Keywords: Shandong Question; Racial Non-Discrimination; Hara Cabinet; Nationalism; Public Opinion.
Often overlooked in comprehensive appraisals of the Paris conference, Japan's role in the peace negotiations has been the subject of a number of specialised studies. From the standpoint of method, over the years there has been a remarkable progress in the cross-examination of Japanese documents with sources from other countries. This has led to a more accurate understanding of the interplay among the major powers. Thematically, the bulk of the literature has focused on conflict with China and the United States. Early interpretations saw the conference merely as a step in the trajectory of Japanese imperialism towards World War 2. Later studies, however, have shed light on diplomatic efforts to accommodate national interests with the emerging postwar order. Furthermore, since the 1990s there has been a growing attention for public opinion and its impact on policy making. Overall, these shifts are in accordance with a wider trend to reassess national histories in a global perspective.