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Ahn Jung-geun's Assassination of Hirobumi Ito and Russia-Japanese Relations

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2010, (100), pp.671-705
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Hong Woong Ho 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to reveal through Russian documents the full account of the Ito assassination to see what impacts it had on Russia-Japanese relations. Russian data related to the October 26, 1909 assassination of Resident General Ito by Ahn, Jung-geun at Harbin, territory then leased from China by Russia, were found at the Imperial Russia Foreign Policy Archives, Russian History Archives, Russian National Military Documents Archives, and in media sources from Eastern Siberia. Of special interest are the telegraph messages and reports of Russian finance minister Kokovtsov (then on an official trip to Manchuria to meet with Japan which had set up an oppositional structure of East Asian interests), precious data from Russian sources with which to confirm the full story of the Ito assassination which has been understood primarily through Japanese data until now. As expressed in Kokovtsov's telegrams, the assassination of Ito- whose ambition was the annexation of Joseon to Japan- clarified the Korean people's opposition to Japan's intentions. The assassination of Ito by An also brought changes to Russia-Japanese relations. Following the Russia-Japanese War, preparations for the remapping of power in Manchuria were concluded in the Russia-Japanese Treaty of July, 1907. Furthermore, Ito was on his way to meet with Kokovtsov in Manchuria to clearly define the scope of power of the two countries in the region. Russia was recovering to some extent from the aftermath of their defeat in the war with Japan, they wished to solidify their domination in Manchuria as far as possible without displeasing Japan. Japan planned to go use this opportunity to use railways to expand and entrench their power in the region. But before the meeting, Ito was shot by Ito at Harbin, thereby delaying and changing the expectations of both sides. Regarding the assassination which took place in Russian-occupied Harbin, and before Kokovtsov's own eyes, Japan silently questioned the responsibility of Russia, and Russia felt a need to make a response. Russia had to eliminate any possibility of further hostilities with Japan. So in order to rapidly solve the problem of Manchuria, the 2nd Russia-Japanese Treaty of July 1910 was concluded in accordance with the advice of foreign affairs minister Izvolskii. Ultimately, insofar as it preceded the treaty between Russia and Japan, two major players in change to the East Asian international order, the Ito assassination functioned as a medium for building a new East Asian international order after 1910.

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