The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and World War I

1. The Occupation of Tsingtao

        On entering the war, the Tsingtao operation was carried out. 870 soldiers from the South Wales Borderers Second Battalion stationed in northern China under the command of Brigadier N. W.Barnardiston, landed 23-24 September. The Japanese side assumed that the British troops’ first battle would be around Mt. Shihmen three days after they landed . But this plan was cancelled by the British who proposed to stay at Puli from the 25th and to prepare for battle there. After the battles at Kushan and Fushan, the British acquired half of the 36th Indian (Sikh) Regiment of 450 men and reached the front line. Thereafter, for a month the British and the Japanese prepared for a full-scale offensive and launched an all-out attack on 31 October. But the British force did not move. 1 The Japanese units concluded 'it was hard to trust you as war comrades if you permit only our troops to engage in the fighting at this time...', that 'the British army was baggage' and 'no more than decoration on the battlefield.' 2 Consequently, Japanese newspapers and magazines reported that: British soldiers were different in nature from Japanese soldiers and were excessively elegant (cautious) when it came to launching joint operations. Only when nothing happened were British soldiers wonderful and it was like taking a lady on a trip. However, such a lady can be a burden and lead to total disaster for a force when the enemy appears. Such reports, when reported back to Britain, generated considerable antipathy by the British public.3

        On the other hand, the Royal Navy dispatched an old battleship Triumph , a destroyer Usk, and the Delta, a hospital ship. The Triumph which had 10" guns was, although old, great support for the blockade in terms of firepower and in landings greatly aiding the IJN which was short of shells. Lieut. Cdr. Yamanashi Katsunoshin, who was dispatched to China Squadron Headquarters, evaluated highly the British commanders’ indomitable spirits, continuous observation of the whole situation and superb activities by each of the ships (in terms of organisation as well as training). Captain Yoshida Seifu, involved in the joint operation as chief of staff at the IJN Second Fleet, praised British preparations, stating that 'during this battle, the British ships did not use gun plugs even in heavy rain. Every evening the electric circuits of each gun were checked. The scrupulous attention to detail was impressive.' 4 This praise reflects clearly the view that RN morale and fighting sprit was higher and more positive than that of the British Army who were merely participating because of political considerations. 5 Although possibly diplomatic language, the Japanese side evaluated RN operations as 'entirely successful' and highly valued its effectiveness and full of good faith.6

         As Tsingtao collapsed and the German Eastern Squadron lost its base, the objectives of the joint Anglo-Japanese naval operations were achieved. According to the British official naval history of the war, 'the Tsingtao operation did not only bring special benefit to Japan but also performed the utmost and best service she could render to the Alliance.7 However, the British Consul, Sir John Pratt, resident in Tsinan recalled that the dispatch to Shantung was a perfect farce for the British. Professor Ian Nish also wrote that the Tsingtao operation brought condemnation rather than satisfaction between Japan and Britain until the war ended. 8 The British political goal of increasing its reputation and its influence in China was not achieved. Moreover, the fact that IJA made light of the British Army’s contribution was constantly repeated. This was all reported to Britain and caused strains on Anglo-Japanese relations which contributed to the breakdown in relationships between the two countries.

2. Occupation of the South Sea Islands

        Although the IJN wished to acquire the South Sea Islands, they stated: 'we are suspending our Southern advance and will observe and await developments in the situation.' 9 This was due to anti-Japanese feelings in the USA, the request by the British Government for Japan to limit her theatre of operations and also Japanese government policy was that the occupation of Kiaochow Bay would be the main operation. On 13 August, a report came through the IJN attache in London, Captain Abo Kiyotane, attending a celebration for Japan’s participation to the War, that the IJN were being asked to dispatch the cruiser Izumo to Mexico and to Esquimault due to the shortage of naval forces covering the security of the coasts. 10 This was beyond Japan’s 'limited' theatre of operations. This prompted Foreign Minister Kato Takaaki to assert to Ambassador Sir William C. Greene in Tokyo that 'limited theatre of operations' could not be included in the final notification. In addition, the minister protested, 'it [the request] is against the limitation suggested [by the Foreign Office] … nowadays, it seems that the communication among authorities in your country is unreliable'.11

         Then, Kato instructed Ambassador Inoue Kaoru that due to differences between the Foreign Office and the Admiralty and the contradictory demands of the Foreign Office and the C-in-C China Squadron' agreeing that the IJN and the RN exchange two of their ships', that Japan oppose proposals. 12 Later on 18 August, Admiral Sir Thomas M. Jerram, C-in-C China Squadron, reported that the German Eastern Squadron would gather at Yap in the Marshall Islands. On hearing this, the IJN judged that 'our assertion regarding the theatre of operation was acceptable to Britain'. Thus the IJN instructed its Third Squadron to take 'immediate action to secure the route from the south of Shanghai to the north of Hong Kong and protect commerce' and instructed the captains of the cruisers Ibuki and Chikuma to head for Hong Kong and carry out joint operations with the China Squadron. The IJN also commanded the captain of the cruiser Izumo that in order to maintain security off the North American coast, which was beyond the 'limited theatre', he make Esquimault his base and 'protect the commerce of the Empire and our friends at the North American coast - Immediate action'. 13

         Furthermore, it was reported that the Admiralty directly requested Cdr. Sakurai Masakiyo, stationed as an assistant attache in London, to request the IJN to dispatch battle cruiser Ibuki and two cruisers to surround and destroy the German Eastern Squadron: 'although if [the request] were to be directed by the Foreign Ministry, I would be afraid to lose a chance otherwise.' On 19 August, Cdr. Yamanashi reported the British request for additional ships to be dispatched. This request without Foreign Office instructions was considered by Admiral Jerram, who decided 'there would be no need to ask the British government’s intention or consult with the Ambassador in Tokyo'. 14 Under such changed conditions, the IJN now determined to send one unit because of the Admiralty requests and the battleship Satsuma commanded by Rear-Admiral Matsumura Tatsuo led the 2nd Southern Squadron, comprising the second class cruisers Hirado and Yahagi. By this reorganization, the Southern squadron Asama and Kurama, Tsukuba, commanded by Yamaya Tanin, were renamed 1st Southern Squadron. These units were directed to co-operate with the Australian Squadron.

         The 1st Southern Squadron in particular was directed 'stay at the Eastern Caroline Islands as a temporary base and continue preparations until something happens at the Marshall Islands'. Responding to these instructions, Admiral Yamaya organized a combined landing party to scout the situation on Yap. He indicated: 'this activity is not to occupy enemy territory permanently. If the Germans appear, we will declare this island is under the Japanese Empire’s authority. As soon as the scouting mission finishes, we will leave the island and return to the ship by four o’clock in the afternoon'. On the morning of 29 September, the unit landed at Yap without any resistance and 'flew our flag after lowering the German national flag'. The unit declared to the German governor on the island that the island 'would be under our authority as long as the German squadron keeps appearing' and then the unit seized official documents and weapons. After lowering the naval flag, the unit went back to the ship at 3:10 p.m. 15

         However, as 'the time was ripe for consideration of the South Seas Islands under German control', on 2 October the Japanese Cabinet debated whether the South Sea Islands should be occupied temporarily or permanently. It was decided that the decision to opt for permanent occupation or not would 'be determined depending on the subsequent situation' and for the time being temporary occupation was agreed. Three days after the cabinet decision, the IJN issued instructions to the 1st and 2nd Southern Squadrons 'to occupy key locations on the islands and place a garrison there'. The garrison 'will be replaced by troops dispatched from Japan at an opportune moment.' 16

         At that time, the German Eastern Squadron was situated in the South Seas Islands area and the Emden was directed to the Indian Ocean to maximize threat and damage to Allied marine traffic. As the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston S. Churchill said, 'warships flying the Japanese flag committed themselves to escorts for most of the transportation in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean'. 17 In fact, the IJN dispatched the battleship Satsuma, cruisers Kurama, Tsukuba, Hirado, Yahagi, Nisshin, Kasuga plus two destroyers to the Southern Pacific from Canada in order to surround the German Eastern Squadron at the Admiralty’s request. The IJN also dispatched the cruisers Ibuki, Chikuma and Nishin to the Indian Ocean to deal with the Emden. Britain now had to rely totally on the IJN for the security of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and therefore had no reason or indeed power to limit the activities of the IJN.

         The RN may have been concerned that the willingness of the IJN to co-operate would evaporate if the attempts, at the outbreak of the war, to limit the IJN sphere of operations had remained in place. Churchill’s telegram of 2 October thanked 'the crucial contribution' of the IJN and reiterated an expectation of strong and continuous support. The telegram was sent under the name of the Admiralty and the RN greatly appreciated not only the main goal of the Japanese fleet in destroying Germany’s key bases in the Pacific but also the IJN’s unlimited support in areas such as searching for the enemy’s fleets, protecting commerce and providing troop escorts ships. In addition, the congratulatory telegram celebrating the victory at the Battle of the Falklands from Navy Minister Yashiro Rokuro, Churchill expressed British gratitude for IJN support that 'we finally have victory in our hands after four months of joint operations… due to the strong and continuous support by the Japanese navy. We ensured the peace in a vast area of the sea from Mozambique to South American Continent as the result of destroying the German Eastern squadron. Taking this opportunity, we as the representatives of British and Australian navies would like to express our appreciation for the unlimited and precious support by Japanese Navy.' 18

3. Occupation of the South Seas Islands

and Mistakes by UK and Australia

         The South Seas Islands were occupied by the IJN due to both an unfavorable situation for Britain at this time in the war and the strong desire and willingness of the IJN to occupy the islands. Yet it ended disappointingly since the RN adopted the strategy of reducing its naval power in the Far East. The British China Squadron lacked the ships and power to pursue the German Eastern Squadron alone. On top of that, Churchill’s operational leadership was inappropriate after the outbreak of the war. By assuming that the German Squadron would return to Tsingtao for supplies, the C-in-C China Squadron was going to carry out a plan to advance to a point that would prevent the German Squadron from returning. However, Churchill ordered to Admiral Jerram that all ships stationed in the Far East should meet at Hong Kong, just before an order was to be carried out. Therefore, the deployment off Tsingtao was cancelled and all ships gathered at Hong Kong 1,000 miles south of Tsingtao. 19

         Afterwards Jerome went into action off the River Yangtse to block supply ships from Tsingtao. But the British squadron arrived after coal and supply ships left there. Admiral von Spee therefore gained vital supplies to sustain long-term operations from more than ten supply ships. If Churchill had considered the anxieties of residents and had not ordered the concentration of ships at Hong Kong, the German squadron would not have been able to gather so many supply ships at Pagan Island and its activities would have been greatly limited according to Peter Lowe. ‘Regarding Jerram’s utilisation of his ships, Captain T G. Forthingham blamed too much emphasis on planning to attack Yap and an underestimation of the ability of German supply ships in Tsingtao to support the German Eastern Squadron thus precipitating long-term activity by the German Squadron’. 20

         As mentioned above, the dispersion of Anglo-Japanese naval units was the result of the Hong Kong concentration command by Churchill, Admiral Jerram’s misjudgment of the German Squadron leaving for the Indian Ocean, 'Destruction' as the first priority of naval strategy and the inappropriate use of their own naval units by Australia and New Zealand. These mistakes gave great freedom of action to the Germans, invalidated the limited theatre of operation of the IJN and provided the IJN with good reason to occupy Yap.

         On the other hand, the RN did not land on Yap but bombarded it on 11 August and again on 12 September since it was reported by Ambassador Greene that an Australian force would be sent there and the IJN did not have a plan of occupation. 21 The situation of Yap Island was unclear to Jerram. Although the communication facilities were destroyed, there was always a possibility that the system had been temporarily repaired and was being used. Thus, the 2nd Southern Squadron had been asked to investigate and landed temporarily when it was passing there. Having received a telegraph from Britain that the Australian force had been dispatched, the admiral Matsumura, Commander of the 2nd Southern Squadron was directed to 'complete the procedure of the transfer of the Island'. 22

         However, a mistake by Australian Minister of Defence Geroge P. Pearce altered things completely. Pearce misinterpreted the telegraph 'Yap and others' as Yap and all of other Pacific Islands under German suzerainty. He announced that the Japanese government had agreed to transfer these islands to Australia and Australian forces would be sent to occupy these islands until the end of the war.23 When he saw this newspaper report, Foreign Minister Kato informed Ambassador Inoue that it was only Yap that would be immediately transferred and that 'the British authorities should attend to instructing Australian officials to correct the misunderstanding'. 24

      Ambassador Inoue visited Foreign Secretary Edward Grey and passed on this message on the 24th. But, two days previously a telegram had arrived stating that the IJN objected to the transfer of Angaur and Yap. Therefore, the dispatch of an Australian force might cause friction between Britain and Japan. The Japanese occupation of Yap was only for military purposes and Foreign Minister Kato also agreed that the resolution of the territorial matter could be solved at the end of the war. Therefore, the decision to dispatch an Australian force should be reconsidered in order to maintain a smooth relationship between Japan and Britain, according to Greene’s telegram.25

       In addition, the RN lost two cruisers, the Monmouth and the Good Hope when Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock was defeated by the German Eastern Squadron at Coronel off the South-West American coast on 1 November. The RN now had to ask the IJN for support in order to seek out and attack German Eastern Squadron. Faced with such a difficult war situation, Churchill sent Colonial Secretary Lewis V. Harcourt a message: 'I am sure that there is no reason to make Japanese navy repulse from the Yap Island and this occupation is just military but not political. Australia may push us for this matter but I would like you to hold it down. Naval Ministry has gained the efforts by Japanese navy’s generous support and would oppose any activity that might possibly cause misgivings or unpleasant to Japanese navy. At this moment, we cannot afford to send cruisers to the Yap Islands. It is also impossible to change our current plan.' 26

        Harcourt on the 23rd and Foreign Minister Grey on 26th wrote governor-general Ronald M. Ferguson of Australia the following: co-operation between Japan and UK is mutually beneficial for both countries and the Japanese navy’s support is sincere. Occupying the German territories in the South Seas is to achieve the military goal and military consideration has to be taken seriously during the war. Sending your force to Angaur and Yap should be cancelled, as these territorial matters will be determined after the war. 27 On 6 December, Harcourt also informed Ferguson as follows: 'currently the Japanese navy’s support is indispensable for our navy which is short of strength while the Japanese government are strongly opposed since the IJN has given so much support but gained nothing. I would like you to convince other ministers to agree to give Japan the islands north of the equator since you will have the Solomon Islands and others south of the equator. 28 Thus Australia, through Defence Minister Pearce’s misunderstanding, lost not only Yap but also all the South Pacific islands north of the equator and this resulted in a great opportunity for Japan.

4. Rebellion of Indian soldiers stationed
  in Singapore

         Five days after Ambassador Greene had protested to Foreign Ministry Kato against article 5 of the '21 Demands' on China, on the afternoon the 15 February 1915, a rebellion of Indian soldiers stationed in Singapore occurred at the Alexandria Barracks. A small party of Indian soldiers (about 25) stole weapons and ammunition and attacked the prison camp where Germans were housed. They killed the commandant and officers there, stole weapons and gave them to German prisoners. Then, the soldiers (about 400) advanced into the town and some 17 White men and women were killed. In the afternoon around 5:00 p.m., this force was repulsed by a force comprising 85 soldiers of the Sultan of Johore’s private army and white volunteers, but the barracks were surrounded and attacked.

        By that time, most of the British units in Singapore had been dispatched to the European front and those left behind consisted of only 550 soldiers including the Sultan of Johore’s soldiers, while only one gunboat Cadmus was available. Under such circumstances, the Governor-General and Admiral Jerram, C-in-C China Squadron made a request to Japanese Consul Fujii Minoru and Lt.Cdr. Araki Jiro, on the staff of the British China Squadron, for volunteers and ships. Consul Fujii arranged a civilian and sent 104 volunteer soldiers on 16th. On receiving the telegram about the rebellion in Singapore, Rear-Admiral Tsuchiya Kanemitsu, C-in-C of the IJN Third Fleet, aboard the cruiser Tsushima heading for Hong Kong immediately rerouted to Singapore and also directed the cruiser Otowa, stationed to watch for escaping German merchant ship off Manila Bay, at the request of the RN, to head immediately for Singapore.

         The Otowa reached Singapore on the evening of the 17th and landed 82 marines. On the next morning, these troops, together with men from the Cadmus attacked the rebels’ base, the Alexandria Barracks. After occupying this without resistance, these units defeated the mutineers, arrested 12 Indian soldiers and passed them over to the RN authorities. As soon as the Tsushima arrived in port, a combined force from the Otowa and Tsushima comprising 156 men was landed and they carried out city patrols and provided escorts to the hospitals, the Alexandria Barracks, warehouses from17-21 February. The number of soldiers dispatched to crush the riot was 440 British soldiers (90 from the Cadmus; 200 regular soldiers and 150 volunteers plus 344 Japanese troops (including 186 volunteers ), 190 French and 42 Russian troops.

         The reliable force available immediately after the riots happened were 344 Japanese soldiers (158 from military units), the French Montcalm’s 187 men and 42 men from the Russian merchant cruiser Orel which had arrived in port the next morning. At the time the rebellion broke out, its cause was unknown. Until 600 soldiers of the 4th Infantry arrived from Rangoon, the force was small. Thus the RN was forced to rely on the IJN as the main force for the assault on the Alexandra Barracks and for escort duties after its occupation.29 The cause of the rebellion was considered to be part of a German world conspiracy. Under these circumstances, Admiral Jerram pointed out that 'the situation is very serious and inevitably a great anxiety', and IJN ships patrolled threatening areas because 'people were restless after the riot'. For all these reasons, ‘the existence of Japanese navy must have been of “Utmost Value” to Britain. 30 On 25 February, when a standing-down ceremony was held, the Governor-General praised the IJN by citing Churchill’s speech in parliament where he stated 'your fleets are "the most effective fleets" in the Pacific'.31 This incident showed clearly the extent to which British security in East Asia was dependent on the IJN at sea and on land.

5. The Dispatch of the Second Special Squadron   to the Mediterranean

         In 1916, Germany reinforced its submarine operations against commercial shipping and inflicted even greater damage. On 18 December 1916, the Admiralty again requested Japan’s Foreign Ministry to provide ships. They requested two of the four cruisers of the First Special Squadron at Singapore to be sent to Capetown and four destroyers from this same squadron to be sent to the Mediterranean. 32 This request caused 'a great deal of concern within the IJN. They were advised by the Rear-Admiral Akiyama Saneyuki that the allies needed further co-operation.' The cabinet agreed to the request with the following conditions: Japanese shipping was also being sunk and the IJN had to consider their own duty to protect themselves and therefore any further requests would be rejected. As to the destroyer unit (4 ships), there was the fear that they would be placed under British command. The cruiser and the two destroyers units must be under independent (IJN ) command.

        The decisions received cabinet approval on 10 December, but with the condition that the Japanese occupation of the South Seas Islands be approved. 33 Meanwhile three days prior to the cabinet decision, the IJN had instructed Rear-Admiral Sato Kozo. to board the cruiser Akashi and 10th and 11th destroyers units(8 destroyers) and depart for Malta on 18 February 1917, and arrived at Malta on 13 April via Colombo and Port Said. After that there was a request from King George V and the IJN sent the 15th Destroyer unit by 1 June. Thus Second Special Squadron become totally 17 ships, 1 cruiser, 12 destroyers, British made 2 destroyers and 2 sloops.

        The Second Special Squadron was based at Malta. This unit carried out on direct escort duties for the most important (troop) transport vessels of the allied armies on the Alexandria-Malta-Marseilles, the Alexandria-Taranto and the Malta-Salonika routes. They were under the British C-in-C Mediterranean who controlled transport, escorts and anti-submarine operations. There were some 348 escort trips with the total number of escorted ships reaching 788 and the number of soldiers transported was around 700,000. This unit containing the IJN ships contributed greatly to the war effort through these activities as well as saving the lives of some 7,075 people from damaged and sinking ships.34
        Country Warship Transport
 Britain    21   623
 France    0   100
    Italy    0    18
 Others    0    26
Fig.1: Number of Allied Ships Escorted by Japanese 2nd Special Squadron

         In the Mediterranean, there were anti-submarine ships from UK, France, Italy, Japan and USA. The report by the C-in-C Mediterranean, G. C. Dickens, to the Admiralty described the Italian navy as 'inefficient and incapable of anti-submarine in terms of offence and defence. The Italians limited themselves to defence off their own coast. Therefore we cannot rely on its support.' The French navy, he said, had a positive attitude but a problem with its organization. Hence, its operations could not be trusted and lacked military common sense. The Japanese navy was wonderful but small whilst the Greek navy was not taken into account. The US Navy was active from Gibraltar to the Atlantic and so not available. 35 Although escort duty was the main task for the IJN, the contribution may have been exaggerated since the size of the units was small and not one submarine was sunk. Nevertheless, the IJN escorted 100,000 soldiers from Alexandria to Marseilles between mid-April and mid-June 1918 and also escorted Allied troops from Egypt to Salonika at the end of September.

        These efforts may well have had a considerable influence on easing the tense military situation of the Allied armies at the time. 36 The following was reported to the Admiralty by Rear-Admiral George A. Ballard, Commodore of the Malta naval base: we often have conflicts with French and Italian navies about the policy of operation. But Commander Sato always responds to our requests so that there is no problem between the Japanese navy and us, which is satisfying. The support of Japanese fleets is precious. The net working rate of French navy is low comparing to British while the Italian Navy is much lower than French. But the Japanese navy is different. The C-in-C Mediterranean, G. C. Dickens, reported: 'Commander Sato always prepares his fleets to respond to my request and his officers always practice their duty perfectly. … Needless to say, Japanese ships are wonderful.' 37 The active duty rate (days at sea) for ships (the number of actions/30days as one month) of Allied destroyers reached a maximum of 60 per cent for the RN, 45 per cent for France and Italy, but the IJN units were at sea reached 72 per cent.

         The number of days at sea reached 25-26 days per month and the cruise average was 6,000 miles per month. These events were noted in the official naval war history that when lightning hit the Transylvania, 'in spite of the danger from the lightning they (IJN) performed courageously' and saved 3,000 of the 3,600 passengers and crew. When lighting struck the Multin, 'the unit saved all but one of the 664 people on board because of their skilful operation.' The Times evaluated most highly the IJN ships’ speedy and courageous actions and concern: 'Speedy arrival and seamanlike handling' and 'Good seamanship and the greatest rapidity of action'. 38 The activity of these IJN ships stationed in the Mediterranean had a significant influence on the fighting as a member of the Allied militaries.

         When Japan had received the request to dispatch ships to the Mediterranean, they demanded that Britain guarantee to support the Japanese occupation of Shantung and the South Sea Islands at the peace conference: 'the previous cabinet limited the theatre of operations of our navy so that we refused to dispatch ships. In consideration of this the present cabinet needs a strong case to back a decision (to dispatch).' In these negotiations, Ambassador Chinda Sutemi 'implied that the issue of the dispatch will result in a deadlock' without this guarantee. Japan then obtained a guarantee from Britain which would provide 'support for the request that Japan submit regarding to Shantung and Islands of German territories north of the equator.' 39 The strong desire to occupy German Pacific Islands therefore influenced the decision to dispatch IJN ships to the Mediterranean.

6. Anti-Japanese Criticism by Britain

         To borrow the words of the Genro(Elder stateman), Inoue Kaoru, 'the First World War was a miracle for the development and fortune of Japan in the new Taisho era'. However, in Britain there was great distrust and dissatisfaction regarding Japan’s role in the war. Japan was perceived as having hesitated to co-operate and seemingly demanding reward for such requests despite being an ally. Captain Edward H. Rymer RN noted this dissatisfaction in his report on 'The present situation of Japan' as follows:40 Japanese politicians claim that the alliance between Japan and UK is 'the Keystone' of Japanese diplomacy. But Japanese basic rules for this war are, first of all, pursuing the most economical benefit, and next considering international relations after the war. That is to not cause strong anti-Japanese feelings in Germany.

         Thus, support for the allies would be made minimally. These two rules control every activity by Japan. Although pro-German feelings are too much, it is because Japanese leading academics, doctors and lawyers learned from Germany and Japanese military was modeled on German military. Especially, the defeat of the German military would devalue the evaluation of Japanese military and this would be unpleasant. But, why have Japanese applied German customs and methods? That is because Japanese consider that applying German methods is the most convenient way to make money. Hence, it is a mistake that Japanese are pro-German. Every Japanese is an absolute Japanophile - an egoist who thinks about only himself and has no feeling of sacrificing himself for other countries.

         Japan does not accept the request of dispatching fleets because dispatch would affect trading and lose benefit. Dispatch is against the first rule that is to pursue the maximum benefit. Japanese are not interested in us pointing out that Japan is not an undeveloped country in East Asia but has a lot of responsibilities as a member of the western camp. If we strongly suggest how Britain should support Japan, what Japan should do as an ally, and that Japan should have an obligation as an ally, Japan would desert us. If Britain concedes and begs for their support, the wise Japanese would become complacent inwardly with doing well or the ignorant Japanese would simply increase his confidence and escalate his demand……Japan was spellbound by money and blinded by the dream of being the leader in the Pacific.

         In addition to this the British government received many anti-Japanese criticisms and complaints not only from Ambassadors in Japan and China but also residents there (especially traders). There were numerous complaints of Japanese interference and limits placed on British traders resident in China, pro-German speeches by high ranking government officials, Japanese academics and journalists supporting Indian independence activists, and entry and trading limitations in the South Seas Islands. According to Ambassador Greene, who spent four years in Japan during the war and dealt with four Japanese Foreign Ministers (Kato Takaaki, Honno Ichiro, Goto Shunpei and Ishii Kikujiro), all adopted the same style of response to British requests for co-operation. Namely, they either rejected the requests immediately, rejected by saying that they would answer later or waited for time to run out by saying that they have not yet considered and thus reject.41 The collection of British formal complaints toward such Japanese attitudes might best be shown by the ‘Memorandum on Anglo-Japanese Relations’ distributed at the Imperial Conference held in March 1917 one year before the end of the war. The memorandum noted the following:42

          The Japanese possess fanatic loves of the nation, national aggression and individualistic brutality and is full of deception. Japan is an aggressor nation by nature. The Japanese believe that they have a great political potential in the future. They were taught the idea of superiority and that they are more superior race than any other races such as the yellow-skinned race and the brown race. And, they consider it a moral obligation that they force their own culture upon neighbouring countries. Is there any room for harmonizing such Japanese aggressive ambition and British appropriate demand? Japan and Britain are so far apart in terms of morality. As long as British ideals and Japanese ambition are different, it is impossible to build a common foundation between the two countries. As Japanese education, commerce, organisation and rules have followed the German system, consequently Japanese characteristics mirror the German-style. It is not an exaggeration that Japan will become the Eastern version of Prussia.

          It has been said that Japan has to expand. That is true. However, why doesn’t Japan develop Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria and Sakhalin? These districts should absorb the increasing population of Japan. Regarding resources, Japan’s political aims in part involves the fall of the British Empire so that there is no common purpose of co-operation between Japan and Britain. If we cannot approve of such Japanese ambition, we must determine that the time will come to stop Japanese ambition by military force. The Alliance between Japan and Britain is built on sand. Sooner or later, it is necessary to determine whether to take action to stop expansion of Japan and become the faithful nation that took an honourable and moderate course for the world, or whether to take action against Japan by basically considering it as the eastern version of Prussia. This alliance is the result of two racially and culturally different counties bound by the fragile paper of a written provision.

7. The Japanese Responses and the Background

        As Captain Rymer pointed out, the Japanese constitution was modelled on the German and many Germans were invited to visit Japan. Also a great number of Japanese who studied in Germany occupied important positions in government. In addition, the IJA, which had great influence on domestic politics, was modelled on the German system and had an underlying pro-German feeling as well as an admiration for the German system. On top of all this there was, semi-officially, a strong admiration for the German ability to put up such a good fight against the Allied armies. In addition to this pro-German feeling, there was an ongoing controversy over the Anglo-Japanese Alliance amongst Japanese leaders where the national interests of Japan were clearly in conflict with those of Britain.

         The Anglo-Japanese Alliance had been a pivotal element in Japanese foreign policy since the Russo-Japanese War. However, in 1907 a trade agreement was concluded with Russia, originally a target of the Alliance. This caused a rift between Japan and Russia on the one hand and Britain and the USA over the Chinai Railway. In 1911, the third Anglo-Japanese revised agreement specifically excluded the USA. Japan had opposed Britain over the demand for guarantees regarding the occupation of the Kuanwai railway during the 1911 revolution. The pursuit of advantage in China led to serious antagonism between Japan and Britain. Therefore there was a movement to discard the alliance because of a growing distrust in its feasibility.

         The Anglo-Japanese Alliance had, as one of its aims, to maintain common benefits on China by protecting the independence and the territory of the Qing dynasty and equal commercial opportunities for the Allies. Yet when British attention was distracted away from China after the outbreak of the war, Japan certainly strengthened its foundations for business in China. There were only 966 offices of Japanese trading companies prior to the outbreak of the war, but the number had increased to 4,483 in 1918 when the war ended.43 When Britain protested and challenged such an aggressive expansion into China by the Japanese, they in turn protested that Britain had 'no obligation to support' Japan in the event of a US-Japan war whilst Japan had an obligation to protect India. As the Alliance increasingly was viewed as of 'small benefit for Japan but a great benefit for UK',44 arguments concerning revision or abrogation of the Alliance increasingly appeared in public in Japan.

        Ultranationalist movements such as the Genyosha and Kokuryukai had emerged at the time of Japanese modernisation. Such nationalist feelings were influenced by race-related and independence-related activities of Asian peoples triggered by the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Opposed to the invasion of Asia by the Western powers, this Japanese nationalism developed a new principle that Asian races should help each other against the White races. Especially as Germany supported the Guadal party (the independence group) financially in order to cause confusion in India, the Indian independence group became very active. In 1915, July Indian Independence hard-liners Bhagwan Singh and Raj Bihari Bose defected to Japan as Britain tightened controls in India.

        When the British government requested extraditing these activists, the Japanese government nearly agreed. But Inukai Tsuyoshi(Kokumin-to), Tokonami Takejiro (Seiyukai), Terao Toru(Professor of Tokyo University), Oyama Mituru(Genyosha), Uchida Ryouhei(Kokuryukai), Okawa Shumei(India researcher), journalists from the Asahi, Yamato and Kokumin newspapers and so forth sympathised with the Indian activists and protected them.45 The Yamato newspaper criticised the government, stating that there was no clause concerning the transfer of criminals within the Alliance agreement. Even if the government had ordered these activists to be deported there would be only five days to leave and there were only steamer services to Shanghai and Hong Kong during this time. Hence, a deportation order whilst 'formally expelling' them was actually the transportation of criminals and 'expelling foreigners for such hollow reasoning is a disgrace to national dignity and national sovereignty'. In addition, the Yamato newspaper interviewed these Indians and reported that the IJN had supported the suppression of the Indian revolt at Singapore: 'the Japanese dispatched to the units stated they had never dreamed of firing on rioting soldiers'. Such actions, the newspaper reported, would have a 'serious detrimental influence’ on 100 million Indians and their feelings toward Japan afterwards. 'Japanese citizens should keep this in mind'. 46

        Meanwhile, the Indian Taraknath Das asserted that China, Japan and India join together in a united Eastern peoples and needed to prepare for coping with Western colonisation and 'race competition in the future'. Although Japan had alliances with European countries, Professor Fang Chun-zong at St. John University in Shanghai questioned whether Japan would still manage to continue the alliance. He asserted that the alliance between Japan and European countries was a mistake and Japan should act for Asia with Asians. The issue of racial discrimination in USA and Australia touched off this assertion which was increasingly welcomed in Japan. These assertions above dealt with the argument: 'Japan alone fighting against the Great Powers of Europe would lead to its extinction. However, it is impossible for Japan to gain a real friend (ally) in Europe. Consequently, it is natural for Japan to seek its real friend in Asia.'47 This Asian principle of acting 'with Asians' increasingly separated Japan and made Japan more passive in its support for Britain.

         Although there were numerous British criticisms of Japanese co-operation with Britain during the war, I should like to evaluate this by reference to 'Memorandum on Anglo-Japanese Relations' at the 1917 Imperial Conference mentioned above. This report was distributed at the conference and shows the overall evaluation from a British perspective of the Japanese contribution during the war times.

1) Benefits Japan gained from the Anglo-Japanese Alliance

*Secured the German right to the Shantung Peninsula and the German-held South Seas Islands north
of the equator.
*Acquired the transfer of the Northern China railway and the fishery rights along the coast of Russia.
  Gained some privileges from the agreement between Russia and Japan but weakened the Anglo-
 Japanese Alliance.
*Acquired the right for Japanese doctors to provide medical treatment in the Malay Peninsula.
*Gained significant benefits from exporting weapons and ammunition to the Allies.
*Accelerated industrial development.
*Ensured the Japanese economic position by increasing exports towards India, Australia, South Africa    and Thailand while European countries were too involved in the war.
*Gained 'a free hand' in China by supporting the southern military clique in China.

2) Unfaithful actions as an ally
*Protected Indian independent activists in Japan and failed to co-operate with British investigations.
*Took no appropriate measures to stop German commercial activities until the end of 1916.
*Did not make any effort to reduce trading with Germany through neutral nations.
*Did not restrain the protest against the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and created a negative influence on
 neutral nations.
*Totally ignored the need to secure the raw materials Britain needed and furthermore demanded from
  Britain repeatedly war supplies such as iron and gold.
*Did not co-operate with British attempts to limit the import of unnecessary supplies but obstructed
  these efforts.
*Made great efforts to weaken the British position in China and succeeded.

3) Contributions as an Ally
*Occupied Tsingtao and destroyed the German base in the Far East.
*Occupied the German South Seas Islands and destroyed German support bases.
*Carried out joint operations such as escorting ANZAC troops to Europe as well as helping to seek out  and attack and destroy the German Eastern Squadron.
*Sent two cruisers to the Indian Ocean and a destroyer to Singapore.Later agreed to dispatch two  
 cruisers to Capetown and 1 cruisers and 12 destroyers were sent to the Mediterranean Sea.
*Supplied weapons and ammunition to Allied countries, especially Russia.
*Accepted government bonds from Britain and Russia, (later France).
*Escorted gold from Vladivostock to Canada twice (note: additional two escorts followed).Foreign

         Secretary Sir Arthur J.Balfour, when asked in the USA his views on the Alliance, recalled 'there were almost no cases where Japan did not co-operate with British requests. Again, Foreign Secretary Grey evaluated the actions of Japan during the war as follows: 'during the last year that I served as Foreign Secretary Japan was always fair in her obligations as an ally and in sharing the benefits. The Japanese government and Ambassadors stationed in UK were honourable and faithful allies.' The First World War was 'a great opportunity' for Japan to expand its territories. 'If there were any European country like Japan which had surplus population and if they needed territories, it is doubtful that they (the European countries) would have managed to control themselves in the face of such an immediate opportunity as Japan did.'48

        However, Britain believed that the immature nature of Japanese journalism, which reported carelessly and sensationally and instigated anti-British feelings, was actually controlled by the Japanese government. Thus, as described above, Britain always suspected the Japanese were not keeping faith with them. In addition, Japan continued to pursue its own national interests such as territorial rights and territorial expansion. Japan at that time was also affected by the active psychological game being played by the Germans who hoped to make Japan desert the Allies. In the self-governing dominions of the Allied countries, in the USA and in the UK, there was racial discrimination towards the Japanese. The Dominions refused to sign the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation. There was also the incident when the cruiser Yahagi was fired from a coastal fort when entering Freemantle after her patrol duties.49 Under such circumstances Japan’s responses were not necessarily unfaithful as Foreign Secretary Grey pointed out.

        Certainly Japan repeatedly claimed the possession of the German Pacific Islands and obtained it. But Britain and her dominions got not only African German colony, but also the Pacific Islands south of the equator, New Guinea, New Britain, Solomon Island and Samoa. While, Japan got only the North of German Pacific Islands which are just ‘a peace of bread waste’ for Japan.While during the War, IJN established sea control of the Pacific and Indian Ocean completely, and without Japanese assistance, Great Britain would have lost control of the Pacific and Indian sea line of communication. In the Mediterranean, at peak strength in 1917, the Japanese flotilla numbered seventeen warships. But after the war, why did British and Allies so quickly forgot Japan’s assistance, and why Western naval history neglect this Japanese contribution to the allies.

        The most obvious reason was the situation in the Pacific after the War. After the War, The German threat to Britain’s Far East possessions eliminated and the nascent Soviet Union no longer threatening India, "The common enemy" disappeared and Japan became Britain’ “Most likely enemy in future conflict”.50 Hostile views of Japan prevailed during the war by German propaganda of racial animosity of anti-Japanese did not diminish during the struggle, despite Japan’s assistance. Beside racial prejudice, naval rival animosity of Royal Navy and United States navy were quickly re-emerged. In the Mediterranean while escorting British troops, Japanese destroyers were not leased the submarine detection device, and Japanese liaison officer’s were not allowed to handle with crypt intelligence fields.

         In Australia, Japanese devotions and services were denied by the First Naval  Member and report of the ‘Misleading Reference to Japanese Naval Action in the Pacific Ocean during the War was submitted to Prime Minister William M Hughes.51 Thus Japanese assistance are quickly and completely disappeared from the western naval history after the war. Then at the peace conference, the clause for abolishing racial discrimination was rejected because of opposition from British dominion of Canada and Australia. The unfavorable Japanese naval ratio compelled by an apparent conspiracy by the U.S and British at the Washington conference, the fortification of Singapore immediately after the cancellation of the Alliance developed an image of “ungrateful Britain” to the Japanese people.52 The reason for these aggravated anti-British feeling is explained by the Japanese navy as follows53

       Until World War I, Britain took full advantage of its relationship with Japan, fully employing Japan’s military strength and goodwill at all times, including the period of Imperial Russia’s aggression to China, restraining of the Indian independence movement, blocking China’s anti-foreign activities, and protection of its dominions after it concentrated its fleets in the North Sea. Once peace resumed, however, its attitude suddenly changed and Britain refused to give Japan even the slightest concessions .This led to the Japanese isolation at the Washington conference. The return of Shantung, the annulment of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, the conclusion of the Nine Power Treaty, and eventually to all-out suppression of Japanese trade.” Thus, both Japan and Britain walked on separate pass for collision course to the disaster.

1 Rikugun Sanbo Honbu ed., Hi Taisho 3 Nen Nichidoku Senshi(Secret History of German-Japanese
  War of 1914), 2 vol. (Rikugun Sanbo Honbu,1916), vol.1, p.81, p.332 and p.472.
2 Rikugun Sanbo Honbu ed., Taisho 3 Nen Seneki Shoken Shu(Collection of the Reports and
  Observations on War of 1914)(Rikugun Sanbo Honbu,1915), p102, NIDS.
3 Doc.No.345, Abstracted of News Paper(August 1918), FO.371-3816, PRO.
4 Sakano Junji, ed, Takarabe Nitsuki Kaigun Jikan Jidai(Diary of Takarabe:Navy Vice Minister Era)“,  
 2vol (Yamakawa Shutsupan, 1983), vol.2, p.374, Capt.,Yosida Seifu, Dai 1 & Dai 2 Kantai Senji
  Nitsuki(War Diary of First and Second Fleet), NIDS.
5 Osaka Asahi Shinbunsha ed., Chintao Senki Hokushin Kansenki(Boxer’s Rebellion and Capture of
  Tsingtao) (Senki Meicho Kankokai, 1930) , p.32.
6 Letter from Capt. Rymer to Admiral Yashiro, Nichiei Kaigun Kosho Tuzuri:Taisho 3-6 Nen (Document
  File of Anglo-Japanese Naval Negotiation File of 1914 to 17; hereafter cited as Kosho Tuzuri), NIDS .
7 Julian S.Corbett, History of the Great War: Naval Operations (Lonndon: Longmans, Green and Co.),
  vol.I, p.279.
8 Jhon T.Pratt, War and Politics in China(London;Jonahan Cape Ltd.,1942), p.137, Ian H.Nish, Alliance in
  Decline:A study in Anglo-Japanese Relation 1908-1923 (London:The Athlone Press, 1972), p.132,
9 Kaigun Gunrebu ed., Kimitsu Taisho 3-4 Nen Seneki Kaigun Senshi ( Top Secret Naval Operation of
  1914 to 15(hereafter cited as Kaigun Senshi)(Kaigun Gunreibu, 1919), vol.1, p.257.
10 Ibid., pp. 400-01.
11 Gaimusho ed., Nihon Gaiko Bunsho Taisho 3 Nen, vol.3 (hearafter NGB Taisho 3-3), (Gaimusho,
   1966), p.147
12 NGB Taisho 3- 3, p.147, p.167.
13 Kaigun Senshi 3-4 Nen, vol.1, pp.241-243,258-259.
14 Ibid., p.438, p.452.
15 Ibid., pp.286-88.
16 Ibid., p.320, also refer to Vol.5, pp.141-230.
17 Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis 1911-1914(London:Thornton Butterworth Ltd., 1923), vol.III,
18 Message from Churchill to Yashiro’17 October 1914, Kosho Tuzuri, p.60, Maritin Gilbert, ed.,
  Winston S. Churchill: Documents July 1914-December 1916 (London: William Heinenman Ltd,1975),
  vol., 3, Part 1, pp. 247-8, 301-2.
19 Corbett, op.cit., pp.146-47.
20 Peter Lowe, Great Britain and Japan, 1911-1915;A Study of British Far Eastern Policy
  (London:Macmilan, 1969), p.176, Thomas G. Forthingham, The nval History of the World War,
  Ofenssive Operations 1914-15(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925), pp.96-8
21 Greene to Kato(12 October 1914), Ann Trotter, ed., British Documents on Foreign Affairs:Reports
   and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, Part 3: From the First to the Second World
   War Series E, Asia, 1914-1939, Japan August 1914-1915 (hereafter cited as BDFA)(University
   Publications of America, 1991), (Hereafter BDFA III-1), p.84, Ibid., NGB Taisho 3-.3., p.668, Telegram
   from Naval Office Melbourne(25 November 1914), Ibid, Kosho Tuzuri.
22 Kaigun Senshi, vol.1, pp.498-499.
23 Ibid., NGB Taisho 3-3, p.670,
24 Ibid., Gaigun Senshi 3-4 Nen, vol.1, pp.498-99.
25 Ibid, NGB Taisho, 3-3, p.672, Doc.(74103), Greene to Grey(21 November 1914), G1: Governor’s
   Records, N18: NZA.
26 Churchill to Harcourt(18 October 1914), Maritin, op.cit.,vol.3, part 1, p.203.
27 Doc.330, Doc.329, BDFA II-1, p.136, Telegram Sir Edward Grey(25 November 1914), Ibid., Kankei
28 Harcourt to Ferguson(6 December 1914), Nova Papers , No.4, ANA.
29 NGB Taisho 4-3, Ge, pp.1194-1205, Kaigun-Senshi 3-4 Nen, vol., 4, pp.380-388, “Indohei no Bodo
   ni Kanshi Houkoku(Report on Indian rebellion)” Taisho 4-Nen Kobun Biko(Official Documents of
   Supplement 1915), vol.116, refer also Jerrame Papers General Letter No.36, Jerram to Admiralty
   (27 February 1915), NMM.
30 Letter Greene to Kato, Kankei Tuzuri, NIDS.
31 Op. cit. ‘Indohei no Bodo ni kanshi Hokoku’ p.1202.
32 Doc.No.96, No.102, NGB Taisho 6 Nen, vol.3, p.99, Doc.No. 217, Greene to Balfour(27 January
   1917), BDFA vol.II, Part 2, p.196.
33 Kaigun-Senshi Furoku Kmitu Hokan (Top Secret Supplementary File of the Naval Operation),
34 Kaigun Senshi 4-9 Nen,vol.2, pp.288-313, Dai2 Tokumu Kantai Seiribu ed. Nihon Kaigun Chichukai
   Enseiki(Dai2 Tokumu Kantai, 1919), Also refer, Yoichi Hirama, ”Rising Sun in the Mediterranean:The
   Second Special Squadron,1917-1918,”Ufficio Storico Della Marina Maritare, ed. The Mediterranean
   as an Element of Maritime Power(Roma;Commissione Italiana di Storia Militare,1998), pp.39-54.
35 G.C.Dickson to K.G.B.Dewer(9 May 1917), Paul G.Helpern,ed.,The Royal Navy in the Mediterranean
   ,1915-1918 (London: Temple Smith,1987),p.469.
36 Kaigun Senshi 4-9 vol.,2, p.314.
37 Ballard to Admiralty (21 August 1917), Calthorpe to Admirality(28 October, 1917), op.cit., Halpern,
   p.282, 290.
38 Enseiki, op. cit., pp.239-40, The Times ed., The Times History of the War(London; Times Publishing
   Co.,1916), vol.XVIII, p.458.
39 NGB, 6-3, p.106, Greene to Grey(17 January 1917), ADM116 Box 1702, FO.371-2950, PRO.
40 Doc.(XC3347), Japan at War 1914-191- (British Embassy Tokyo, 21 February 1918), FO371-3233,
41 Doc(No.33087),British Embassy Tokyo(21 Feburary 1918),FO.371-3233.
42 Doc.242, Memorandum on Anglo-Japanese Relations(Written for the Imperial Conference(March
   1916), BDFA II Part 2, pp.218-227.
43 Towa Kenkyusho, ed., Nihon no Taisi Toshi(Japanese Investment to China) (Towa Kenkyusho, 1927),
44 “Nichiei Domei o Kaitei Subesi(Revise Anglo-Japanese Alliance)”, Dai Nihon, vol.3, No.2, 1914
45 Refer to Soma Kuromitsu, Ras Bibar Bose(Takeuchi Takashi, ed.,Gendai Nihon Sisoshi Ajia Shugi
  (Modern Japanese History of Philosphy:Asianism(Chikuma Shobo,1963).
46 Yamato Shinbun(29 & 30 November 1915).
47 Indo-Jin Dasu ni Kansuru ken(Issue on Indian Das), Shinbun, Zatsushi, Torisimari Zatsuken Indo-Jin
  Torisimari no Ken(Control of News paper and Magazine: The Indian activities), Japanese Diplomatic
48 Viscount Edward Grey, Twenty-five Years, 1892-1916(London:Hodder & Stoughton, 1925), vol.3,
   pp.33-34, Nish, op.cit., p.262.
49 Kaigun Senshi 3-4 Nen,vol.2,pp.56-57,Yahagi Senji Nitsushi(Yahagi War Dairy),NIDS.
50 Report on the Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa on Naval Mission of New Zealand, vol. III The Naval
   Situation in the Far Eastern Waters, N1-104, NZNA.
51 Memorandum prepared by the First Naval Member for the Acting Priminister(June 1919), A2219
  vol.10, ANA
52 Ito Masanori, Sotei Tekikoku(Hypthesis Enemy)(Sasaki-Shutsupan, 1926), pp.296-7.
53 IJN Intelligence Devision,”Why anti-British feeling becomes strong in Japan”, Okubo Tatsumasa,ed.,
   Showa Shakai Keizaishi(History of Social-Economical :Showa Period) (Daito Bunka Daigaku, 1989),
   vol., 5, p.133.
All these details, refer to my Dai 1ji Sekaitaisen to Nihon kaigun(World War I and Japanese Navy(Keio University Press, 1998).