The Five-Power Agreement of 1921 involved the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, and Italy in a diplomatic effort to prevent an arms race in the Pacific. The treaty, also known as the Washington Naval Treaty, was signed on February 6, 1922, and set limits on the number and size of warships that each country could build.
The agreement was a response to the arms build-up that had occurred as a result of the First World War. Japan, in particular, had rapidly expanded its navy, which threatened the naval supremacy of both the United States and Great Britain. The treaty was designed to limit the naval arms race and reduce tensions between the major powers in the Pacific region.
Under the terms of the treaty, the United States and Great Britain agreed to limit their navies to a total tonnage of 500,000 tons each, while Japan was allowed a navy that was 60% of the size of the US and British fleets. France and Italy were also allowed to maintain smaller fleets, as they had fewer overseas territories to defend.
One of the most significant aspects of the treaty was the agreement to scrapping 30 warships that were already in service. This was designed to prevent any one country from gaining a significant advantage over the others. The treaty also included a provision for regular naval conferences, which would help to promote communication and cooperation between the signatory countries.
The Five-Power Agreement of 1921 was a significant step towards international cooperation and disarmament. It helped to prevent an arms race in the Pacific and reduced tensions between the major powers in the region. The treaty served as a model for subsequent arms control agreements, including the Four-Power Treaty and the Nine-Power Treaty, which were also signed in the 1920s.
In conclusion, the Five-Power Agreement of 1921 was a crucial diplomatic effort that played a significant role in preventing an arms race and reducing tensions between the major powers in the Pacific region. The treaty set the groundwork for future arms control agreements and provided a model for international cooperation and disarmament.