American Diplomacy in the Orient/Chapter X

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search



WHEN the disorders of government in Japan and the anti-foreign disturbances which marked the first few years after the opening of the ports to inter- course with the outside world, as already narrated, had in great measure passed, the rulers of the nation addressed themselves to the task of adapting the coun- try to the changed conditions. New and unexpected embarrassments, however, were at once encountered. It has been seen that the Japanese were as artless as children in the practice of diplomacy, and accepted submissively the treaties which Commodore Perry and Minister Harris prepared, as well as those of the other nations patterned after them. But the statesmen of Japan were sagacious and highly patriotic, and they early discovered that the nation had been led into a thralldom, a release from which would require the greatest wisdom, persistency, and forbearance.

Soon after the treaties went into effect it became apparent that the government had surrendered two of the highest attributes of sovereignty and independ- ence the power to enforce its authority over all the people within its territory, ; and the right to frame and alter its tariff or impost duties at its pleasure. According to the American treaties of 1854 and 1858,


which followed the Gushing treaty of 1844 with China on the subject of exterritoriality, Americans commit- ting offenses in Japan were to be tried by their own consuls, and Japanese having claims against Americans were required to enforce them in the consular courts. A fixed tariff of duties was also agreed to on imports and exports. Similar provisions were contained in the treaties with the other foreign powers.

Soon after the government of the Mikado was well established at Tokio efforts were made to obtain an abolition or a modification of these stipulations through the resident foreign ministers. These proved ineffec- tual, and inasmuch as the year 1872 was fixed in the treaties as the date when their revision might be con- sidered, it was determined to dispatch an embassy to the capitals of all the interested powers for the purpose of securing, by means of such revision, a release from the humiliating and burdensome conditions which so greatly embarrassed the government.

In 1871 the embassy was constituted. At its head was placed Prince Iwakura, junior prime minister and minister for foreign affairs. With him were associated as vice-ambassadors, Kido, Okuba, Ito, and Yamagutsi, men who had already attained high positions in the gov- ernment, and whose talents made them leaders of the New Japan. While the special object of the embassy was to obtain a revision of the treaties, it had also in view a study of the institutions of the Western nations, and to this end commissioners fitted for the task were selected from the various departments of government.

The embassy, which sailed from Yokohama the last


of December, consisted of forty-nine officials, with interpreters and servants making in all over one hun- dred persons. They were accompanied to the United States by the American minister, Mr. De Long, and his secretary; and the Japanese consul at San Fran- cisco, an American citizen, was made a member of the embassy and continued with it through Europe. It arrived in San Francisco, January 15, 1872, where it was received with the greatest attention by the public officials and citizens. In the receptions and festivities, Vice- Ambassador Ito, who had been abroad and was familiar with the English language, was the chief speaker. The spirit which animated this distinguished body of statesmen may be seen from the following extracts from his speeches.

At a banquet given by the citizens of San Fran- cisco, in the course of his remarks, he said : " Japan is anxious 'to press forward. The red disk in the centre of our flag shall no longer appear like a wafer over a sealed empire, but henceforth be in fact what it is designed to be, the noble emblem of the rising sun, moving onward and upward amid the enlightened na- tions of the world." And at Sacramento : " We come to study your strength, that, by adopting wisely your better ways, we may hereafter be stronger ourselves. . . . Notwithstanding the various customs, manners, and institutions of the different nations, we are all members of one large human family, and under control of the same Almighty Being, and we believe it is our common destiny to reach a nobler civilization than the world has yet seen."


By a unanimous vote of Congress the embassy was declared the guests of the United States and an appro- priation for its entertainment was made. On its arrival in Washington it was received at the executive mansion by President Grant, in the presence of all the heads of departments and bureaus and a numerous company of prominent citizens. An official reception was tendered by Congress in the hall of the House of Representa- tives, with eloquent addresses by the Speaker, Mr. Elaine, and Prince Iwakura. Public and private cour- tesies were likewise shown them in the other cities which they visited before their departure for Europe.

The ambassadors had several conferences with the Secretary of State, Mr. Fish, on the subject of the revi- sion of the treaties, and received from him the assurance that the government of the United States was prepared to take up the subject in the most liberal spirit towards Japan. But it was found that the Japanese represent- atives were not clothed with power to sign a treaty, and definite action was postponed till the embassy had conferred with the European treaty powers.

During their stay in the United States the ambassa- dors and commissioners were busy in studying its insti- tutions and customs, and their reports thereon constitute a large volume in the publications of the embassy. Prince Iwakura, who had been the main support of the imperial cause during the struggle which resulted in the reinstallment of the emperor, was a devoted monarchist, and found little in the American democratic system to pattern after ; but he was much impressed with the strength of the central government. The reports give


special attention to the social aspects, the genial dispo- sition of the people, their cosmopolitan character, the influence which religion exerts in society and govern- ment, the educational system, the respect paid to women, the growth of the cities, and European immigration.

The visit of the embassy to the European capitals was fruitless of results so far as its main object was con- cerned. It found the governments unwilling to give Japan jurisdiction over their subjects until it had re- formed its system of jurisprudence, and they did not choose to give up the hold which they had acquired on the regulation of foreign trade. From the United States alone had the embassy received any well-grounded hope of release ; and on his return to Japan the chief ambas- sador expressed to the American minister in a heartfelt manner his deep sense of obligation to the government for its reception and treatment.

Prince Iwakura was a noted character in Japanese history. He is held in esteem by Americans because of his high appreciation of the friendship of their coun- try for his nation, and for the partiality shown by him to the United States in educating three of his sons in its institutions. Minister Bingham ranked him as one of the ablest of his majesty's ministers, and one of the foremost intellectually and morally of his countrymen. On his death in 1883, the emperor issued a rescript in which he bore this testimony : " He was the pillar of the nation, and a model for my subjects. I ascended the throne in my youth. The deceased was my teacher. Heaven has deprived me of his aid. How grieved am I ! In honor of his memory I confer on him the post- humous title of first minister of state."


With the failure of the embassy nothing was left for the rulers of Japan but, first, to bring their country up to the standard of administration fixed by the Euro- pean powers before they would relinquish the practice of exterritoriality ; and second, to make the power of the country so great as to command the respect of the Western nations, and thereby secure a recognition of the right to regulate its own system of taxation.

This course had been already marked out by the em- peror. In a banquet which he gave his nobles just before the departure of the embassy in 1871, he fore- shadowed his policy for the reorganization of the gov- ernment, and appealed to them to lead and encourage the people " to move forward in paths of progress. . . . With diligent and united efforts we may attain succes- sively the highest degree of civilization within our reach, and shall experience no serious difficulty in maintaining power, independence, and respect among nations." l

To attain this " highest degree of civilization," mea- sures were instituted to reform the system of juris- prudence and education in conformity with Western methods, and to reorganize the departments especially of finance, military affairs, and internal improvements. To this end Japanese of intelligence and capacity were sent abroad to study the systems of other countries, and foreigners were called to Japan to instruct and take direction in the reforms to be established.

In the accomplishment of this work it was natural,

1 U. S. For. Rel. 1871, p. 597 ; 1874, p. 646 ; 1883, p. 607 ; The Japa- nese in America, by C. Lanman, New York, 1872, pt. i. ; Nitobe, 162.


in view of their past relations, that Japan should look largely to the United States. It is not possible here to give in detail the distinguished part borne by American citizens in the reformation of the government and peo- ple. Americans were early employed as confidential advisers in the foreign office to aid in the direction of diplomatic affairs, and they have been continuously retained up to the present time. In the development of education they have taken a leading part. At the request of Japan officials were detailed from the United States Treasury Department to remodel its financial sys- tem. Its agricultural bureau, and largely its scientific institutions, were organized under American direction. The present excellent postal establishment was initiated by an American, and the first postal convention with Japan was made by the United States. 1

In connection with the influence which American citizens exerted in remoulding Japan may be noted the visit to that country of General U. S. Grant in 1879, on his tour of the world. He was made the guest of the nation (the first instance of the kind under the reorganized government), was lodged in an imperial palace, and, besides the usual audience, he held with the emperor (at the latter's special request) an interview of two hours and several others with the prime minister, in which the interests of Japan were fully and freely discussed. At the time of his visit China and Japan were in serious dispute over the sovereignty of the Lew

1 U. S. For. Rel. 1871, p. 595, 614 ; 1875, p. 795 ; 1876, p. 360 ; Nito- be's Intercourse of U. S. and Japan, 117-139 ; Advance Japan, by J. Morris, London, 1895, p. 378.


Chew Islands, which, it will be remembered, Commo- dore Perry in 1854 had recommended should be occu- pied by the United States. There was great danger of hostilities between the two oriental empires over the question, and General Grant actively interested himself in preserving peace. Both nations cherish his visit with grateful remembrance. 1

The task of regeneration to which the emperor of Japan had summoned his people was pushed forward with commendable zeal. He promptly set the example by inviting the diplomatic corps in 1872 to a New Year's audience, as in Western courts, with the absence of all Asiatic ceremonials ; and a few years later the empress stood beside him in these audiences, which Minister Bingham noted " as an evidence of the ad- vancing civilization of the empire." In 1875 an impe- rial decree was issued convoking provincial assemblies, in order, as it stated, that the emperor might " govern in harmony with public opinion." In the same year the British and French troops were withdrawn from Yokohama, where they had been stationed since the opening of that port, on the ground of protecting for- eign residents, the first manifestation of a disposition on the part of the European powers to respect the sov- ereignty of Japan. Edicts followed in quick succession adopting the European calendar, proclaiming Sunday as a day of rest, enacting and putting in force penal and other codes, for the compilation of a constitution

i U. S. For. Rel. 1879, pp. 636,643, 685 ; 1881, p. 231 ; 2 Around the World with General Grant, by J. R. Young, New York, 1879, pp. 410, 545, 581 ; Nitobe's Intercourse, etc. 140.


after Western models, and announcing the convocation of a national parliament. Meanwhile a compulsory system of education had gone into operation, and the intelligence of the people was being quickened by the multiplication of daily newspapers, a network of tele- graph lines, and the opening of railroads. 1

With all these and other reforms in process of con- summation, and chafing under the humiliation of the exercise of sovereignty on its own soil by foreign na- tions, the government of Japan, in 1878, approached the diplomatic representatives of powers in Tokio with a proposition for a revision of the treaties. The dis- cussion which followed developed the fact that no time was fixed in these conventions for their termination, and that if revision could not be agreed upon they would run indefinitely.

Mr. Harris, who negotiated the American treaty of 1858, and which became the model for all others, had inserted the exterritorial provision "against his con- science." He states that he did it under the instruc- tions of Secretary Marcy, who agreed with him that it was an unjust provision, but he said that, as it appeared in the treaties of the United States with other oriental countries, it would be impossible to secure the ratifica- tion of the treaty without it. Mr. Harris regarded it only as a temporary measure.

The provisions as to the tariff had even a less claim for their continued existence. Mr. Harris states that the Japanese negotiators left that matter entirely to

1 U. S. For. Rel. 1872, p. 321 ; 1875, pp. 787, 794 ; 1876, pp. 377,381 ; 1878, p. 486; 1880, p. 690 ; 1881, pp. 658, 728.


him, frankly avowing their want of knowledge respect- ing it, and trusted to his acting justly. He framed such a tariff as he regarded best for the interests of Japan, placing raw products, food supplies, and building materials on the free list or at a duty of five per cent., manufactures, etc., at a duty of twenty per cent., and liquors at thirty-five per cent. He intended to give Japan the power of revising the duty at the end of ten years, but the construction placed by the powers upon the language used by him made the concurrence of all the nations necessary to any change.

Lord Elgin, who negotiated the British treaty a short time after that of the United States, succeeded in hav- ing placed in the five per cent, column manufactures of wool and cotton, the articles most largely exported to the East by British merchants. Under the most favored nation practice all countries shared in the rate, and it had the effect, when the tariff revision of 1866 took place, of a reduction of all imports to a five per cent, duty.

This tariff proved disastrous to Japan. It destroyed the cultivation of cotton and in great measure the small manufactories, throwing many thousands of laborers out of employment. It deprived the government of all revenue from this important source, the duties collected barely paying the cost of maintaining the customs ser- vice, and amounting to less than one thirtieth of its income, while in the United States and many other countries the customs receipts equal or exceed one half ' of the national revenues. But the most serious objec- tion to its maintenance was the humiliation it caused


the proud Japanese. It was forced upon them in 1866, when the country was in the throes of a revolution, when the government of the Shogun was falling to pieces, and the emperor was not yet able to maintain his sovereignty.

The enforcement of the provisions of the treaties as to exterritorial jurisdiction was equally as objection- able to the Japanese. Not only were foreigners tried by their own consuls for offenses committed against Japan and its people, but the natives were required to prosecute their suits against foreigners in the consular courts of the defendants. It was humiliating enough even when the consuls had a legal education and were competent to administer justice, but often the persons who held these positions were ignorant of law and utterly unfitted for judicial duties. In the latter case the consular judges were in marked contrast to the Japanese judges, who were trained in their profession and independent of executive control.

Even when the consuls were qualified in other re- spects for their duties, it was not always easy to divest themselves of partiality for their own countrymen, and this influence sometimes led to remarkable decisions. An example was that of an English merchant detected in trying to smuggle a large quantity of opium (a pro- hibited article) through the custom house, who was brought by the Japanese authorities before the British consular court. He was acquitted on the ground that it was " medicinal opium," and might be freely imported by paying the duty of five per cent, levied on medi- cines.


The exterritorial principle was found inconvenient in other respects than in judicial matters. When the con- sulates were first established in the treaty ports the Japanese government had no postal system, and in each consulate there was a post-office for the convenience of resident foreigners, through which foreign mail matter passed. When the excellent postal service organized; by the Japanese government was in full operation, it requested that the consular post-offices might be closed and the government service substituted. The American consulates were the only ones which promptly acted on the suggestion, the others claiming for several years afterwards the right to maintain a separate service in Japanese territory.

A still more aggravating application of exterritorial- ity was made respecting quarantine matters. During a cholera epidemic in 1879 the government established health regulations at the ports, which the British, Ger- man, and some other ministers refused to recognize, and they claimed the right to enact regulations in the ports for their own vessels. A German ship, coming directly from an infected port, was placed in quarantine outside of Yokohama, but under the orders of the Ger- man minister the vessel was taken out of quarantine by the consul, attended by a German man-of-war, and brought into port. General Grant, who was visiting in Japan at the time, was emphatic in his denunciation of the European diplomats, and said the government would have been justified in sinking the German ship. The British minister gave instructions to the consuls of his nation to disregard entirely the regulations. On the


other hand, the American minister required all the ves- sels of his nationality to observe the quarantine. Over one hundred thousand Japanese lost their lives by the epidemic. The American minister, in forwarding the statistics to his government, expressed the conviction that the death roll would not have been so great if the Japanese government had been aided, and not resisted, by certain of the foreign powers in its laudable efforts to prevent the spread of the pestilence.

The minister for foreign affairs urged the application for a revision of the treaties on the representatives of the Western nations, under the conviction that with the governmental and social reforms so well advanced, and with the objectionable features of exterritoriality so manifest, some relief would be granted from the em- barrassments which attended the continued enforcement of the treaties. But his arguments and appeals were unsuccessful. The British minister took the lead in the opposition to revision and the other European re- presentatives concurred with him. At that period the influence of Great Britain was all-powerful in the East. Twice had its naval and military forces been used to extort from China unwilling treaties ; twice had Japan been humiliated by demonstrations of its martial power ; and its squadrons were everywhere present to support its ministers and consuls.

In commercial affairs as well were British interests predominant. In Japan the import trade was largely English, and British merchants were the greatest bene- ficiaries of the low duties. It did not suit their inter- ests to abandon the practice of exterritoriality or to


change the tariff. Under these conditions the negotia- tions came to naught, as the American minister was the only one of the foreign representatives willing to accept the proposals of the Japanese government.

Up to this time it had been the policy and the prac- tice of the foreign representatives in Tokio to cooperate in all measures of general interest, but Mr. Bingham, the American minister, was so strongly impressed with the equity and justice of the Japanese claim that he dissented from his European colleagues, and decided to take an independent course. Upon his recommenda- tion the United States, in 1878, entered into a treaty with Japan by which the existing tariff was to be an- nulled and the exclusive right of Japan to establish imports was recognized. This treaty, however, had no other effect than to place the United States on the side of Japan in its efforts to break the bands which held it in bondage, as its provisions were not to go into effect until similar treaties were made with the other powers. 1

Not discouraged by this failure of 1878, new pro- posals were submitted in 1882, but without avail, the American minister being the only one ready to concede the Japanese claim. Again in 1886 a more formal effort was made and a diplomatic conference or con- gress was assembled, in which the Japanese minister for foreign affairs, Count Inouye, and the representa- tives of all the treaty powers participated. Some pro- gress was made towards an agreement on tariff revision,

  • U. S. For. Rel. 1879, pp. 647, 670 ; 1880, pp. 652, 657, 679 ; U. S.

Treaties, 621 ; N. A Rev. Dec. 1878, p. 406 ; Atlantic Monthly, May, 1881, p. 610; Ib. Dec. 1887, p. 721 ; Nitobe's Intercourse, etc. 104.


but there was an irreconcilable divergence of views on the jurisdictional question. After long discussions, the conferences extending into the year 1887, the Japanese were finally brought to agree that to the native judges there should be added a body of European and Ameri- can experts, who should constitute a majority in every court before which aliens might be required to appear. But when this important concession was offered, the European representatives insisted that the foreign judges should be nominated by the diplomatic body, and that it should control the laws, rules of procedure, and the details of the administration of justice.

When the concession tendered by Count Inouye and the demands of the diplomatic representatives became known to the Japanese public, a storm of indignation spread through the land, and the opposition became so threatening that the conference was dissolved, and Count Inouye was forced to resign his portfolio. Again the American minister alone was on the side of Japan. To signalize the attitude of his government, an extradi- tion convention was negotiated by Minister Hubbard, ratified, and proclaimed in 1886, while the conference was in progress. In submitting the treaty to the Senate, President Cleveland stated that it had been made not only because it was necessary for the proper execution of the criminal kws, "but also because of the support which its conclusion would give to Japan in her efforts towards judicial autonomy and complete sovereignty."

This treaty originated in questions which were raised through an American, charged with a crime committed


in the United States, taking refuge in Japan. His arrest could not be demanded in the absence of an extradition treaty, but the Japanese government as an act of comity caused his delivery for trial in the United States, and in friendly reciprocity the convention was signed. The British government, on the other hand, claimed that, under the principle of exterritoriality, it had the right without such a convention to follow a British fugitive from justice into any part of Japanese territory, arrest, and carry him back to England for trial. Such a claim was only equaled by the disregard of the government quarantine regulations in the treaty ports.

Count Inouye's conferences having been broken up because of the indignation of the Japanese people, Count Okuma, his successor in the foreign office, sought to take advantage of a difference of views exist- ing among the European representatives, and to revise the treaties with each nation separately. He reached a basis of agreement with Germany, France, and Russia, but Great Britain still held out, and, while laboring to secure an adjustment with that power, an attempt on his life was made by a fanatic, who had been wrought up by an excessive patriotic fervor to believe the minis- ter was about to betray his country. Being severely wounded, Okuma likewise abandoned his efforts and gave up his office. The attitude of the European powers had created a conservative reaction, and the public sentiment was such at the time that an unwill- ingness was manifested to allow the country to be thrown open to foreigners, even in exchange for the


abolition of the judicial and tariff provisions of the treaty. Disheartened in its labors, the government decided to abandon further attempts at treaty revision, in the hope that time would work out the deliverance of the nation. 1

But it did not slacken the movement for reform, and on the two thousand five hundred and forty-ninth anni- versary of the foundation of the dynasty there occurred the most momentous event in Japanese history and the crowning work in the regeneration of the country the promulgation by the emperor of the imperial con- stitution, accompanied by his solemn oath to observe and enforce it, and also by a decree for the election of an imperial diet or parliament. The promulgation was made by the emperor in the throne-room of the palace with stately ceremonies, and was witnessed by the dip- lomatic representatives who had so recently refused to recognize the advance which the empire had made in governmental and social reorganization, and who were still unwilling to admit it into the family of nations. 2

The patience and forbearance of Japanese statesman- ship, however, at last had its reward in a notable triumph over Western diplomacy. The war with China had thrown a fresh light on oriental affairs. A new people had appeared above the horizon of international politics, not only able to defend their independence,

1 The United States in the Far East, by R. B. Hubbard, Richmond, 1900, chap. xvi. ; Norman's Far East, 385 ; Chamberlain's Things Japa- nese, 443 Atlantic Monthly, 1887, pp. 728-733 ; Nitobe's Intercourse, etc. 105 ; U. S. For. Rel. 1886, p. 564 ; 8 Presidents' Messages, 402, 501.

2 U. S. For. Rel. 1889, p. 536 ; Murray's Story of Japan, 394 ; Minister Kurimo in N. A. Rev. May, 1895, p. 624.


but to make their power felt in the counsels and con- tests of the nations. Russia, Germany, and France had combined to rescue China from Japanese control, and Great Britain, separated from the great continental powers, found in Japan a convenient and useful ally. The British government was not slow to realize the situation. Even before the war had fairly begun and when the triple alliance in Asiatic affairs was still in- choate, it had taken the step which was essential to an alliance with the Japanese empire.

The highest ambition of that empire was to secure release from the bondage in which it was held by the treaties with the Western powers. No nation could be its friend and ally which was not ready to yield that point. The British government signified its readiness to take up the revision, and, from being the recalcitrant power, it became the one most prompt to accept the conditions proposed by Japan. The latter, also, had changed its position. It no longer thought of foreign judges in its courts, as it proposed in 1886. When it declared war against China and marshaled its army and navy for the contest, it was not alone to settle its differences with its neighbor, but to achieve its inde- pendence and sovereignty among the nations of the earth. Great Britain recognized that Japan had at last reached the goal of its twenty-two years' diplomatic struggle, and in 1894 entered into a treaty whereby the practice of exterritoriality was to be completely abolished, the whole country was to be opened to for- eign residents, and the statutory tariff of Japan was to control the imposts, from and after 1899; and


meanwhile the foreign residents at the treaty ports were to prepare for the change.

The United States had negotiated such a treaty soon after the adjournment of the revision conference of 1886-87, and stood ready to put it in force as soon as Great Britain, its commercial competitor, could be brought to a similar agreement. When the British treaty was assured, the negotiations were taken up at Washington, a treaty was signed November 22, 1894, and promptly ratified and proclaimed. All the other treaty powers followed with little delay, and the day was thus fixed for the release of Japan from its thrall- dom.

The revision of the treaties was not popular with the foreign residents of the empire. They looked forward with foreboding to the application to their persons and business of the Japanese laws. The American and British residents especially were filled with anxiety, and petitioned their governments to secure some ex- emption from the laws respecting land tenures, news- papers, and bail or imprisonment in view of the con- ditions of the Japanese jails. But their governments decided that it was but fair to allow the Japanese laws to go into operation, and, if hardships and injustice were experienced, to trust to the imperial government to remedy the defects through legislation or amend- ment of the treaties.

As the day of jubilee approached the emperor is- sued a notable rescript or proclamation, announcing the coming event, in which he said, "it is a source of heartfelt gratification to us that, in the sequel


of exhaustive planning and repeated negotiations, an agreement has been come to with the powers, and the revision of the treaties, our long-cherished aim, is to-day on the eve of becoming an accomplished fact ; a result which, while it adds materially to the responsi- bilities of our empire, will greatly strengthen the basis of our friendship with foreign countries." And he appealed in affectionate terms to his subjects, officials, and people, to so conduct themselves that every source of dissatisfaction might be avoided, and that subjects and strangers might enjoy equal privileges and dwell together in peace.

The rescript was followed by notifications from the cabinet and ministers of all the departments to their subordinates, warning them to so enforce the laws and so conduct themselves that foreigners might " be enabled to reside in the country confidently and con- tentedly." The appeal of the emperor in that great crisis of his country was most affecting, and had a pro- found influence on the masses of the people, who had been trained to believe in his divine origin and that he was guided in his conduct by his ancestors of glorious memory and achievements. 1

It is gratifying to note that the foreboding of the foreign residents has not been realized, and that since 1899 they have lived in as full an enjoyment of peace and protection of the laws of the empire as if under the governments of Christendom. The manner in which

i U. S. For. Rel. 1890, p. 450 ; 1899, p. 469 ; U. S. Treaties in force, 352 ; Norman's Far East, 387 ; Ransome's Japan in Transition, chaps, xi. and xvi. ; Morris's Advance Japan, p. xiv.


the officials and people have conducted themselves has secured the applause of the world. What has been accomplished is without parallel in history. No other Asiatic country has broken away from the customs of past ages and aligned itself with the institutions and methods of modern civilization ; and no other nation of the world has in so short a time undergone so great a transformation and wrought such a development of its resources.

It is especially gratifying to Americans to note the triumphs of Japanese wisdom, persistency, and patriot- ism, to feel that they were instrumental in awakening that people to the high ideal which they fixed for themselves, and that they have stood by them as their adviser and friend in their long struggle for regenera- tion and independence.

The empire has attained its long-sought-for place among the nations. It begins to realize, as announced by the emperor, that it has materially enlarged its re- sponsibilities. It assumes them, proud of its antiquity and confident of a long future before it, inspired by the sentiment so recently sung by its soldiers on the battle- fields of Korea and China,

May our Lord's dominion last Till a thousand years have passed,

Twice four thousand times o'ertold ! Firm as changeless rock, earth-rooted, Moss of ages uncorrupted

Grows upon it, green and old !