Japan Society E-Library

Politicians, British (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 VIII
Author: Morton, Robert

A.B. Mitford (1837-1916) led a long, adventurous, and well-connected life. This essay recounts how his time in Japan under Sir Harry Parkes coloured the rest of his life.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Nish, Ian

Though Aoki Shūzō was in many ways a Germanophile, there is a strong current running through his diplomatic career of concern with Britain, particularly with regard to the 'unequal' treaties.

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

Though Aoki Shūzō (1844-1914) was in many ways a Germanophile, there is a strong current running through his diplomatic career of concern with Britain, particularly with regard to the 'unequal' treaties.

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: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Hoare, James Edward

This portrait provides a detailed account of the establishment and modus operandi of the Japan Consular Service (1859-1941) from the opening of Japan to the end of the Second World War.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Hoare, James Edward

This portrait provides a detailed account of the establishment and modus operandi of the Japan Consular Service (1859-1941) from the opening of Japan to the end of the Second World War.

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: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Nish, Ian

This essay discusses the Crown Prince Hirohito's 1921 visit to Britain in its broader historical context.

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: Japan Experiences - Fifty Years, One Hundred Views: Post-War Japan Through British Eyes
Author: Baker, Kenneth; Denis Healey; Julian Ridsdale; and Patrick Jenkin

Although few British politicians have had more than a cursory knowledge of Japan, large numbers of MPs have visited the country, and some have managed to achieve more than a passing acquaintance with it. The British Japan Parliamentary Group and the UK-Japan 2000 Group (later UK-Japan 21st Century Group) have been the driving force behind this. Here key figures from these organisations describe their dealings with Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Kornicki, Peter

General Hamilton's (1853-1947) account of the Russo-Japanese war provides a fascinating insight into Britain's perspective on the conflict and on Japan's military capabilities in general.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Nish, Ian

This essay considers the dual aspects of Frank Ashton-Gwatkin's (1889-1976) life: diplomat and author, and his affection for, and understanding of, Japan.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Nish, Ian

Dubbed a 'master of the various problems of our Far Eastern Ally', John Harrington Gubbins (1852-1929) enjoyed a remarkable and significant diplomatic career in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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

Detailing John Harrington Gubbins's (1852-1929) long relationship with Japan, beginning as a student interpretor with the Far East Consular Service through to dealings with the British Legation in Japan. 

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: 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 IV
Author: Best, Antony

Initially an ambassador for British aviation and friend of Japan, Lord Sempill (1893-1965) ended his career in disgrace having received payments for providing Japan with information during the Second World War.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Detailing Lt Colonel Edward St John Neale's (1812-1866) time in charge of the British Legation in Japan during Sir Rutherford Alcock's time of leave. This article appraises Neale's actions in response to the Namamugi incident, the second Tōzenji incident and the bombardment of Kagoshima during a turbulent time in Anglo-Japanese affairs. 

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Nish, Ian

This essay recounts the diplomatic career of Sir Claude MacDonald (1852-1915) in Japan in the early 20th century - a highpoint in Anglo-Japanese relations.

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 II
Author: Hanaoka Sosuke

A Japanese account of the Anglo-Japanese Commercial Treaty.

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: Mountfield, Robin

This essay details the negotiations, subsequent investments, and business relationship between Nissan and Britain from 1980-84.

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: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay is an attempt to describe the highlights and significance of British royal visits to Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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 II
Author: Best, Antony

Shigemitsu Mamoru (1887-1957) served as Ambassador to Britain from 1938-41, and his earlier career was also  intertwined with the UK. This essay offers an assessment of Shigemitsu Mamoru's role in Japanese diplomacy as a hugely influential but nonetheless difficult to categorise figure.

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

Shigemitsu Mamoru (1887-1957) served as Ambassador to Britain from 1938-41, and his earlier career was also intertwined with the UK. This essay offers an assessment of Shigemitsu Mamoru's role in Japanese diplomacy as a hugely influential but nonetheless difficult to categorise figure.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Lowe, Peter

Sir Alvary Gascgoine (1946-1951) headed the British liaison mission in Tokyo from 1946 to '51, and was responsible for establishing postive relations with General Douglas MacArthur.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Lowe, Peter

Sir Alvary Gascgoine (1946-1951) headed the British liaison mission in Tokyo from 1946 to '51, and was responsible for establishing postive relations with General Douglas MacArthur.

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: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Nish, Ian

This essay recounts the diplomatic career of Sir Claude MacDonald (1852-1915) in Japan in the early 20th century - a highpoint in Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume VII
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Sir Edward James Reed (1830-1906) was a leading naval architect who built ships for the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Meiji period and became an advocate for treaty revision, clashing with Sir Harry Parkes. This essay details his illustrious but flawed career and role in Anglo-Japanese relations.

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 VII
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

Sir Francis Ottiwell Adams (1826-89) was Secretary of the Legation in Edo from 1868 to 1872. This essay shows how his career in the legation was an important one in the history of modern Japan, having occurred at a time of much social upheaval.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This portrait reflects on the diplomatic career of Sir Harry Parkes (1828-1885) from 1865 to 1883, a period of unprecedented revolutionary change.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This portrait reflects on the diplomatic career of Sir Harry Parkes (1828-1885) from 1865 to 1883, a period of unprecedented revolutionary change, assessing both his personal characteristics and his diplomatic achievements.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume III
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay describes how Sir John Pilcher (1912-90), as British ambassador in Japan between 1967 and 1972, helped to revive Anglo-Japanese friendship after the Second World War and was long remembered with affection both in Japan and by his friends and colleagues.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

This essay describes how Sir John Pilcher (1912-1990), as British ambassador in Japan between 1967 and 1972, helped to revive Anglo-Japanese friendship after the Second World War and was long remembered with affection both in Japan and by his friends and colleagues.

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 IV
Author: Best, Anthony

The period in which Sir Robert Clive (1877-1948) was Ambassador to Japan (1934-37) has been the subject of much study, but the man himself remains a mystery. This essay contends that this was because there was little friction between the Embassy and London despite this being a particularly trying time.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Best, Anthony

The period in which Sir Robert Clive (1877-1948) was Ambassador to Japan (1934-37) has been the subject of much study, but the man himself remains a mystery. This essay contends that this was because there was little friction between the Embassy and London at this difficult time.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume I
Author: Best, Antony

This essay charts the diplomatic career of Robert Craigie (1937-1941) in Japan, one of the most controversial subjects in the history of inter-war Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Best, Antony

This essay charts the diplomatic career of Robert Craigie (1937-1941) in Japan, one of the most controversial subjects in the history of inter-war Anglo-Japanese relations.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

A reassessment of the career of Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809-1897), the first British Minister to Japan from 1859-64.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Cortazzi, Hugh

A reassessment of the career of Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809-1897), the first British Minister to Japan from 1859-64.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume IV
Author: Lowe, Peter

Sir William Conyngham Greene (1854-1934) assumed his diplomatic posts in Pretoria and later Japan at times of accelerating tension and turbulence in the and late 19th early 20th centuries. This essay charts his career through both of these times.

Book: British Envoys in Japan 1859-1972
Author: Lowe, Peter

Sir William Conyngham Greene (1854-1934) assumed his diplomatic posts in Pretoria and later Japan at times of accelerating tension and turbulence in the and late 19th early 20th centuries. This essay charts his career through both of these times.

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 II
Author: Gray, Robin

This essay recalls the circumstances in which the the Anglo-Japanese Commercial Treaty of 1962 was made and its implications for trade between the two countries.

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 IV
Author: Hoare, James Edward

This portrait details William Keswick's (1835-1912) impact upon trade between Britain and Japan as part of his long involvement in East Asian trade from the mid 19th to early 20th century.

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.

Book: Biographical Portraits Volume II
Author: Nish, Ian

This portrait details the two years Yoshida Shigeru (1878-1941) and Mme Yoshida spent at the London embassy from 1936-38 - a difficult period in Anglo-Japanese relations.

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

This portrait details the two years Yoshida Shigeru (1878-1967) and Mme Yoshida spent at the London embassy from 1936-38 - a troubling period for both of them as they did what they could to stabilise Anglo-Japanese relations.

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