The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 is an aggression against China Launched by Japan. The war ended by an imparity treaty that was signed by Qing dynasty forced by Japan. The reason that Japan won the war lay in many aspects, and among them was exact and minute intelligence of Japan about China. The purpose of this thesis is to reveal the effect of intelligence on the aggressive policy made by Japan against China, the process of The Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895 and the result of the war through describing the background, on which Japan sent intelligence agent to China by all kinds of items to collect intelligence, and their successful intelligence activities in China.
Japan paid attention to the intelligence work. After Meiji Restoration, Japan regarded “the policy of mainland” as its basic national policy. Japan pointed the aggressive aim to China. In order to prepare for the aggressive war against China, Japanese government took the advantage of the open diplomatic opportunity to take part in intelligence activities. Besides, more important and influential intelligence activities was taken through sending large numbers of espionages to China, and furthermore, with the establishment of agencies in China. These Japanese spies who posed as diplomats, businessmen, and students, disguised themselves as native Chinese, collected information in all parts of China in order to prepare for the aggressive war against it. Moreover, there appeared in Japan a lot of organized right wing groups supported and agitated by Japan government and bourgeoisie Party in 1880s. These right wing groups supported the aggressive policy of Japanese government. They agitated large numbers of common people who lost their political position and privilege after Meiji Restoration to come to China to help Japanese spies and diplomats. All the intelligence Japanese government got played an important role in stipulating for the aggressive policy against China. When the Sino—Japanese War broke out, Japanese intelligence activities were even more widespread and played a very important role in a series of military campaigns. The effort gave a guarantee that the Japanese army could process smoothly and won the war in the end.
By contraries, China attaches little importance to intelligence and had little information on Japan. The Qing government didn’t taken the initiative to understand Japanese tendency, strengthen the safeguard against Japan; moreover, it couldn’t keep its own military secret, and furthermore, it protected the Japanese spies. And what is more, when the relationship between the two sides was becoming intensely, the Qing dynasty didn’t make any preparation, while delivers the intelligence Japanese forces needed. The Qing Dynasty government wanted to avoid the war. It reposed the hope for peace on those powers that protected the Japanese spies, tolerated Japan’s invading to China. Generally speaking, however, the Qing government was not effective at uncovering Japanese spies or keeping its military secrets. And under –estimated the coming war. The Qing dynasty was passive throughout the war.
The attitude of neglecting information and avoiding the war negatively caused China to be unclear of Japan's aggressive intention. And because of the lack of consciousness of guarding against Japanese spies, the military secret was released outside repeatedly. The corruption of Qing dynasty government causes China to be at the inferiority position of information. And this kind of position caused Qing dynasty army to accept war in haste, lost the battle repeatedly, and finally lost this war.
Then, how could Japan know accurately the activity of the Qing Dynasty government, the disposition of its troops, its defensive situation, and its terrain features? The reason is various. Subjectively, Japan paid great attention to the intelligence about China. It encouraged spies to detect, steal, and collects the military and political intelligence of China for a long time. Objectively, the Qing dynasty government didn’t paid attention to intelligence. It didn’t obtain the information of Japan, understand clearly the aggression intention of Japanese government, instead, it offered Japanese intelligence agent convenience to collects information of China. In addition, the successful intelligence activities of Japan in China lay in the tolerance of big powers with Japan
This article analyzes the successful intelligence activities of Japan pre-war and during the war about China and explains the intrinsic link between intelligence and the strategic and tactical policy of Japanese invasion on China. It views that with the in-depth survey of Japan to China and richness of Intelligence, the plans of Japan’s invasion of China was gradually developed and concretized. Japan's active intelligence activities about China are the prerequisite of the "practical" strategy made by Japan on aggressive war against China. In other words, detailed and accurate intelligence on China is the important condition of the policy of Japan's aggressive war against China and the eventual triumph.