Talk:Anglo–Japanese Alliance

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Article expanded[edit]

I've expanded this article quite a lot, so I'm going to ask for it to be reviewed. Hope you like it! Rupa zero (talk) 15:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Context for ending the alliance?[edit]

I'd like to see more about the reasons the alliance ended. You bring up legitimate geopolitical factors, but I wonder about the senior-junior (sempai-kohai) relationship that existed to some extent, certain in the way the IJN picked up RN customs. My intuition is that a good deal of emotion was involved besides the political. Rising Japanese nationalism, and the perception of racial discrimination, played against the sort of long-term relationship important in Japanese culture. Is this completely outside your scope? Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:19, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Wow, thanks for the quick feedback! I don't think I can find an extensive source on that particular topic (I can ask a supervisor about it when term starts again, just in case) but I might be able to say a little more about the issue of pride as there were passing references to that in the source material I used. Until I find another source I don't think I can put it in terms of a senpai-kohai dynamic as I've never read anything that contextualised it in that fashion - although I do find your point interesting. What I can add is a point on Japan's drive to be on an equal footing with other colonial powers - the alliance was at first a step towards that goal and later a restraining factor. Rupa zero (talk) 13:25, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't have extensive references where I am. There's a Yamamoto biography, IIRC The Reluctant Admiral by Hiroyuki Agawa, which will give a lot of background. Hunt around about the Washington Naval Conference. Bergamini's Japan's Imperial Conspiracy might be useful.
It's not unimportant, I believe, to look at some of the customs Japan copied from the Royal Navy. IIRC, on major vessels, they served some meals in Japanese style, but others with English place settings. I've heard that Japanese captains, before working with the British, were less emphatic on going down with their ships. There's a lot of psychological content here.

Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 15:39, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

That Japan acted as any other Great Power on the rise doesn't require any more explanation outside the geo-political and is certainly not bias or inaccurate. The alliance represented conditions in 1902 that no longer existed even after the Russo-Japanese War let alone after Germany and Russia no longer played any serious role in the Balance of Power in China after WW1. Japan did not need Britain to tie down France so it could counter Russia, and Britain no longer needed Japan to counter Russian ambitions in China. That was the geo-political reality that alliances and the Balance of Power are built on and that which Great Powers make their calculations and decisions upon.

It's not really important to that section of the article that Japan used the best Navy in the world at the time as a model and source of advisors. It did the same with Germany after the Franco-Prussian War for its army (before that it was France). It may be relevant to an article on broader Anglo-Japanese relations or cultural exchanges, but not to this part of a diplomatic history of an alliance.

The alliance was replaced with a treaty that incorporated all the East Asian Great Powers and the new Balance and conditions that existed at that time, not the ones that existed in 1902. Later on, and outside the scope of this article, Japan felt it could overthrow the Balance of Power and knock Britain and the USA out of East Asia, and claim China all for itself. It couldn't, after WW2 Britain and Japan ceased to be East Asian Powers (what remained of French power ended after the First Indo-Chinese War), and the USSR (Russia) and the USA were left in the Cold War before the Sino-Soviet split broke the East Asian duopoly.

In short after WW1 the alliance was anachronistic and no longer served British or Japanese interests, neither were threatened by Russia anymore, and Japan had larger ambitions in China that could not be fulfilled by the alliance or the treaty that replaced it. Japan was recognised as a Great Power by the Russo-Japanese War, the alliance and the treaty that succeeded it, though none could satisfy Japan's later ambitions. The article as is does an excellent job of explaining this, the disputed/neutrality tag should go. 58.173.49.252 (talk) 04:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


Keeping the French Navy out of the Russo-Japanese War[edit]

I think the article needs more explanation as to the value of the alliance in keeping the French out of any war between Russia and Japan. To an uninformed reader it is not apparent why this would have meant very much in Japanese calculations or the Russo-Japanese war.

The article should flesh out more background on the Balance of Power in East Asia at the time, particularly the role of the French Navy in East Asia and Indo-China, and how by getting the British to tie the French down with the "at war with two powers" formula, it swung the naval Balance of Power in East Asia in Japan's favour (though it was not until after the results of the Russo-Japanese war that any power other than Japan realised by how much).

It's one of the best history articles I've read on wikipedia btw, very informative, accurate and concise. 58.173.49.252 (talk) 03:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Breaking the Splendid Isolation and Germany's silent role[edit]

Another addition to the article is Germany's silent role in Britain breaking its splendid isolation and forming the alliance. Germany (who also had interests in China) refused to play the role of checking Russian encroachment in China. Germany's Chinese interests were outweighed by its European ones, it would not fight a war at home against Russia, who would be joined by France, for the sake of largely British interests in China. So the British turned to Japan to play the role and turn the Balance of Power in East Asia against Russia. 58.173.49.252 (talk) 04:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Ending of the Boer War[edit]

Another small addition is the ending of the Boer War, which freed up the British Navy previously occupied in Southern Africa and enabled them to counter the French Navy in Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean against any move on Egypt, giving Britain the ability to sign and fulfil the terms of the alliance should the at war with two powers eventuate. During the Boer War any alliance was effectively impossible because the British were not confident they could have defeated the French and Russian Navies without endangering at least some of its empire/interests whilst occupied in Africa. 58.173.49.252 (talk) 04:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Countering Russia in Context - The Great Game[edit]

The article could flesh out Britain's interests in countering Russia by placing it into the context of Russia threatening Britain's interests all over Asia and the Near East. Britain had interests in the Straights (Ottoman Empire), Persia, Afghanistan/India and China that Russia also had ambitions on. Using Japan to counter Russian ambitions in East Asia was part of a global British policy of countering Russia since the Crimean War, i.e. the Great Game. 58.173.49.252 (talk) 04:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

This is about tag cleanup. As all of the tags are more than a year old, there is no current discussion relating to them, and there is a great deal of editing done since the tags were placed, or perhaps there is a consensus on the discussion page, they will be removed. This is not a judgement of content. If there is cause to re-tag, then that of course may be done, with the necessary posting of a discussion as to why, and what improvements could be made. This is only an effort to clean out old tags, and permit them to be updated with current issues if warranted.Jjdon (talk) 20:23, 30 April 2008 (UTC)



I am new to major editing and I cannot for the life of me figure out how the hell to properly format citation/reference/footnotes after about an hour of frustrating labor.

Perhpas someone else will kindly format my "CITATION" for Articles 1-6 of the 1902 treaty, which is now in the atricle text immediately following text of Article 6.

I may later get to including full text of the 1905 treaty.

This entry could also use much more expansion by someone more familiar with the subject than me. --NCDane (talk) 15:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)