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Research Seminars



Seung-young Kim
University of Sheffield Open Door or Sphere of Influence?: The Diplomacy of the Japanese-French Entente and Fukien Question, 1905-07


18 Jan 2018

4:30 p.m.
4.36 Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus



Japanese-French negotiation for their 1907 entente revealed contrasting approaches to the application of the Open Door principle in China, particularly to the Fukien province after the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Having learned about France’s wish to receive Japanese guarantee for the safety of its colony in Indo-China, Japan strove to define Fukien as its additional sphere of influence once it had secured much needed loans in the Paris financial market. France tried to resist Japan's request to define Fukien as its sphere by adopting a secret note, and attempted to restrain Japan’s future expansion into China by enmeshing Japan in the web of political and financial ententes with itself and Britain supporting Open Door. This approach of France was a continuation of French policy toward East Asia since the Boxer Uprising, securing its economic interests by supporting Open Door rather than pursuing territorial competition with other great powers in China. In contrast, the Japanese government strenuously attempted to weaken the general application of Open Door doctrine in China, and could define Fukien as Japan’s additional sphere by securing a secret explanatory note for such a purpose. This paper reveals under-studied diplomatic negotiations over China at the beginning of the twentieth century.


Seung-young (SY) Kim is a Senior Lecturer (associate professor) in the School of East Asian Studies at University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. He teaches and researches about the international history of East Asia during the twentieth century. Before joining Sheffield, he taught in the Department of Politics at the University of Aberdeen from 2003 until 2011. He will start working at Kansai Gaidai university in Japan from the end of January 2018. SY Kim received his BA in French Study from Seoul National University, MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, and PhD in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University). He was an associate at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, and was visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo (International Relations, 2008-10) and Keio University (Faculty of Law and Politics, 2001-2) in Japan. Before pursuing his doctoral degree, he had worked as a diplomatic and UN correspondent for The Chosun Ilbo newspaper in South Korea until the mid-1990s. He published American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882-1950 and After (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and has been preparing his second book on the diplomatic practice in Northeast Asia during the 20th century.


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