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To Bed with the Soviet-Japanese Treay of 1925

Posted: July 24th, 2022 | No Comments »

Most of us don’t think much these days about the Soviet-Japanese Basic Convention Treaty of 1925. Basically Japan recognised the USSR and the agreement was ratified in Peking on February 26, 1925. All very mundane in the long run of history. However, I believe it must be one of the only trreaties between two major nations signed by a guy in bed!

And so here we all are in the Peking bedroom of the Japanese ambassador to China, Minister Kenkichi Yoshizawa who had managed to hurt himself somehow ice skating! So in order to move things along Lev Karakhan (the first Soviet ambassador to China) had to crowd into Yoshizawa’s bedroom, where he was laid up in a kimona on a pile of pillows. But Karakhan (in formal attire) wanted the deal signed and so went round to the Japanese embassy (there he is with a neat goatee beard bending down as Yoshizawa signs. And, by the way, the Russian in the middle in uniform with decorations is Vasily Konstantinovich Blyukher, at that time Rusia’s top military adviser to Dr. Sun Yat-sen and the Guomindang. Both Karakhan and Blyukher were to die in Stalin’s purges. Yoshizawawa was Japanese ambassador to French Indochina in the war (a largely pointless post), was then purged by the American occupation after 1945 and eventually ended his career, rehabilitated, as the Japanese amabassador to Taiwan, 1952-1956.

If anyone knows another major treaty between two important nations signed in a bedroom I’d love to know?

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