Saturday, May 05, 2012

"which had an infirmity thirty and eight years" - How the Russo-Japanese War Started

Downtown Tokyo in the Rain

How the Russo-Japanese War Started

China has never fought Russians in a full-scale war.  Koreans never fought Russians in a full-scale war.  But Japanese did in 1904 and 1905.

On October 3 (of 1903), the Russian Minister to Japan, Roman Rosen, presented to the Japanese government the Russian counterproposal as the basis of negotiations, as follows:
  • "1. Mutual engagement to respect the independence and territorial integrity of the Korean Empire.
  • 2. Recognition by Russia of Japan's preponderating interests in Korea and of the right of Japan to give advice and assistance to Korea tending to improve the civil administration of the Empire without infringing the stipulations of Article I.
  • 3. Engagement on the part of Russia not to impede the commercial and industrial undertakings of Japan in Korea, nor to oppose any measures taken for the purpose of protecting them so long as such measures do not infringe the stipulations of Article I.
  • 4. Recognition of the right of Japan to send for the same purpose troops to Korea, with the knowledge of Russia, but their number not to exceed that actually required, and with the engagement on the part of Japan to recall such troops as soon as their mission is accomplished.
  • 5. Mutual engagement not to use any part of the territory of Korea for strategical purposes nor to undertake on the coasts of Korea any military works capable of menacing the freedom of navigation in the Straits of Korea.
  • 6. Mutual engagement to consider that part of the territory of Korea lying to the north of the 39th parallel as a neutral zone into which neither of the Contracting Parties shall introduce troops.
  • 7. Recognition by Japan of Manchuria and its littoral as in all respects outside her sphere of interest.
  • 8. This agreement to supplant all previous Agreements between Russia and Japan respecting Korea"
Negotiations followed and, on 13 January 1904, Japan proposed a formula by which Manchuria would be outside the Japanese sphere of influence and, reciprocally, Korea outside Russia's. By 4 February 1904, no formal reply had been received and on 6 February Kurino Shinichiro, the Japanese Minister, called on the Russian Foreign Minister, Count Lambsdorff, to take his leave. Japan severed diplomatic relations with Russia on 6 February 1904.

This war became a prelude to WWI and WWII or a precedent of modern warfare.  The Russian Empire mobilized 500,000 troops for this war from its total two million troops, and the Empire of Japan used 300,000 troops from total one million troops.  The Russian Empire flung 15 battle ships and other naval ships from its total 510,000 tons of navy fleets while the Empire of Japan deployed six battleships and other ships of war from its total 260,000 tons of navy fleets.

It also led to the revolution in Russia, leading to establishment of the communist regime.  And the success of communists in Russia paved the way for the Chinese communist revolution.  But more than that, the victory of the Empire of Japan alarmed the US, leading to the Japan-US War in 1941.

From the Japanese point of view, it was not acceptable to see Russians occupy Manchuria, North China, and the Korean Peninsula.  But it is difficult to say at the time, namely at the beginning of the 20th century, which would have been better for Manchus, Chinese, and Koreans to be governed by Japanese or Russians.  Indeed, they might have wanted to be occupied by Americans rather than Japanese.

Comparison on Troops, War Costs, and Navy between the Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire

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Joh 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
Joh 5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Joh 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Joh 5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.