Japan, as an ally of Britain since the signing of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902, entered the First World War at British request. During the war, Japan fought Germany in Asia and afforded protection to Australia.
After the cessation of hostilities of the Great War, a peace conference was convened in Paris that commenced on 18 January 1919 and concluded on 28 April 1919, after some three and a half months of intense debate, discussions and negotiations among the representatives of various participating countries. Japan, as a victorious ally and as one of the Five Powers of the day alongside Britain, the US, France and Italy, participated in Paris Peace Conference. In the conference, Japan proposed the enshrinement of the principle of racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations. This Racial Equality Bill, despite the tireless efforts of the Japanese delegates, was rejected.
Rejection of Racial Equality Bill contends that a number of factors converged to defeat the Japanese proposal. Resolute opposition by the Prime Minister of Australia William Morris Hughes to racial equality was the single most crucial factor that led to the rejection of the Japanese proposal.