While still in Japan, Ito pressured the weak Korean government into signing the "Protectorate Treat" on November 19, 1905, which gave the Japanese the right to occupy Korea. After signing the treaty as resident general, Ito made every effort to keep it a secret from the Korean people. Following the ratification of the treaty, twelve Japanese commissioners were assigned to the various provinces in Korea, with one being stationed in Seoul. Later, in March 1906, Ito arrived in Korea to take the reins of power. At this time, he ordered all foreign delegations in Korea to withdraw, leaving Korea at the mercy of the Japanese. The new Japanese puppet government enacted laws that allowed Korean land to be sold to Japanese, although land generally was just taken.
The Korean people were extremely irritated under these grim circumstances. Word soon leaked out concerning the Protectorate Treaty, provoking a wave of anti-Japanese violence. Several small guerilla groups were formed and they attacked the Japanese occupation forces. One such group in Chung Chong Province armed themselves with 50 cannons and conducted a long campaign of hit-and-run actions against the Japanese. They were finally defeated, however, as most other groups were when hunted down by the much larger Japanese army. The general wave of unrest continued to spread very rapidly. Violence pervaded the general population, as many loyal Korean government officials committed suicide and Korean government officials who had signed the Protectorate Treaty were assassinated.