Akashi Motojirô served in a number of colonial administration positions, including most prominently as Governor-General of Taiwan from 1918 to 1919. He was known as an iron-fisted authoritarian, who imposed assimilationist policies not aimed at gradually easing people into the fold, nor at extending the rights and freedoms of Japanese citizenship to the Taiwanese, but rather forcing adherence to Japanese ideology upon the Taiwanese at a time when Wilsonian ideas of self-determination for all peoples were beginning to seep into many corners of the globe.
He had previously served in Colonial Korea, as both a military policeman and administrator, during which he acquired a reputation for ruthlessness.
- Mark Peattie, "Japanese Attitudes toward Colonialism, 1895-1945," in Peattie and Ramon Myers (eds.), The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945, Princeton University Press (1984), 104.