Thursday 13 May
In January 1902 Britain and Japan came into alliance. This compact is normally understood as an exercise in realpolitik with both states being concerned about the threat posed by Russian expansion in north-east Asia. There is, though, a need to think more carefully about how it was possible for such a treaty to be signed in an age defined by controversies over race, as exemplified by the idea of the ‘yellow peril’. In this talk, Dr Antony Best will explain how British elite public opinion came to adopt a positive image of Japan based on the latter’s accomplishments over a range of political, strategic, scientific, economic and cultural activities.
About the Speaker
Dr Antony Best studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds before moving to London where he studied for his PhD at the London School of Economics. He joined the LSE as a Lecturer in 1989.
Dr Best’s main fields of research interests lie in Anglo-Japanese relations, the origins of the Pacific War; the international history of East Asia; the history of modern Japan, and intelligence and International history.
This talk is based on his book, ‘British Engagement with Japan, 1854-1922: The Origins and Course of an Unlikely Alliance’, part of the Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia.
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