Treaty of Shimonoseki (下関条約)

Treaty of Shimonoseki is a common name of the peace treaty signed at the peace conference after the Sino-Japanese War on April 17, 1895. It is also called the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (日清講和条約 or 日淸媾和條約 in an orthographic style). At that time, it was also called the "Treaty of Bakan" after another name "Bakan" of Akamagaseki City (now Shimonoseki City) in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where the conference was held. The "Treaty of Shimonoseki" is a paraphrase of the "Treaty of Bakan." In Chinese, it is still called the "Treaty of Bakan" (馬關條約).


Qing recognizes the full and complete independence and autonomy of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea, and permanently abolishes tributes, presentations and ceremonies from Korea to Qing that will derogate such independence and autonomy.
(Article 1)

Qing permanently cedes to Japan the Liaodong Peninsula, Taiwan and the Penghu islands together with fortifications, arsenals and public property located in such areas.
(Article 2, 3)

Qing pays 200 million taels (about 300 million yen [currency]) as war reparations to Japan.
(Article 4)

Qing opens Shashi District, Chongqing City, Suzhou City, and Hang Zhou to Japan. Qing also treatsJapan as a most-favored-nation.
(Article 6)

Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Hirobumi ITO (Minister President of State)
Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, Munemitsu MUTSU (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs [Japan])
Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of China, Li Hung Chang (Minister Superintendent of Trade for the Northern Ports of China)
Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of China, Li Ching Fong
The Triple Intervention of Russia, Germany and France occurred afterwards.

In the aftermath of this treaty, the Korean dynasty became the Korean Empire, breaking free from the tributary system of Qing, and the 26th Gao Zong (Korean King) first referred to himself as "Emperor," abolishing the title "King," which means a vassal of the Chinese Emperor.

Regarding opening ports and cities, Japan was able to receive the benefits from most-favored-nation treatment, which the western powers including England and France had already acquired.

In the reparations, 200 million taels (ryo) were paid by silver (7.45 million kg of silver because 1 tael is equivalent to 37.3g of silver). With 30 million taels (1.12 million kg) added as a compensation for the return of the Liaodong Peninsula due to the Triple Intervention, Japan forced China to pay the total amount of over 8 million kg of silver (equivalent to around 400 billion yen according to the present value where a kilogram of silver is converted to about 5,000 yen, or equivalent to around 360 billion yen according to the value of that time, meaning over four times the then Japanese state budget, 80 million yen) by the British pound gold in three-year installments. By using this payment as a financial source, Japan regained the gold standard system, which was its long-cherished wish.

The payment of the reparations imposed a heavy burden on Chinese citizens, which pushed the nation into further poverty.

Sino-Japanese Peace Memorial Hall

In 1937, Sino-Japanese Peace Memorial Hall was established on the site of a restaurant hotel "Shunpanro," where materials relating to the conference are exhibited and the peace conference of that time is reproduced.

[Original Japanese]