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JAPAN’S IMPERIAL DIPLOMACY: Consuls, Treaty Ports and War in China 1895-1938, by Barbara Brooks. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 2000, 272 pp., $55.

Why did Japan suddenly lurch from being a good international citizen in the 1920s to becoming a regional rogue in the 1930s? Usually Japan’s Asian rampage is explained in terms of a deteriorating international context, increasingly violent and effective anti-Japanese Chinese nationalism, the dislocation of the Great Depression, and flaws in the Meiji constitution that facilitated the military’s rise to power.

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