Seeking to counter the growing power of the German navy during the early twentieth century, the Royal Navy began to transfer fleet units from Pacific bases to home waters. In conjunction with this policy, the British negotiated a military alliance with Japan in 1903. The British had played a major role in helping Japan establish a strong navy and now hoped to reap some benefit from this assistance. The Japanese navy was a formidable ally and would be instrumental in protecting Britain's imperial interests in the Far East once Royal Navy units had been transferred to the North Atlantic.

 

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Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre
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