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International law

In the end of Edo era, some revolutionary samurai of Japan recognized international law (kokusai hou or bankoku kouhou) earlier than China understood. Powers used it for diplomatic relations to tie a treaty with other powers. So Meiji Government introduced a concept of public law to Charter Oath in 1868.

5-power flagsBankoku-ki
The left ukiyoe shows Yokohama in Kanagawa with the open mood of Meiji era. Although Japan was poor, people were dilligent to modernize Japan. Westen style interested Japanese people in Yokohama. Commons seemed be curious about 5-power flags.
the Ansei Five-Power Treaties
Boshin War(1868-1869)
Charter Oath

Japanese people had done festivals of farming rice for a long times. The most important festivals are in spring and fall. Commons enjoyed seeing children playing the gyms in a field of an elementary school in spring and fall. Parents rested farming whole a day. Every school all over Japan showed chained flags called bankoku-ki(literally 10 thousand nations flags) in the mid of Meiji era. Expo was translated into bankoku hakurankai.

Once a smart bureaucrat translated 'League of Nations' into 'Kokusai (International) Renmei (League).' Japanese people like the word, Kokusai. Some universities have a faculty of Kokusai. I do not know what to study at the faculty. At last a princess have entered ICU (International Christian University) for the first time, though princes and princesses entered Gakushuin usually. Boy students of Gakushuin wear a traditional IJN officer style uniform even now, as Mikado Akihito wore it when childhood. Gakushuin was not for commons but Peers School before the Pacific War.

Powers admitted Japan as one of powers after the Japanese-Russo War. But all the 5 nations above the picture became the enemy of Japan in the Pacific War, though Japan had not been able to withdraw the troops in China. How leaders of Japan thought cease fire against US and UK, when Government broke up the war? Government declared the Pacific War (Dai Toua Sensou) without referring to international law, while leaders of Meiji declared the Japanese-Qing War and the Japanese-Russo War under international law.
Matsumoto, p289-292
League of Nations

International rescue (Kokusai kyujyo-tai)
Convention relative to the treatment of POW in 1929
Serbia (Republic of)1931May20
New Zealand1931Jun23
South Africa1931Jun23
United Kingdom1931Jun23
All the boys of Japan adored International Rescue (kokusai kyujyo-tai) of a UK TV program. Newspapers of Japan changed 'allied armies (rengou gun)' into 'many nations armies (ta-kokuseki gun), when Iraq War. Certainly Government and newspapers called allied armies 'rengou gun' in the WWII. The Diet confused whether Japan should dispatch special offcial servicemen in Iraq. So Government and newspapers preferred many nations armies (ta-kokuseki gun). I thank that 600 British and 493 Australian troops guarded them.
Jiei-tai iraku haken

International song
When I got a job in a company of Japan, We have to learn singing a song of May Day, being royal to the labor union. The song was made in 1922. I do not remember all, but I remeber a phrase, 'Wake up, internationl labors! (tate bankoku no roudou-sha).' The International was a national anthem of Soviet Union. We say union kumiai. A lots of Yakuza groups call themselves xxxkumi.

After the Pacific War, Japanese people also liked a word, culture 'bunka'. Now is another word, global 'guroubaru'. An British ambassador wrote an opinion on Mainichi Newspaper in 2008. He suggested to 'international' 5 times and 'global' twice.

Government signed Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War on 27 July 1929. But Mikado did not ratify, because Privy Council did not agree. Then Deputy Foreign Affair Minister requested an opinion to Army and Navy. Deputy Navy Minister replied negative. He told 4 reasons to oppose the treaty on 15 November 1934.

  1. Japanese soldiers do not expect POWs. So the treaty is obliged to one side of Japan.
  2. If enemy aircraft raided and the enemy soldiers wanted to be POWS after the raid, The range of raid would be to expand
  3. There is military trouble that a third party can talk POWs
  4. The punishment rule of POWs treats better than Japanese usulal soldiers. So 4 Naval laws (Ĩȳᡢˡˡˡƹ) have to be revised.
Table shows when signed parties ratified it. Mexico was the nineteenth nation in the 37 signed nations. The treaty was active on 1 August 1932. Other nations in the world ratified it as follows, Greece ratified in 1935. Austria, Estonia and Hungary ratified in 1936. Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia ratified in 1937. Slovakia, Thailand and Lithuania in 1939. Bolivia in 1940. Colombia in 1941.

US asked Government how to treat POW via Switzland on 27 December 1941 as well as UK via Argentina on 3 January 1942. Government replied Switzland and Argentia "mutatis mutandis". Japan and US agreed how to treat civilians in the Pacific War on February[1]. A Japanese official executed a representive of ICRC in Borneo on 13 May 1943.
Horyo Shoguhou
Shin turezuregusa

After the Pacific War, Japan ratified Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) on 21 October 1953. Japan ratified addtitional Protocol I relating to the Protection of victims of international armed conflicts and Protocol II relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts on 28 February 2005.
Geneva Conventions

[1] Ohuchi, p197

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