Japan issued a declaration of war on 8 February 1904. However, three hours before Japan's declaration of war was received by the Russian Government, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur. Tsar Nicholas II was stunned by news of the attack. He could not believe that Japan would commit an act of war without a formal declaration, and had been assured by his ministers that the Japanese would not fight. Russia declared war on Japan eight days later. However, the requirement to declare war before commencing hostilities was not made international law until after the war had ended in October 1907, effective from 26 January 1910. Montenegro also declared war against Japan as a gesture of moral support for Russia out of gratitude for Russian support in Montenegro's struggles against the Ottoman Empire. However, due to logistical reasons and distance, Montenegro's contribution to the war effort was limited to those Montenegrins who served in the Russian armed forces.
It was ended in 1905, with the Treaty of Portsmouth, a rare peace treaty that was signed in the Western Hemisphere for a war not involving nations from that half of the world.
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