Macquarie University
2 files

Racial Equality Bill: Japanese proposal at Paris Peace Conference : diplomatic manoeuvres and reasons for rejection

posted on 2022-03-28, 23:11 authored by Shizuka Imamoto
Japan as an ally of Britain, since the signing of Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902, entered World War One at British request. During the Great War Japan fought Germany in Asia and afforded protection to Australia. After the conclusion of the War, a peace conference was held at Paris in 1919. As a victorious ally and as one of the Five Great Powers of the day, Japan participated at the Paris Peace Conference, and proposed racial equality to be enshrined in the Covenant of the League of Nations. This Racial Equality Bill, despite the tireless efforts of the Japanese delegates who engaged the representatives of other countries in intense diplomatic negotiations, was rejected. The rejection, a debatable issue ever since, has inspired many explanations including the theory that it was a deliberate Japanese ploy to achieve other goals in the agenda. This thesis has researched the reasons for rejection and contends that the rejection was not due to any one particular reason. Four key factors: a) resolute opposition from Australian Prime Minister Hughes determined to protect White Australia Policy, b) lack of British support, c) lack of US support, and d) lack of support from the British dominions of New Zealand, Canada and South Africa; converged to defeat the Japanese proposal. Japanese inexperience in international diplomacy evident from strategic and tactical mistakes, their weak presentations and communications, and enormous delays in negotiations, at Paris, undermined Japan's position at the conference, but the reasons for rejection of the racial equality proposal were extrinsic.


Alternative Title

Racial Equality Bill : Reasons for rejection.

Table of Contents

Introduction -- Anglo-Japanese relations and World War One -- Fear of Japan in Australia -- William Morris Hughes -- Japan's proposal and diplomacy at Paris -- Reasons for rejection : a discussion -- Conclusion.


Bibliography: leaves 137-160 Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts (Honours) at Macquarie University.

Degree Type

Thesis masters research


Thesis (MA (Hons)), Macquarie University (Division of Humanities, Dept. of Asian Languages)

Department, Centre or School

Department of Asian Languages

Year of Award



Copyright Shizuka Imamoto 1006. Copyright disclaimer:




Japan Australia Great Britain


xii, 188 leaves

Former Identifiers