Sino-Japanese War; it was now able to attain, quite suddenly, full status as a world entity among the most powerful nations. It looks as though it is but a captivating dream. Is it really so?2


Japanese Government National Defence Military Alliance Young Officer Supreme Command 
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© T.G. Fraser and Peter Lowe 1992

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  • Ikeda Kiyoshi

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