Anglo-Japanese Alliance - Terms of The 1902 Treaty

Terms of The 1902 Treaty

The treaty contained six articles:

Article 1

  • The High Contracting parties, having mutually recognized the independence of China and Korea, declare themselves to be entirely uninfluenced by aggressive tendencies in either country, having in view, however, their special interests, of which those of Great Britain relate principally to China, whilst Japan, in addition to the interests which she possesses in China, is interested in a peculiar degree, politically as well as commercially and industrially in Korea, the High Contracting parties recognize that it will be admissible for either of them to take such measures as may be indispensable in order to safeguard those interests if threatened either by the aggressive action of any other Power, or by disturbances arising in China or Korea, and necessitating the intervention of either of the High Contracting parties for the protection of the lives and properties of its subjects.

Article 2

  • Declaration of neutrality if either signatory becomes involved in war through Article 1.

Article 3

  • Promise of support if either signatory becomes involved in war with more than one Power.

Article 4

  • Signatories promise not to enter into separate agreements with other Powers to the prejudice of this alliance.

Article 5

  • The signatories promise to communicate frankly and fully with each other when any of the interests affected by this treaty are in jeopardy.

Article 6

  • Treaty to remain in force for five years and then at one years' notice, unless notice was given at the end of the fourth year.

Articles 2 and 3 were most crucial concerning war and mutual defence.

The treaty laid out an acknowledgement of Japanese interests in Korea without obligating the UK to help should a Russo-Japanese conflict arise on this account. Japan was not obligated to defend British interests in India.

Although written using careful and clear language, the two sides understood the Treaty slightly differently. The UK saw it as a gentle warning to Russia, while Japan was emboldened by it. From that point on, even those of a moderate stance refused to accept a compromise over the issue of Korea. Extremists saw it as an open invitation for imperial expansion.

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