Japan’s Maritime Quarantine Law, enacted in 1899, became a model of the standard rules of colonial countries around the 20th century. Also, the quarantine administration centered on the police system and the public health system has become a standard quarantine system in Japan and its colonies. However, the status of the maritime quarantine rules in East Asia was different. The rules of each country had different grades, with Japan's law, Taiwan Government-General's decree and colonial Korea's order being issued. In addition, quarantine administration in East Asia was conducted on different levels.
Since the 20th century, cholera has not been a great threat to Japanese society, but in 1919-20 it has had a fatal impact on not only Japan but also other East Asian countries.
Among them, colonial Korea suffered the most damage. On the other hand, colonial Taiwan suffered relatively little damage in 1920, compared with other countries. Taiwan has become an immediate target of invasion by cholera, which has been in vogue off China's southeastern coast. Nevertheless, Taiwan Government-General conducted maritime inspection as a key base for the first defense, with the headquarters' direct maritime quarantine. The most important step in Taiwan's maritime inspection is that it has expanded the selection of endemic sites, institutionalized the establishment of quarantine camps and inspections on board. The inspection on board was initiated by commercial motives of Japanese shipping companies, which were suddenly accepted by the Japanese Interior Ministry and the Taiwan Governor-General as a way to enhance quarantine efficiency. The expansion of selection of epidemic sites led to an increase in the number of quarantine targets, and the establishment of quarantine camps and inspections on board were a landmark policy in the quarantine administration in that it could strengthen quarantine inspections and quarantine measures.
On the other hand, the maritime quarantine in colonial Korea was conducted as part of the police administration under the jurisdiction of the Police Inspector-General, and resulted in failure in the maritime quarantine, a key base for the first defense. Only 0.3 percent of patients were found through maritime quarantine. It has only achieved less than 1 percent in quarantine of cholera patients coming from outside the country, such as train and passenger inspections, as well as maritime quarantine. In fact, the cholera quarantine of colonial Korea was forced to shift to a way to strengthen domestic quarantine, such as house-to-house inspection.
While Taiwan's house-to-house inspection accounted for around 10 percent of the total, Korea's house-to-house inspection accounted for around 60 percent of the total. The house-to-house inspection in colonial Korea, centered on the sanitary police, was not aimed at strengthening the efficiency of quarantine administration, but was an inevitable step due to quarantine failures at border and coastal areas.
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