Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 5, 1905
Ambassador Meyer to the Secretary of State.
St Petersburg, December 13, 1905.
Sir: In conformity with the Department’s cable instructions of October 16 and 23, I have the honor to forward herewith twelve copies of the treaty of peace, concluded between Russia and Japan on the 5th of September, 1905, at Portsmouth.
In this connection I cabled the Department to-day as follows:
Am forwarding to-day to Department twelve copies Portsmouth Treaty.
I have, etc.,
Ratification of the treaty of peace signed at Portsmouth August 23, 1905, between Russia and Japan.
By the helping grace of God, we, Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias etc., hereby declare that, in consequence of a mutual agreement between us and His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, our plenipotentiaries concluded and signed at Portsmouth, August 23, 1905, a treaty of peace which, word for word, reads as follows:
His Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russias, on the one hand, and His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, on the other hand, being animated by the desire to restore the benefits [Page 825] of peace for their countries and their peoples, have decided to conclude a treaty of peace and have appointed for this purpose their plenipotentiaries, to wit:
- His Majesty the Emperor of Russia—
- His Excellency, Mr. Sergius Witte, his secretary of state and president of the committee of ministers of the Empire of Russia, and
- His Excellency, Baron Roman Rosen, master of the Imperial Court of Russia and his ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the United States of America;
- And His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan—
- His Excellency, Baron Komura Iutaro, Iusammi, knight of the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun, his minister of foreign affairs, and
- His Excellency, Mr. Takahira Kogoro, Iusammi, knight of the Imperial Order of the Sacred Treasure, his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States of America;
Who, after having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, concluded the following articles:
There shall be in the future peace and friendship between Their Majesties the Emperor of all the Russias and the Emperor of Japan, as well as between their respective nations and subjects.
The Imperial Government of Russia, recognizing that Japan has predominant political, military, and economic interests in Korea, agrees not to interfere or place obstacles in the way of any measure of direction, protection, and supervision which the Imperial Government of Japan may deem necessary to adopt in Korea.
It is agreed that Russian subjects in Korea shall be treated in exactly the same manner as the citizens of other foreign countries; that is, that they shall be placed on the same footing as the citizens of the most-favored nation.
It is likewise agreed that, in order to avoid any cause of misunderstanding, the two high contracting parties shall refrain from adopting, on the Russo-Korean frontier, any military measures which might menace the security of the Russian or Korean territory.
Russia and Japan mutually engage:
- To completely and simultaneously evacuate Manchuria, with the exception of the territory over which the lease of the peninsula of Liaotung extends, in accordance with the provisions of additional Article I annexed to this treaty, and
- To entirely and completely restore to the exclusive administration of China all parts of Manchuria now occupied by Russian and Japanese troops, or which are under their control, with the exception of the above-mentioned territory.
The Imperial Government of Russia declares that it has no territorial advantages or preferential or exclusive concessions in Manchuria of such a nature as to impair the sovereignty of China or which are incompatible with the principle of equal opportunity.
Russia and Japan mutually pledge themselves not to place any obstacle in the way of general measures which apply equally to all nations and which China might adopt for the development of commerce and industry in Manchuria.
The Imperial Government of Russia cedes to the Imperial Government of Japan, with the consent of the Government of China, the lease of Port Arthur, of Talien, and of the adjacent territories and territorial waters, as well as the rights, privileges, and concessions connected with this lease or forming part thereof, and it likewise cedes to the Imperial Government of Japan all the public works and property within the territory over which the above-mentioned lease extends.
The high contracting parties mutually engage to obtain from the Government of China the consent mentioned in the foregoing clause.
The Imperial Government of Japan gives on its part the assurance that the property rights of Russian subjects within the above-mentioned territory shall be absolutely respected.
The Imperial Government of Russia obligates itself to yield to the Imperial Government of Japan, without compensation and with the consent of the Chinese Government, the [Page 826] Chan-chun (Kwan-Chien-Tsi) and Port Arthur Railroad and all its branches, with all the rights, privileges, and property thereunto belonging within this region, as well as all the coal mines in said region belonging to this railroad or being operated for its benefit.
The two high contracting parties mutually pledge themselves to obtain from the Chinese Government the consent mentioned in the foregoing clause.
Russia and Japan agree to operate their respective railroads in Manchuria for commercial and industrial purposes exclusively, but by no means for strategic purposes.
It is agreed that this restriction does not apply to the railroads within the territory covered by the lease of the Liao-tung peninsula.
The Imperial Governments of Russia and Japan, with a view to favoring and facilitating relations and traffic, shall conclude, as soon as possible, a separate convention to govern their operations of repair on the railroads in Manchuria.
The Imperial Government of Russia cedes to the Imperial Government of Japan, in perpetuity and full sovereignty, the southern part of the island of Saghalin, and all the islands adjacent thereto, as well as all the public works and property there situated. The fiftieth parallel of north latitude is adopted as the limit of the ceded territory. The exact boundary line of this territory shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of additional Article II annexed to this treaty.
Japan and Russia mutually agree not to construct within their respective possessions on the island of Saghalin, and the islands adjacent thereto, any fortification or similar military work. They likewise mutually agree not to adopt any military measures which might hinder the free navigation of the Straits of La Perouse and Tartary.
The right is reserved to Russian subjects inhabiting the territory ceded to Japan to sell their real property and return to their country; however, if they prefer to remain in the ceded territory, they shall be guarded and protected in the full enjoyment of their property rights and the exercise of their industries provided they submit to the laws and jurisdiction of Japan. Japan shall have perfect liberty to withdraw the right of residence in this territory from all inhabitants laboring under political or administrative incapacity, or to deport them from this territory. It pledges itself, however, to fully respect the property rights of these inhabitants.
Russia obligates itself to reach an understanding with Japan in order to grant to Japanese subjects fishing rights along the coast of the Russian possessions in the Seas of Japan, Okhotsk, and Bering.
It is agreed that the above-mentioned obligation shall not impair the rights already belonging to Russian or foreign subjects in these regions.
The treaty of commerce and navigation between Russia and Japan having been annulled by the war, the Imperial Governments of Russia and Japan agree to adopt as a basis for their commercial relations, until the conclusion of a new treaty of commerce and navigation on the basis of the treaty in force before the present war, the system of reciprocity on the principle of the most favored nation, including import and export tariffs, custom-house formalities, transit and tonnage dues, and the admission and treatment of the agents, subjects, and vessels of one country in the territory of the other.
As soon as possible after the present treaty takes effect, all prisoners of war shall be mutually returned. The Imperial Governments of Russia and Japan shall each appoint a special commissioner to take charge of the prisoners. All prisoners in the custody of one of the governments shall be delivered to the commissioner of the other government or to his duly authorized representative, who shall receive them in such number and in such suitable ports of the surrendering nation as the latter shall notify in advance to the commissioner of the receiving nation.[Page 827]
The Governments of Russia and Japan shall present to each other, as soon as possible after the delivery of the prisoners has been completed, a verified account of the direct expenditures made by them respectively for the care and maintenance of the prisoners from the date of capture or surrender until the date of their death or return. Russia agrees to refund to Japan, as soon as possible after the exchange of these accounts, as above stipulated, the difference between the actual amount thus spent by Japan and the actual amount likewise expended by Russia.
The present treaty shall be ratified by Their Majesties the Emperor of all the Russias and the Emperor of Japan. This ratification shall, within the shortest possible time and at all events not later than fifty days from the date of the signature of the treaty, be notified to the Imperial Governments of Russia and Japan, respectively, through the ambassador of the United States of America at St. Petersburg and the minister of France at Tokyo, and from and after the date of the last of these notifications this treaty shall enter into full force in all its parts.
The formal exchange of the ratifications shall take place at Washington as soon as possible.
The present treaty shall be signed in duplicate, in the French and English languages. The two texts are absolutely alike; however, in case of difference of interpretation the French text shall prevail.
In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present treaty of peace and affixed thereto their seals.
Done at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the twenty-third day of August (fifth of September) of the year one thousand nine hundred and five, corresponding to the fifth day of the ninth month of the thirty-eighth year of Meiji.
Iutaro Komura. [l. s.]
K. Takahira. [l. s.]
Sergius Witte. [l. s.]
Rosen. [l. s.]
In conformity with the provisions of Articles II and IX of the treaty of peace between Russia and Japan under this date, the undersigned plenipotentiaries have concluded the following additional articles:
I. To Article III:
The Imperial Governments of Russia and Japan mutually agree to begin the withdrawal of their military forces from the territory of Manchuria simultaneously and immediately after the entrance into force of the treaty of peace; and within a period of eighteen months from this date the armies of the two powers shall be entirely withdrawn from Manchuria, with the exception of the leased territory of the peninsula of Liao-tung.
The forces of the two powers occupying advanced positions shall be withdrawn first.
The high contracting parties reserve the right to maintain guards for the protection of their respective railroad lines in Manchuria.
The number of these guards shall not exceed 15 men per kilometer, and within the limit of this maximum number the commanders of the Russian and Japanese armies shall, by mutual agreement, fix the number of guards who are to be employed, this number being as low as possible and in accordance with actual requirements. The commanders of the Russian and Japanese forces in Manchuria shall reach an understanding regarding all the details connected with the evacuation, in conformity with the principles herein above set forth, and shall, by mutual agreement, adopt the measures necessary to carry out the evacuation as soon as possible and at all events within a period not exceeding eighteen months.
II. To Article IX:
As soon as possible after the present treaty takes effect, a boundary commission composed of an equal number of members appointed respectively by the two high contracting parties shall mark on the spot and in a permanent manner the exact line between the Russian and Japanese possessions on the island of Saghalin. The commission shall be obliged, as far as topographical conditions permit, to follow the 50th parallel of north latitude for the line of demarcation, and in case any deviations from this line are found necessary at certain points compensation shall be made therefor by making corresponding deviations at other points. It shall also be the duty of said commission to prepare a list and description of the adjacent islands which are comprised within the cession, and finally the commission shall prepare and sign maps showing the boundaries of the ceded territory. The labors of the commission shall be submitted to the approval of the high contracting parties.
The additional articles mentioned hereinabove shall be considered as being ratified by the ratification of the treaty of peace, to which they are annexed.[Page 828]
Portsmouth, August 23 (September 5), 1905, corresponding to the 5th day, 9th month, and 28th year of Meiji.
Therefore, after mature consideration of this treaty and the two additional articles, we approved, confirmed, and ratified them, and do hereby approve, confirm, and ratify them in their full purport, pledging our imperial word, for ourselves, our successors, and our heirs, that everything set forth in the above-mentioned acts shall be inviolably observed. In witness whereof we, having signed this, our imperial ratification, with our own hand, have ordered affixed thereto our imperial seal.
On the original is written in His Imperial Majesty’s own hand:
Secretary of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs.