Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Japan's Refusal of Washington Treaty

19 Dec 1934


ww2dbaseOn 19 Dec 1934, Japan, pursuing her territorial expansions in Asia, openly refused to abide by the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. While it was indeed limiting her expansion ambitions, it was more so a matter of national face. The Japanese Navy, increasingly controlled by the militaristic Fleet Faction, felt deeply offended that Japan was not viewed as being equals with other world powers such as United States and Britain. The treaty limited Japan to 315,000 in total tonnage of naval strength when the US and Britain were each given a limit of 525,000. The reasons were that the US had to protect two extended coastlines, and Britain had colonial responsibilities world-wide. Japan refused such reasoning, and refused to be treated as a second-rate power.

ww2dbaseBy end of 1941, Japan would commission the largest battleship known to man, the 65,000-ton Yamato. She alone constituted a third of what the treaty limit would be had Japan abided by it, and Yamato's sistership Musashi was by then already being fitted out in the docks. Meanwhile, Japanese naval aviation was becoming honed as well, as the early aircraft carriers Akagi and Kaga about to undergo total refitting that would transform them into two of the earliest modern aircraft carriers.

ww2dbaseLittle to Japan's realization, the Washington Treaty could had been used to her advantage. Although the limitation shamed the Fleet Faction officers, in terms of fleet sizes in relation to each nation's respective industrial capacities, the limitation on the American fleet was actually placing a much stricter cap on the United States than Japan. By dismantling the Washington Naval Treaty, Japan indeed opened the first flood gate which would eventually lead to the building of the world's largest fleet, except this fleet would belong to the industrious United States instead of Japan.

ww2dbaseThe full text of the 1922 treaty can be found here.

ww2dbaseSources: the Pacific Campaign, Shattered Sword, Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: Nov 2005

Japan's Refusal of Washington Treaty Timeline

29 Dec 1934 Japan renounced the Naval Treaties of 1922 and 1930.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
12 Jul 2005 01:51:52 AM

2. Antinoyia says:
12 Jul 2005 01:52:35 AM

i like the site but is it all true
3. Losius says:
12 Jul 2005 01:54:33 AM

i belive so i was lukey that i was born after the war unlike my older brother he got wonded badly im 43 my brother is 74

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on Japan's Refusal of Washington Treaty
» Japan

Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!