|HM the Meiji Emperor|
When the Empire of Japan first emerged onto the world stage, monarchy was still dominant in the world and the only close neighbors of Japan; Korea, China and Russia, were all monarchies as well. Some conflict was probably inevitable. As Japan modernized, the need for resources grew greater and one early source of vital food imports was Korea. However, Korea was a vassal of China and the Chinese were not too pleased with the increased Japanese involvement in Korea and had a long history of being rather contemptuous toward Japan, mostly for refusing to recognize Chinese supremacy. The first two external wars fought by the Empire of Japan after the Meiji Restoration were, if you reduce it to the most simplistic level, over Korea. First they drove the Chinese out but were robbed of much of their victory when Russia, France and Germany ganged up on the Japanese, forcing them to give back some of their winnings. Russian power was expanding in the region and Japan offered to accept Russian dominance in Manchuria (Chinese power being on the decline) if the Russians would stay out of Korea. Their offer was not accepted and the Russo-Japanese War basically determined whether or not Korea would be a part of the Empire of Japan or the Russian Empire. The Japanese were victorious and in 1910 the short-lived “Great Han Empire” (Korea) was annexed by Japan.
|Emperor "Henry" Puyi with the Japanese|
|Mongol Prince Demchugdongrub|
|Prince Cuong De|