From the beginning of the war, Japan had expressed an interest in siding with the Entente powers in exchange for being promised Germany's Pacific territories; Japan declared war on Germany on August 23, 1914. The Imperial Navy handily seized the Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands; after a three-month siege, Germany surrendered Tsingtao, China to Japan as well.
The U.S. entry into the war in 1917 made it by extension an ally of Japan, although up to then the two countries were actively competing to establish influence in China and the Pacific. To reduce tensions between them, the two countries signed the Lansing–Ishii Agreement in November of 1917.
|"Schöne Seelen Finden Sich—" by Arthur Johnson in Kladderadatch, Berlin, October 14, 1917.|
Johnson, whose father was American, was born in Germany in 1878 and raised there by his mother. Leaning heavily on grotesque caricatures of Germany's adversaries, he had a lot to say about the Entente's embrace of Japan.
|"Ex Oriente Luchs" by Arthur Johnson in Kladderadatch, Berlin, March 17, 1918|
Russia's surrender to Germany at Brest-Litovsk in March, 1918 was in violation of a 1916 treaty between Russia and Japan promising that neither would sign a separate peace with Germany. Even before the Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed, Japan and the United States mobilized a joint invasion of Siberia to bolster the anti-Bolshevik White Army. The Imperial Japanese Army initially planned to send more than 70,000 troops to occupy Siberia as far west as Lake Baikal.
|"Verspekuliert" by Arthur Johnson in Kladderadatch, Berlin, April 7, 1918|
|"Der Held des Ostens" by Ragnvald Blix in Simplicissimus, Munich, April 2, 1918|
|Detail of "Ostereier" by Arpad Schmidhammer, in Jugend, Berlin, March 16, 1918|
|"Netze Über Sibirien" by Carl Olaf Petersen in Simplicissimus, Munich, April 26, 1918|
|From Osaka Puck, Osaka, possibly November, 1917|
|"The Love Feast" by Guy Spencer in Omaha World-Herald, about November, 1917|
|"Darkening the Rising Sun" by Homer Stinson in Dayton News, about March, 1918|
|"Wilhelm in the Bear's Den" by Gustavo Bronstrup in San Francisco Chronicle, about March, 1918|
|"Między Dwoma Złymi" by Fosliko in Motyl, New York, April, 1918|
|"They'll Need a Chaperon" by Carey Orr in Chicago Tribune, March 3, 1918|