Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1124

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768 JAPAN

Defence.

The Emperor has the supreme command of the army and navy. Since the restoration of Imperial authority and the con- sequent abolition of the feudal system, the army of the Empire has been organised on a uniform system on the basis of con- scription. According to the present law, all males of the age of 20 are liable to serve in the standing army for seven years, of which three must be spent in active service, and the remaining four in the army of reserve. After quitting the army of reserve they have to form part of the landwehr for another five years ; and every male from 17 up to 40 years of age, who is not either in the line, the reserve, or the landwehr, must belong to the landsturm, and is liable to be called to service in times of national emergency.

The army is composed of the Imperial Guard, the six divisions, the gendarmerie, the Yezo militia, the reserves, and the territorial army or landwehr. In 1897 its peace strength was as follows : — The Imperial Guard, 11,213 men (including 370 officers) ; the six divisions, 76,351 men (2,745 officers) ; the gendarmerie, 1,065 men (51 officers) ; the Yezo militia, 4,577 men (95 officers) ; the reserves, 83,080 men (696 officers) ; territorial army, 104, 954 men (357 officers). Including the central administrative departments and the military schools, the total strength was 284,741 (including 4,760 officers). The total number of horses is about 29,000. There are a staff college, military college, cadet college, military school, gunnery school, a school for non-commissioned officers, &c., with 2,400 students.

All the fire-arms, ordnance, and ammunition used in the Imperial army are manufactured at the arsenals of Tokio and Osaka. The rifle now used in the army is the Murata rifle, which was invented in Japan a few years ago.

The Japanese navy has its Ministry and the department of naval command in Tokio. The Minister of Marine is a member of the Cabinet and superin- tends the administration. The chief of the naval command is appointed from the admirals on the active list, and is responsible under the Emperor for the operations of the fleet. The coast of Japan is divided into five maritime dis- tricts having their head-quarters with docks, arsenals, and barracks, at Yokosuka, Kure, Sasebo, Maizuru, and Muroran (the last two not established yet). The personnel of the navy in 1897 included 1 admiral, 5 vice-admirals, 8 rear-admirals, 147 captains, 335 lieutenants, besides officers of marines, engineers, &c., and 10,161 sailors, the total being 13,685 officers and men. The personnel is trained as in the navies of Europe, and has given excellent proofs of bravery, steadiness, and discipline during the course of the conflict with China.

The development of the Japanese navy is one of the most notable elements in the politics of the Far East. During the war with China the squadron was handled with considerable skill and with very decisive effect. An extensive shipbuilding programme has been laid down which provides for the building of many battleships and cruisers and about 100 torpedo craft.

The strength of the fleet is as follows : — 3 first-class battleships and 3 building, 4 armoured coast defence vessels, 7 armoured cruisers and 16 pro-