THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR.
This exhibit shows the postal history of the Forerunners from the Sino-Japanese War, occupation of Korea, China, Manchuria and Formosa, Boxer Uprising in China, the Russo-Japanese War and the Field Post Office (FPO) system, with mail being transported back to Japan by ship and to Russia by the Trans-Siberian railway. The international world was also interested in this war and observers/advisors were present in Japan, Russia and Manchuria during this campaign, also present, reporting the war were historians and newspaper correspondents. The post-war section has mail from occupied Manchuria and Korea.
The Japanese section of the War shows military mail via the Field Post Office system (FPO) from the Forerunners of the Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion, Military Manoeuvres then the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Army's, the 8th, 10th and 13th Independent Division, Liao-tung Defence Force and the Kwantung Army and Karafuto Forces, as well as scarce mail from British war correspondents, British and Foreign Observers. P.O.W. mail. Post-war mail is shown from the occupation of both Manchuria and Korea.
Exceptional usage in the Japanese correspondence includes mail from the Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion (Taku, Tungchow), Great Manoeuvres, The Independent 10th Divisions FPO 1 and 2 branch FPO's only open for 10 weeks, 8th Division. Earliest known cancel of 3rd Army, 3rd Army Transit P.O., Dairen FPO Registration label with earliest known usage of 'Offices in China' overprinted stamp from the war in Manchuria, Japanese P.O.W. mail, 2nd Army incoming mail, mail from General NOGI, and rare mail from Military Garrisons in Korea.
The Russian section includes military mail from all of the major Russian Army's engaged in this Manchurian struggle, Field Post Offices, Travelling Post Offices of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Chinese Eastern Railway. Outstanding items include Captured Russian Mail, Lyao-yang FPO, Incoming mail to General KUROPATKIN, Registered mail to Romania with scarce Branch FPO, Reserve Field Post Office mail, Field Post Office Registered mail, and Russian Prisoner's of War Mail. Many scarce FPO cancels are exhibited, amongst which is the Tieh-ling cancel of which only 3 are recorded, and rare Russian ship mail. Exceptional usage includes, cancels of Talien-yhan, Ying-k'ou, Liao-yang, Japanese captured Russian mail, Mukden Branch FPO, 17th Army Corps FPO Registration Label, Kharbin Railway Postal Branch, Kharbin Camp Branch P.O., Russian pre-printed P.O.W. Card, Chinese Eastern Railway cancels, Japanese P.O.W. card from Russia, Reserve FPO's, and earliest recorded usage, and Tieh-ling Field Telegraph Control Station, blue Mukden cancel, Russian ship mail.
The lead up to the Russo-Japanese War was due to Japan's concern over Chinese control of Korea and the possibilities of subsequent Russian control of Manchuria and Korea, this lead to the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), which on conclusion resulted in the treaty of Shimonoseki, in which Japan gained control of Formosa and the Liao-tung peninsula (Manchuria). Russia with co-operation from Germany and France brought diplomatic pressure on Japan to return the Manchurian territory to China. Russia then convinced China that the Russian Fleet should be based at Port Arthur to defend the gateway to Manchuria. In 1898 Russia arranged formal leasehold with China for occupation of the Liao-tung peninsula in order to make a railway connection from Port Arthur to Mukden then Harbin connecting with the Trans Siberian Railway.
During 1900 the Boxer uprising in Peking brought an international force to China including Japanese and Russian troops, with both of these nations setting-up international post offices in China.
In 1902 Japan signed a treaty with Great Britain establishing
a `Defence Alliance' and the strength of this alliance can be seen within
this exhibit. In the same year Russia signed an agreement with China
agreeing to their evacuation from Manchuria. In 1903 Russian Military
Forces moved back into Manchuria with new demands for territory, bringing
themselves into direct conflict with Japan. The Japanese Invasion of
Manchuria, and the start of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), commenced
with sea actions around
Port Arthur on the 8th February 1904, Japanese superiority in the War led to the 1905 Peace Treaty. Japanese troops remained in the occupied territories of Manchuria, and Korea, for a much later period after the war. Russian troops were forced to withdraw under the Portsmouth Peace Treaty.
By the 'Treaty of Portsmouth' (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S.A.), signed on the 5th September 1905 between Russia and Japan the following agreements were made. Russia agreed and recognised the independence of Korea and Japans political and economic paramountcy there, to return Manchuria to Chinese sovereignty and cede to Japan the railway lines, which had been built in Manchuria. Japan also gained the South Sakhalin Islands and furthermore took over Russia's leasehold of Port Arthur, thus sealing the end to the Russo - Japanese War.