The alliance was announced on February 12, 1902. In response, Russia sought to form alliances with France and Germany, which Germany declined. On March 16, 1902, a mutual pact was signed between France and Russia. China and the United States were strongly opposed to the alliance. Nevertheless, the nature of the Anglo-Japanese alliance meant that France was unable to come to Russia's aid in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 as this would have meant going to war with Britain.
The alliance's provisions for mutual defense prompted Japan to enter World War I on the British side. Japan attacked the German base at Tsingtao in 1914 and forced the Germans to surrender (see Siege of Tsingtao). Japanese officers aboard British warships were casualties at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. In 1917, Japanese warships were sent to the Mediterranean and assisted in the protection of allied shipping near Malta from U-boat attacks; there is a memorial there to the sailors who fell. The Treaty also made possible the Japanese seizure of German possessions in the Pacific north of the equator during WWI, a huge boon to Japan's imperial interests
The alliance formed the basis for positive cultural exchange between Britain and Japan. Japanese educated in the UK were able to bring new technology to Japan, such as advances in ophthalmology. British artists of the time such as James McNeill Whistler, Aubrey Beardsley and Charles Rennie Mackintosh were heavily inspired by Japanese kimono, swords, crafts and architecture.
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