The introduction traces American-Japanese relations from Perry’s arrival in 1853 to the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and focuses on how both nations maintained amicable relations during a period of rapid modernization. This section argues that the shared experiences of modernization, rapprochement with England, and concern over Russia’s ambitions in Asia lessened the likelihood of a clash over Japanese continental expansion or America’s growth into Asia and the Pacific. Particular attention is devoted to Tokyo’s “opening” of Korea, the Sino-Japanese War, the U.S. annexation of Hawaii, the circulation of the Open Door notes, and the deterioration in Russo-Japanese relations.
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