Soejima Taneomi

Soejima Taneomi

nihongo|Soejima Taneomi|副島 種臣|Soejima Taneomi; 17 October 1828 - 31 January 1905), was a Japanese statesman during the early Meiji period.

Soejima was born into a "samurai" family in Saga, in Hizen province (present-day Saga prefecture). His father was a teacher in the domain's school and a scholar of National Learning (kokugaku). Soejima was sent to Nagasaki by the domain leaders to study the English language. During the Boshin War he was a leader of the Saga forces committed to the overthrow of the Tokugawa bakufu.

After the Meiji Restoration, he became a junior councilor "(san'yo)" and assisted Fukuoka Takachika in drafting the structure of the provisional Meiji government in 1868. "(Seitaisho)." While most of Japan's government was on its around-the-world tour of the United States and Europe on the Iwakura Mission, Soejima served as Foreign Minister. During his term as Foreign Minister he was faced with the negotiations over the Maria Luz Incident.

In 1873, Soejima led a mission to Beijing to protest the murder of 54 crewmembers of a wrecked Ryukyu (Okinawan) merchant vessel by Paiwan aborigines on the southwestern tip of Taiwan in December 1871. (The Ryukyu islands had only been formally claimed, under Soejima's authority, as Japanese territory in September, 1872.) He succeeded in meeting with the Qing dynasty emperor Tongzhi, but Japan's demands for compensation were refused, leading to the Taiwan Expedition of 1874.However, the mission to China did succeed in establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and China.

After the return of the Iwakura Mission and the rejection of the "Seikanron" proposals to invade Korea in October 1873, he resigned from the government.

He later joined Itagaki Taisuke and Eto Shimpei in forming the Aikoku Koto political party.

He returned to government service in 1878, serving in the Imperial Household Ministry. In 1888 he was appointed to the Privy Council, and became its vice chairman in 1891. In 1892, he was called upon to become Home Minister in the first Matsukata administration.

Reference and further reading

* Akamatsu, Paul. "Meiji 1868: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Japan." Trans. Miriam Kochan. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.
* Beasley, W. G. "The Meiji Restoration." Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972.
* Duus, Peter. The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910 (Twentieth-Century Japan - the Emergence of a World Power, 4). University of California Press (1998). ISBN 0-520-21361-0.
* Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds. "Japan in Transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji." Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.
* Ohashi, Akio. "Soejima Taneomi". Shin Jinbutsu Oraisha (1990). ISBN 4-404-01739-1 (Japanese)

External links

* [ National Diet Library bio & photo]

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