"A Great Disobedience Against the People": Popular Press Criticism of Japan's Siberian Intervention, 1918-22

Reports and commentary by Japanese mass-circulation newspapers on the Siberian Intervention reflect deep ambivalence about the enterprise. Some criticism of government policy reflected traditional concerns; but a new strain of criticism, unique in the prewar period, claimed that Japan was out of step with the spirit of international cooperation among the leading democratic powers that emerged victorious at the end of World War I. While initially demanding a "responsible" party government to end the intervention, as the unprofitable stalemate continued, the papers came to lambaste both ineffective party cabinets and the military for ignoring public opinion.