Japan's Twenty-One Demands

Warlords and Revolutionaries

East Asia 1915.0118

Japan's Twenty-One Demands

The Xinhai Revolution, World War I in Asia, the Warlord Era in China, the Russian Revolution and the Siberian Intervention (18 January 1915)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914, Japan swiftly seized German possessions in Asia and the Pacific, including the Kiautschou Bay concession in eastern China. The next year they presented a set of 21 demands to the Chinese government to accept expanded Japanese influence in China. In the end President Yuan Shikai agreed to 13 of the demands, but Japan's actions had created resentment in China and suspicion in Britain and the United States.

Main Events

Japan declares war on Germany

Japan occupies Jaluit Station (Marshall Islands) from Germany

Japan occupation of the Caroline Islands

In the process of pursuing and destroying the German East Asiatic Squadron, the Imperial Japanese Navy seizes the German possessions of Ponape and Truk in the Caroline Islands. The navy sets up its regional headquarters in Truk lagoon and stations a garrison at Ponape (Pohnpei).

Japanese occupation of the Marianas

Japan besieges German port of Tsingtao (Qingdao) in China

Japan's Twenty-One Demands

Japan presents its Twenty-One Demands to Yuan Shikai, President of China, threatening dire consequences if they are rejected. The Demands are to confirm Japanese seizure of German ports and infrastructure in China, extend Japan's leasehold over the South Manchuria Railway Zone, give Japan over central Chinese mining, bar China from making further concessions to other foreign powers, and accept Japanese advisors. After initial rejection, China will accept a reduced set of 13 demands on May 25.

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