The Anglo-Japanese Alliance 1902-1952
J.D. Hargreaves reviews the delicate truce that existed between Britain and Japan in the early years of the twentieth century.
Two striking features distinguished the alliance with Japan, concluded by Great Britain on January 30th, 1902; originally pointed out by. Mr. Henry Norman in the House of Commons on February 13th, 1902, they have been frequently emphasized by. historians since. It was the first time that a British government had admitted the need for a peace-time military alliance, such as had become almost obligatory for European powers; and it was the first agreement of the kind between a European and an Asiatic power. Both observations were true; and both have been laden with more significance than they will bear. The really decisive turns, in British foreign policy as well as in relations between East and West, were still to be taken. Fifty years later, the alliance is best seen as an expedient to which the British government had been driven by their isolated position in Europe; an attempt to defend imperilled interests in the Far East without forfeiting freedom of action elsewhere.