« EdellinenJatka »
will be gradually extended. We should not find fault with Japan, because in only a few years she has not leaped into the enjoyment of political privileges which the English and American people ob. tained only after centuries of slow and often bloody development; but we should congratulate Japan, because by peaceful measures she has gradually removed herself entirely out of the pale of Oriental absolutism, beyond even despotic Russia, and may be classed with her model, Germany.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Especially helpful are Iyenaga's “Constitutional Development of Japan,” Wigmore's articles in the “ Nation,” and several papers in the Transactions Asiatic Society of Japan. See also the author's “ Local Self-Government in Japan” in the “ Political Science Quarterly" for June, 1892, and “ A Japanese State Legislature" in the “ Nation” for February 27, 1890. On the subject of Formosa, besides Davidson's book already mentioned, see chap. xiv. of Ransome's “Japan in Transition" and pp. 167, 169, of Diosy's “New Far East.”
JAPAN AS A WORLD POWER
OUTLINE OF TOPICS: Standards of world power; conscription; draft and exemption; army; arms and ammunition; officers of the army; navy; types of Japanese war-vessels; coal supply; “Bluejacket Spirit”; Japan as a sea power; growth of cosmopolitan spirit; Anglo-Japanese Alliance, - natural, guarantee of peace, confession of England's weakness, admission of Japan's strength; Japan's responsibility; meaning for Christianity; the United States a silent partner. – Bibliography.
T is a sad commentary on the present standards
of civilization that a consideration of Japan as - a world power requires special attention to military and naval affairs. It is rather a strange coincidence that it was not until little Japan in 1894 showed that she could easily overcome immense China that the “Great Powers” were willing to revise their treaties with her on terms of equality and admit her to the comity of nations. And it is another strange coincidence that it was the Boxer troubles which gave Japan another opportunity to display the efficiency of her military and naval organizations, and win such laurels side by side with troops of the other “ Powers,” that Great Britain, the mightiest of them all, abandoned her time-honored policy of “splendid isolation ” and sought Japan's assistance by means
of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. It is not, however, to be imagined that Great Britain overlooked or ignored Japan's other elements of power; but it is quite evident that the latter's military and naval efficiency made a great impression on the former. Therefore it is our duty, having considered Japan's geographical, industrial, commercial, social, historical, and political features, to take up now her polemic ability.
The Japanese army and navy are created and sustained, as to personnel, by a conscription system, quite like that of Germany. Theoretically, “all males between the full ages of 17 and 40 years, who are Japanese subjects, shall be liable to conscription."1 This period is, moreover, divided up as follows: (1) Active service with the colors, for 3 years in the army and 4 years in the navy, by those who have “ attained the full age of 20 years ” ; so that those who are between 17 and 20 are apparently exempt except “in time of war or other emergency"; (2) First Reserve term, of 4 years in the army and 3 years in the navy, “by such as have completed their service with the colors ” ; (3) Second Reserve term of 5 years, “ by those who have completed their service in the First Reserves”; and (4) Service in the Territorial Army for the remaining years by those who have completed the preceding term. But the last three services are merely nominal, as the First and Second Reserves and the Territorial Army are ordinarily called out only for drill once a year and are
1 Quotations from Regulations.
mobilized, in order,“ in time of war or of emergency.” Therefore the actual service in barracks is generally only 3 years.
A very thorough method of drafting carries into effect these provisions, and would make more than 200,000 young men annually liable to service. But, as this is a much larger number than the government could possibly care for, or would need in times of peace, there is a “sweeping system of exemptions” that brings the number of conscripts down within practical limits. This system takes into account physical conditions, educational courses, individual and family necessities, official duties, business requirements, etc. Even then the number of those available who pass the examination is too large, so that it is reduced by lot. Those who are finally enrolled are divided up among the various lines of service according to physique, former occupation and attainments. “ Conscripts for active naval service shall be selected from youths belonging to the seacoast or insular districts.” The term of active service is computed from December 1 of each year; so that the days just preceding or following that day are busy ones for those who are either giving new conscripts a fine send-off or welcoming home those whose terms have expired.
Japan is divided, for military purposes, into seven districts, each of which is occupied by a division. The headquarters of these districts are located, respectively, at Tokyo, Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima,