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Japan are the only powers which are just now in a position to act in Siberia in sufficient force to accomplish even such modest objects as those that have been outlined. The Government of the United States has, therefore, proposed to the Government of Japan that each of the two Governments send a force of a few thousand men to Vladivostok, with the purpose of co-operating as a single force in the occupation of Vladivostok and in safeguarding, so far as it may, the country to the rear of the westward-moving Czecho-Slovaks; and the Japanese Government has consented.

In taking this action, the Government of the United States wishes to announce to the people of Russia in the most public and solemn manner that it contemplates no interference with the political sovereignty of Russia, no intervention in her internal affairs—not even in the local affairs of the limited areas which her military force may be obliged to occupy—and no impairment of her territorial integrity, either now or hereafter, but that what we are about to do has as its single and only object the rendering of such aid as shall be acceptable to the Russian people themselves in their endeavors to regain control of their own affairs, their own territory and their own destiny. The Japanese Government, it is understood, will issue a similar assurance.

These plans and purposes of the Government of the United States have been communicated to the Governments of Great Britain, France and Italy, and those Governments have advised the Department of State that they assent to them in principle. No conclusion that the Government of the United States has arrived at in this important matter is intended, however, as an effort to restrict the actions or interfere with the independent judgment of the Governments with which we are now associated in the war.

It is also the hope and purpose of the Government of the United States to take advantage of the earliest opportunity to send to Siberia a commission of merchants, agricultural experts, labor advisers, Red Cross representatives and agents of the Young Men's Christian Association accustomed to organizing the best methods of spreading useful information and rendering educational help of a modest kind in order in some systematic way to relieve the immediate economic necessities of the people there in every way for which an opportunity may open. The execution of this plan will follow and will not be permitted to embarrass the military assistance rendered to the Czecho-Slovaks.

It is the hope and expectation of the Government of the United States that the Governments with which it is associated will, wherever necessary or possible, lend their active aid in the execution of these military and economic plans.

6. Internat1onal Counc1ls 1n Russ1a

In order to co-ordinate the efforts of the Allies and the United States in Russia, an American official dispatch from France on August 22, 1918, announced the decision to create two international councils, one at Archangel, including the Entente ambassadors under the presidency of American Ambassador Francis, and the other at Vladivostok, to be composed of five high officials.

On the Vladivostok council Great Britain is represented by Sir Charles Norton Edgecumbe Eliot; France by Eugene Regnault, former ambassador to Japan; and Japan by Mr. Matsudaira. An American representative had not been named, but Mr. Caldwell, the American consul, was serving.

Ambassador Francis presides over the work of the Archangel commission as dean of the diplomatic corps there.

These councils, it is understood, act as diplomatic representatives in dealing with the independent Russian Government in Siberia and on the Murman coast and pave the way for the great economic and industrial commissions organizing to aid in the rehabilitation of Russia. The councils relieve the military leaders operating from Vladivostok and in the Archangel territory of all nonmilitary work. Their first task was to aid in the re-establishment of civil government in regions entirely disorganized as a result of Bolshevism.


By Payson Jackson Treat,
Professor of history, Leland Stanford Junior University.

I. Why Japan Entered The Great War

On August 23, 1914, Japan declared war upon Germany. She was thus the fourth of the Allies to enter the Great War, and the first power outside of Europe.1 Four days later AustriaHungary declared war on her. Japan later was one of the five powers to adhere to the pact of London, joining with Great Britain, France, Russia and Italy in a declaration not to make a separate peace. Thus Japan, from the early days of the war, was one of the Allies in the strictest sense of the term.

The reason for Japan's action is not hard to find. Primarily it was based upon a fine sense of honor and the readiness in the fullest sense to meet the obligations of a treaty. In this respect the contrast between the conduct of Germany and of Japan is sharply defined from the beginning. But as human actions are rarely the result of single factors, so there were other underlying motives, in which the conduct of Germany in the Far East and the development of Japan's Asiatic policy were involved.

The Anglo-Japanese alliance was first formulated in 1902.* It was the direct result of the Far Eastern policy of Russia, which threatened the interests of both powers in North China and Korea. During the Boxer uprising in 1900 and the subsequent negotiations, British and Japanese military and diplomatic representatives worked in harmony, and thus a good understanding paved the way for a formal alliance. This was a surprising step for Great Britain to take. It was the first alliance entered into

• For texts of the ultimatum and rescript declaring war see Appendix I, p. 443. ■ The text of the alliance and the history of its origin are given in The Background of the War, 202-204, 242-246 (./ League of Nations, I, No. 4).

by her since the Crimean War, and it brought to an end the days of her proud isolation. It proved to be but the first step in her new foreign policy, and soon was followed by the French entente in 1904 and the Russian entente in 1907. And all three of them served to unite the four great powers in an understanding which reacted immediately to the German threat in 1914. But in many quarters, the alliance was denounced as an unprecedented union of a western and an eastern state, a Christian and a Pagan one, and Germany has never lost an opportunity to dwell upon the treason of Great Britain to the cause of "civilization." The first treaty called for joint action only when two powers combined to threaten the interests of Britain or Japan in the East, and this gave Japan the assurance that should Russia attack her, Great Britain, controlling the seas, would "hold the ring" and see that no other European power intervened, as had been the case after the Chino-Japanese War in 1895. And this is exactly what happened. Although the Kaiser sympathized with Russia during the Japanese War and deliberately broke international law in order to help coal the Russian fleet,1 yet he dared not openly join her so long as Britain was ready to meet her obligations under the Japanese alliance.

It might be added that there was some question among Japanese statesmen as to whether an English or a Russian alliance would be most helpful. Prince Ito believed it would be better to ally with Russia, to work with her and endeavor to avoid friction. But the Japanese cabinet believed, and wisely, that Japan had far more in common with Great Britain than with the then government of Russia, which had already shown its cynical disregard for its plighted word.

During the Russo-Japanese War, 1905, the terms of the alliance were altered, and now both parties would join forces if the interests of either were attacked, and as the scope of the alliance extended to India it now became possible for Britain to reduce greatly her eastern fleet and commence the concentration in the North Sea which served so well in 1914. The last renewal of

■ Herman Bernstein, The Willy-Nicky Correspondence, 57-59. 60-73, 78-81, 90-102 (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1918).

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the alliance was in 1911 and the terms were again altered in order to permit the operation of arbitration treaties, and especially those which the United States had proposed to the powers.

Since 1902 the alliance with Great Britain has been the corner stone of Japanese foreign policy. In spite of criticism on the part of certain British and Japanese journalists and of narrow-minded politicians in both countries, the statesmen of the two empires have realized the value of this compact, which, as the Japanese liked to say, assured the peace of the Far East. And the existence of this agreement was often overlooked during the period of friction between Japan and the United States before the Great War. Japan, allied with Great Britain, could hardly think of forcing any issue with the country with which Britain had most in common. Instead of seeking to make trouble, Japan, as we shall see, sought to improve her good relations with the two great English-speaking powers.

The vital clause of the alliance provided that, should the territorial rights or special interests of either power in Eastern Asia or India be threatened, the two allies would unite in their defense. If the Japanese had been inclined to a strict interpretation of their obligations it would have been easy to assert that the presence of German raiders in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the existence of a German base on the coast of China did not seriously affect the territorial rights of Britain, and that only when India or the other eastern possessions of Great Britain were attacked would Japan have to intervene. But if this idea ever occurred to the Japanese statesmen it certainly did not delay their action. And in addition to the formal obligations of the alliance it was felt that Japan's own interests prompted her to enter the world war.


For the past 20 years Germany had been the stormy petrel of Far Eastern politics. It was Germany that arranged for the triple demonstration of Germany, Russia and France at the close of the Chino-Japanese War, which robbed Japan of Port Arthur and the Liaotung Peninsula. It was Germany that commenced

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