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Sims, R. L. (1968) French policy towards Japan, 1854-1894. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Foreign influence on the modern history of Japan has been enormous, but little serious work has been done on the policies towards Japan of countries other than the United States. This is especially true of the seminal Meiji period, and this thesis attempts to fill a gap in our knowledge of these years by investigating French policy from the opening of Japan up to the period immediately preceding the Sino-Japanese War. Particular attention has been paid to the career of Leon Roches, the French Minister whose whole-hearted support for the Tokugawa Government had an important effect on Japanese politics in the period leading up to the Meiji Restoration; to the hesitant and unsuccessful attempts of the Ferry Government to involve Japan in France's dispute with China between 1883 and 1885; and to the French attitude towards Japan's attempts to revise the 'unequal treaties' imposed on her in 1858. The other major topics dealt with here, either for the first time or in greater detail than before, are the motives and circumstances of the French entry into diplomatic relations with Japan; the efforts of the first French Minister in Japan to maintain relations; French policy during the Meiji Restoration and the crucial early years of the Meiji Government; French attitudes towards the Meiji Government's early foreign policy; the French concern with prestige and influence in Japan; and the influence of trade on French policy. The conclusion discusses the formulation and character of French policy towards Japan, and its significance in Japanese history.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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