Japanese Constitutional and International Politics, 1890-1941

1890 Meiji Constitution and Imperial Rescript on Education promulgated.
1894 Great Britain agrees to relinquish extraterritoriality by 1899
1894-5 Sino-Japanese War: Japan wins indemnity, Formosa.
1896 Triple Intervention (Germany, France, Russia) forces return of Liaotung (Kwantung) Peninsula to China.
Complete Civil Code goes into effect.
1898 Okuma-Itagaki Cabinet formed, falls almost immediately.
1900 Ito Hirobumi becomes president of Seiyukai party.
Japanese population at 44.8M. Boxer Rebellion.
1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance.
1903 Ito passes Seiyukai leadership to Saionji Kinmochi.
1904 Russo-Japanese War begins with assault on Port Arthur.
1905 Japan wins, gaining Liaotung Peninsula and influence in Korea, but no indemnity.
Taft-Katsura agreement over Korea and Philippines.
1907 San Francisco School Segregation Incident
1908 Gentleman’s Agreement.
1909 Assassination of Ito Hirobumi in Korea.
1910 Annexation of Korea into the Japanese Empire.
1911 Great Treason Incident.
Special Higher Police established.
Seito (“Bluestockings”) magazine begins publication.
1912 Meiji Emperor dies.
General Nogi Maresuke and his wife commit suicide (junshi).
Taisho era begins
1913 Dispute over military expenditures sparks Diet-government clash, including popular demonstrations, called the Taisho Crisis; government backs down.
California prohibits non-citizens from owning land.
1914 World War I begins
Japan seizes German possessions in South Pacific and Northern China.
1917 Lansing-Ishii Agreement confirms Japan’s interests in China.
1918 World War I ends: Japan a Victor at the Versailles Conference.
Rice Riots bring down Terauchi cabinet.
Hara Kei (Takashi) forms first party cabinet.
1918-22 Siberian Intervention.
1920 California prohibits leasing of land by Japanese immigrants.
1921 Washington Conference sets naval balance in Pacific (5-5-3)
Four Power Treaty replaces Anglo-Japanese alliance.
Hara Kei (Takashi) assassinated.

Yamagata Aritomo dies.
Nine Power pact confirms Open Door principle in China.

1923 Great Kanto Earthquake kills 130,000, levels Tokyo.
1924 Matsukata Masayoshi, last genro dies.
Alien Exclusion Act enacted in USA; Peru follows suit.

Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war signed by Japan.
Universal Manhood Suffrage: electorate 12.5M out of 63.9M.
Peace Preservation Laws enacted.

1926 Taisho Emperor dies; Showa Era begins.
Domestic depression.
1929 Great Depression begins in USA. Silk market collapses.
1930 London Naval Conference. Smoot-Hawley tariffs in effect in USA.
1931 Mukden Incident and seizure of Manchuria.
1932 Inukai Tsuyoshi assassinated in 5-15 incident.
1933 Japan withdraws from League of Nations.
1936 February 26 uprising.
Japan joins Anti-Comintern Pact.
1937 Marco Polo Bridge Incident sparks China War.

Japanese population at 73.1M.
Saionji Kinmochi dies.
Japan signs Tripartite pact with Italy and Germany.
Political parties and women’s suffrage movements disband.


Japanese seize Indo-China; USA initiates oil embargo.
Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

© 2002 — Jonathan Dresner