The Anglo-Japanese alliance was originally made in 1902 to meet the grave crisis in the Far East posed by the growth of Russian power. Great Britain, embroiled in the South African war, could not defend India and her political and economic interests in China without assistance from another power. Japan was also seriously concerned at the aggressive trend of Russian policy and felt unable to combat the threat alone. The second alliance of 1905 was similarly based on hostility to Russia while the Russo-Japanese war was clearly going in Japan’s favour at the time of revision, the possibility of future conflict with Russia; had to be reckoned with.’ By 1907 relations between the allies and Russia had improved;2 the character of the alliance was changing — it was no longer concerned entirely with the Far East but was becoming more closely associated with European developments. In the eyes of Great Britain at least, it was aimed increasingly at Germany.3 With the danger of war in the Far East removed after 1905, Britain could gradually delegate the task of defending British interests in the region to Japan while herself concentrating on the more perilous situation in Europe. The alliance therefore came to assume added significance for British policy, particularly in the context of defence.


Foreign Policy General Staff China Association British Policy Grey Paper 
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  1. 1.
    For an admirable account of the origins and early years of the alliance, see I. H. Nish, The Anglo-Japanese Alliance: the Diplomacy of Two Island Empires, 1894–1902 (1966)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Nish, pp. 359–64 and E. W. Edwards, ‘The Far Eastern Agreements of 1907’, in JMH XXVI (1954) 340–55.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    I. H. Nish, ‘Dr. G. E. Morrison and Japan’, in JOSA II (1963) 46.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Nish, in JOSA II 45–6. See also Reginald Pound and Geoffrey Harmsworth, North-cliffe (1959) p. 413.Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    See E. W. Edwards, ‘Great Britain and the Manchurian Railway Question, 1909–1910’, in EHR LXXXI (1966) 740–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 1.
    A. M. Pooley (ed.), The Secret Memoirs of Count Tadasu Hayashi (1915) p. 260.Google Scholar
  7. Hilary Conroy, The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868–1910 (Philadelphia, 1960) p. 514Google Scholar
  8. casts doubt on the authenticity of the memoirs, but J. A. S. Grenville, Lord Salisbury and Foreign Policy (1964) p. 391 n, disagrees. Nish, p. 394, observes that the Hayashi memoirs are not wholly reliable, as the translation is often inaccurate, but Hayashi’s concern at events in south Manchuria is confirmed by Nish, p. 362, who cites a cabinet memorandum written by Hayashi in 1907. Hayashi’s views are of interest as constituting one of the first signs of concern by the Japanese government at the activities of the military in south Manchuria.Google Scholar
  9. 2.
    Note the comment of W. W. Lockwood, The Economic Development of Japan (1955) p. 539: ‘Even the recovery of tariff autonomy in the nineties still left treaty restrictions on the duties applying to many items. Rates were generally no higher than 10 to 15% until the general tariff revision of 1911.’Google Scholar
  10. 3.
    See E. W. Edwards, ‘Great Britain and the Manchurian Railway Question, 1909–1910’, in EHR LXXXI (1966) 740–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 1.
    From a memorandum by Miles Lampson, 29 Apr 1911, F.O. 371/1091. Lampson followed the views of J. L. Garvin as expressed in the Fortnightly Review, LXXXVII (1910) 406, and LXXXVIII 195–209, including the reference to the Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908.Google Scholar
  12. 3.
    See Nish, pp. 355–8 and T. A. Chivers, ‘The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1902–11, with particular reference to British naval and military opinion’, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Wales (1961), especially pp. 202–3, 224–5 239.Google Scholar
  13. 1.
    Macdonald to Grey, 24 Dec 1909, Grey Papers, F.O. 800/68. See also Arthur J. Marder, From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, 1 (1961) 235–6.Google Scholar
  14. 3.
    Arthur J. Marder (ed.), Fear God and Dread Nought: the Correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone, 3 vols (1956) n 199;Google Scholar
  15. Admiral Sir R. H. Bacon, The Life of Lord Fisher of Kilverstone, 2 vols (1929) II 80, Fisher to Iswolsky; Marder, Fear God and Dread Nought, II 362.Google Scholar
  16. 5.
    See Morley’s letter to the then viceroy, Lord Minto, 13 Dec 1906, cited in G. Monger, The End of Isolation: British Foreign Policy, 1900–1907 (1963) p. 286.Google Scholar
  17. 1.
    Ishii, Diplomatic Commentaries, translated and edited by William R. Langdon (Baltimore, 1936) p. 60. Ishii was one of the leading diplomats of his day, being ambassador to Paris, 1911–15; foreign minister, 1915–165 and special emissary to the United States in 1917.Google Scholar
  18. 2.
    I am indebted to Mr Masaru Ikei, Lecturer in International History at Keio University, Tokyo, for informing me of Yamagata’s continued suspicion of Russia; Mr Ikei has examined Yamagata’s private papers in Tokyo. Yamagata had emphasised in October 1906 that the alliance must remain fundamental to Japan’s future policy and this was accepted in the defence policy decided upon by ministers and the general staffs of the army and navy in February 1907, see J. B. Crowley, Japan’s Quest for Autonomy: National Security and Foreign Policy, 1930–1338 (Princeton, 1966) p. 5.Google Scholar
  19. That Japan attached much significance to renewal of the alliance in 1911 is stressed by M. Kajima, The Emergence of Japan as a World Power, 1895–1925 (Rutland, Vt, 1968) pp. 204–205.Google Scholar

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© Peter Lowe 1969

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