Sample Essay on Anglo Japanese alliance

Anglo Japanese alliance

Anglo Japanese alliance was signed for the first time in London in the modern day Lansdowne club on 30th January 1902. Lord Lansdowne the foreign secretary of British and Hayashi Tadasu the minister of Japan signed the alliance. Many historians consider the alliance as a diplomatic milestone which led to ending of the Spending isolation of the Britain. This alliance was expanded and renewed twice in its scope in 1911 and 1905 before its death in 1921. In 1923, the alliance was terminated officially.

Since 1895, possibility of the alliance between the Empire of Japan and the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and the Ireland was canvassed after Britain declined to join triple intervention of Germany, Russia and France against occupation of Liaotung peninsula by Japan. Although this event was considered unstable basis of the alliance, support that Britain had offered Japan in its bid to achieve modernization and cooperative efforts aimed at putting down Boxer rebellion strengthened this case.

Support for the alliance was voiced by the newspapers in both countries with the Telegraph acting as the driving force of the support. Yomiuri and Mainichi newspapers in Japan were pro-alliance advocacy.  The Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation of 1894 also paved way to an alliance that would enhance equal possibility and relations.

These were some of the efforts that had common interest of establishment of an alliance between Britain and Japan. Opposition of Russian expansion was also a fueling factor of the alliance between Britain and Japan. This was clearly seen in the early 1890s when Cecil Spring Rice, the British diplomat identified a working relationship between Japan and Great Britain as the only way of challenging the power of Russia in the region. Negotiations aimed at establishing the alliance started when Russia started moving to China.


However, both the Great Britain and Japan had reservations. For instance, Britain was cautious about abandoning its spending isolation policy. The UK was wary that the move would antagonize Russia. It was also unwilling to take any action on the treaty in case Japan attacked the United States.

In Japan, there were factions of the government that were still hopping for Russia compromise including the former prime minister of Japan, Hirobumi. There were views that Asia friendship would be amenable to the United States that was uncomfortable with Japan rising as a super power. In addition, the United Kingdom was not willing to protect the interest of Japanese in Korea while Japan was unwilling to protect the interest of the UK in India. Nevertheless, these issues were discussed by Lansdowne and Hayashi from July 1901 and on January 30th 1902 the Anglo Japanese alliance was signed.

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