Military pact signed by Japan, Germany, and Italy in Berlin on September 27, 1940; culmination of an increasingly strong relationship among the three countries from 1935 on as it became apparent that their aggressive military policies were drawing them closer together. Japan allied itself with the fascist countries, ostensibly in the anti-Soviet, anticommunist cause, but also to advance its imperialist designs on the Asian continent. The pact, which was to last ten years, concerned the mutual recognition by the signatories of a new order in Europe and Greater East Asia. Each country committed itself to full-scale political, economic, and military aid if a signatory nation was attacked by a nation not presently involved in the European war or the Sino-Japanese conflict. The Tripartite Pact was shattered by Italy's surrender in September 1943 and Germany's collapse in May 1945. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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