Page:The passing of Korea.djvu/577

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IT will be seen from the foregoing chapters, especially those in which the actions of Japan have been traced, why I name this book "The Passing of Korea." Japan by a series of successful wars has secured a position from which she can dictate to Korea. That this is satisfactory to any of the other treaty powers can hardly be believed. They acquiesce in it for personal convenience. There are very cogent reasons why the arrangement should be distasteful to British, German and American merchants. This point is worth careful study. The forced agreement of last November[1] included a clause in which Japan promised to carry out the terms of the treaties between Korea and the other powers. Now these treaties guarantee to the subjects of the different governments extraterritorial rights in Korea.

They are under the legal jurisdiction of their own consular authorities. These treaties also fix, in a general way, the amount of customs duties to be levied on foreign imports. It is clear that these two things are of great importance to American and other foreign trade in the peninsula; but since the conclusion of the so-called "agreement" of November some of the leading Japanese papers have strongly advocated the setting aside of the extraterritorial rights of foreigners in Korea, on the ground that this will facilitate the establishment of uniform courts of justice. These papers must think that the powers interested are so impressed by Japanese military successes that any proposals she may broach will be acceded to without opposition,—an opinion in which the attitude of the American government certainly tends to confirm them. How otherwise would semi-official organs of

  1. Japan-Korea Protectorate Treaty (1905) (Wikisource contributor note)