In just less than 50 years, Japan rose from being an isolated country trapped in a feudal world into the most modern and foremost superpower in Asia, rivalling that of the West. However, it took the horrors and devastation of a conflict for the West (and perhaps the rest of the world) to finally realise the strength and capability of Japan. Russian Empire, under Tsar Nicholas II underestimated Japan’s military capability simply because Japan was a newly modernised country and had a sense that their military strength was not as powerful as Russia’s. Their bitter rivalry for a domination in the Far East came at the expense of weakening China. Though mild, the rivalry even reached far to the south where as the news article here briefly reported, Russia was unhappy with Britain’s decision to allow Japanese Imperial Navy to establish a naval base at Labuan.
Article source: The Sydney Mail, 25 January 1905