The aim of the present volume is to afford in handy form a complete account of the history of the countries of the Far East, in so far as they have come into contact with Western civilisation. In carrying out this scheme, I have not deemed it necessary to dwell upon ancient history, beyond indicating the events which have served to bring
the Occident and Orient together. I commence with an account of the earlier phases of Eastern Asia, sufficient to enable the reader to appreciate the conditions under which
the Pacific borderland was first visited by the emissaries of Europe. From this point I have followed the story of the Far East in some detail, in the hope that the record
thus presented may answer the requirements of the political student who seeks to obtain a clear understanding of the problems involved.
In the second portion of the book I have attempted an examination of the existing factors in the Far Eastern question, and endeavoured to weigh the evidence available with a view to forming an estimate of the probable future.
– From the preface