Japan Society E-Library

Politicians (see also 'Government and politics')

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Busk, Douglas

This fascinating first-hand account of the impact of the declaration of war by Japan upon Britain in 1941 provides reflections upon the diplomatic and personal situaions of the staff engaged in Anglo-Japanese relations at the time.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Nish, Ian

As future Prime Minister Arthur Balfour (1848-1930) was emerging as a prominant politician, Japan was coming on to the international map. Balfour's career came to reflect this change in Japan's stature, as the country went from low to high priority in the eyes of the British Foreign Office.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Barrett, Michael; Joan Martin; and Peter Martin

Prominent representatives of the British Council in Japan reflect on their experiences, which included writing books on Japanese food, entertaining visiting politicians and celebreties, organising festivals and promoting education and culture. Particular attention is given to difficulties encountered with the English language teaching system.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Nish, Ian

Chinda Sutemi ( 1857-1929) presided over a period in postwar Anglo-Japanese relations where he was responsible for diplomacy at what would later come to be understood as critical junctures in the build up to the Second World War. This essay charts his career through the London Embassy, at the Paris Peace Conference and up to Japan's exit from the League of Nations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Nish, Ian

Chinda Sutemi (1857-1929) presided over a period in postwar Anglo-Japanese relations where he was responsible for diplomacy at critical junctures. This essay charts his career through the London Embassy, at the Paris Peace Conference and up to Japan's exit from the League of Nations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Nish, Ian

Edward Grey's (1862-1933) served as Foreign Secretary for a decade, setting a record for length of service. Through looking at his writings and minutes, the impressions of his closest officials and the impressions of Japanese diplomats, this essay uncovers the thinking which shaped his policy-making. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Edward Heath (1916-2005) was the first British Prime Minister to make an official visit to Japan. This essay details Heath's 1972 visit and its aftermath.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Buckley, Roger

This essay details Ernest Bevin's (1881-1951) role in Britain's post war attitudes and policies towards occupied Japan at the start of the Cold War, as Britain strived to remain a global power and public oppinion of Japan remained poor.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Seki Eiji, and Hugh Cortazzi

Fukuda Takeo (1905-1995) was Prime Minister for two years from 1976 to 1978. He was an anglophile, having spent three years of his life in Britain, and one of the more pro-British post war Prime Ministers. This portrait lays out his life, political career and time in Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Cobbing, Andrew

This essay charts the controversial life and political career of Inoue Kaoru (1836-1915) of the Chōshū Five and one of the most powerful figures of the Meiji period. A man who epitomized the world of the oligarchs; the immense power wielded by a select few.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Nish, Ian

Inouye Katsunosuke was responsible for steering Anglo-Japanese (1861-1929) relations at a very difficult period in world history during the First World War. This essay details how he coped in a way that attracted great respect. 

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Nish, Ian

Inouye Katsunosuke (1861-1929) was responsible for steering Anglo-Japanese relations during the First World War, a very difficult period in world history. This essay details how he coped in a way which attracted great respect. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cobbing, Andrew

Itō Hirobumi (1841-1909) was Japan's first cabinet prime minister, and this essay asseses the influence of his time as a student in Britain on his career in Imperial Japan.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Nish, Ian

Katō Takaaki (1860-1926) spent a quarter of his career overseas and was foreign minister four times, combining diplomatic service with high office in Tokyo. Since his only overseas postings were in Britian he occupies a special place in Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Nish, Ian

Since his only overseas postings were in Britain, Katō Takaaki (1860-1929) occupies a special place in the diplomacy of Anglo-Japanese relations. This essay documents his remarkable record as diplomat and foreign minister.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Nish, Ian

This article profiles the little-known figure of Kawase Masataka (1840-1919) who, aside from being known as the longest-serving envoy to Britain, remains a shadowy figure to many historians of the nineteenth century. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Nish, Ian

This portrait considers the diplomatic career of Komura Jūtarō as foreign minister and later ambassador to Britain.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Nish, Ian

This portrait considers the diplomatic career of Komura Jūtarō (1855-1911) as foreign minister and later ambassador to Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Blacker, Carmen

Before his unfortunate infatuation with conman Thomas Lake Harris, Laurence Oliphant (1858-88) made two visits to Japan, each time leaving a fascinating account of his adventures. This essay details those colourful adventures, both personal and diplomatic.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Mayall, Lees

Lees Mayall was based in Japan from 1958 to 1961, tasked with keeping an eye on the Japanese Government's new 'American-imposed democracy'. This chapter comprises extracts from his memoir Fireflies in Amber, in which he describes his reactions to Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Nish, Ian

This portrait considers Lord Curzon's (1859-1925) two distinct phases of contact with Japan: first as the Foreign Office spokesman in the House of Commons, then later as Foreign Secretary.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Cobbing, Andrew

Lord Granville's (1815-1891) career in the Foreign Office brough him into close contact with Japan, although he never visited the country himself. He was in office during some key episodes in Japan's attempts to revise the Unequal, or Ansei, Treaties.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Best, Antony

This essay seeks to answer the question of Edward Wood's (1881-1959) attitudes towards Japan in his role as foreign secretary from 1938 to 1941, when relations between Britain and Japan were becoming increasingly frayed.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Best, Antony

This essay discusses the involvement of Lord Hankey and R.A. Butler in the 'appeasement' of Japan and their attempts to bring about a rapprochement and stem the descent towards war.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Nish, Ian

This essay recounts Lord Rosebery's (1847-1929) role in Anglo-Japanese relations in the late 1800s to the early 1900s, including ultimately futile diplomatic efforts to bring about the end of the Sino-Japanese war.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Otte, Thomas G.

Lord Salisbury (1830-1903) dominated British foreign policy for the better part of a quarter of a century at the close of the Victorian era, serving four times as Foreign Secretary and thrice Prime Minister. This essay sketches his attitudes towards Japan and analyses the emergence of Japan as a major power in the evolution of Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Hunter, Janet

This essay considers the impact of Maejima Hisoka's (1835-1919) visit to Britain in the early 1870s, after which he founded Japan's postal service.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) played a significant role in promoting Japanese manufacturing investment in Britain and opening up the Japanese markets, and ensured that Britain was no longer seen as suffering from what the Japanese called eikokubyō (the English disease).

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Kuramatsu, Tadashi

This essay recounts how Matsui Keishirō (1868-1946), in his many roles, including as Ambassador in London, was involved at numerous important turning points in the history of Japanese external relations.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Kuramatsu Tadashi

This essay recounts how Matsui Keishirō (1868-1946) was involved at numerous important turning points in the history of Japanese external relations as both Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, one of the chief delegates at the Paris Peace Conference, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to Britain.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VIII
Author: Stockwin, Arthur

This portrait presents the long political career of staunch internationalist Miyazawa Kiichi (1919-2007), who served in the National Diet from 1953 to 2003, and was appointed Prime Minister in 1991. This essay considers his brand of politics in relation to that prevailing in British politics at the time.

Book: Japanese Envoys in Britain 1862-1964: A Century of Diplomatic Exchange
Author: Nish, Ian

This portrait charts the political career of Mori Arinori (1847-1889), a Meiji statesman whose time in Britain played a significant role in his move from liberalism to conservatism.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Cobbing, Andrew

This portrait charts the political career of Mori Arinori (1847-89), a Meiji statesman whose time in Britain played a significant role in his move from liberalism to conservatism.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Robinson, Eleanor

Nakai Hiromu (1838-94) went by many names, and played an important, but largely forgotten, part in Anglo-Japanese relations. This essay details his career and attitudes towards both his own culture and British culture.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Nish, Ian

Nitobe Inazō (1862-1933) was Japan's first international civil servant at the League of Nations. This essay deals with Nitobe’s experiences in the secretariat of the League during its early days in London.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Hara Fujiko

Ozaki Yukio (1859-1954) is remarkable in his time for a commitment to liberalism and equal rights. This essay charts his engagement with British ideas of government, his long term as mayor of Tokyo and his marriage to Yei Theodora.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Shortly before his resignation as Prime Minister in 1954 Yoshida Shigeru visited Britain. This essay examines the political controversy surrounding Yoshida's visit, as well as the visit itself and an assessment of its success.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Storry, Richard

Richard Storry was in Japan teaching before the war, and afterwards was a research fellow in Oxford. This chapter details his 1958 visit to Japan to collect material on Prince Fumimaro Konoye, Japanese Prime Minister from 1937 to '39 and 1940 to '41. It also describes a visit made in 1973, at the height of the oil crisis.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Best, Antony

Austin (1863-1937) and Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) played an important role in British public life, and particularly in the formation of foreign policy. This essay investigates Japanese perceptions and interpretations of their careers.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Weste, John

Malcolm MacDonald (1901-81) presided over an era of Anglo-Japanese relations during which he was forced to consider Japan's position post Second World War and its impact upon the British Empire. This essay acknowledges his relative ambivelance towards Japan, but also his key role in diplomacy with the country.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Best, Antony

This portrait seeks to assess Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden's (1897-1977) attitude towards Britain's former ally and contemporary adversary, Japan, as well as detail his efforts to rebuild relations in the wake of the bitter legacy of the Pacific War.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Ruxton, Ian

Sir Ernest Satow (1843-1929) served as head of the British Mission in Japan from 1895 to 1900, and this essay uses his diaries to arrive at an understanding of his chief concerns during his time in Tokyo.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Ruxton, Ian

Sir Ernest Satow (1843-1929), generally regarded as the best qualified official and the most outstanding scholar of Japanese to have been appointed Head of Mission to Japan, served in this rol from 1895 to 1900, and this essay uses his diaries to arrive at an understanding of his chief concerns during his time in Tokyo.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IX
Author: Best, Antony

This portrait offers an analysis of Sir John Simon's (1873-1954) flawed role in the foreign office and in Anglo-Japanese relations as a whole as they pertained to the Manchurian crisis.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Barr, Dugald

This essay provides an account of Julian Ridsdale's (1915-2004) interest in Japan and politics, and how these two came together in his long service to Anglo-Japanese Parliamentary relations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume V
Author: Ruxton, Ian

Despite his being perhaps lesser known than other Meiji era statesmen this essay makes the case of Suematsu Kenchō's (1855-1920) significant contributions in many areas of Japanese politics.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Best, Antony

This portrait considers how Arthur Edwardes emerges as a shadowy and perhaps naive figure on the edge of Anglo-Japanese relations in the build up to the Second World War.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Kiyoshi Ikeda

Tōgō Heihachirō's (1848-1934) naval career was one intimately interlinked with Britain, and this essay charts his illustrious role in international diplomacy and the admiralty of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Book: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Bradley, Clive, and Bill Williamson

Bill Williamson did two separate tours as Atomic Energy Attaché at the British Embassy. His account of working with the Japanese government in the commissioning of the first nuclear power stations in Japan is a reminder of an important and often over-looked facet of Anglo-Japan relations. Clive Bradley meanwhile was Counsellor for Science and Technology in the British Embassy in the 1980s where he was responsible for reporting on scientific and technological developments and for promoting British science and technology.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VI
Author: Seki Eiji

The politically active part of Sir Winston Churchill's (1874-1965) life almost coincided with the emergence, decline and rebirth of modern Japan. This essay details Churchill's part in Anglo-Japanese relations both pre and post Second World War.

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