Treaty of Portsmouth

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The Treaty of Portsmouth formally ended the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War. It was signed on 5 September 1905[1] after negotiations at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine (but named after nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire) in the United States.



Delegates who signed the peace agreement were Sergei Witte and Roman Rosen for Russia, and Komura Jutarō and Takahira Kogorō for Japan. Fyodor Martens and other diplomats from both nations stayed in New Castle, New Hampshire at the Hotel Wentworth (where the armistice was signed), and were ferried across the Piscataqua River for negotiations held on the base located in Kittery, Maine. The General Stores Building (now Building 86) was used for the meetings. Mahogany furniture patterned after the Cabinet Room of the White House was ordered from Washington.

In accordance with the treaty, both Japan and Russia agreed to evacuate Manchuria and return its sovereignty to China, but Japan was leased the Liaodong Peninsula (containing Port Arthur and Talien), and the Russian rail system in southern Manchuria with access to strategic resources. Japan also received the southern half of the Island of Sakhalin from Russia. Although Japan gained a great deal from the treaty, it was not nearly as much as the Japanese public had been led to expect, since Japan's initial negotiating position had demanded all of Sakhalin and a monetary indemnity as well.[citation needed] The frustration caused the Hibiya riots, and collapsed Katsura Tarō's cabinet on January 7, 1906.

Negotiations for the treaty were taken under the mediation of Theodore Roosevelt, for which he won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize. The negotiations were begun by a call for peace by Roosevelt in May 1905, rather than by either of the warring states. [2] Despite the international community's uproar at Roosevelt's actions, which had even been called illegal, they upheld exactly what had been stated as the role of a neutral state in the Hague Conference of 1899. Under the mediation of Roosevelt, peace negotiations continued despite the lack of armistice between Japan and Russia. This lack of armistice allowed the Japanese to attack Sakhalin while the representatives were mid-voyage to Portsmouth, and later allowed the Japanese to make claims to the island during the negotiations.[3]

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