The Japanese Antarctic expedition and the idea of white Australia

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When the Japanese Antarctic Expedition arrived unexpectedly in Sydney Harbour in May 1911, its members anticipated a hostile reception in a country renowned for its White Australia Policy. Contrary to this expectation, the Japanese explorers developed a positive relationship with the people and officials of Sydney. This article explains this relationship by placing it in the context of the flourishing expatriate Japanese community of early twentieth-century Sydney. In doing so it argues that rather than ‘the indispensable condition of every other Australian policy’ the White Australia Policy was mutable and inconsistently applied in different spatial and temporal contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-526
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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