It took place at Memorial Continental Hall in downtown Washington and resulted in three major treaties: the Four Powers Treaty, the Five Powers Treaty (better known as the Washington Naval Treaty), the Nine Powers Treaty, and a number of smaller agreements. These treaties maintained peace in the 1920s, but were not renewed in the increasingly hostile world of the Great Depression. Between 1921 and 1922, the world`s greatest naval powers gathered in Washington, D.C. for a conference on naval disarmament and ways to ease growing tensions in East Asia. The Five Powers Treaty, signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France and Italy, was the cornerstone of the Navy`s disarmament agenda. He called on each of the countries concerned to maintain a fixed tonnage ratio of warships that would allow the United States and the United Kingdom 500,000 tons, Japan 300,000 tons and France and Italy 175,000 tons each. Japan preferred to allocate tonnage to a ratio of 10:10:7, while the U.S. Navy preferred a ratio of 10:10:5. The conference finally adopted the limit values for the 5:5:3 ratio.
Since the United States and the United Kingdom maintained naval fleets in the Pacific and Atlantic to support their colonial territories, the Five Powers Treaty granted the two countries the highest tonnage allowances. The treaty also called on the five signatories to stop building capital ships and reduce the size of their navies by scraping older ships. The Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty, which was signed on the 6th. Signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France and Italy in February 1922, US Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes` proposal to open up at the conference to scrap nearly 1.9 million tons of high-powered warships. This courageous disarmament proposal astonished the assembled delegates, but was in fact adopted in a modified form. A detailed agreement was reached that would determine the respective number and tonnage of capital ships belonging to the navies of the various nations that signed the treaty. (Capital ships, defined as warships with more than 10,000 tons of displacement or with guns larger than 8 inches in caliber, were essentially battleships and aircraft carriers.) The respective capital letters to be held by each of the signatories were set at 5 each for the United States and Great Britain, 3 for Japan and 1.67 each for France and Italy. The Five Powers` Naval Limitation Treaty ended the race to build warships after the First World War and even reversed the trend; it required the demolition of 26 American warships, 24 British warships and 16 Japanese warships already built or under construction.
The parties also agreed to abandon their existing shipbuilding programs for a period of 10 years, subject to certain exceptions. .