“Injustice and civilians lost their lives due to

“Injustice and arrogance, displayed in the hour of triumph, will never be forgotten or forgiven.” – David Lloyd George. I think this quote aptly describes how Japan felt after the Treaty of Versailles was signed.  The Treaty of Versailles was drafted and adopted by the European Allies with their interests in mind and with very little consideration to the wishes of the Japanese, Italian and German people. The quote said by the British Prime Minister was very accurate because the events that followed the Treaty of Versailles were partly as a result of the anger that the two countries felt towards the Big Three (Britain, France, and the United States). This research paper will focus on evaluating the extent of how the Treaty of Versailles was unfair on Japan. This topic is important to research because the events that followed were a result of how Japan’s anger shaped the world’s history forever.  Japan supported the allies during the war and the Treaty of Versailles did not favor them or their request for racial equality.  On the 28th of July 1914, one of the most barbaric wars in the history of mankind broke out. Over 16 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives due to the horrors of trench warfare and new military technologies. For years before World War I, tension had been brewing throughout Europe (mainly in the Balkan region of southeast Europe) and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand gave European countries the excuse they were looking for to go to war. World War One was also caused by many countries desires for land expansion, imperialism, and militarism. During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers). Germany surrendered on the 11 November 1918, and all the nations agreed to stop fighting while the terms of peace were negotiated – this brought the horrific war finally to an end.  However, the treaty of Versailles was only signed on 28 June 1919. At the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Allied leaders would state their desire to build a document that would protect the world from any similar future conflict. Some of the participants began to call World War one “The war to end all wars”.   However that was not going to be the case. With large amounts of war guilt, heavy reparations and denied access into the League of Nations, Germany claimed that they were “tricked” into signing the treaty, having believed any peace would be a “peace without victory,” as put forward by Woodrow Wilson in his famous Fourteen Points speech of January 1918.  Germany and Japan became closer allies as they both shared common enemies and ambitions for expansion.  Evaluating to what extent the Treaty of Versailles was unfair on Japan. Japan was expecting to be fairly reimbursed after their participation in protecting the allies during the war.  World War I was Japan’s first global conflict, the first in which it allied with and fought alongside foreign powers. The war had an enormous impact on the country at all levels — political, economic and social. Japanese forces fought and died closer to the Western Front than is commonly realized, hunting submarines and protecting convoys in the Mediterranean Sea.  As hopes for a short war faded, the Allies began to rely on Japan more to provide military resources. Japan and the U.S. agreed that Japanese warships would patrol the waters off Hawaii in order to free up U.S. Navy ships for the Atlantic. Japan built destroyers for France, merchantmen for Britain, and supplied arms and ammunition to Britain and Russia. The navy provided escorts for ships carrying Australian, French colonial and New Zealand troops bound for the Western Front.  From the outset of the war, the Allies had complained about a lack of Japanese military forces in the European area. That changed in 1917, when Japanese destroyer squadrons began operating in the Mediterranean hunting German and Austro-Hungarian submarines and protecting troop convoys. At peak strength, the Japanese task force in the Mediterranean operated 17 warships, and by the end of the war they had escorted 799 transports carrying 700,000 Allied soldiers. A Japanese destroyer, Sakaki, was torpedoed by an Austro-Hungarian submarine off the island of Crete, with the loss of 67 lives. Japanese naval commanders took their work so seriously that several are reported to have committed suicide after losing ships they were assigned to protect.Japan sent a large delegation to France to the Peace Conference headed by the former Prime Minister, Marquess Saionji Kinmochi .  Japan was frustrated when the US vetoed any talk about a “racial equality clause” in the League of Nations or any of the treaties that came into force after Word War I. Of course if Japan had known anything about the US in 1919 , they would know that a racial equality clause was the American ruling classes worst nightmare due to slave labour taking place in America at the time. Japan did not know about this and they took it as a personal insult and felt betrayed by the US.  Japan saw itself on a collision course with the US which would later come in December 1941. The Treaty of Versailles also annoyed Japan by letting them gain German colonies in the Pacific but not the parts of China which they desperately wanted. The Japanese delegation were angry after receiving only one-half of the rights of Germany, and they walked out of the conference. Japan had fought against the Central powers during World War I and they had hoped to get pieces of Austria-Hungary, Germany and their overseas empires. However, they got almost nothing. Japan helped its allies throughout the war providing military support,  however, the Treaty of Versailles did not give Japan any of the territories they asked for, nor did they accept their request for racial equality. French Prime Minister Clemenceau commented on the day the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, “We have won the war: now we have to win the peace, and it may be more difficult.”