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What Was Our Gentlemen`s Agreement with Japan

Although the agreement limits the number of adult men who can enter Canada, it does not contain any restrictions on the wives of Japanese immigrants. After the introduction of the quota, a large number of Japanese women began to emigrate to Canada as “photo brides.” Japanese men in Canada chose brides based on photos sent to them by relatives in Japan. Once their marriage was registered in Japan, the bride was entitled to a passport to Canada. The arrival of more Japanese women has allowed for a natural growth of Canada`s Japanese population. [7] California, which experienced an influx of Japanese immigrants in the early 1900s, did not share TR`s admiration and viewed newcomers as “bad” immigrants. In 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education announced its intention to force Japanese students to attend racially segregated schools. Japan was outraged, viewing the plan as a violation of the 1894 treaty signed with the United States, which guaranteed Japanese expatriates the same rights and privileges as American citizens. Dr. Paul Finkelman, a legal historian specializing in race relations and law, was the keynote speaker on TR`s website in June. While his presentation, titled “Race, Federalism and Diplomacy: A Review of the 1908 Gentlemen`s Agreement,” he explained that the agreement fits into the broader context of how the definition of so-called “bad immigrants” has changed over time. One wonders why anti-immigrant legislation has focused so much on excluding Chinese people and seemed to ignore immigrants from Japan, for example. Brh Finkelman explained that until the mid-1880s, it was basically illegal for people to leave Japan, so there were very few Japanese in the United States. Japan itself underwent a dramatic transformation (brought about by the Meiji Restoration), from a feudal society to a modern/westernized country.

When Theodore Roosevelt became president of the United States, Japan was already victorious in a war with China and well on its way to establishing itself as a world power. The Gentleman`s Agreement of 1907 (日米紳士協約, Nichibei Shinshi Kyōyaku) was an informal agreement between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan, under which the United States would not impose restrictions on Japanese immigration and Japan would not allow emigration to the United States. The aim was to reduce tensions between the two Pacific states. The treaty was never ratified by the United States Congress and was replaced by the Immigration Act of 1924. After the Vancouver riots, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier sent Lemieux to Japan to discuss restrictions on Japanese immigration. Canada could not explicitly prohibit Japanese from immigrating, as an existing trade agreement with Japan guaranteed Japanese full freedom to enter, travel or reside in any part of the Dominion. [4] Lemieux asked Hayashi to voluntarily restrict immigration in the interests of Anglo-Japanese harmony. Although Japan was initially reluctant to impose restrictions on its citizens, it concluded that it was necessary to work with Canada to maintain good relations with the British Empire. [5] Concessions were agreed a year later in a six-point score. The agreement was followed by the admission of students of Japanese origin to public schools.

The adoption of the 1907 agreement led to the arrival of “illustrated brides”, marriages of convenience made at a distance through photographs. [11] By establishing marital ties at a distance, women who wanted to emigrate to the United States could obtain passports, and Japanese workers in America could obtain a partner of their own nationality. [11] Thanks to this provision, which helped close the gender gap within the community from a ratio of 7 males to every woman in 1910 to less than 2:1 in 1920, the Japanese-American population continued to grow despite treaty immigration restrictions. The Gentleman`s Agreement was never enshrined in legislation passed by the U.S. Congress, but was an informal agreement between the United States and Japan enacted by unilateral action by President Roosevelt. It was repealed by the Immigration Act of 1924, which prohibited all Asians from emigrating to the United States. [12] In 1908, Canada`s Minister of Labour, Rodolphe Lemieux, negotiated an agreement with Japanese Foreign Minister Tadasu Hayashi to restrict Japanese immigration to Canada. Under the agreement, the Japanese government agreed to voluntarily limit the number of Japanese immigrants who come to Canada each year.

TR was also very outraged by the situation, but since race relations and public education were on the rise at the turn of the 20th century. In the nineteenth century, both were regulated at the state/local level, his options – even as president of the nation – were somewhat limited. When his request that the San Francisco School Board reconsider its plan fell on deaf ears, it was best for TR to challenge the order in court (which was not a quick way to solve a problem with international implications!). Meanwhile, in a letter to a Japanese official, he explained that the U.S. system of government makes it difficult for the federal government to respond quickly to local statues. The Russo-Japanese War was a military conflict between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan, which took place from 1904 to 1905. Much of the fighting took place in what is now northeast China. The Russo-Japanese War was also a naval conflict in which ships caught fire in the Russo-Japanese War. Japan was willing to limit immigration to the United States, but was deeply violated by San Francisco`s discriminatory law specifically targeting its population. President Roosevelt, who wanted to maintain good relations with Japan as a counterweight to Russian expansion in the Far East, intervened. While the U.S.

ambassador reassured the Japanese government, Roosevelt appointed the mayor and school board of San Francisco to the White House in February 1907, convincing them to end segregation and promising that the federal government would address the immigration issue itself.