(I plan to deal with the period from 1875 to the present in a second volume.) Yet Japan's loss of her empire and the interruption of her normal commercial and diplo- matic relations with Russia at the end of World War II seem to have turned the clock of Russo-Japanese relations back to the years before 1875.The story of the Russian push toward Japan is one of high adven- ture, created by the ambitions and initiative of individuals.What were some of the lasting "first impressions" made by the Japanese and the Russians on each other? Did a flourishing trade with Russia materialize after the opening of Japan or were Russian pleas for trade merely a cloak for more sinister designs?By whom was Russian policy toward Japan determined and how con- sistent was this policy over the years?The relations from 1697 to 1875, with which this volume deals, form a logical unit, revolving primarily around two Russian objectives: the establishment of commercial and diplomatic relations with Japan and the delineation of a Russo- Japanese frontier.
Yet in the years between 19 the two countries allied their efforts, and there were men in Japan who wished to do so again on the very eve of the Soviet Union's entry into the Pacific phase of the Second World War. In our own day studies of the Russo-Japanese War, of the fishery disputes, the Siberian intervention, the frontier clashes of the 1930's, and of the political and territorial differences in the years since World War II, have left the impression of an "historical enmity" between Russia and Japan.Questions such as these sug- gested the need for a detailed narrative of early Russo-Japanese relations prior to a survey of dealings in the modern period.Russo-Japanese relations fall quite naturally into two major histori- cal parts, with 1875, the year in which Russia obtained the cession of southern Sakhalin in exchange for Russian claims to the northern vii PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Kuril Islands, as the breaking point.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES COLLEGE COLLECTION THE RUSSIAN PUSH TOWARD JAPAN THE RUSSIAN PUSH TOWARD JAPAN Russo-Japanese Relations, 1697-1875 BY GEORGE ALEXANDER LENSEN PROFESSOR OF HISTORY THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY o 1971 OCTAGON BOOKS New York Copyright © 1959 by George Alexander Lensen Reprinted 1971 by special arrangement with George Alexander Lensen OCTAGON BOOKS A Division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. It has been shaped by centuries of intercourse between Russians and Japanese, dating back to 1697, the year of the first recorded encounter of a Japanese cast- away and a Russian explorer. 10003 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 75-120640 ISBN-0-374-94936-0 Printed in U. As late as June, 1945 — only two months before Russia plunged into the Far Eastern holocaust — a former prime minister of Japan and one-time ambassador to Moscow told the Soviet ambassa- dor that "if the Soviet Army and the Japanese Navy were to join forces, Japan and the Soviet Union together would become the strongest powers in the world." The Japanese attitude toward Russia today cannot be understood solely in terms of political and economic ideology.