United Kingdom declaration of war on Japan

Last updated

On 8 December 1941, the government of the United Kingdom declared war on the Empire of Japan, following the Japanese attacks on Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong. The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Anthony Eden, was in transit to Moscow at the time, so Prime Minister Winston Churchill was in charge of the Foreign Office. The text of his letter to the Japanese Ambassador was as follows:

Churchill war ministry Government of the United Kingdom

The Churchill war ministry was a Conservative-led coalition government in the United Kingdom that lasted for most of the Second World War. It was led by Winston Churchill, who was appointed by King George VI as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Formed in 1940 in the aftermath of the Norway Debate and within a year of declaring war on Nazi Germany, it persisted until May 1945, when Churchill resigned and an election was called.

Malayan Campaign military campaign

The Malayan Campaign was a military campaign fought by Allied and Axis forces in Malaya, from 8 December 1941 – 31 January 1942 during the Second World War. It was dominated by land battles between British Commonwealth army units, and the Imperial Japanese Army with minor skirmishes at the beginning of the campaign between British Commonwealth and Royal Thai Armed Forces. The Japanese had air and naval supremacy from the opening days of the campaign. For the British, Indian, Australian and Malayan forces defending the colony, the campaign was a total disaster.

Bombing of Singapore (1941)

The bombing of Singapore was an attack on 8 December 1941 by seventeen G3M Nell bombers of Mihoro Air Group, Imperial Japanese Navy, flying from Thu Dau Mot in southern Indochina. The attack began at around 0430, shortly after Japanese forces landed on Kota Bharu, Malaya. It was the first knowledge the Singapore population had that war had broken out in the Far East.

Sir,

On the evening of December 7th His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom learned that Japanese forces without previous warning either in the form of a declaration of war or of an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war had attempted a landing on the coast of Malaya and bombed Singapore and Hong Kong.

In view of these wanton acts of unprovoked aggression committed in flagrant violation of International Law and particularly of Article I of the Third Hague Convention relative to the opening of hostilities, to which both Japan and the United Kingdom are parties, His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo has been instructed to inform the Imperial Japanese Government in the name of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom that a state of war exists between our two countries.

Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 Treaties helping establish international law

The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 are a series of international treaties and declarations negotiated at two international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands. Along with the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the body of secular international law. A third conference was planned for 1914 and later rescheduled for 1915, but it did not take place due to the start of World War I.

I have the honour to be, with high consideration,

Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Winston S. Churchill [1]

Of the letter, Churchill later wrote: "Some people did not like this ceremonial style. But after all when you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite." [2]

See also

Japanese declaration of war on the United States and the British Empire

The declaration of war by the Empire of Japan on the United States and the British Empire was published on December 8, 1941, after Japanese forces had executed an attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor and attacks on British forces in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The declaration of war was printed on the front page of all Japanese newspapers' evening editions on December 8. The document was subsequently printed again on the eighth day of each month throughout the war, to re-affirm the resolve for the war.

Declaration of war formal announcement by which one state goes to war against another

A declaration of war is a formal act by which one state goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government, in order to create a state of war between two or more states.

Related Research Articles

Treaty of Nanking

The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and the Qing dynasty of China on 29 August 1842. It was the first of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties.

The Atlantic Charter was a pivotal policy statement issued during World War II on 14 August 1941 which defined the Allied goals for the post-war world. The leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States drafted the work and all the Allies of World War II later confirmed it. The Charter stated the ideal goals of the war: no territorial aggrandizement; no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people (self-determination); restoration of self-government to those deprived of it; reduction of trade restrictions; global cooperation to secure better economic and social conditions for all; freedom from fear and want; freedom of the seas; and abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of aggressor nations. Adherents of the Atlantic Charter signed the Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942, which became the basis for the modern United Nations.

South-East Asian theatre of World War II campaigns of the Pacific War in Burma, Ceylon, India, Thailand, Indochina, Philippines, Malaya and Singapore

The South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was the name given to the campaigns of the Pacific War in Burma, Ceylon, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indochina, Malaya and Singapore. Conflict in this theatre began when the Empire of Japan invaded French Indochina in September 1940 and rose to a new level following the raid on Pearl Harbor, and simultaneous attacks on Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaya on 7 and 8 December 1941. The main landing at Singora on the east side of the Isthmus of Kra preceded the bombing of Pearl Harbor by several hours. Action in the theatre officially ended on 9 September 1945.

Arthur Percival British army officer in the First and Second World Wars

Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival, was a senior British Army officer. He saw service in the First World War and built a successful military career during the interwar period but is most noted for his defeat in the Second World War, when he commanded British Commonwealth forces during the Japanese Malayan Campaign and the subsequent Battle of Singapore.

Andrew Caldecott Colonial Administrator

Sir Andrew Caldecott was a British colonial administrator.

Franklin Gimson British colonial administrator

Sir Franklin Charles Gimson was a British colonial administrator, who served in Ceylon from 1914 to 1941, and later as Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong and Governor of Singapore.

China–United Kingdom relations Interstate relations between China and the United Kingdom

Chinese-United Kingdom relations, more commonly known as British–Chinese relations, Anglo-Chinese relations and Sino-British relations, refers to the interstate relations between China and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China were on opposing sides of the Cold War. Both countries are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Japanese invasion of Thailand Empire of Japan invaded Thailand

The Japanese invasion of Thailand occurred on 8 December 1941. It was briefly fought between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Empire of Japan. Despite fierce fighting in Southern Thailand, the fighting lasted only five hours before ending in a ceasefire. Thailand and Japan then formed an alliance, making Thailand part of the Axis' alliance until the end of World War II.

Events from the year 1941 in the United Kingdom. The year was dominated by the Second World War.

The following events occurred in December 1941:

In the Commonwealth of Nations, a high commissioner is the senior diplomat in charge of the diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth government to another. Instead of an embassy, the diplomatic mission is generally called a high commission.

British Empire in World War II

When the United Kingdom declared war on Nazi Germany at the outset of World War II it controlled to varying degrees numerous crown colonies, protectorates and the Indian Empire. It also maintained unique political ties to four semi-independent Dominions—Australia, Canada, South Africa, and New Zealand—as part of the Commonwealth. In 1939 the British Empire was a global power, with direct or de facto political and economic control of 25% of the world's population, and 30% of its land mass.

British Hong Kong former Crown colony and British dependent territory in East Asia

British Hong Kong denotes the period during which Hong Kong was governed as a colony and British Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom. Excluding the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, Hong Kong was under British rule from 1841 to 1997. The colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War. The island was ceded by Qing China in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were ceded in perpetuity, the leased area, which comprised 92 per cent of the territory, was vital to the integrity of Hong Kong that Britain agreed to transfer the entire colony to China upon the expiration of that lease in 1997. The transfer has been considered by many as marking the end of the British Empire.

United States declaration of war on Japan

On December 8, 1941, the United States Congress declared war on the Empire of Japan in response to that country's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor the prior day. It was formulated an hour after the Infamy Speech of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Japan had sent a message to the United States embassy in Washington earlier, but because of problems at the embassy in decoding the very long message – the high-security level assigned to the declaration meant that only personnel with very high clearances could decode it, which slowed down the process – it was not delivered to the U.S. Secretary of State until after the Pearl Harbor attack. Following the U.S. declaration, Japan's allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States, bringing the United States fully into World War II.

Singapore strategy defence policy of the British Empire (1919–1941), aiming to deter Japanese aggression with a base for a fleet of the Royal Navy in Singapore

The Singapore strategy was a naval defence policy of the British Empire that evolved in a series of war plans from 1919 to 1941. It aimed to deter aggression by the Empire of Japan by providing for a base for a fleet of the Royal Navy in the Far East, able to intercept and defeat a Japanese force heading south towards India or Australia. To be effective it required a well-equipped base; Singapore, at the eastern end of the Strait of Malacca, was chosen in 1919 as the location of this base; work continued on this naval base and its defences over the next two decades.

A declaration of war by Canada is a formal declaration issued by the Government of Canada indicating that a state of war exists between Canada and another nation. It is an exercise of the Royal Prerogative on the constitutional advice of the ministers of the Crown in Cabinet and does not require the direct approval of the Parliament of Canada, though such can be sought by the government. Since gaining the authority to declare war under the Statute of Westminster 1931, Canada has declared war only during the Second World War and the Korean war.

The following is a timeline of the first premiership of Winston Churchill, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the bulk of World War II. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Nazi Germany. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured. for the general history see Timeline of the United Kingdom home front during World War II.

Japan–Singapore relations Diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Singapore

Japan–Singapore relations refer to the bilateral relations between Japan and the Republic of Singapore. While the two countries first established bilateral relations in 1966, some of the earliest interactions date back to Japan's invasion of Singapore during World War II. The invasion led to a takeover of the country, after which Japan occupied Singapore for approximately three years before withdrawing following their loss in the war.

References

Winston S. Churchill: The Second World War (vol.3): the Grand Alliance. (1950) ISBN   0-395-41057-6

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.