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date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the Japanese contribution to the development of international law after the ‘encounter’ of Japan with it. It might be argued that ‘international law’ of European origin has extended its application to non-European regions since the age of European voyages of ‘discovery’. First, the chapter confirms the traditional Japanese view on ‘international relations’ and ‘law’. The discussion then proceeds to how Japanese officials and scholars accepted, and made use of, international law. After the forced and unavoidable abolition of the long-sustained seclusion policy, Japan swiftly adapted itself to the reality imposed by the Western powers and, at least in appearance, has reached the rank of ‘civilized nation’ within half a century of its drastic policy change, without being colonized.

Keywords: Japanese contributions, international law, East Asia, seclusion policy

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