CHAPTER XI. 1894 TO 1918: JAPAN TAKES HER PLACE AMONG THE POWERS OF THE WORLD
2. FROM THE TREATY OF PORTSMOUTH (1905) TO 1918
REORGANIZATION OF POSSESSIONS AND DEPENDENCIES
After the treaty of Portsmouth the Tokyo statesmen set themselves to the task of organizing their territorial accessions in a way that would repay the nation for the great sacrifices entailed by the two wars. Formosa, of course, had been theirs since 1895. It had been one thing, however, to exact it of China, and another to occupy it and make of it a profitable colony. Its west coast was inhabited by Chinese who resented the transfer to new masters and offered them armed resistance. When this was put down the Japanese faced the more serious enemy of disease, for the land had been notoriously unhealthful and the Chinese population had been maintained only by continued immigration from the mainland. Japanese doctors have succeeded in reducing the death rate by modern sanitation and medicine. The eastern section of the island was mountainous and was inhabited by savage tribes of head-hunters. Some of these the Japanese have induced to settle down and become peaceful agriculturalists. The recalcitrants have been restricted to increasingly narrow localities by drastic police measures and constant vigilance. Japanese administration in its initial stages was honeycombed with corruption; it took time to evolve an honest, efficient government. For years Formosa was a drain on the imperial treasury. Eventually, as order was restored, new industries were introduced and old ones improved, railways were built, administrative efficiency was increased, and the island ceased to be a dead weight on the nation and became more nearly a contributor to its wealth. Irrigation has been fostered; the valuable forests have been conserved and improved. The administration has encouraged the three great staple crops, tea (in the northern part of the island), rice (in the center), and sugar (in the south). The production of sugar has been especially aided, for the larger part of Japan's supply is imported. Education has been encouraged. The colonial officials have made an eager and careful study of European colonial administrations and are trying to raise the islanders as rapidly as possible to an equality with Japan in civilization and prosperity.
In 1905 Korea theoretically still had her independence. That had been recognized by Japan on several occasions, and it was ostensibly to insure it that the war with China had been waged. Had the court at Seoul been able to take steps vigorously and promptly to reorganize the administration and to insure the independence of the country against European and Chinese aggression, it is quite possible that Japan would have withdrawn its hand. Tokyo felt, however, that Seoul could not be trusted to manage its own affairs. There were, it is true, a few earnest and patriotic Korean reformers who might in time, if they had been certain of being unhampered by foreign intrigues, have worked out the salvation of their land; but Japan, after her experiences of the past several decades was not disposed to grant them a free hand. She had not tried to combat Russian and Chinese intrigues in Seoul and in two wars fought to maintain her interests in the neighboring peninsula to risk them to the unhampered control of a feeble monarch, a corrupt court, and a few untried and possibly erratic reformers. Moreover, her imperialistic ambitions had been aroused. Late in 1905, or almost immediately after the treaty of Portsmouth, she obtained the unwilling assent of Seoul to a treaty which turned over to her the control of the foreign affairs of the peninsular kingdom and provided for a Japanese resident-general to supervise the administration. This agreement, it is true, partly nullified the independence that had been repeatedly recognized by Japan, and endangered the treaty rights of other powers. But Europe and America consented to the change, and Korean patriots, however bitter they might feel, could not hope to resist successfully. Ito undertook to fill the post of resident- general. He attempted still to preserve the native court and administrative machinery, and at the same time to parallel it with a system of Japanese advisers and to reform completely the finance, police, laws, administration of justice, education, sanitation, industry, and commerce of the land. He naturally had in mind the development of the peninsula for the benefit of his nation, but he professed, and there is no valid reason for doubting his sincerity, that he was actuated as well by a desire to promote the interests of the Koreans themselves. His, however, was an almost impossible position. The dual system of government was at best a clumsy one. Korean officialdom could not be purged of inefficiency and corruption in a day, and cooperated sullenly or not at all. The Japanese were heartily disliked by the Koreans as a whole. The inevitable friction between the two peoples was increased by the high-handed action of many Japanese officials and immigrants, who looked upon the peninsula as conquered territory and a legitimate field for exploitation. There was in Tokyo, moreover, a strong party of imperialists who desired the complete annexation of the country. In 1909, after a term of less than four years, Ito withdrew, virtually confessing his failure, and shortly afterward was assassinated by a Korean fanatic. The form of dual government was maintained a few months longer, but in August, 1910, Korea formally signed a treaty that annexed her to Japan. Under the old name of Chosen Korea was made an integral part of the empire. When one considers the weakness of the country, its important strategic position, the selfishness and ambitions of European powers, and Japan's sacrifices in war, one does not wonder at the annexation, as much as he may regret some features of it. It had been demonstrated that Korea could not maintain her independence: it was simply a question of which power should control her. All things considered, it was probably better for the world and for Korea that that power should be Japan.
The Tokyo statesmen have tried earnestly and vigorously to increase the wealth of the land and to insure the Japanization, if one may use that term, of the Chosenese. Brigandage has been reduced, railway and highway construction promoted, agricultural and sericultural experiment stations have been multiplied, much-needed afforestation has been undertaken, and industry has been encouraged. By the treaty of annexation, the retired royal house was pensioned and honored and Koreans were promised official positions if they were loyal and competent. Japan evidently has wished the Chosenese to become loyal subjects of the emperor. It has been hoped, too, that as rapidly as possible they would become amalgamated with the Japanese. It is pointed out that the two peoples are closely related and that the task is quite feasible. To promote its accomplishment the Japanese laws and law courts have been extended to the peninsula, schools have been founded, and the modern educational institutions of the land, heretofore largely owned and operated by Christian missionaries from the West, have been made as far as possible to con form to the Japanese system and to submit themselves to official control. The use of the Japanese language has been encouraged and where feasible required.
The Chosenese have not faced the prospect of assimilation with unalloyed pleasure. There has been at times a deep undercurrent of discontent. Christian missions, begun long before annexation, have prospered as they had in no other Far Eastern land in the nineteenth century, and the Japanese, fearing lest sedition should cloak itself with religion and seek refuge in the church, have naturally been suspicious of the influence of the foreign pastor over his flock. At times friction has occurred, notably over the state supervision of missionary schools and the attempt to secularize them, and over the trial of a number of native Christians, most of them, possibly all of them, innocent, on the charge of plotting against the government. The Japanese have shown no signs of weakening in their purpose of completing the assimilation of the peninsula, however, and the Chosenese cannot hope to present more than a passive resistance: they are, indeed, increasingly contented. The land has been a drain on the imperial treasury, but the subsidies have been decreased year by year and it is expected that they will soon be no longer needed.
Sakhalin, or Karafuto as it is called by the Japanese, has not yet proved a very profitable acquisition. In the southern half, the section ceded by Russia in the treaty of Portsmouth, there are several hundred square miles of arable lands, and a few thousand Japanese have come in and settled on them. The fisheries are to-day the most important income-producing feature of the island. Their annual value has approached the four million dollar mark. The island has several undeveloped sources of income; its forests are the most extensive of any section of the empire, and there are valuable deposits of coal. The Tokyo treasury has had to make a yearly contribution to the local budget, however, for the island has been so sparsely settled that it is not yet paying its own way.
JAPAN'S GROWING INTEREST AND POWER IN MANCHURIA
In Manchuria Japan's position was not as predominant as in Korea nor her policy as clearly indicated for her by local conditions. She had gone to war with Russia ostensibly to defend the open door and the integrity of China. By the fortunes of war, she found herself on the conclusion of peace in the possession of the very Russian holdings in South Manchuria against the prejudicial tendency of which she had protested. Consistency and loyalty to pledges repeatedly made in treaties and conventions with various powers demanded that she scrupulously respect Chinese sovereignty and the principle of equal economic opportunity for all. Many Japanese felt, however, that the war had so altered conditions that a strict adherence to promises made earlier should not be insisted upon. Japanese lives by the thousand had been poured out on Manchurian soil to defend it against Russia, while China, the nominal sovereign, stood idly and helplessly by. Japan had loaded taxes on her people almost to the breaking point and had accumulated an immense war debt which would be a burden on generations yet unborn, while China had spent scarcely a dollar. The Japanese would not have been human had they not desired to use for their own advantage the territory taken at so much cost. Moreover, the successes of the war had strengthened the imperialistic ambitions of the nation. Manchuria was a most tempting field of expansion. It bordered on Korea; it was possessed of immense and almost virgin resources of field, mine, and forest; it was still a frontier country; it had been a part of China for less than three centuries and only recently had the Chinese entered it in large numbers; it was now being rapidly settled by these and they were demonstrating by the results of their farming the immense fertility of the land. Japan, moreover, needed room for expansion. Her population was steadily increasing. In 1891 it had been 40,718,677, in 1899, 44,260,652, in 1903, 46,732,876, and by 1908 it was to be 49,588,804. The arable land of the islands was not all occupied, but the limit was in sight. The pressure of population must be relieved either by emigration or by promoting industry and the exchange of its products abroad for food. In either case Manchuria was greatly to be desired. It was a comparatively virgin land to which Japanese might go and still for military purposes not be lost to the home land. Its rapidly increasing population offered a promising market, and its mines, forests, and fields were sources of abundant raw materials.
Considering all the temptations that Manchuria presented and the cost at which a foothold in it had been acquired, it would have been strange, although highly commendable, had Japan stayed strictly by her plighted word. She did, however, pay attention to China's claims to sovereignty. Even after the treaty of Portsmouth she sought and obtained from Peking the confirmation of the provisions of that document in so far as they affected Chinese rights. In a set of secret protocols Japan's control in Manchuria was confirmed by provisions that were believed by many to threaten the open door: other powers were apparently not to be allowed railway concessions save with the consent of Japan, and the Chinese were not to build lines that would compete with those owned by the Japanese.
AMERICANS AND THE MANCHURIAN RAILWAYS
There were efforts to loosen Japan's hold on Manchuria. The ink was hardly dry on the treaty of Portsmouth before Harriman had agreed with the Tokyo authorities to buy the roads that had been taken from Russia. The great American railway genius planned to obtain control of the trans-Siberian road, to span the Atlantic and Pacific with steamship lines, and thus to belt the world with a transportation system controlled by himself. This arrangement, however, stood in the way of Japanese expansion, and while favored by Ito was abrogated on the advice of the Japanese chief commissioner to Portsmouth. Both British and American financiers sought from China railway concessions in both the Japanese and Russian spheres of influence. Harriman negotiated for the lines in Manchuria still held by Russia. The United States through Secretary Knox proposed a scheme for the neutralization of the railways of Manchuria. The powers were jointly to lend China money to purchase the existing Russian and Japanese lines and to construct such additional roads as might be needed. The administration of the roads was to be for a time in the hands of an international commission. The plan was significant, for had it been carried out, it would have meant a precedent for the substitution of a benevolent international protectorate over China for "spheres of influence," "leased territories," "special interests," and other forms under which each nation was trying to obtain for its exclusive enjoyment some part of the country. If successful, Knox's plan would have lessened intrigues and reduced causes of friction and war. To the American proposal Japanese and Russian expansionists could hardly be expected to agree, and since they were in control at their respective capitals, alarm at the threatened action led the two countries not only to disapprove publicly of the plan, but to enter into an agreement (1910) to act jointly to conserve and coördinate their interests in Manchuria. The former enemies had been driven together by the American suggestion and their common interests. The temptation was great to obtain special privileges for Japanese merchants as well as for Japanese railroads. The accusation was repeatedly made that by manipulation of the customs, railroad rebates, preferential rates of interest in the Manchurian branches of the Yokohama Specie Bank, and the evasion of taxes, the Japanese were obtaining favors for their own goods and merchants at the expense of those of other powers. In some instances the complaints may have been well-founded, but if there was a violation of the open door it was more by indirect than by direct methods. It was seldom if ever as apparent as had been that practiced by Russia.
JAPAN'S INTEREST IN CHINA TO 1914
Japan's interest in China was not confined to Manchuria and events were soon to take place which would give her a larger voice in the affairs of her huge neighbor. If Manchuria was a rich field for commercial, mining, and industrial exploitation, China proper was even more so. There was a huge industrious and thrifty population variously estimated at from two hundred and fifty millions to four hundred millions, potentially the greatest market in the world. There were great supplies of raw material and of coal and iron, of the last of which Japan, without much iron ore of her own, stood particularly in need. There was the natural field for the commercial expansion that Japan must have if she were to find occupation and food for her increasing population and to insure her continued progress as a nation. Why should she not direct the transformation and organization of this unwieldy, newly awakened land, and the development of its resources? Why should she not make secure Chinese independence of Europe and furnish advisers for the schools, the diplomacy, and the civil and military administration of the great empire? Why should the two lands not form a close alliance under the leadership of Tokyo that would insure to Orientals the possession of the Far East, and exercise a decisive influence in world affairs? Moreover by her possession of Chosen and her special interests in Manchuria, Japan was under the necessity of watching, and if possible controlling diplomacy in Peking.
By every device known to industry and commerce Japan's trade with the Eighteen Provinces was encouraged. Heavily subsidized steamers plied the waters of the Yangtze and its tributaries; Japanese post-offices and consulates were opened in the main treaty ports; Japanese merchants came in by the hundreds; and Japanese teachers were to be found in Chinese government schools. Since 1901 Chinese students had flocked to Japan by the thousands, finding in Tokyo a nearer and less expensive source of Western learning than the university centers of the Occident. Returning, they had given a decidedly Japanese flavor to the reform movement in their home land.
The Chinese revolution of 1911 that overthrew the Manchu dynasty and established in its place a republic gave Japan fresh opportunities for interference in the internal affairs of her neighbor. It is true that the revolution was accompanied by a patriotic movement that resented foreign influence, and that Yuan Shih K'ai, the president of the united republic, had been of old, as his country's representative in Seoul before the Chino-Japanese war, an enemy of Japan. But with the revolution came disorder and temporary decentralization. The one led to offenses against a few individual Japanese, which gave Tokyo an opportunity to overawe the Chinese by vigorous demands for satisfaction. The other weakened Peking. Some of those who sought to oppose Yuan naturally looked to Japan for aid. It has not been proved that the Tokyo government ever gave Chinese rebels direct aid, but individual, over-enthusiastic Japanese, some of them officials, were guilty of helping them. The revolution, too, brought a need for more money. Yuan was put to it to find funds to pay his troops and to maintain and reorganize the government. A group of foreign bankers, made up originally of representatives of France, Germany, England, and the United States, offered to make a huge loan to be secured by receipts from taxes, notably the salt monopoly, and on the condition that in the future China should borrow exclusively from that group. Japan and Russia demanded and obtained entrance into the charmed circle, and the "sextuple syndicate" seemed about to institute a joint protectorate over China's finances. The American members of the syndicate withdrew soon after President Wilson came into office, for he had declined his support on the ground that by the terms of the loan China's autonomy would be jeopardized. The representatives of the remaining five powers made the loan, although this did not carry with it quite the drastic monopoly on the finances of China that had at first been contemplated. Japan, with the other four powers, was by it given a firmer hold on China.
RELATIONS WITH CHINA, 1914-1916
Then in August, 1914, came the Great War. By the terms of her alliance with Great Britain Japan was under obligation to come to the former's assistance in case she were attacked in the Far East, and to consider in common with her the measures that should be taken to safeguard any interests in the same region that were threatened by the Germans. Japan was quite ready to assume to the full her obligations under the alliance, for it gave her an unprecedented opportunity to establish herself in China and the Pacific. With the European powers busy elsewhere and with the known reluctance of the United States to use force to preserve the open door, she could do on the neighboring continent almost as she pleased. On August 15th Japan presented a note to the German government "advising" it to withdraw from Far Eastern waters all its men-of-war and armed vessels, to disarm those that could not be withdrawn, and to give up to her the leased territory of Kiao Chau "with a view to the eventual restoration of the same to China." The note made one strangely reminiscent of the German communication to Japan in 1895. Germany sent no reply and Japan entered the war. She aided England in clearing Asiatic waters of German cruisers and raiders and captured some of the German Pacific islands which, by the way, are not without strategic importance. With some slight assistance from her ally she sent a force to China and after a siege captured Tsingtao and occupied the German railways and mines in Shantung. Count Okuma, then the premier, publicly and in writing disavowed any territorial ambitions. Japan said she had "no ulterior motive, no desire to secure more territory, no thought of depriving China or other peoples of anything which they now possess." The temptation offered by the unusual opportunity, however, proved very great, too great, in fact, to be entirely resisted. In the attack on Tsingtao China's neutrality was accorded scant respect and repeated complaints were made by the Chinese of usurpations of authority by Japanese troops and officials in and near the railway zone. Tsingtao was treated as conquered territory, even to the exclusion of British interests.
But Japan was preparing for a more far-reaching move. Early in 1915 she made certain demands on Peking, demands which if granted in full would place the huge continental republic completely under the tutelage of its island neighbor. These were in five groups.
First: in regard to Shantung, China was to promise to give her assent to anything upon which the Japanese and German governments might agree in regard to the rights which the latter possessed in the province. She was to engage not to cede or to lease to any third power any territory within or along the coast of Shantung. She was to give to Japan an additional railway concession and to open new ports to trade.
Second: in regard to South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia, the leases on the railways and ports held by Japan were to be extended to ninety-nine years instead of the twenty-five years for which they were first made. Japanese officials and civilians were to have the right not only in the railway zones and treaty ports, but everywhere in the two regions, to travel, to reside, to lease or buy land for trading, manufacturing or agricultural purposes, to engage in any business they wished, and to open such mines as China and Japan might agree upon. Such extensive privileges of residence and ownership of land had not been granted elsewhere in China to foreigners other than missionaries: exterritorial rights had had as a corollary the restriction of most foreign residence and business to treaty ports, where the necessary consular courts could be operated without too much prejudice to Chinese jurisdiction. China was to promise, too, that the Japanese government would be consulted before any foreign advisers were employed for South Manchuria or Eastern Inner Mongolia, and that before Peking granted a railway concession or made a loan on the security of the taxes of these districts, Tokyo's consent would first be obtained. A lease was to be given Japan on a short railway hitherto outside its control. The effect of this second group of concessions, if they were granted, would be to strengthen Japan's control over some of the richest sections of China to the exclusion of all possible interference from the outside, while still preserving the semblance of the open door and Chinese sovereignty.
Third: the Han-yeh-ping Company, a home-owned enterprise which operated the greatest iron works in China, and which controlled extensive bodies of iron ore and coal, was, when the opportune moment arrived, to be made the joint undertaking of Japan and China. Without the consent of the former the latter was not to dispose of her rights in the company, and without the company's permission she was not to permit mines in the neighborhood of those owned by it to be worked, or any enterprise affecting its interests to be undertaken. The properties of the Han-yeh- ping Company were in the heart of China, within the region that less than twenty years before had been marked out by the British as a sphere of influence. The company was in financial straits and had already borrowed from Japanese. Its control by the Japanese and the strengthening of their political influence in that region would be made certain were the demand granted. Japan, sadly deficient in iron ore of her own, would be assured a supply that would probably be adequate for years to come.
Fourth: China was not to cede or to lease to any other power than Japan any harbor, bay, or island along her coast.
The fifth group comprised a series of demands which more completely than the other four would, if granted, place China under the tutelage of her neighbor. The Chinese government was to employ Japanese as advisers in political, financial, and military affairs; the police departments of important places in China were to be under the joint administration of the two nations; China was either to purchase of her neighbor fifty per cent or more of her munitions of war, or a joint arsenal was to be established employing Japanese experts and using Japanese material. Japanese hospitals, schools, and churches might own land in the heart of China, and the right to propagate religious doctrines was to be acknowledged. Certain railway concessions in the Yangtze Valley were to be granted, and no foreign capital for the development of Fuhkien, the province opposite Formosa, was to be employed without first consulting Japan.
These demands aroused a storm of protest in China, vigorous criticism in many foreign quarters, and much opposition even in Japan. To accede to them seemed to the Chinese to mean the virtual surrender of independence. But Peking was not in a position to offer armed resistance. The nation was disorganized and in sad financial straits, and its army could not hope to oppose successfully the fighting machine of its doughty neighbor. Europe was too busy with its own affairs to protest, and the United States, even if it objected, could be counted on not to back up its complaints by force. Long negotiations followed, and early in May Tokyo presented Peking with what was virtually an ultimatum, demanding the immediate acceptance of the provisions of the first four groups. The discussion of the fifth group was to be postponed for the time. To this ultimatum China was constrained to yield and by treaties and the exchange of notes granted all that Japan had asked, with the exception of the fifth group, the discussion on which was postponed. It may be noted that while the fifth group was not formally conceded, certain features of it have been partially carried out in practice, for Japanese advisers to the government are increasing in numbers and influence.
Disorders in Eastern Inner Mongolia in 1916 gave Japan the excuse for a demand for still further control over the policing of the region involved. Again China could only protest, but this time Tokyo was in a more conciliatory mood and compromised.
Japan was now unquestionably the leading power in China. Her predominance was spectacularly made apparent when in December, 1915, the Japanese chargé d'affaires acted as spokesman for a group made up of himself and the French and British ministers, the latter the dean of the diplomatic corps in Peking, in a formal protest to Yuan Shih K'ai against the substitution of a monarchy for a republic. Japan, as a member of the group that was attempting to crush Germany, was evidently not to be put under constraint by her companions in arms. Her position was still further strengthened by an agreement with Russia published in July, 1916. The two powers had been drawing together ever since the treaty of Portsmouth, and Japan had been aiding Russia in her struggle with Germany by shipments of supplies across Siberia. Each government now agreed not to enter into any alliance or arrangement with a third power directed against the other, and both promised that in case the Far Eastern territorial rights or special privilege of either were menaced they would "consult with each other regarding the measures to be taken for the purpose of protecting and guarding the said rights and privileges." Although not a formal alliance, it was an agreement for joint action. This agreement and the Anglo- Japanese alliance insured as much as solemn international promises are capable of doing the friendship and support of the two European powers most influential in the Far East.
CHINO-JAPANESE RELATIONS IN 1917
In the summer of 1917 more light was thrown on Japan's special position in China by incidents arising from internal troubles in the republic. Yuan Shih K'ai had died in 1916 after a vain attempt to make himself emperor. The republican government that he had restored in the last few weeks of his life was left in the control of two discordant factions, a conservative group, chiefly military, with its stronghold in the north, and a radical group, chiefly from the south. Early in 1917, the first was in control of the cabinet, and the second of parliament. Over both the president, Li Yuan Hung, was trying to preside and insure harmony. In the spring of 1917 the government received a copy of the note sent by the United States asking that all neutral powers join her in her break with Germany. This, followed by the outbreak of war between America and Germany, precipitated a heated discussion as to whether China should join the entente powers. So bitter did the discussion become that the president was constrained to dismiss the premier, and then the parliament, and civil war seemed about to follow. The United States now dispatched a note to Peking, advising China that it was more important for the welfare of the world that she preserve internal peace than that she join in the war. Great Britain, France, and Japan were apparently asked to second the note. Although the texts of the documents were not made public, Japan apparently protested to the United States that because of the former's special interests in China, Tokyo should have been communicated with before the note was sent to Peking. This was tantamount to asserting Japan's supervision of China's foreign affairs, and Great Britain and France by declining to second the American note, seemed tacitly to agree to Japan's position. The incident at first seemed trivial, but it was highly significant. The spectacular transient revival of the Manchu empire by Chang Hsun, followed by the restoration of the republic by the military party and the declaration of war on Germany, seemed to many in Japan to promise further disorder and to show the need for interference.
Japan failed to obtain the hearty coöperation of the Chinese in her program. She professed, it is true, to have no desire to annex any of their territory, but rather to aid them in reorganizing, and reaching a position where they could defend their independence. She professed to favor a close alliance between the two nations to the mutual advantage of both; Japan to protect China during her years of weakness against the aggressions of Western powers and to aid in her political and military reconstruction and her economic development, and China to provide Japan with a market and a source of raw materials. The Japanese pointed out that the two nations were closely related in blood and in culture and that it would be to the advantage of both if they acted together. For the time, they said, Japan would need to lead, even in China's internal affairs, but she could not hope to annex her huge neighbor and eventually the latter would be able to stand on her own feet. Unfortunately for the realization of this hope, neither people could heartily or harmoniously coöperate with the other. The Chinese had, until a little over half a century before, regarded Japan as an inferior state, one which had borrowed from them all the culture that separated her from barbarism. They could not quickly forget the earlier relationship and chafed with helpless rage under Japan's assumptions and aggressions. While the great growth of Japanese commerce on the continent was possible only because the Chinese traded with them, the latter despised and feared their island neighbors even while they bought from them, and contrasted scornfully the cheap and consequently flimsy articles sold them by Japan with the corresponding more expensive and substantial European products. The Japanese, moreover, were not in a frame of mind that would enable them easily to placate Chinese resentment. Their successes during the past few decades and their traditional national pride had not promoted a humble or conciliatory spirit. In spite of the many things that the two peoples had in common, and their many points of contact, it is doubtful whether they really understood each other. Their histories and ideals, had, after all, been very different. Even the best of the Japanese felt a certain contempt for their neighbors. It was true that the Chinese were successful merchants and that in ages past their culture had been dominant in the Far East; but had they not been unable quickly to adjust themselves to the new age, and were they not proving themselves incompetent to organize a government that could maintain its independence? As the Japanese had annexed Korea to prevent its absorption by Russia, so, they thought, they might need to supervise China to prevent Western powers from doing so and slamming to the door of economic opportunity. Many Japanese felt that Manchuria more properly belonged to them than to China. It had never, they claimed, been an integral part of China proper but had been held merely as a dependency until fear of foreign aggression led to its incorporation into the provincial system. The Chinese had not shed their blood nor spent their treasure for it as had the Japanese. In the light of these sentiments, friction between the two peoples was inevitable. Under a new ministry Japan in the latter part of 1916 began to adopt a more conciliatory attitude in an attempt to allay Chinese suspicions and promote harmonious coöperation, but, while she met with some success, her motives were still suspected by the mass of the Chinese nation. Whether or not the two peoples could get along peaceably together, it was evident that China would for years to come be the dominant factor in Japan's foreign policy.
The collapse of Russia in 1917 and 1918 brought with it developments the outcome of which cannot, in the spring of 1918, be accurately predicted. Japan's intervention in Vladivostok has the consent of her European allies, at least outwardly, and that in spite of the reluctance of the United States to see any action taken by the entente powers which may seem to smack of territorial aggression or serve to alienate the Russian people. Japan professes to entertain no purpose of permanent occupation, but the future of Russia is so fraught with uncertainty, and some of the territories concerned are so rich in minerals, particularly in coal and iron, that sceptical observers may well be pardoned if at times they doubt whether, if Japan once really occupies the region, she will find withdrawal convenient or possible.
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN, 1894-1917
During the years since 1894 Japan's relations with the United States had been undergoing a change. From the time of the Perry expedition the two countries had had for many years the most cordial attitude toward each other. The United States had never been suspected of territorial ambitions in the Far East. She had repeatedly by acts of generosity demonstrated the cordiality of her friendship for her trans-Pacific neighbor. She looked with a kind of elder- brotherly pride upon the rapid development of a nation that she had come to regard as a protegé, and saw in it no menace to her own safety. The two nations coöperated in seeking to maintain the open door in Manchuria after the Boxer uprising. In the war with Russia American sympathies were all with the Japanese and New York bankers loaned a large proportion of the funds needed for the struggle. In return Japan looked upon America as the one great Western power from whom she had nothing to fear and was moved by gratitude for the evidences of disinterested friendship that had been shown her. any Japanese students found their way to American universities and took back with them a hearty admiration for the country where they had spent their college days. The United States, moreover, had provided Japan a market for tea and raw silk, especially the latter, and was her best customer, better even than China. In return Japan bought from the United States large quantities of raw cotton, manufactures, machinery, iron, and steel.
By the close of 1905, however, friction between the two countries began to develop. A small and uninfluential portion of the Japanese public was temporarily inclined to regard the United States as partly responsible for the terms of the intensely unpopular treaty of Portsmouth. This slight resentment would quickly have died out had there not soon been added other causes for trouble. The first of these was the immigration question. The Pacific Coast states of America were poorly supplied with the cheap labor needed for their development. Chinese coolies had been excluded by law and the newer European immigration did not quickly find its way across the continent. Unskilled Japanese workmen, then, found an open field for their services, at wages far in excess of what they could hope for at home. Numbers came to the Pacific Coast and especially to California and were accompanied or followed by a few merchants and professional men. Immigration was swelled by the annexation of Hawaii. Tens of thousands of Japanese had come to the islands during the years of independence to work on the plantations, and still form the largest single racial element of the very heterogeneous population of that territory. After 1898 they began to go to the continent. This influx of cheap Asiatic labor alarmed the people of the coast states, especially the labor unions. The Japanese, it was felt, could not be assimilated easily if at all. Their home country was known to be crowded by a rapidly growing population, and it was feared that unless their immigration were stopped, they would soon form a large un-American group on the thinly settled Pacific Coast. White laborers would be unable or unwilling to compete with a race whose standards of living were traditionally so much lower than their own and would either become poverty-stricken or withdraw; the coast states would be filled with an ever increasing Oriental population and might in time become a Japanese rather than an American community. These fears were to some extent justified, but they were largely unfounded, for the Japanese proved to be more assimilable than the Chinese, more eager to learn the language and to adopt the ways and standards of living of their adopted country, and in efficiency and enterprise they were on the whole the equals if not the superiors of the immigrants from South Europe. Some of the student class who have remained in America have risen to the highest ranks in medicine and teaching, and there have been those among their merchants who have become honored, prosperous members of American communities. But for prejudice there would have been little more difficulty in absorbing a reasonable number of them than a somewhat similar number of Greeks or Italians. Unfortunately, native Americans felt a strong race prejudice. False or exaggerated reports were circulated which gave the American communities the quite erroneous impression that the Japanese were grossly immoral and dishonest and were spies for their government. With such a prejudice, friction was inevitable, intermarriage was frowned upon, and assimilation made difficult. As early as 1900 there had been some trouble, and the Tokyo government, to avoid friction, had passed restrictions on emigration to the United States. In 1903 a labor convention in Chicago appointed a commission to study the question and the report was opposed to Japanese immigration. In 1905 a league to exclude Japanese and Koreans was organized in San Francisco, and in 1906 the question came to a head when the San Francisco school officials attempted to segregate the Japanese from the American pupils. Through President Roosevelt's intervention the local authorities agreed to drop the matter, but only on the condition that the federal government would undertake to put a stop to further immigration of Japanese from Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada. Congress in 1907 passed an act authorizing the president to prevent a further influx of the unpopular race. The president then by proclamation prohibited the movement from Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada, an act which, in light of existing treaties, was of doubtful constitutionality. He also entered into negotiations with Tokyo which led to the so-called "gentlemen's agreement" by which Japan agreed to prevent any of her laboring class from coming to America.
In 1913 friction again arose over legislation in California, when, in spite of President Wilson's representations through Secretary of State Bryan, a bill was passed which in effect and purpose, although not by name, forbade Japanese to hold agricultural land in the state except on a short term lease. Similar legislation was talked of in Oregon and Idaho in 1917 and was withdrawn only on requests from Washington. Naturalization has not been allowed, and only American-born Japanese have or can acquire the rights of citizenship. The question of anti- Japanese clauses in the national immigration laws has been seriously debated in Congress. The Japanese people have been deeply offended by this American legislation, partly because of the scant respect for their feelings that has been shown in discussing and enacting it, and partly because it seems to them unwarranted discrimination. It is certainly unnecessary; the number of Japanese that can come to the United States and hold land there is, relatively speaking, unimportant so long as Tokyo adheres, as it has so far scrupulously done, to the "gentlemen's agreement": in 1905 there were probably less than 100,000 in the United States proper. It is discriminatory, for it seems to violate treaty obligations which guarantee Japan all the rights granted to other powers and it appears to rank the Japanese with the inferior peoples of the earth. This is doubly offensive to a nation as keenly sensitive and intensely patriotic as the Japanese. The American legislation has seemed, too, to be a phase of a general policy of the white race to exclude all other peoples from the best of the unoccupied sections of the earth, while refusing these others the privilege of shutting out the white man from their own lands. British Columbia and Australia, for example, have shown nearly as great irritation over Japanese immigration as has California, and that in spite of the existence of the Anglo- Japanese Alliance. There has seemed to be no immediate possibility of a war arising over the question, for Japan is too greatly interested in China to risk losing her advantage there by engaging in hostilities elsewhere. A majority of the American thinking public, moreover, has deplored the anti-Japanese agitation and has objected to having the peace of the nation jeopardized by the hysterical fears of three or four states. The admission of Japanese to the United States and their status when admitted, are, however, questions which will evidently arise again and if America continues to prove discourteous they may combine with other causes to bring war.
Another source of friction between Japan and the United States has been the policy of the two powers in the Far East. In 1898 America took the Philippines and in the same year annexed Hawaii. This, from the American standpoint, was the unavoidable result of the force of circumstances. From the Japanese standpoint it was ominous of designs on China. Shortly afterward, as if to confirm Japan's worst suspicions, the United States began to champion the principle of the open door in China, a principle which after 1905 threatened the special interests acquired by Japan in Manchuria through the treaty of Portsmouth. After the Russo-Japanese war, it will be remembered, Harriman offered to buy the South Manchurian railways from Tokyo, and when this was refused, tried to get hold of the Russian lines in North Manchuria. American capitalists attempted to get from China concessions for a railway which would have competed with the Japanese roads in Manchuria, and were prevented only by the opposition of Tokyo. Still later came the Knox proposal to purchase and operate these same Japanese Manchurian roads by an international syndicate. This from the standpoint of Americans was designed merely to preserve the open door and Chinese independence, but to Japan it might well have seemed to be actuated by purely selfish motives and to threaten the fruits of her dearly won victories. Still later Americans began to invest capital in China. American bankers joined in the six-power loan to China until discouraged by President Wilson. The Standard Oil Company obtained a partial monopoly on the oil fields of China, although that was later surrendered, and an American company entered into negotiations to build great docks in Fuhkien province, opposite the Japanese-owned Formosa. In 1916 other American capitalists proposed a loan for railway construction that competed with Japanese interests in Shantung. It was due largely to pressure from the United States that China in 1917 broke with Germany. All of this seemed very reasonable and just to the average citizen of the United States, if he stopped to think about it at all. He was innocent of any imperialistic intentions in Asia and wanted only an open door of equal opportunity. To some Japanese minds, however, there was a sinister aspect to this American westward expansion. In the course of a hundred years or so the United States had jumped the Mississippi River, crossed the Rockies, occupied the Pacific slope, and since Japan's war with China had spanned the Pacific, occupying Hawaii and the Philippines, and was seeking investments in Chinese mines and railways. What might she not do next? What wonder that many Japanese, misunderstanding the spirit of the American people, should be irritated by their open door policy and regard it as a hypocritical cloak for selfish designs? What wonder that they should think of America as a menace and even if they could be persuaded that for the present she had no selfish motives, should believe that commercial expansion and the investment of capital in China might lead her later to challenge Japan's special interests in that land? Many of them might feel, too, that the open door, splendid in theory, could not be left safely to the protection of Occidental powers. All of Japan's experience had been to the contrary. In the absence of an effective league of nations, the Japanese might well feel that until China should be able to take care of herself, her integrity could be made certain only by the assistance of some one strong power. Japan planned, without doubt, to maintain in China her "special interests," her semi-protectorate over that nation, and there seemed to be no question but that if the United States were to undertake an aggressive policy there that would seriously jeopardize the position of Japan, the latter would fight, unless prevented by the alignment of European powers.
Many Americans were suspicious of Japan's designs in the Far East and the Pacific. They feared that she was only waiting her opportunity to seize the Philippines and Hawaii and even portions of the American Continent. They pointed to the large Japanese elements in the Hawaiian Islands as a source of danger, and gave credence to baseless rumors of Japanese political designs on Mexico, and Central and South America. They viewed with alarm the growth of Japanese shipping on the Pacific: it was rapidly increasing while American shipping on the same waters was declining. They lost no opportunity to magnify the Japanese influence and designs in China. As a matter of fact, a few chauvinists in Japan probably hoped that the opportunity would sometime come to obtain possession of the Philippines and Hawaii, and in case of war between the two countries both of these exposed and valuable possessions of the United States would certainly be attacked, but the nation as a whole and its responsible statesmen seem to have been entirely innocent of any thought of seizing wantonly the American Pacific islands or any section of the American coast. They were too much concerned with China to dissipate their energies elsewhere. They were frankly out for as large a share of the Pacific trade as possible, but they had no serious intention of attempting to get it by any other than the approved means of peaceful competition.
THE LANSING-ISHII AGREEMENT, NOVEMBER, 1917
Friction between the United States and Japan over China was allayed, at least for the time, by an exchange of notes which grew out of the visit to America in the summer and autumn of 1917 of a Japanese commission headed by Viscount Ishii. The United States frankly recognized "that territorial propinquity creates special relations between countries . . . [and] that Japan has special interests in China, particularly in that part to which her possessions are contiguous." She expressed her faith that Japan would observe the open door and the territorial integrity and independence of China. To this Japan readily agreed, and declared with the United States, that she was "opposed to the acquisition by any government of any special rights or privileges that would affect the independence or territorial integrity of China or that would deny to the subjects or citizens of any country the full enjoyment of equal opportunity in the commerce and industry of China." The agreement merely recognized existing conditions and renewed Japan's previous pledges of good faith. It was greeted with no great enthusiasm by the press in either America or Japan, for to many of the public in both countries it seemed that each foreign office had conceded too much. The Chinese were bitter in their denunciation; the agreement seemed to them to be the desertion of their last remaining protector against the aggressions of Japan, and Peking registered a formal refusal to be bound by any conventions to which she was not a willing party. As the weeks passed, however, the agreement seemed to have relieved the tension between Japan and America. Suspicions were further allayed by several Japanese commissions sent to the United States to insure the full coöperation of the two countries in the war against the Central Powers.
PROBABLE FUTURE RELATIONS BETWEEN JAPAN AND UNITED STATES
There seemed then, with all the talk of war, to be no imminent danger of Japan and America coming to an armed clash. America's entrance into the war on the side of the Allies promoted, for a time at least, coöperation and a better understanding. The Japanese, unless wantonly or thoughtlessly insulted by discriminatory legislation, would fight only to preserve their position on the continent, and the American public was too indifferent to Chinese affairs and too reluctant to back up her capitalists and merchants by force of arms to go to war to protect China against Japan. It was evident, however, that the two peoples must become better acquainted with each other if friction was to end and relations of mutual confidence and understanding to be restored. If the irritation and suspicion were to continue they might eventually lead to an armed clash, and war would probably be indecisive and disastrous for both peoples.
For further reading see: Abbott, Japanese Expansion and American Policies; Gulick, The American Japanese Problem; Millis, The Japanese Problem in the United States; McCormick, The Menace of Japan; Millard, Our Eastern Question; Kawakami, Asia at the Door; The Secret Memoirs of Count Hayashi; Brinkley, A History of the Japanese People; Hornbeck, Contemporary Politics in the Far East.