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Many Japanese Americans argued to the school board that the separation of schools violated the 1894 treaty, which did not explicitly address education, but emphasized that the Japanese would have equal rights in America. According to the oversight decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896), a state did not violate the equality clause of the U.S. Constitution by requiring racial segregation as long as the separate entities were essentially the same. Tokyo newspapers condemned racial segregation as an insult to Japanese pride and honor. The Japanese government wanted to protect its reputation as a world power. Government officials realized that a crisis was imminent and that intervention was needed to maintain diplomatic peace.  At the turn of the century, the interests of the United States and Japan seemed aligned. Both countries have supported the idea of an “open door” for trade expansion in China. After the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, President Theodore Roosevelt acted as a mediator at Japan`s request, and the two sides to the conflict met on neutral ground in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That same year, U.S. Secretary of War William Howard Taft met with Prime Minister Katsura Taro in Japan.
The two signed the secret Taft-Katsura Agreement, in which the United States recognized Japanese rule over Korea and tolerated the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902. At the same time, Japan recognized U.S. control over the Philippines. After the immigration issue was temporarily resolved, the two countries met to give mutual assurances about their territories and interests in East Asia. In 1908, U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root and Japanese Ambassador Takahira Kogoro reached an agreement in which Japan promised to respect U.S. territorial possessions in the Pacific, its open door policy in China, and the restriction of immigration to the United States as described in the Gentlemen`s Agreement. The Japanese government diverted its migrant workers to its populations in Manchuria, claiming that they did not belong to China. The United States, for its part, recognized Japanese control of Taiwan and the Pescadores, as well as Japan`s special interest in Manchuria. By repeating the position of each country in the region, the Root-Takahira agreement served to reduce the risk of misunderstanding or war between the two nations. The increase in Japanese immigration, in part to replace excluded Chinese farm workers, has met with concerted opposition in California.
To appease Californians and avoid an open break with Japan`s rising world power, President Theodore Roosevelt negotiated this diplomatic agreement in which the Japanese government took responsibility for sharply reducing Japanese immigration, especially workers, so that Japanese-American children could continue to attend integrated schools on the West Coast. However, family migration could continue, as Japanese-American men with sufficient savings could bring wives through arranged marriages (“picture brides”), their parents and minor children. As a result, the Japan-U.S. population was more balanced than other Asian-American communities and continued to grow through natural growth, resulting in increased pressure to end their immigration and further reduce the rights of resident believers. Library and Archives Canada. Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Debates, 10th Parliament, 4th Session, Volume 1 (January 21, 1908): 1607-1616. Japan agreed to limit the number of passports it issued to male and domestic workers to 400.
Four categories of immigrants would continue to be allowed to enter Canada: returning residents and their wives, children and parents; immigrants employed by residents of Japan in Canada for personal and domestic services; workers approved by the Canadian government; and agricultural workers hired by Japanese landowners in Canada. Although no specific rules were adopted to enforce the quota, the agreement resulted in a significant drop in Japanese immigration. In the year following the agreement, only 495 Japanese immigrants arrived in Canada.  However, in the following years, tensions rose over Japanese actions in northeast China and immigration to the United States. In 1905, the Japanese began to gain more formal control over southern Manchuria by forcing China to give Japan ownership of the South Manchuria Railway. The Japanese used this opening to penetrate further into northeastern China, which worried the Roosevelt administration about violating the ideals of free enterprise and preserving China`s territorial integrity. At the same time, senior Japanese officials have expressed frustration with the treatment of Japanese immigrants to the United States. A U.S.-Japanese treaty signed in 1894 guaranteed japanese the right to immigrate to the United States and enjoy the same rights in the country as American citizens. However, in 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education passed a measure to send Japanese and Chinese children to separate schools. The Japanese government was outraged by this policy and claimed that it violated the 1894 treaty. In a series of notes exchanged between late 1907 and early 1908, collectively known as the Gentlemen`s Agreement, the U.S.
government agreed to pressure San Francisco authorities to withdraw the measure, and the Japanese government promised to restrict the immigration of workers to the United States. Restrictions on Japanese immigration were deemed necessary after an influx of Japanese workers into British Columbia and a rise in anti-Asian sentiment in the province. More than 8,000 Japanese immigrants arrived in Canada in the first ten months of 1907, a significant increase from previous years.  Reports that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway planned to import thousands of additional Japanese workers to work on the western section of the railway fueled anti-Asian sentiments.  Hostility towards the Asian population turned into open violence in 1907 at a rally organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League in Vancouver. The crowd turned into an uncontrollable mob that targeted the city`s Chinese and Japanese residents and destroyed their personal belongings.  Chinese immigration to California exploded during the gold rush of 1852, but the strict Japanese government practiced a policy of isolation that thwarted Japanese emigration. It was not until 1868 that the Japanese government eased restrictions and Japanese immigration to the United States began.
Anti-Chinese sentiment motivated American entrepreneurs to recruit Japanese workers. In 1885, the first Japanese workers arrived in the then independent Kingdom of Hawaii. Let me begin by congratulating you on the rigour and admirable temperament with which you have examined the case of the treatment of the Japanese on the coast. I had a conversation with the Japanese ambassador before leaving for Panama; read to him what I had to say in my annual message, which he obviously liked very much; then told him that, in my opinion, the only way to avoid constant friction between the United States and Japan is to limit as much as possible the movement of citizens of each country to the other country to students, travelers, businessmen and others; that since no American workers were trying to get to Japan, which was necessary to prevent any immigration of Japanese workers – i.e. the Coolie class – to the United States; that I sincerely hoped that his government would prevent their kulaks, all their workers, from coming to the United States or Hawaii. .