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Section VIII.—Shantung (Art. 156 to 158)

Article 156.

Germany renounces, in favour of Japan, all her rights, title and privileges—particularly those concerning the territory of Kiaochow, railways, mines and submarine cables—which she acquired in virtue of the Treaty concluded by her with China on March 6, 1898, and of all other arrangements relative to the Province of Shantung.

All German rights in the Tsingtao-Tsinanfu Railway, including its branch lines, together with its subsidiary property of all kinds, stations, shops, fixed and rolling stock, mines, plant and material for the exploitation of the mines, are and remain acquired by Japan, together with all rights and privileges attaching thereto.

The German State submarine cables from Tsingtao to Shanghai and from Tsingtao to Chefoo, with all the rights, privileges and properties attaching thereto, are similarly acquired by Japan, free and clear of all charges and encumbrances.

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Note to IV, 156

The convention between China and Germany concerning the lease of Kiaochow signed at Peking March 6, 1898 (95 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 1005) was exacted from China in consequence of the death of certain German missionaries in Chinese territory.

This article was included in the treaty in consequence of two prior conditions:

1. The Japanese declaration of war against Germany of August 23, 1914 was preceded by an ultimatum of August 15 (Naval War College, International Law Documents … 1917, p. 176) which contained this demand:

Second.—To deliver on a date not later than September 15, 1914, to the Imperial Japanese authorities without condition or compensation the entire leased territory of Kiaochou with a view to eventual restoration of the same to China.”

The demand was made with the knowledge and support of Great Britain, with which Japan was then in alliance under the agreement of July 13, 1911 (104 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 173).

2. The Japanese representative on the Council of Ten at the Paris Peace Conference on January 27, 1919 presented a claim to cancel all German interests in the leased territory of Kiaochow ( Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, iii, 738). The Chinese representative argued for direct restitution to China instead of the indirect restitution proposed by Japan, whose treaty with China of May 25, 1915 ( Foreign Relations, 1915, p. 197) avoided rather than dealt with that point. On April 15 the Japanese representative on the Council of Foreign Ministers made the definite statement “that the areas leased by Germany in China should positively be returned to China” ( Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, iv, 556). Article 156 was drafted in the light of that undertaking.

The German delegation declared that Germany was prepared to renounce all rights and privilege in Kiaochow and Shantung, provided it was indemnified for the loss of state property ( ibid., vi, 844).

The Allies refused to make compensation for state property, but were prepared to apply to such private rights of German nationals as might be proved “the general principles laid down in the Conditions of Peace in respect of compensation of this character” ( ibid., p. 954).

At the Washington Conference in 1921–22 care was taken to see [Page 300]that Japan’s undertaking would be carried out, and negotiations were then begun for its rendition of Shantung to China.

China and Japan signed a treaty “for the settlement of outstanding questions relative to Shantung” at Washington on February 4, 1922 (10 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 309). It entered into force on June 2, 1922. The restoration to China of the former German leased territory of Kiaochow was effected by a joint commission which completed its work within six months. The maritime customhouse at Tsingtao and the salt industry were fully transferred, and Japanese troops and gendarmes were withdrawn promptly and unconditionally. The transfer of public properties, of the Tsingtao-Tsinanfu Railway, the extensions of the railway, the mines, and the former German submarine cables were subject to conditions, principally designed to conserve or carry over Japanese interests involved.

An agreement signed at Peking on December 1, 1922 and immediately in force made detailed arrangements for the settlement of outstanding questions relative to Shantung (22 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 179). The transfer of the former German leased territory of Kiaochow by Japan to China was effected on December 10, 1922. Japanese troops were withdrawn, Japanese leases that were retained were extended 30 years, and China paid yen 16,000,000 for Japanese public property. A similar agreement of December 5, 1922 dealt with questions relative to the Tsingtao-Tsinanfu Railway (ibid., p. 293), for which China agreed to pay yen 40,000,000.

Article 157.

The movable and immovable property owned by the German State in the territory of Kiaochow, as well as all the rights which Germany might claim in consequence of the works or improvements made or of the expenses incurred by her, directly or indirectly, in connection with this territory, are and remain acquired by Japan, free and clear of all charges and encumbrances.

Note to IV, 157

German railroads and mines in Kiaochow transferred to Japan were credited on the reparation account at 551,742 gold marks. All Japanese receipts to January 20, 1930 amounted to 10,013,105 gold marks.

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Article 158.

Germany shall hand over to Japan within three months from the coming into force of the present Treaty the archives, registers, plans, title-deeds and documents of every kind, wherever they may be, relating to the administration, whether civil, military, financial, judicial or other, of the territory of Kiaochow.

Within the same period Germany shall give particulars to Japan of all treaties, arrangements or agreements relating to the rights, title or privileges referred to in the two preceding Articles.