Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Alliance
The Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Alliance, the first between a European country and an Asiatic power against a Western rival, was signed on 30 January 1902.
The 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, a high-minded aristocrat of legendary charm, was foreign secretary in the crucial years after 1900 which saw the British government abandon the policy of ‘splendid isolation’. The first product of this dubious change of direction was the treaty with Japan, negotiated in leisurely style during 1901 by Lansdowne and the Japanese ambassador in London, Hayashi Tadasu. Westernisation and industrialisation in Japan after the restoration of the Meiji emperor in 1868 had made Japan the major native power in the Far East and in Britain the Japanese were respected as a decent, orderly, efficient, reliable nation – in marked contrast to the Chinese.