The writings of Hugh Byas, journalist and japanologist, developed while he was editor of the "Japan Advertiser" and later correspondent of the "London Times" and "New York Times". His work in Japan between the World Wars, is a discourse on progressive sovereignty. Byas equated a sovereign state with one that possessed an organized government capable of modernizing the state and developing democratic institutions to empower public opinion. Hugh Byas' Victorian education, professional friendships, early texts on Japanese history and politics and his knowledge of Burkean philosophy sculpted his sense of an organized and progressive government structured on a clan or group dynamic. But his friendship with Japan's foreign legal adviser, Thomas Baty, would provide him with an international law interface for his analyses in the 1920s and 1930s on Japan's status as a legitimate member in the international society of nations in spite of Japan's conflict with China in Northeast Asia. Byas would activate a China contrast in his script to highlight Japan's progressive direction, picturing China as Asia's "Sick Man."
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd