The Risen Sun
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Kench? Suematsu
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER V FIRST HOSTILITIES JAPAN AND THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE WAR WITH RUSSIA1 AMONG other questions raised by an article from the pen of Sir John Macdonell, in The Nineteenth Century and After for July, 1904, on "The Present War," there is one especially upon which a few observations from a Japanese point of view might seem to deserve permanent record in this place. Sir John Macdonell appears to think that our attack came to Russia as a surprise, and was therefore unjustifiable : and whilst he makes reservations on account of his lack of accurate information concerning the actual state of affairs at the commencement of the war, he proceeds to argue that it was a nice point whether the negotiations had or had not, on February 8 or 9 last, reached a stage at which discussion had really been abandoned, and both sides had resolved to accept the arbitrament of battle. Sir John seems to consider that notice should be given to an adversary, before beginning a war, that hostilities have become inevitable. I will not say anything about the fact that the first shot was fired by the Russians on the Japanese vessels at Che- mulpho : nor is it my intention to enter upon any justification of Japan's course of action on the common theory of international law, or on the basis of the prevailing practice in such cases, of which Russia herself is one of the most significant examples,for it could easily be shown, with the aid of nineteenth century precedents, that a formal declaration is not needed to constitute a state of war. On the contrary, I rather appreciate Sir John's contention that no blowsshould be struck without adequate warning, or while diplomatists are still debating the matters in dispute. And it is my desire to prove that Japan, far from taking her enemy unawares, did a...