Of paramount importance to the fate of any country is the national character of the people. The Japanese at the end of the first half of the 19 century 20 had full order with the national spirit. This proves a series of brilliant achievements of Japan, both in the sphere of national economy and in foreign policy.
First we must say that Japan was in the lead by education of its population. Already in the middle of the 17 century, a network of temple schools was developed in Japan, where they taught literacy, counting and manual labor to artisans, rich peasants and simple samurai. In 1872, a school reform was carried out in the country and a law on compulsory universal education was adopted. A single centralized education system was created. In Japan, the principle was proclaimed: “Not a single person without education, not a single village without a school!” For comparison, the royal power only followed this path, and universal education became mandatory in Russia only under the authority of the Soviets. In 1872, the Japanese school charter identified three types of schools in the country: primary, secondary, and tertiary (among them, male and female, general education and vocational, "dead-end" and preparing for continuing education). And it was the policy of the state, and not capitalist or socialist, but essentially feudal. In neighboring China, at the same time, the authorities deliberately supported the masses in ignorance, which was supposed to keep them in obedience.
In Japan, after the “Revolution, the Meiji were openly oriented toward the example of Germany. The German Empire was created by “iron and blood”, through reforms “from above”. Now this policy of the rise of the nation by the power of a reasonable policy of the political elite was peculiarly repeated in the Japanese Empire. The result was brilliant. From an isolated agrarian state, Japan rose to a group of world leaders, became the largest military and industrial power. Japan joined the struggle for leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.
A feature of Japan was a long-term program for borrowing knowledge, which was proclaimed through the mouth of the emperor with the beginning of the Meiji era. The world achievements of science and technology were studied thoroughly, massively translated and distributed books that had practical value. Scientists from the USA, Britain, Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Russia and other countries were invited to work in the empire. At the same time, many young Japanese were sent to study abroad. Higher education institutions were established in Japan itself (the first university was opened in Japan in 1877). In 1879, the Academy of Sciences was established in Tokyo, soon a number of research institutions were organized. Among them are the Central Meteorological Observatory, the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, the military topographic department, the railway department, the Navy hydrography department, the Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Geological Department, the Electrotechnical Laboratory, the Fisheries Institute, the Agronomy Experimental Station, the Horticulture and Forestry Experimental Stations. This far from complete list speaks of the rapid development of Japan in those years for itself. In total, more than seven dozen such institutions were established. Plus 70 scientific associations by specialties. And this is with the active participation of the state. In Russia, we see a similar approach only in Stalin’s Red Empire.
General Alexei Kuropatkin left a very impressive comment from a pre-war trip through the Japanese Empire: “I have seen a beautiful country with a large hard-working population. Lively activity reigned everywhere. Bribed the cheerful mood of the population, his love of country, faith in the future ... In all schools of the country military exercises occupied a prominent place, and children and young men did them with enthusiasm ... ". After the war, Kuropatkin, the former commander of the Manchurian army and the Commander-in-Chief of all land and naval armed forces operating against Japan, noted that the success of the Japanese troops was accompanied by "their high morale, the willingness of all the sacrifices to achieve victory and the perseverance with which all the ranks of the army, from a soldier to a commander in chief, they sought victory. ” The whole Japanese army was imbued with patriotism, it felt the friendly support of the whole nation, felt the importance of the struggle for the future of the fatherland. Major German service von Schellendorf, who was seconded as an observer to the Japanese army, wrote that the discipline and nerves of the Japanese iron.
In Russia, this attitude was the opposite. After the revolution in emigration, General Nikolai Yepanchin, close to the imperial court, recalled: "The war began, which no one in the Russian Empire sympathized with, which the masses did not understand at all, and our army understood even less." The assessment of the monarchist general agrees with the opinion of the Social Democrat Ulyanov-Lenin about the Russian-Japanese war. According to the leader of the cadet party and writer Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams, Russian public opinion was against this war. The Russian-Japanese war was attributed to the "machinations of a small gang of courtiers" who were interested in forest concessions on Yalu. The Russian-Japanese war did not become national for Russia and did not meet the needs of its development.
There was another important feature. In Japan, from the very beginning of the Meiji revolution, state enterprise was developed. And the government itself was extremely loyal to the financial and industrial private capital. In turn, private capital thought nationally, since it was of feudal samurai origin, was raised on the ideals of the military code of honor. In Japan, leaders who, like in Russia, turned in the national interests and the future of the state and the people, did not operate. The surrender of national interests was absolutely unthinkable for the Japanese. The level of discipline and responsibility was very high.
The state established industry and created state-owned “model enterprises, which were then often transferred to new capitalists. For example, this is how the power of the Mitsui and Mitsubishi houses originated. Such large concerns like Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumimoto, Yasuda, controlled the economy of the empire. However, in particular, in ferrous metallurgy 73% smelting iron and 84% rolled products were given by the state-owned Yavat plant. The state initially encouraged the creation of a banking system, but quickly squeezed it to a minimum and well-controlled size. The “leading” banks were created - the Yokohama Currency Bank (1880 year) and the Japan State Bank (1882 year).
To finance the industrialization of the country, the Japanese tried to rely on internal sources, although they did not refuse external loans. The central government introduced new taxes: vodka and tobacco (the Japanese were very keen on them), exchange and stamp duties were established, and mining taxes were instituted. Already from 1873, the annual compilation and publication of the state budget began. The peasantry, by hook or by crook, pushed for a concentration of efforts on the production of two highly profitable goods — rice and silk. These goods were exported by the Japanese in increasing quantities almost immediately after the “opening” of the country. The profitable cotton industry also developed rapidly in Japan.
However, the main money was obtained due to the exceptional cheapness of the Japanese labor force. Later, in more modern times, this method was used by China to become a “factory” of the West. Japanese workers received 30-40% below the Russians, who also were not the benchmark for success. The “Japanese miracle” was fueled by the dire poverty of the working-class suburbs of Japanese cities. True, it should be noted that life in Japan was extremely cheap. At the same time, the Japanese were not inclined to social protests, from time immemorial they were fatalists who calmly treated natural and political upheavals. The cheapness of labor has led to the fact that the rate of profit in Japan in the Meiji era was not lower than 20 - 30%, sometimes reaching 50 - 100%. Moreover, it was not a usurious profit, parasitic in essence, but a profit created by the hard work of the nation. And these incomes were used by the Japanese elite wisely - for industrialization, for exporting capital and accumulating foreign exchange reserves.
We should not forget about such a source of development of foreign trade, as the export of precious metals (silver and gold). Before the start of the 1930s, Japan had two main gold-mining areas, they gave up the 40% mining of the Japanese islands: in the north of Hokkaido along the Esashi River (“Japanese Klondike”) and in the northeast of Kyushu in Oita province. The annual production by the 30 years was about 18 tons (a third was mined in Korea). The gold reserves of Japan at that time were estimated at about 320 tons (this is the state stock, and there were still quite significant stocks at private owners). This gold has been mined in about three decades. But gold and silver in Japan were mined for centuries, and it almost did not leave the country during the period of self-isolation (some went to trade with the Portuguese and the Dutch).
Thus, one of the main prerequisites for the victory of Japan in 1905 was a reasonable and balanced internal policy of the Japanese authorities in the previous period. The Japanese skillfully and talentedly learned how to use the scientific and technical achievements of the West in their internal socio-economic life and politics. Unfortunately, the foreign policy of Japan was not so reasonable, in it the Japanese were prone to adventures. True, for the time being they succeeded.
The second most important prerequisite for the victory of Japan was the full support of the West. "World backstage" wanted to destroy the Russian empire, and in these plans Japan had its own definite role. The war with Japan should have led Russia to be pushed out of the Asia-Pacific region, forced to more actively get into European politics. In addition, this war led to the internal destabilization of Russia. The 1905 - 1907 revolution, where foreign intelligence services and various kinds of subversive elements took an active part, became an excellent rehearsal for the year.
It is well known that the human and financial and economic losses of Japan in the war were harder than the losses of Russia and the victory of Tokyo could be problematic if the hypocritical "mediation" of the United States. In Russia, some people like to recall the alleged "Russophilism" of Americans, who "were frightened" of the reinforcement of Japan and moderated its requests during the peace negotiations. Although when the Russian-Japanese war had already begun, the main US “Russophile” president, Theodore Roosevelt, told the German ambassador in Washington, Sternburg, the following: It is in our interest that the war between Japan and Russia should go on until both countries achieve the maximum possible exhaustion of each other. so that the territories where their interests collide continue after serving peace to serve the same goals and that the boundaries of their spheres of influence cross in the same way as before the war ...
In this way - everything is simple, of course, quite American. Later, in the 1941 year, Harry Truman actually repeated these words when he advised helping the Russians if the Germans won, and helping the Germans if the Russians won up. And so on until the Russians with the Germans kill each other.
Enough to remember and history construction of the japanese navy fleet. It began to be built seriously in 1895, when the Japanese received indemnity from China. The American loan, and the help of the British sharply accelerated the process of building up the naval power of the Japanese Empire. Most of Japan's newest warships were built at British shipyards. The benefit of the Anglo-Saxons from this was very large, and political, and financial and economic.
The flagship of the Japanese fleet, the battleship Asahi, was laid on 1 August 1898, at the John Brown plant in Glasgow (Clydebank). Another Japanese flagship - the battleship "Mikasa" was built at the Vickers shipyard in Britain. The squadron battleship was launched in 1900, commissioned in 1902. The squadron battleship Sikishima was launched in 1898 by the British company Thames Iron Work at the shipyard in Blackwall on an improved design of the battleship Majestic. The battleship "Khatsuse" (of the same type as "Sikisima") was manufactured by the largest British company Armstrong, Whitworth & Co.. The ship launched 27 on June 1899 of the year and put into operation in January 1901 of the year. The battleship Fuji was laid on 1 in August 1894 of the year by the British famer Thames Iron Work in Blackkull. The battleship Foso coastal defense was built in 1875 — 1878. in the shipyards of the British company Samuda Brothers. The battleship "Yashima" was built in Britain in 1894 - 1897. at the Armstrong shipyard in Elswick. Shortly before the start of the Russo-Japanese War, battleships of the Katori type were designed for the Japanese fleet. In 1904 — 1906 in the shipyards "Vikkers" and "Armstrong" was built two ships of this class. It should also be noted that ships under construction in Japan received foreign weapons, turbines and other equipment.
The British built armored cruisers Izumo, Asama, Tokiwa, Chiyoda, Iwate. The armored cruiser Yakumo was built in Germany. The armored cruiser Azuma was built in France. The armored cruisers Kasuga and Nissin were built by the Italians for Argentina, but were overbought by the Japanese (with the support of the Anglo-Saxons). The British built for the Japanese fleet armored cruisers of the Naniwa type (Naniwa and Takachiho), the Takasago cruiser, the 2-class X Yumino armored-decks cruiser, and the Izumi armored cruiser of the British construction was purchased from Chile. The Americans built Kasagi-type armored cruisers (Kasagi and Chitose). The British built for the Japanese and the first serial squadrons: Ikatsuti type - 6 units in 1897 - 1899, their development was Akatsuki type destroyers - 2 units were built in 1900 - 1902 years. UK built in 1897-1900's. for the Japanese Imperial Navy, a series of destroyers of the Murakumo type - 6 units; 2 destroyer type "Sirakumo" in 1901 - 1902's.
The benefits of building a fleet for Japan were enormous. Debt forced Tokyo to take into account the interests of the Anglo-Saxons in their policies. The money turned into warships targeted the Japanese against Russia. Obviously, Britain and the United States would not arm Japan against themselves. Finally, the money was returned to the Anglo-Saxons, because the Japanese were spending loans on armaments.
England and France have provided Japan and great political support. The British and Americans with the beginning of the war immediately and definitely took the side of the Japanese. In the British capital, they even began to produce an illustrated chronicle of the war, which was called the “Fight of Japan for Freedom”. US President Roosevelt openly warned Paris against his possible intervention against Tokyo. He stated that in this case he "will immediately take her side and go as far as it is needed." The tone of the American press against the Russians was frankly hostile. France, on the eve of the war, hastened to explain to Petersburg that their alliance concerns only European affairs. In addition, Paris signed a "cordial agreement" with Britain - an ally of Japan. Only Germany was frankly benevolent to Russia.
We should not forget about the financial support of belligerent Japan from the United States and Britain. The Americans and the British willingly provided money to Japan. Japan’s first loan was provided in the spring of 1904 by a syndicate of Kun, Loeb and K and the National and Commercial Bank. A loan totaling $ 50 million was distributed between New York and London. The second Anglo-American loan was issued in November 104 of the year and amounted to 60 million dollars. Half of this loan was successfully placed in New York for several days. Great success was also the release of the third loan in 150 million dollars in March - April 1905. Subscription to it was blocked several times. Although the conditions were less favorable than before - 4,% instead of the previous 6%. In July, the Japanese issued a fourth loan, the distribution of which was attended by British, American and German bankers.
In total, Japan received loans for 725 million yen. Of this amount, 27 million went to banks for a commission. Japan's net sales of foreign loans amounted to 698 million yen. In the United States, 44% of the total overseas loans of the Japanese Empire was sold, covering almost one fifth of the costs during the fighting. Thus, American financial assistance to Japan in the form of loans that were necessary for the provision of the Japanese armed forces, as well as the logistics and the population, was of great importance for the implementation of the plans of the Japanese government.