Treaty of the Month: what historic international treaty has amused me this month?


Japanese Lithograph of the Siege of Tsingtao
This Month: The Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902

Who, When and Where:

The first Anglo-Japanese Alliance was signed in London at what is now the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair (then a private residence), on January 30, 1902, by Lord Lansdowne (British foreign secretary) and Hayashi Tadasu (Japanese minister in London). It was a significant diplomatic milestone in that it marked a clear ending of Britain's splendid isolation, the alliance was renewed and extended in scope twice, in 1905 and 1911, before its demise in 1921. It was officially terminated in 1923.

Effects:

Original Document, Japanese Archives
The alliance was announced on February 12, 1902, in response, Russia sought to form alliances with France and Germany, which Germany declined. On March 16, 1902, a mutual pact was signed between France and Russia. China and the United States were strongly opposed to the alliance, nevertheless, the nature of the Anglo-Japanese alliance meant that France was unable to come to Russia's aid in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 as this would have almost certainly meant going to war with Britain.
The alliance's provisions for mutual defense was a prime factor in prompting Japan to enter World War I on the British side. Japanese officers aboard British warships were casualties at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and in 1917 Japanese warships were sent to the Mediterranean and assisted in the protection of allied shipping near Malta from U-boat attacks; there is a memorial there to the Japanese sailors who were killed. The Treaty also made possible the Japanese seizure of German possessions in the Pacific north of the equator during WWI, a huge boon to Japan's imperial interests.

Why has it amused me:

When Japan entered the First World War on the side of the allies,  one of the first offensives undertaken by Japan was the attach on the German naval base at Tsingtao on the eastern coast of China in 1914, the first joint Anglo-Japanese operation of the war, they forced the Germans to surrender after 7 days of fighting.  The Japanese then proceeded to occupy Tsingtao and it's now famous (German Built) Tsingtao Brewery, the brewers of my favourite imported beer.