The Tripartite Pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan on September 27th 1940, was an agreement to seek to further the interests of Germany and Italy in Europe and Japan in Asia. All three agreed that a new World order should be sought with Germany and Italy the main powers in Europe and Japan the main power in Asia.
The pact also agreed that should any country be attacked by any country not already in the war then it would automatically be at war with all three countries. Russia was excluded from this clause which was designed to try to keep America out of the war.
The main provisions of the pact were contained in six articles:
1. Japan recognizes and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe.
2. Germany and Italy recognize and respect the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new order in Greater East Asia.
3. Japan, Germany, and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict.
4. With a view to implementing the present pact, joint technical commissions, to be appointed by the respective Governments of Japan, Germany and Italy, will meet without delay.
5. Japan, Germany and Italy affirm that the above agreement affects in no way the political status existing at present between each of the three Contracting Powers and Soviet Russia.
6. The present pact shall become valid immediately upon signature and shall remain in force ten years from the date on which it becomes effective.
Signed on 27th September 1940 by the leader of Germany, Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Foreign Minister, Galeazzo Ciano and Japanese ambassador to Germany, Saburu Kuruso this pact is also known as the Axis Pact or Tripartite Treaty.
It was later also signed by Hungary, Romania and Slovakia (November 1940), Bulgaria and Yugoslavia (March 1941), Croatia (April 1941).