Fleet Faction - Development


The terms of the treaty were extremely unpopular with Japanese public, many of whom saw the 5:5:3 ratio as another way of being regarded as an inferior race by the West.

The Imperial Japanese Navy was split into two opposing factions, Treaty Faction and Fleet Faction. The Treaty Faction wanted to stay within the limitations of the Washington Naval Treaty, arguing that Japan could not afford an arms race with the western powers, and hoping through diplomacy to restore the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.

The Fleet Faction was composed of the political right-wing within the Navy, including many influential admirals in the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff such as Yamamoto Eisuke, Katõ Hiroharu, Suetsugu Nobumasa, Takahashi Sankichi and Nagumo Chuichi, and was headed by Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu. The Fleet Faction wanted nullification of the Washington Naval Treaty, and unlimited naval growth to build the most powerful navy possible, thus challenging the naval supremacy of the United States and British Empire.

In the 1920s, the Treaty Faction, which was supported by the Navy Ministry and the civilian government was predominant. However, with increasing Japanese militarism in the 1930s, the growing conflict with the United States over China, and the blatant disregard for the terms of the Treaty by all major powers, the Fleet Faction gradually gained the upper hand. On 29 December 1934, the Japanese government gave formal notice that it intended to terminate the treaty. Its provisions remained in force until the end of 1936, and it was not renewed.

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