A Russian’s Perspective on Russia and Japan


Image result for russia and japan 1880s
I am so mad that Russia got itself into another fight
with Japan.  We had enough wars for the past decades already, and now we are on the verge of facing another oneAnyways, forgetting my anger, I’ll just write about the events that happened: 
I remember what “my grandmother told me during the second phase of Russian-Japanese relations from 1792 to 1854.  Since the islands were near, we Russians used Japan as an advantage for economic development.  In February 1855,  Putiatin arranged the Treaty of Amity, Nichiro Washin Joyaku in Japanese, which opened Shimoda, Hakodate and Nagasaki to Russia for ship repairs and provisioning” (Kimball).  I thought that this idea was great since Russia and Japan are near each other and only separated by the ocean.  When ships travel, they can be repaired easily by the dock in Japan.    

“Because of this, Russia and Japan came to a compromise throughout trade regulations that Japan should take possession of all from Iturup (Etorofu) to the South, while Russia should take all from Urup (Uruppu) to the North”(Kimball).  It was fine, since Russia and Japan got along with each other.  However, it was not until the 1850s to 1898, when the Great Game occurred.

“What happened was that Russia introduced a series of fundamental reforms in the 1860s that the Japanese did not agree upon.  In the Treaty of St. Petersburg, the Sakhalin Island was given back to Russia while the Kuril Islands were given to Japan” (Kimball).  Perhaps, Japan did not want the Kuril Islands, but instead wanted more land.  Whatever they wanted, the relationship continuously led to disputes.  Japan also had some problems with other countries around the world.

“During this time, Japan and Korea were having some wackiness in their relationship.  In 1876, Japan forced a treaty on Korea which opened two ports to Japanese trade.  Since China and Japan were in the middle of a fight, China was also involved in the situation.  We were all drawn to this crisis of Korean sovereignity, including Germany” (Kimball). The relationship that we had between Japan also led us to fight with other countries in order to gain the land that we wanted.

However, “in 1896, the Seoul Memorandum shield away from Yamagata Aritomo’s proposal to divide Korea at the waist and grant Russia the North and Japan the South” (Kimball).  Basically, Japan did not give us the permission to take over the region.  Along with that, they did not give permission to Korea either.

Regardless of what, “the ignorant Russian government decided to take Liaotung.  Nicholas II eventually sent troops to occupy Manchuria” (Kimball).  This has caused great conflict between Russia and Japan.   The Russian government should take this situation into consideration.  Perhaps, later, the Russo-Japanese war would begin!  I just wish that the government would stop interfering others in International issues!

I still do not understand why Russia and Japan are creating a big issue over these islands.  Japan is a pretty small country after all, and the Russian Empire must be more lenient in lending Japan some land.  I do understand that the Russian Empire will want to expand their country, but they must be able to divide the islands equally amongst the two countries.  After all, equality is the answer.

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