The Imperial Japanese Mission to the United States, 1917
The return to town from West Point was in ample time to dress for the dinner given by the Mayor for the City of New York, the event of the evening, and culmination of the municipal courtesies to the Mission.
The banquet hall at the Waldorf-Astoria never held a larger company of dinner guests nor presented a more brilliant picture. Over eight hundred sat down, and they included the flower of New York's intellectual, financial and commercial leaders. Ladies filled the boxes. The Mayor's reception committee was present in force wearing the special medals struck in honor of the occasion. The best of feeling prevailed. Mayor Mitchel presided with Viscount Ishii seated on his right and Ambassador Sato on his left. Charles Evans Hughes and ex-President William Howard Taft occupied seats on the dais.
When Mayor Mitchel arose to open the oratorical portion of the evening, the whole company arose as at a preconcerted signal and cheered, waving arms and napkins, and kept it up for eight minutes, successive waves of applause being led by Mr. Taft and Mr. Hughes. This display of feeling was a compliment to Mayor Mitchel's brilliant quality of playing the host for New York during the visit of so many foreign war missions. Several endeavors of Mr. Mitchel to breathe his thanks were signals for renewed cheering. At length he succeeded in saying a few heartfelt words, and proceeded:
Sixty-four years ago America sent to secluded, isolated, insular Japan a message of friendship and good will; sixty-three years ago Japan, through Emperor Mutsuhito, and the United States, through Commodore Perry, concluded a treaty of commerce and of friendship. The first article of that treaty reads as follows:
There shall be a perfect, Permanent and universal peace, and a sincere and cordial amity between the United States of America on the one part and the Empire of Japan on the other part, and between their people, respectively, without exception of persons or places.
Such was the beginning of an international friendship, that has stood the shocks of time, has survived the irritation of local issues and disputes, has persisted despite all efforts of jingoes on either side of the Pacific to create reciprocal misunderstanding and destroy the cordiality of half a century.
But the import of the message Perry bore Japan in 1853 was not friendship merely. The results of the treaty that he signed were not confined to trade or commerce. It was the message of western civilization, of western science, of western progress knocking at the door of the older, more reserved, more secluded civilization of the East. And the treaty meant an interchange, not of wares and products only, but of learning, of science and of culture.
From this contact, out of these exchanges, we of America pride and congratulate ourselves, came something of the inspiration that has spurred the native genius and capacity of Japan to the marvelous development from an insular and isolated people, to a great, first class world power, equaling in science, in progress and in modern thought any people of the earth.
Out of an unbroken friendship of more than sixty years the people of New York, speaking as the most representative community of the Union, offer to the people of Japan, upon their achievements, upon their progress, upon their eminence in world affairs, their congratulations, their respect, their admiration.
Today, however, Japan and the United States are more than friends. They are allies in the mightiest struggle the world has ever known---the death grapple of democracy with the forces of autocratic conquest. In that struggle we are federated by the bond of like ideals, by a common purpose, and by a democracy that lies deeper than forms of government and finds its essence in a devotion to liberty and justice, to equality, to fair dealing, to the principles of humanity, and which bows to the dictates of a national conscience guided by the great principles of right and wrong.
Because we are today brothers in arms, comrades in the field and on the sea, Japan has sent to us this distinguished Commission of her great statesmen, to confer on the conduct of the war. We greet them as friends; we hail them as allies; we welcome them as the representatives of a mighty people; we esteem it an honor to entertain His Excellency Viscount Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, who leads this Mission; His Excellency Mr. Aimaro Sato, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States; Vice Admiral Takeshita, and Commander Ando of the Imperial Japanese Navy; Major General Sugano and Lieutenant Colonel Tanikawa of the Imperial Japanese Army.
Ladies and gentlemen, when in 1858 Secretary Seward was taking leave of the Japanese Commission that visited our country in that year, he said to the distinguished statesman, who headed that Commission, "I hope your reception in this country has been such that you will be glad to come again, and that without much delay." Gentlemen, we repeat that message tonight to our distinguished guests from Japan. We hope that your reception has been such that it will lead you to come to us soon again.
We in New York, gentlemen of the Commission, have followed the activities of Japan in this war; we know the important part that she has played; we watched the successful blockade of Kiaochow, and rejoiced with you in the reduction of that commanding enemy base. We followed the operation of your fleets and armies as they successfully destroyed German power in the South Seas; we know of your safe conduct of Australian and New Zealand transports to the theatre of operations on the western front of Europe; we know that to Japan was committed the task of keeping open the channel of communication between Europe and the Far East, and how splendid, how complete, has been her accomplishment; we know that to Japan is due the credit for sweeping from the Pacific, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the last vestige of German power, with the consequent release of the entire power of the European Allied navies for their great task in Atlantic and European waters. And now we learn that the navy of Japan is cooperating in Mediterranean waters to control the treacherous submarine. And, finally, we know how the people of Japan have helped support the Allied loans, and how the factories, the plants, the industry of Japan, have supplied to Europe, and particularly to Russia, arms and war munitions.
All this we know, and for all her splendid service to civilization, to democracy, to America, we, the people of the United States, are grateful to Japan.
Let it be said also, ladies and gentlemen of New York, that we offer our homage and our grateful respect for the unswerving loyalty of Japan, our ally, to the Allied cause. How complete that loyalty, how firm and true the attitude of Japan, were demonstrated a few months ago by the publication of the notorious Zimmerman note. The people of Japan spontaneously condemned and spurned the preposterous plot. It was to be expected of a nation that has ever put first among the virtues honor and loyalty, fair dealing and good faith.
Gentlemen, what we have begun we must carry to a victorious conclusion. Japan is pledged to make no separate peace; it needs no pledge, for the honor of Japan is sufficient guarantee. America is likewise pledged ---not by treaty but by the highest principles that govern the acts of men---by honor, by her ideals, by the dictates of her conscience.
Through the splendid utterances of President Wilson, utterances that have sounded around the world, utterances that will rank for all time among the great state papers, the position of America has been made plain. He has told why America took her stand with the Allies on the side of humanity and of the right, and why America will not stop until the world is made safe for democracy, until there is protection for the weak and for the law abiding, and until a lasting peace, founded upon justice and on the reparation, is brought to all the peoples of the earth.
We shall go on and we shall win. The progress of mankind can not be turned back. The world must and shall be made safe for small nations, for peace loving peoples, for the institution of self-government. Democracy, justice, humanity and law shall not perish from the earth.
It is the task of America and of Japan---every day it becomes more our task---to contribute all we have of money, munitions, men and effort to save civilization and the world from the onslaught of ruthless barbarism, from the attack of an autocratic power that knows no justice, law, humanity or mercy, nor any dictates save the dictates of self-interest, of cruelty and passion.
Shall we discharge this high duty that is laid upon us? Gentlemen of Japan, we pledge you our unyielding effort. We know we may rely on yours.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last of the great war missions from our allies that will visit us, and what a wonderful procession of distinguished men it has been! From Joffre and Balfour and Viviani, the Prince of Udine, Ambassador Bakhmeteff, Baron Moncheur, and now Viscount Ishii and his associates in this Mission. What an inspiration America must find from the contact of these men who know what this war means and realize its significance to their countries and to us.
And now the time has come for America to lift up her soul to the high places of self-sacrifice, and if she must sacrifice the lives of many of her children upon the altar of democracy and liberty, she will face that duty with unflinching courage and with a devotion that is single to the ideals of America, and to the flag that represents the aspirations of our country; for, gentlemen, under the providence of God, we can not, and we shall not, fail!
Ladies and gentlemen, a year ago one of our most distinguished citizens paid a visit to Japan. It was a visit not of business, private or official. But there he was received with distinguished honors and great courtesy because he was a representative citizen of the United States. It was fitting that he should be requested to serve upon this committee to speak to this Mission when they visited us, on behalf of the unofficial citizenship of New York, and now I have the pleasure of presenting to you the chairman of the committee, Judge Gary.
Judge Elbert H. Gary arose and said:
Mr. Mayor, Viscount Ishii, and associates, and gentlemen: I am not going to make a speech. I have assisted in arranging for something better. It isn't necessary for me to repeat that the sentiment of the citizens of New York is favorable to the people of Japan, for Viscount Ishii and his associates on the Commission have come into the presence of millions of people, citizens of New York, during the last few days. The attitude, the words, the acts and the very expressions of the people have furnished convincing evidence of the feeling of friendship on the part of all for the Commission and for the great nation the Commission represents.
Mayor Mitchel, turning toward former President Taft, said:
In 1904 the United States sent to Japan her Secretary of War. He had the reputation of being a great traveler, so it is not strange that he visited Japan three times during his tenure of that great office. It was the beginning of a friendship that as President he fostered and cemented. A friendship that gave him personal acquaintance with our distinguished guest of honor, and it is most fortunate that I am privileged to present to you tonight to greet our guests an ex-President of the United States, the Honorable William Howard Taft.
Address of Former President Taft
Mr. Taft on arising was greeted by a whirlwind of applause. He said:
Mr. Mayor, Viscount Ishii, and ladies and gentlemen: In my early days in politics---there was not much of that---I remember meeting a gentleman in the Nineteenth Ward in whose candidacy for county commissioner we were interested with reference to other candidacies that were a little closer to our heart, and we asked him whether we could count on his name on the ticket we were preparing in those wicked days of conventions in order to give to the city of Cincinnati and the county of Hamilton such a government as it deserved, and he said that he was sorry that he could not consent, because the plan of campaign looked to his being a sprung candidate for county commissioner. I am a sprung speaker tonight.
I count it a great, good fortune that unexpectedly I was able to be present tonight to testify by my presence to the profound respect I have for the people and the Emperor of Japan and for the personal privilege of greeting and giving a closer welcome to the old friends of mine---and I think I may call them such---who have been sent here to constitute this distinguished Mission. But when I met the distinguished chairman of the executive committee and heard those sweet mellifluous tones in which he said to me that he was not a speaker and that he had expressed his views fully and sincerely on the subject of our relations to Japan, and that he had not had the practice of repeating the same sentiments night after night before the same audiences, and he asked me whether I would not help him out, because he knew I had---that is the reason why you, are subjected to this test of your patience and that is why I am a sprung candidate. There have been times when I didn't spring very far.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a profound pleasure for me to be present to testify to the importance--- for I know it---the importance of this Commission and the importance of the preservation of the strong bond of friendship between the United States and Japan that has prevailed since Commodore Perry and Townsend Harris, the Consul General, brought about the relations between that Empire and this country. I am quite sure I don't overstate it when I say that the statesmen of Japan and the people of Japan have looked upon the United States as their friend and their helper in the wonderful progress that they have made since that time from the position they then occupied to the front rank of nations. That bond was valuable to us and was valuable to them. It is the duty of every loyal American to keep it as sacred as possible, and to do nothing to weaken it. I am glad to have the opportunity to say to these distinguished gentlemen that there are in this country, perhaps there are in Japan, but we know it better in this country, there are a great many people who are much more conspicuous and notorious than they are important. We know that it is not wise to go to one corner of the country, or one state, to find out what the moving spirit and what the opinion of the American people is. It has fallen to my lot, and a fortunate lot it is, to have visited Japan five times. There is, if you will only wait, always an opportunity to get even. It comes to you. Japan, take it altogether, is the most hospitable country I know of in the world. They strain your capacity, and fifteen years ago I had a good deal in that direction. I have exchanged compliments with the distinguished Viscount and the Admiral, between whom I have had the honor to sit, and called to I their minds that if they think the morning, noon and .night entertainments that they have had between the western states and Washington, and West Point and New York, seem pretty strong, they should think of what they subject their guests to in Japan. And as that was an expression of sincere hospitality and a desire to welcome the representatives of the United States, so this is to be regarded by them, in spite of the physical endurance that it involves, as a real expression of the earnest welcome of the American people and our heartfelt desire to maintain that long time friendship that has existed between us since Japan became one of the family of nations and developed that discipline of her people, and that character as a nation, and that respect for honor and morality, internationally, that has given her the place she is entitled to hold among the nations of the world.
In Mr. Roosevelt's administration, with the aid of the State Department and Mr. Straus, who is here tonight, what was called a "gentleman's agreement" was made, and then in my administration the treaty which then existed had substituted for it another treaty, and into that treaty was incorporated that same "gentleman's agreement"; and it is only the truth of history to say that that agreement by the gentlemen of Japan has been kept as gentlemen keep agreements. And they are here as one of the Commissions of Allies in this great war that confronts us.
We owe much to these Allies. For three years they have been fighting our fight; they have made the sacrifices; they have given up the lives of their dear ones; they have contributed the billions that have enabled them to carry on this fight against the serpent of militarism, and now it is our turn, and now we have the burden.
We have begun right. We have got a conscription law that is so far ahead of any legislation with which we have begun any other war that we ought to thank God every night and every morning that we have it on the statute books.
And so, with reference to the method of selecting officers, we have organized the intelligent youth of this country; we have organized a merit system for the training and selection of the best young men of the country to officer the army, and with those two parts of our systems we can do anything, and we are going to do it.
You can't rouse a young giant like our country that has been thinking of peace and the arts of peace, and never dreaming of war, and have the giant ready for action at once. And what we must do is to ask our allies on the other side just to hold on and give us an opportunity, and we will be there within the year to do our part.
This is a serious matter, a sober matter, a sorrowful subject; but even in the most serious issues there are some beams of humor that force themselves into the atmosphere, and one of them was the Zimmerman letter. I do not know Mr. Zimmerman, and he doesn't know America or Texas or Japan. The idea that he suggests, that Mexico should come over here and gather in Texas and New Mexico and Arizona, and then should go over and get Japan to come over and help her, would never have struck anybody but a German of the quality, the logical quality, of that old man who was out in the gold diggings and met a man who had just come from New York, and he said, "You came the plains across? No? You came the Isthmus over? No? Ah, then you came the Straits of Magellan through? No? Well, then, you must have come the Horn around? No? Well, then, you haven't arrived."
That thought of Texas being incorporated in Mexico, and Joe Bailey and Burleson and the rest of them going down and representing them is something that I dwell on fondly. I can not forget it. And that is not more humorous than is the suggestion that Japan would unite with Mexico. Absurd! It was made by a gentleman who labored under the disability that has followed the Prussian military caste through this war, and that is bound to be their undoing. It is the abolition from the minds and motives of men of moral impulse. It is the abolition from the motives of nations of international morality, and it has led the German nation and those who have represented that nation to the grossest error in the interpretation of the meaning of the actions and of the courage and tenacity of other peoples.
As the distinguished Viscount has said in a speech at another place, Germany has misled us and has misled Japan. We have now come to understand her. We have now come to the point where we know what we have to do. The German people are a great people. They have been indoctrinated and poisoned with the spirit of conquest, with the idea that might must prevail over right. They have thrown international morality to the winds, and it is a question now whether civilization is to progress or to retrograde. And on us, on Japan, and on our other gallant allies, must fall the burden of standing for and carrying on Christian civilization.
Mayor Mitchel said:
Now, ladies and gentlemen, we know the value of conscription, even at a dinner. Of the services to his nation of our guest of honor, we in America know something. We know that at the outbreak of this war he served Japan as Ambassador to France; we know that lately he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and there is a rumor among his friends that it is not unlikely he is destined to serve her in the still more important post of Privy Counselor, but I will venture to say that when history records his most important service and achievement, it will write down what he has done upon this Mission to forge still another link in the bonds that unite our two countries in a friendship that no amount of German intrigue, no amount of local irritation, no amount of jingoism or of misrepresentation will ever be able to sever or to burst.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor of presenting to you Japan's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on Special Mission, Viscount Ishii.
The Open Door
Viscount Ishii's rising was the signal for a splendid demonstration of sincere regard and admiration, which the envoy acknowledged by many bows. He spoke in ringing tones:
It is with no light appreciation of the great honor you have done us and the nation I represent, no lack of knowledge of my own shortcomings, that I rise to acknowledge your courtesy and hospitality throughout our visit to the city of New York. I can not hope to meet the obligations or to find words fitting the occasion. I can only hope that as time goes on other opportunity may come to me and to my countrymen to demonstrate our appreciation in some small degree. Let me assure you that our door is open and while we can not offer you opportunity equal to this, the latch string hangs outside always for the man from New York and the man from America.
The door is always open. It has always been open; it always must remain open, not only to the guest who comes to trot around our little island for a round of pleasure, but to the representatives of these vast commercial interests represented so well in this great gathering of kings of commerce.
In spite of all the effort to make you believe that Japan, as she grew stronger, was always trying to close the door, I tell you that there never has been an hour when our common sense or our sense of our own responsibility failed us. Why close our door in violation of our pledges, or endeavor to close our neighbor's door, when we are in honor bound to protect it? The opportunity for you to trade in Japan or in China has never been an equal, opportunity in its literal sense. As you went far afield and brought us knowledge of the West, taught us how to grow and how to trade, so we, as we gained wisdom, knowledge and strength, went into other fields to trade and to learn. We went to China, where the door was always open to us as to you, and we have always realized that there nature gave us an advantage. There was no need---there is no need---to close that door on you because we welcome your fair and honest competition in the markets everywhere. We are trading there Where we have a natural advantage and where, unless we are very stupid or very inactive, we are bound to succeed, and we are trading here where your advantage is equally and naturally as great. I am persuaded that the grumblings and the whisperings about a door closed in China by the Japanese against America did not come from the broad and generous heart of the enterprising American in New York or elsewhere, but as the result of ten years of an enemy's effort to create prejudice and distrust. Gentlemen, I assure you that a closed door in China has never been, and never will be, the policy of my government. The door is open, the field is there. We welcome cooperation and competition, all tending to the betterment of the equal opportunity.
But this propaganda of ill will has by no means stopped with the persistent cry of a "closed door." Much has been written about Japan's policy toward China as being one that sought only the aggrandizement of Japan and the confusion, disruption or oppression of our neighbor. Here, again, let me reassure you. The policy of Japan with regard to China has always been the same. We want good government, which means peace, security and development of opportunity in China. The slightest disturbance in China immediately reacts upon Japan. Our trade there is large and increasing; it is valuable to us, and China is our friendly neighbor, with vast and increasing potentialities for trade. Circumstances for which we were in no sense responsible gave us certain rights on Chinese territory, but at no time in the past and at no time in the future do we, or will we, seek to take territory from China or to despoil China of her rights. We wish to be, and to always continue to be, the sincere friend and helper of our neighbor, for we are more interested than any one else except China in good government there, only we must at all times for self-protection prevent other nations from doing what. we have no right to do. Not only will we not seek to assail the integrity or the sovereignty of China, but we will eventually be prepared to defend and maintain the same integrity and independence of China against any aggressor. For we know that our own landmarks would be threatened by any outside invasion or interference in China.
For many years our common enemy has been the worst enemy of China, as Germany is the worst enemy of all that is honest and decent and fair. Since the outbreak of the war in Europe China has been a hot-bed of German intrigue, and in all of this China has perhaps been the greatest sufferer. I can not give you the positive proofs about the German in the Far East, as you have had them placed before you by the alert authorities in Washington, but I can give you as my conviction that the German in China is responsible for most of the unfortunate occurrences and the malicious widespread misinformation scattered throughout the world for the one purpose of impairing the relations of the countries concerned in China and securing the downfall of China to Germany's advantage. When Japan or America appeared to make progress in China we always have had the sinister rumor of oppression or the false suggestion of a policy directed against the integrity of that country; boycotts, which have cost you, first of all, and then us, millions; revolutions, disturbances and civil war, have prevented a development by which China, first of all, and her honest friends might profit.
Gentlemen, I ask you in the light of more recent developments to try out the history of the last few years and find proof for yourselves of how greatly in this matter, as in much else, we have been misled.
I am endeavoring to secure your cooperation in this work of revision of a stipulation built upon misconception and fraud. I am asking you to cast out the devil of suspicion and distrust in order that we who are allies and partners may rebuild the shattered edifice of mutual confidence, which means so much as a stronghold for us both. We are neighbors, friends and allies. The Pacific Ocean is our common highway. It is dotted here and there with your rightful possessions and ours. These are guarded and the highway has been swept by our ships of the pirates of the seas, so that our countries' trade may, continue and our intercourse be uninterrupted. We guard the Pacific Ocean together with our ships, but more than this, and better than the ships or the men or the guns, is the assurance of the notes exchanged between your Secretary of State, Elihu Root, and our Ambassador, Takahira, in 1908, in which it was mutually agreed and "firmly resolved to respect the territorial possessions belonging to each other in the region of the Pacific Ocean."
Gentlemen, Japan is satisfied with this. Are you? If so, there is no Pacific Ocean question between us. We will cooperate. We will help and we will hold each of us what is guaranteed under that agreement.
The ideals of America and the ideals of Japan lie very close together. Indeed the ideals of all nations educated and controlled by the essence of wisdom and justice, must bear a close connection. Thus we find that we have now and always bad a common ideal and a common purpose in the life of each nation and of each individual. Besides, this struggle for human liberty has convinced your country and mine of the complete solidarity of interest and community of aspiration of our two nations. Today we find ourselves standing together, squared shoulder to shoulder, ready to sacrifice everything save the honor of our own name and our own nation, in order that our civilizations, built stone by stone, through the centuries, shall not be shamed; to prove the welding of that civilization over the spurious and degenerate product of an evil dream.
It is not conceivable that you of America or we of Japan, because of a false cry of unstable peace, can change the course set by a star. It is not conceivable that, for some petty gain secured by the sacrifice of principle at the price of honor lost, we can be brought to swerve from our purpose, let fall the standard of right, or break the bonds of friendship. It is not conceivable that America and Japan, our ideals one, our purpose fixed, can fail in this great common undertaking,
We must win, so that when the peace shall come the hosts of immortal dead may rest in honor and the hosts of the living throughout all centuries to come may place the unbreakable seal of permanent approval upon the great alliance of today which forever set a whole world free.
A Day with Japanese Compatriots
Sunday brought no sabbath of rest to the Imperial Japanese Mission. Their American hosts, who had given them no respite on week days, surrendered the first day of the week to them; but, alas! they had only to look over the tops of their Sunday papers to see long lines of their own countrymen---the resident Japanese---awaiting them with invitations without end. It was, in fact, Japanese politeness, long suffering and patient, coming forward for its reward. They had stood aside for a whole week, but now, by all the tutelary deities of the kettle, the oven and the cake cup, Nippon would claim its own. It was Japanese day with the Mission.
Dr. Jokichi Takamine, President of the Nippon Club and President as well of the Japanese Association of New York, and Consul General C. Yada took the lead in arranging for the entertainment of the commissioners. They were treated with pure Japanese diet at a luncheon at the Nippon Club in West 93d Street, and an American dinner in the evening in the North Ballroom of the Hotel Astor.
The program at the club was exclusively for Japanese. In addition to the members of the Mission there were present some forty members of the Japanese colony of New York. Ambassador Sato of Washington was also one of the guests.
Two boys in uniform greeted the Mission at the entrance to the clubhouse. They were A. H. Ohnishi and John Edward Kelley, son of Dr. Thomas Francis Kelley, dressed as a West Point cadet. With their usual courtesy, members of the Mission, including Viscount Ishii, stopped and shook hands with the little boys.
Consul General Yada, representative of the Japanese government in New York, was the official host at the club. Luncheon was served in the Green Room on the second floor. American and Japanese colors were used in decorating the entire room. In accordance with their respect for the American Sabbath, the program at the Nippon Club was entirely informal.' At 3 o'clock the members of the Mission left the clubhouse and went to the home of Judge Gary, spending a few minutes at a short reception. Afterward they motored to the residence of Hamilton Holt at 716 Riverside Drive, where they were entertained at tea.
From Mr. Holt's home the visitors went to the Music Hall in Carnegie Hall. There members of the Nippon Club and of the Japanese Association of New York, to the number of six hundred, gave them a joint reception. Viscount Ishii and Dr. J. Takamine, president of the two organizations, made short addresses in Japanese. The hall was decorated in American and Japanese flags and banked with chrysanthemums and dahlias. The reception was for Japanese only.
Dinner Given by Japanese
The decorations of the North Ballroom of the Hotel Astor for the dinner in the evening were wholly Japanese. Chrysanthemums of golden hue gave the dominant tone with the color modulants of dahlias and bronze oak leaves and judicious use of the white and scarlet of the Japanese flag and the red, white and blue of Old Glory. Covers were laid for three hundred. Yet with all the Japanese surroundings and the exclusive Japanese attendance, the interpretations of the speeches, issued as they were delivered, told of the friendship of the two nations and their unity in the present war.
Speeches were made by Consul General Yada, Viscount Ishii, Ambassador Sato and others. Dr. Jokichi Takamine was toastmaster. Singing of the national anthems of the two nations preceded the banquet. Viscount Ishii led the three cheers which followed "The Star Spangled Banner." The cheers were no less loud and hearty than those for Japan's own song.
Since we arrived at Hawaii and at San Francisco, declared Viscount Ishii to his fellow countrymen and kinsmen, we have been impressed with the truth and sincerity of the American people. We ought to recognize this sincerity and return it equally with sincerity and friendship. We ought to be open and reveal our true hearts, our true feelings, toward this sincere, friendly land.
Luncheon at the Bankers' Club
On Monday, October 1, Viscount Ishii and other members of the Imperial Japanese Mission were entertained at a luncheon given by Messrs. Stephen C. Baker, R. Fulton Cutting and William Fellowes Morgan, in one of the rooms of the Bankers' Club.
About one hundred members and guests were present. Elbert H. Gary acted as toastmaster. Seated at the head table were Viscount Ishii and other members of the Mission, Ambassador Sato, Rear Admiral Nathaniel R. Usher, A. B. Ruddock, C. Yada, Judge Gary, Bishop David H.. Greer, General Hoyle, Elihu Root and Percy A. Rockefeller, and the hosts.
Judge Gary, in introducing Mr. Elihu Root, did not believe that much introduction was necessary. The applause that greeted Mr. Root on rising to his feet was proof of this. He spoke with great feeling and said:
Your Excellencies and gentlemen: I am under great obligation to the hosts of this luncheon for giving me the opportunity to join in testifying to the respect and admiration and warmth of friendship for the gentlemen who have come so far across the Pacific to extend to us assurances of the friendship of Japan and for that great and wonderful nation which they represent.
I find myself, without any aid or suggestion on my part, put down upon the program to speak to the formal toast "International Friendship." But neither the time nor the character of such a meeting as this would justify a long discussion of that rather broad subject. We are in the midst of a transition which is deeply affecting international friendship. We are passing out of one condition of international relation into another and widely different condition. We recall the maxim of Frederick the Great that a ruler should never be ashamed to make an alliance which was entirely for his own advantage, and should never hesitate to break it when it ceased to be for his advantage. And the further maxim that it was the duty of a ruler, when he found the treaty was no longer beneficial to his people to break it, for, he said, "Is it not better that a ruler should break his word than that his people should suffer?" A fine altruistic view of a ruler's duty which regarded a treaty as being merely a matter between himself and another ruler, so that only his conscience was involved in the breaking of it and not at all the conscience of his people; so that if he would do that violence to his own nature which was involved in breaking a treaty for the benefit of his people it was a noble self-sacrifice. Now that, in a crass and gross way, illustrates the old condition of international relation. The relation was between rulers, between sovereigns---not between the people---and the sovereigns were pursuing their own settled policies---policies continued from generation to generation, always involving the possibility of aggrandizement, of increasing power, increasing dominion, and the people were not interested in the slightest. All the great wars that have convulsed the world since the peace of Westphalia have been, down to the very, very recent days, wars in which some ruler was attempting to increase his power and his dominion and other rulers were attempting to prevent him from increasing it. Now, however, the business of foreign affairs is passing into the hands of democracies and the old evil of dynastic policies is disappearing, for democracies are incapable of maintaining or following the kind of policy which has involved the world in war so many, many times during the past centuries. A democracy can not in its very nature pursue such a policy. The mere necessity of discussion, public discussion, in order to secure the appropriations, the expenditures of money, and the action of public representatives, the mere necessity for discussion is destruction of such policies. But we are running into other difficulties. Democracies have their dangers, and they have their dangers in foreign affairs, and these dangers arise from the fact that the great mass of people haven't the time or the opportunity, or, in most cases, the capacity to study and understand the intricate and complicated relations which exist necessarily between nations. And being so situated that they can not study the relations, can not become familiar with the vast mass of facts which they involve, can not become familiar with the characters and purposes of other nations, they are peculiarly open to misrepresentation and misunderstanding. The great danger to international relations with the democracies is misunderstanding -a misunderstanding of one's own rights; a misunderstanding of one's own duties, and of the rights and duties of other peoples. Now we are peculiarly open to that in this country. We have been so isolated from other nations that we have, in general, but very slender information regarding them, and we are peculiarly open to being misled. It is only a very few years since the people of the United States really considered the Department of Foreign Relations as a perfectly useless bureau and ambassadors and ministers as of no practical value at all. You would get a very large degree of assent ten years ago to the proposition that we better abolish the whole foolish folly, with all its fuss and feathers. Now we are passing that condition, but we are also finding antidotes for that evil. This great war is teaching the people of every country, even the dullest and the most self-centered, that no nation can live unto itself alone. It is preaching the inter-dependence of mankind; it is teaching the unity of civilization; it is preaching the singleness of purpose that goes with duty and love of humanity and the idealism that pervades all noble natures, whatever the language be and whatever the country be. In fact, more and more this war grows to be a conflict between---not between nations, not between this, that and the other people---but between certain principles of Christian civilization and the principles of a dark and dreadful past. There never has been in this country, so far as my observation and reading go, any more dangerous and persistent misrepresentation regarding the relations, the purposes, the character of another country with which we have relations, than in the case of the relations between the United States and Japan. I haven't the slightest doubt that the misrepresentations and the attempts to create that feeling among the people who have it all in their hands now, the attempts to create bad feeling between the United States and Japan, have been very largely the result of a fixed and settled purpose, and that purpose it seems to me ---it is growing day by day more clear---was the purpose that formed a part of the policy of that great ruling caste of Germany which is attempting to subjugate the world today. It goes back again to a maxim of the great Frederick, who advised his successors that it was wise to create jealousies among the nations of Europe in order that they might not be an aid to each other when an opportunity for a coup came. That policy has been pursued everywhere in the civilized world. While Germany has been incapable of estimating the great moral forces that move mankind, while she has been incapable of forming a judgment as to what the real temper and spirit of England, of the British Colonies, of the American Republic, of the French Republic, of the Italian Constitutional Monarchy were, she has had a chemical affinity for everything that is base in its nature. She has appealed to all baser feelings and conditions; she has appealed to cupidity; she has appealed to prejudice and to all the lower passions of men everywhere in the world; and wherever she could array evil against good, wherever she could destroy content and neighborliness and respect for law and the desire for the better things of life, there she has been working to subjugate. All the baser passions received impetus, fuel, encouragement from her---all, I have no doubt whatever, to cause estrangement, if possible, between the United States and Japan.
Now in the first place, I wish to express my own most grateful appreciation for the fine and noble way in which Viscount Ishii and his Mission, inspired and commissioned by the government of Japan, have come to America to dispel all this cloud of misunderstanding and suspicion and doubt. The frank and sincere utterances of the Viscount are like rays of sun dispelling this cloud. There is very great virtue in speaking face to face; there is great virtue in letting in the light; there is a good quality in human nature which makes men like each other and trust each other the more when they meet each other face to face, and I think it certain that the visit of this Mission to America begins a new era of understanding and friendship between these two great countries that look each other in the face across the Pacific which will revive the days past and those early years in which this great republic served its part in introducing the new Japan to the nations of the world. I wish to say one other thing. For many years I was very familiar with our own Department of Foreign Affairs, and for some years I was especially concerned in its operation. During that time there were many difficult, perplexing and doubtful questions to be discussed and settled between the United States and Japan. During that time the thoughtless or malicious section of the press was doing its worst. During that time the demagogue seeking cheap reputation by stirring up the passions of the people to whom it appealed was doing his worst. There were many incidents out of which quarrels and conflict might have arisen, and I hope you will all remember what I say: that during all that period there never was a moment when the government of Japan was not frank, sincere, friendly and most solicitous not to enlarge but to minimize and do away with all causes of controversy. No one who has any familiarity at all with life can be mistaken in a negotiation as to whether the one with whom he is negotiating is trying to be frank or trying to bring on a quarrel. This is a fundamental thing that you can not be mistaken about. And there never was a more consistent and noble advocacy of peace, of international friendship and of real, good, understanding in the diplomacy of this world than was exhibited by the representatives of Japan, both here and in Japan, during all these years in their relations to the United States. I wish for no better, no more frank and friendly intercourse between my country and any other country than the intercourse by which Japan in those years illustrated the best qualities of the new diplomacy between nations as distinguished from the old diplomacy as between rulers. And in the most delightful recollection of those years, and most agreeable appreciation for what you have now done, I beg you, my dear Viscount, when you return to your home that you will say to the government and to the people of Japan that "The people of America, who now hold their foreign affairs in their hands, wish to be forever friends and brethren of the people of Japan."
The toastmaster introduced Viscount Ishii, who was received with long and loud applause and said:
Mr. Chairman, Honorable Mr. Root, and gentlemen: It affords me a peculiar pleasure to meet on this occasion so many distinguished men of New York. Before proceeding to the reading of my speech I can not pass this opportunity without expressing my most heartfelt thanks and those of my associates for the high compliment paid in such very friendly terms by the Honorable Mr. Root. Coming as it does from such a lofty source we feel that a great honor and great encouragement have been given to Japan and the Japanese. I assure you that it will give me the greatest pleasure when, upon my return, I communicate to my fellow countrymen the noble, just and fair appreciation which I know you all entertain, and which is expressed by your able ex-Senator and applauded by all the gentlemen present.
The object of this gathering, as I understand it, is to emphasize a deeper and more far reaching interest in one particular side of cooperation between our two countries, as indeed among all nations. No more practical or more effective constructive method has been discovered than that which begins at the beginning. So it must be with the construction of the fortress of complete understanding. The children of a nation must be given a knowledge of the character, the life and the surroundings of other people in other lands. We must instill respect, not prejudice, friendship, not enmity. This is especially true today when we are beginning a new era in the relationship of nations. A great common cause and a great common purpose have changed the horizon of all international relations and considerations. Hitherto we have lived each and all of us more or less isolated, generally absorbed in our complete national thought, national undertakings and national aspirations, though I do not fail to recognize the great value of what has been done throughout the world by the efforts of your great missionary bodies in the spread of information and the humanities.
International friendship can not be secured without international knowledge, and international knowledge depends largely upon international education and cooperation. I am thankful indeed to believe that as between our two countries the day of doubt and suspicion is over, and that we have commenced another, from which these depressing clouds have disappeared. The seeds of truth and knowledge and confidence will be nurtured in an atmosphere of human sympathy, the plant will grow and increase, so that from the yield and harvest our two people may draw a great sustaining and ennobling influence.
Within the period of the last half century and since we opened our door to the stream of Western influence, you gave to us of your best. It was more necessary for us to learn the language and understand the customs of the West than it was for you to engraft these requisites to intercourse upon your national life, though a somewhat wider knowledge of our language and a closer insight into our customs and our home lives must facilitate understanding between the whole people of Japan and the people of. America. It is here that your educational cooperation, coupled with your humanitarian efforts, have done so much in building up international friendship. The great educational institutions, founded and maintained in Japan for the instruction and physical well being of our people, could not have succeeded so well had it not been that you equipped your teachers and your doctors with a knowledge of our language, so that they are able to have a more intimate understanding of the country than would otherwise be possible.
I assure you that we are appreciative of this large interest you take in the development of Japan, and we welcome the vast influence looking to a greater interest which this meeting portends. As you are well aware, our interest in these undertakings has not been limited to verbal expression of sympathy, but within the last few years particularly a substantial material evidence has been given in the support of an interest, shown in the proposition advanced for the founding of a great international hospital in Tokio. His Majesty, the Emperor, has himself set the seal of high approval upon these international undertakings. Our leading educationalists, scientists and commercial men have shown substantial interest, and it has given us the greatest pleasure to learn of the splendid support given to St. Luke's International Hospital, which. we all recognize as an institution of great benefit to us and which we believe will prove of vast, international and scientific importance.
You will readily understand, gentlemen, from what I have said that we most heartily and sincerely sympathize with and give our support to any movement which will aid in the building up of better understanding. I know of no way by which this can be done better than through an international cooperation which will tend to enlarge the knowledge of the younger people of both nations and the spread of that learning which keeps the development of knowledge and the enlargement of the fields of science. In all of these we will earnestly cooperate with you in the future. It must be our aim to secure the best each has to offer, for in these fields of learning and of research it is wise that East and West should give and take, learn and teach, until the leaven of understanding has permeated both.
The military and naval officers on the Mission left after the luncheon for Camp Mills at Garden City, L.I., where they reviewed the troops of the "Rainbow Division" in training there.
Oswald Garrison Villard's Dinner
In the evening the Mission was entertained in the ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel at dinner by Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard of the New York Evening Post, who had invited some one hundred leading journalists and many others to meet Viscount Ishii and his associates. Vice Admiral Takeshita was unable to take part---was indeed laid up in bed with a cold. Among city officials were Police Commissioner Woods, Dock Commissioner R. A. C. Smith, Comptroller Prendergast, and Theodore Rousseau, Secretary to the Mayor. Among the guests from other cities were Cyrus H. K. Curtis, of the Philadelphia Public Ledger; Noland R. Best, of the Continent, Chicago; John Stewart Bryan, of the Richmond News-Leader; Richard Hooker, of the Springfield, Mass. Republican; Clark Howell, of the Atlanta Constitution; Henry M. Pindell, of the Peoria, Ill. Daily Journal; Charles A. Rook, of the Pittsburgh Dispatch; Truman A. De Weese, of Buffalo, and David E. Town, of the Chicago Evening Post. Some of the metropolitan newspaper men were Rollo Ogden, Herbert L. Bridgman, J. I. C. Clarke, John P. Gavit, Herbert F. Gunnison, Hamilton Holt, Roy W. Howard, Clark Howell, David Lawrence, James Luby, Henry M. Pindell, Bernard Ridder, Don C. Seitz, Herbert B. Swope, Henry L. Stoddard and Melville E. Stone. Among other guests were Brigadier General James A. Irons, Judge E. H. Gary, Dr. Talcott Williams, George A. Plimpton, Captain William W. Phelps, U. S. N., Ambassador Sato, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, Dr. T. Iyenaga, R. Ichinomiya and T. Furuya.
It was a very homelike gathering, despite its distinguished surroundings, the veterans of the press having that talent for good fellowship which does not easily suffer eclipse. Mr. Villard, the host, read a. carefully prepared speech which follows:
Viscount Ishii: It is a great privilege to have even a small part in welcoming Your Excellency and your distinguished associates of this Commission to New York. The official welcome you have just received will have demonstrated beyond question the earnest friendship of the imperial city of America. But it seemed as if your visit should not be allowed to pass without an opportunity being given to some of the makers of public opinion through the press of the east of the United States to receive a message directly from you in this, the most vital and most tragic period in the history of modern nations. Hence this gathering.
The hour is the more opportune since both nations are allies in the greatest struggle of any time. Surely no moment could be more propitious for the forging of new ties, the strengthening of old ones, and the removal of all causes of misunderstanding or friction than the present, when both nations have staked their financial and material prosperity, yes, their very all, upon the effort to safeguard small nations and to convert to democracy that Germany which is today ruled by as unprincipled and wicked a ring of militarists, aristocrats, and autocrats, as ever brought a proud and mighty nation to utter shame and disgrace.
When one recalls what these men have done to all humanity, the crimes of which they and their dupes have been guilty, what misery and suffering they have caused in every nation on earth, one trembles to think what fate will be theirs if there be such a thing as retributive justice. There are among us Americans open differences of opinion as to the best means of combating this German menace to civilization, but I beg Your Excellency to take back to Japan the truth that no single American who understands and has at heart the love of American institutions, but is entirely and completely determined that the abominable doctrine of might above right shall never control this world, and that the ethical standards established as the rule of conduct among honest and honorable men shall prevail among all the nations of the earth.
We of the American press have been asked not to comment upon the negotiations lately in progress in Washington or to speculate as to just what Your Excellency took under consideration with our Secretary of State. To this injunction we have loyally given heed. But it is, I am sure, entirely permissible now to voice the desire that in its every aspect your Mission has achieved the highest success, and to breathe the ardent hope that the scope of your activity touched not only upon our relations in war, but upon those of peace. For I wish Your Excellency to realize that there are among us American press men many who have no more eagerly cherished desire than to utilize the existing close alliance to wipe out every cause for friction and to so strengthen the foundations of friendship between the two nations as to render them safe, safe beyond the assaults of demagogues in office or of the press, and safe beyond any sudden gusts of popular passion. With some of us this desire is second only to the question of a just and lasting peace as a prelude to the building of a better and a nobler world.
We echo with all earnestness the sentiments so nobly voiced by you at the great dinner on Saturday evening, for those journalists for whom I would speak have been for some time laboring-to use your own words "to cast out the devil of suspicion and distrust," "to combat misconception and fraud" in the relations of Japan and the United States; and are already at the task of rebuilding the "edifice of mutual confidence." To this we shall devote ourselves the more zealously because of your appeal and the more effectively because of your assurance that Japan has no designs upon the territorial integrity of China.
We feel the more deeply about all this because some of our little respected, or our little understanding colleagues, have played the wicked and deplorable part of striving to sow the seeds of discord. I beg Your Excellency to believe that this no more represents the whole of the honest press of this land than it does the wishes of the vast bulk of the American people. The exceptions have, however, impelled the rest of us to do all within our power to suggest ways and means to render secure the ties that bind. Thus, we would have an interchange of visits between representatives of every class of citizens. We would have established within the United States an entirely free and independent bureau of information so as to make it possible to contradict at once any such false dispatches as those which on this side of the Pacific have represented the Japanese fleet as having designs on Mexico and in Japan have portrayed the United States fleet as having passed through the Panama Canal in full war panoply bound for Yokohama.
We desire to have created a Japanese-American commission, or a commission from all the countries around the Pacific, to meet on convenient ground and to study and report upon all the problems growing out of the contacts of the several peoples concerned; we desire to have our own laws so amended that there shall be no distinctions between aliens of any nationalities and that all of foreign birth who come to live permanently among us shall acquire citizenship on equal terms. We stand, in other words, for the historic American square deal to all comers---however often it may have been honored in the breach in the past. And, above all, some of us desire complete disarmament when peace comes abroad, that the cost and the menace of great fleets and great armies shall be removed once for all; in order that men shall not rise, as they have risen in the past in Congress, to declare that our navy is built to combat Japan's, or in the Japanese Parliament to try to bring about the fall of a Ministry because the Japanese navy is not, as great as that of the United States. We wish, I repeat, to remove every cause for suspicion and distrust; every basis for the belief that one nation is threatening the other.
This disarmament, some people are now saying, is an idealistic dream. But, sir, it is the idealists who are going to control this world when the war is over, those who are dreaming dreams of the brotherhood of man, seeing visions of social regeneration, of an equality among men and women such as has never before been attempted on earth. Visionaries and dangerous theorists, some of our practical politicians are calling them, and he would be bold indeed who would declare all their plans to be practical or wise or, to assert that any clear cut or approximately complete chart of the new world in which we shall live has been drawn. We must grope our way into it, trying this route, essaying that highway, tapping at each portal, trying each gateway into the novel and the unattempted.
We shall stumble, we may be swayed by fears and passions, but forward into the new domain we shall go. That is as clear as the snow top of Fujiyama on a cloudless day. When almost every nation reports amazing Socialist gains, when Spain, Portugal, Argentina, and even Australia. have been on the brink of revolution, and the London Times is alarmed at the amazing spread of social revolution in England, it is no wonder that the world is asking itself: Whither is this all leading to? No man is wise enough to say; few can look beyond the morrow. We can only see that the world is in the grip of terrific forces, of huge spiritual and economic genii, as unwittingly unchained as those in the Arabian Nights, and that,. for better or for worse, modern institutions are being recast in the mold. The reassuring thing is that power is going out of the hands of the few into those of the many; that the drift is utterly away from the European imperialism of the past and its diplomacy. To conquer small nationalities or to take slices out of any thinly populated countries will be difficult indeed for any European nation hereafter.
That will mean a vast gain for peace and good will among nations, just as the war has shown the absence of personal antagonisms among the individual soldiers. All of which, Your Excellency, bears directly upon the future relations of differentiated races. They are bound to improve, for among the great inarticulate masses there surely exists no other feeling save one of good will to the workers of other climes and the desire to live and let live, each in his own pursuit of happiness. Our American masses will, I am sure, approve of any step, at any cost, to bring about better relations between our nations, which goes below the surface and seeks the basis for permanent friendship not only in matters economic and political, but in what may be inadequately described as the cultural philosophy of the two nations, their deep underlying beliefs and aspirations. I am sure that all my hearers have been struck as I have been by the devotion of American or English missionaries or residents abroad to the peoples among whom they have lived for a considerable period of time. Thus, they love the Turks, despite all the crimes committed in their name, and those who really and thoroughly know Chinese, Egyptians, and Japanese, and others whose difficult languages are a bar to easy intercourse, love them, honor them, and cherish the desire to see them rise steadily to power and self-knowledge and true freedom. The task for us of the press who are dedicated to friendly relations the world over is to bring home to our people the meaning of this, which is the essential oneness of humanity whenever we take the time really to know others as we know ourselves.
To this idealism for the future there is coming, I believe, a great army of reinforcement as soon as the war is over. I mean the survivors of the trenches, the hale and hearty as well as the blinded and mutilated. There is every indication that they will return determined that new ways be found of organizing the world and of settling its differences of opinions and aspirations. It is not possible to believe that after the sacrifices they have made they will be on the side of race prejudice or of hate, of suspicion, of distrust, nor of the spirit of murder as we have seen it organized by the German General Staff.
Whether this opinion be right or wrong, Your Excellency, I beg of you to return to Japan in the belief and with the hope that the outcome of this whole world struggle is certain to make for human fellowship. And will. you not also say to your countrymen in your own eastern land, the land of extraordinary ability and power, of the proud spirit that prefers to perish rather than to suffer dishonor, the land of exquisite art and rarest beauty, that there are some in America who have no higher wish than that it shall be said of them: They were of the belief in the brotherhood of man and therefore they were at all times friends and lovers of Japan.
On concluding his remarks, Mr. Villard introduced Viscount Ishii. His reply was punctuated at intervals with a generous measure of applause, which reached its climax when he explained once more the policy of Japan with regard to China. He said:
Mr. Villard and gentlemen: Only such a host as you among a multitude of hosts and a wealth of hospitality could have realized the particular pleasure it would afford me to be your guest tonight at a gathering of this character. You are giving me an opportunity to express my sense of deep appreciation of the part played by the newspapers of New York and of America in this wonderful reception to me and my associates of this Mission. It would be unwise for me to waste your time, and particularly unwise to talk too much, especially in this distinguished presence. I am not going to bore you with repetition of what I have already said in public speech in many places. I have endeavored to speak frankly and plainly at all times, and while I regret shortcomings of language and expression, I have done my utmost to convey the truth and nothing but the truth to the people of America. I am indeed deeply grateful to the press of this country for the splendid and wholehearted support and consistent courtesy extended to us. Gentlemen, the spirit is willing, but my tongue is weak.
I can not to the full extent tell you of my appreciation, because your language fails me, and certainly my language would fail to satisfy you if I attempted to use it here. I have endeavored since landing in America some seven weeks ago to avoid the use of idle words or the putting forward of ideas capable of a double meaning or which could be misconstrued. In this connection, let me ask a favor at your hands. There is one explanation I would like to make here before you, and request you to transmit to the people of this country. In a speech delivered on Saturday night I made particular reference to the policy of Japan with regard to China, This reference took the form of a repetition of the pledge and promise that Japan would not-violate the political independence or territorial integrity of China; would at all times regard the high principle of the open door and equal opportunity. Now I find that this utterance of mine is taken as the enunciation of a "Monroe Doctrine in Asia." I want to make it very clear to you that the application of the term "Monroe Doctrine" to this policy and principle, voluntarily outlined and pledged by me, is inaccurate.
There is this fundamental difference between the "Monroe Doctrine" of the United States as to Central and South America and the enunciation of Japan's attitude toward China. In the first there is on the part of the United States no engagement or promise, while in the other Japan voluntarily announces that Japan will herself engage not to violate the political or territorial integrity of her neighbor, and to observe the principle of the open door and equal opportunity, asking at the same time other nations to respect these principles.
Therefore, gentlemen, you will mark the wide difference and agree with me, I am sure, that the use of the term is somewhat loose and misleading. I ask you to note this with no suggestion that I can or any one else does question the policy or attitude of your country, which we well know will always deal fairly and honorably with other nations.
As you must have noticed, I have persistently struck one note every time I have spoken. It has been the note of warning against German intrigue in America and in Japan---intrigue which has extended over a period of more than ten years. I am not going to weary you with a repetition of this squalid story of plots, conceived and fostered by the agents of Germany, but I solemnly repeat the warning here in this most distinguished gathering, so thoroughly representative of the highest ideals of American journalism.
In my speeches at various places I have endeavored to speak frankly on all points at issue or of interest at this time. There are, of course, some things which can not be openly discussed, because of a wise embargo upon unwise disclosures, but I am confident that from this time forward we will be able to effectively cooperate in all matters tending to secure a victory in this struggle which means so much for all of us, and that throughout all the years to come, differences of opinion or difficulties arising between our two countries will be settled, as all such questions and difficulties can be settled, between close friends and partners.
I thank you, sir, for your hospitality and for your courtesy. I assure you, gentlemen, again that we appreciate more than I can express the high consideration, the patriotism, and the broad and friendly spirit with which you have treated this Mission from Japan.
Comptroller William A. Prendergast was next called upon. He said in part:
Mr. Chairman, Viscount Ishii, gentlemen of the Commission, Your Excellency, and gentlemen: Our host has asked me to say a word of welcome to Viscount Ishii and associate members of the Commission in the name of the great city of New York.
It would seem to me that it is hardly necessary even to attempt to repeat the very great pleasure and honor and happiness that it gives New York to have you as its guests.
Now, Viscount Ishii, might I at this time sound a note which may be somewhat contrary to that which has been the dominant idea of our discussions upon these occasions? We have treated, and naturally, of war. That is the thought that is uppermost in our minds. It is the thing that is in the thought and the mind of man, woman, and child---war. I can say detestable war, because war is detestable, and we are fighting this war today for the purpose of driving out war permanently. That is the great object of our entering this war, or one of the great objects, and I am sure that it is also one of yours. It was a great relief to us---a great relief to the civilized world---that when this war broke out you were in your position of primacy upon the Pacific, there to guard effectively and effectually against the diplomatic depredations that might have taken place if Germany had been permitted to do as she was disposed to do in China. For the service that you rendered in that respect the world is indeed your debtor. But the idea that I think we should also have in mind, as well as winning the war, as well as prosecuting it to a successful finish, is this: While we are engaged in this war, let us realize the ties that bind. Let us realize that brothers in war should be brothers in peace; that what we have at interest in the war we will also have at interest in times of peace; and during this struggle, when we are so close together, when we are fraternizing, as brothers should, when we are feeling toward each other as brothers should, let us lay the groundwork of a great commercial relation that no contingency or exigency will ever disturb in the future, the groundwork of a commercial relation that will draw us so close together that we will realize the genuine ties of brotherhood. That, I think, is one of the great desires of the American people, and that is one of the great desires that New York expresses to you, at the conclusion of your happy visit to us.
John Dewey, Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University, who was the next speaker, was listened to with great intentness. He said:
Some one remarked that the best way to unite all the nations on this globe would be an attack from some other planet. In the face of such an alien enemy, people would respond with a sense of their unity of interest and purpose. We have the next thing to that at the present time. Before a common menace, North and South America, the Occident and Orient have done an unheard of thing, a wonderful thing, a thing which, it may well be, future history will point to as the most significant thing in these days of wonderful happenings. They have joined forces amply and intimately in a common cause with one another and with the European nations which were most directly threatened. What a few dreamers hoped might happen in the course of some slow coming century has become an accomplished fact in a few swift years. In spite of geographical distance, unlike speech, diverse religion, and hitherto independent aims, nations from every continent have formed what for the time being is nothing less than a: world state, an immense cooperative action in behalf of civilization.
It is safe to say that, with all its preparedness, Germany never anticipated this result. Even now the fact is so close to us that even we, who have been brought together, are too much engaged in the duties which the union imposes to realize the force of the new and unique creation of a union of peoples, yes, of continents. The imagination is not yet capable of taking it in.
It has been more than once noted that Germany has exhibited an extraordinary spectacle to the world. It has stood for organization at home and disorganization abroad, for cooperative effort among its own people and for division and hostility among all other peoples. All through the earlier years of the war the intellectuals of Germany appealed for sympathy in this country because of what Germany had done in the way of social legislation and administration to promote the unity of all classes, because of its efficiency in organization, because of the intelligent efforts it had made to secure domestic prosperity. But, at the same time, as events have since only too clearly demonstrated, it was bending every energy of corrupt and hateful intrigue to disunite the American people among themselves and to incite suspicion, jealousy, envy, and even active hostility between the American nation and other nations, like Mexico and Japan, with whom we had every reason to live in amity and no reasons of weight for anything but amity. In the light of this exhibition, German love of organization and cooperative unity at home gains a sinister meaning. It stands convicted of falsity because born of a malicious conspiracy against the rest of the world. It loved unity and harmony, not for themselves, but simply as a means of bringing about that dominion of Germany over the world of which its remorseless and treacherous efforts to divide other peoples are the other half.
The rest of the world, of the once neutral world, was, it must be confessed, slow to awake to Germany's plots and purposes. They seemed fantastic, unreal, in their unbridled lust for power and their incredibly bad faith. It was especially hard for us in this country, who have never been trained to identify our loyalty to our own country with hatred of any other, to realize that Germany's genius for efficiency and organization had become a menace to domestic union and international friendliness over the world. But finally in North America, as in South America, and in Asia, when the case became too clear for further doubt, Germany's challenge was met. Against Germany's efforts to disunite there arose a world united in endeavor and achievement on a scale unprecedented in the history of this globe, a scale too vast not to endure and in enduring to make the future history of international relationships something very different from their past history. In struggling by cunning and corruption to separate and divide other peoples, Germany has succeeded in drawing them together with a rapidity and an intimacy almost beyond belief. Nations thus brought together in community of feeling and action will not easily fall apart, even though the occasion which brought them together passes, as, pray God, it will soon pass. The Germany which seems finally to be breaking up within has furnished the rest of the world with a cement whose uses will not easily be forgotten.
Formal alliances, set treaties, legal arrangements for arbitration and conciliation, leagues and courts of nations, all have their importance. But, gentlemen, their importance is secondary. They are effects rather than causes, symptoms rather than forces. You may have them all, and if nations have not discovered that their permanent interests are in mutuality and interchange, they will be evaded or overridden. They may be lacking, but if the vital sap of reciprocal trust and friendly intercourse is flowing through the arteries of commerce land the public press, they will come in due season as naturally and inevitably as the trees put forth their leaves when their day of spring has come. It is our problem and our duty, I repeat, especially of you gentlemen of diplomacy and of what I shall venture to call the even more powerful instrument of good will and understanding, the public press, to turn our immediate and temporary relation for purposes of war into an enduring and solid connection for all of the sweet and constructive offices of that peace which must some day again dawn upon a wracked and troubled world.
Where diversity is greatest, there is the greatest opportunity for a fruitful cooperation which will be magnificently helpful to those who cooperate, This meeting this evening is a signal evidence of the coming together of the portions of the earth which for countless centuries went their own way in isolation, developing great civilizations, each in their own way. Now in the fulness of days, the Orient and the Occident, the United States and Japan, have drawn together to engage in faith in themselves and in each other in the work of building up a society of nations each free to develop its own national life and each bound in helpful intercourse with every other. May every influence which would sow suspicion and misunderstanding be accursed, and every kindly power that furthers enduring understanding and reciprocal usefulness be blest. May this meeting stand not only as a passing symbol, but as a lasting landmark of the truth that among nations as among men of good will there shall be peace, not a peace of isolation or bare toleration which has become impossible in this round world of ours, not a peace based on mutual fear and mutual armament, but a virile peace in which emulation in commerce, science, and the arts bespeaks two great nations that respect each other because they respect themselves.
Don C. Seitz, of the New York World, who has traveled in the Far East and studied its problems, caught the entire attention of the company as he responded to Mr. Villard's call:
I think the visit of the Japanese Commission has been the most impressive among all of those who have come to us from the other parts of the world as the outcome of the great war, and I think, too, it has a great purpose, and is bound to have a great result, because, if you will recall carefully, you will find that the other gentlemen all came to the United States to get something; but these gentlemen have come to give us something.
There is a great deal to be learned in the Orient, and I know it is a trite phrase to say that everything is upside down in the East, that all Oriental ideas are opposite those held by ourselves, but in some ways this is an improvement. There is also a perspicacity among Orientals which we lack ourselves. Only recently I had to sit for nearly an hour and listen to the efforts of a former Attorney General of the United States to explain and vindicate the Monroe Doctrine, and here Viscount Ishii, in the midst of many affairs, sizes it up in a few words, perceiving that our fundamental doctrine is that we will allow no one to lick our neighbors but ourselves.
The East has often been advertised as changeless. This is wrong. Matthew Arnold, you know, wrote a celebrated verse in which he said something like this; that "The East bowed low before the blast, in silent proud disdain; she let the legions thunder past, and turned to thought again."
Now, take it from me, they do more thinking in an hour than we do in a week in the United States. We very largely jump at conclusions---and in the Fast they think.
People who speak about the Japanese nation as a race of little people doing little things, are misled. A small country, it preserves its proportions and it does nothing without thinking. We do many things without thinking, and often regret it afterwards. These men coming here teach us of our wrong conclusions, of our ease in accepting false premises, and we should change our habits.
Foreign affairs have never received decent treatment in the American press of recent years, because our own have been more interesting, and we have not involved ourselves with the troubles of other races. Now that other nations have brought their troubles to us, we are compelled to know something, and I think we will. The newspapers seem to me a little slow in grasping, and slow in informing our people, and our own government has been remiss in not letting us know more, and the press, I think, has been a little too insistent in regard to domestic affairs. We have accepted the excuse of war time to cover many things that we ought to know. If you were to receive in your office the foreign publications from Japan, such as the Japan Advertiser and the Japan Chronicle, and perceive the care and intelligence with which world affairs are discussed and made plain to their very limited constituency, you would feel rather ashamed of your editorial exhibitions. You would be surprised at the amount of space you waste in matters that are of no particular concern in a time like this.
I think it would be a good idea if every publisher and editor here would, subscribe, to either one or the other, or both of those publications, and make somebody in the office read them. You know we have in New York city a circulation of about a million and a quarter copies of foreign-language publications; and I never yet found an editor in New York who knew a single thing that was printed in one of them. Now, they may be saying all kinds of things about us, for us and against us, and we ought to know what it is, but we decline to do it.
You know, some of the peculiarities of Japanese politics, and the way they look at things strike us oddly. I was interested in a recent episode in Japan. Mr. Ozaki, whom some of you have met in New York, and who was for a long time Mayor of Tokio, and leader of democratic thought in Japan, has recently gone farther, perhaps, than even his original platform policy, and not long ago one of his constituents, a humble shoemaker, feeling that his idol had gone far beyond the limits, killed himself as a protest against the democratic thoughts of his leader. I was wondering how great a mortality would follow in our present mayoralty campaign, if this practice were zealously carried out. How many children would have a father a day after the campaign got well under way?
We take things for granted here that they will not take for granted in the Far East.
Well, when the Japanese came forward at the beginning of this war to join their first ally, England, and their later allies, ourselves, people said they did it without risk. Why, gentlemen, no nation in the world ever took such a risk. Japan is a land without surplus, a little land, where people live crowded between the mountains and the sea; where, unless the soil bears three crops a year, people starve; where, if the fisher fleets fail to come in regularly every other day, there is little to eat; where everything has to be watched; where nothing can be wasted, and where the population grows apace. If they were to be blockaded, or shut in in any fashion, Japan would starve quicker than any nation in the world. Remoteness is not a defense in these times, as we ourselves are about to demonstrate. Everybody is within reach; and so they went into this matter, not selfishly, but with a high idealism; and when we learned through the secret dispatches recently that the great German Empire thought so ill of the great Eastern Empire, as to make it appear that it could break its word, we then and there were able to write for once the true value of German knowledge of world affairs. We were then able for the first time to perceive that there had been a most lamentable breakdown of intellectual and moral force in Germany; and that, gentlemen, is the thing we have to guard against ourselves, because this war, after all, is not going to be won by force of arms. It is going to be won by the sufferings of the noncombatants, and by the intellectual and moral forces, when they once rally, and put on the proper pressure; and what we have got to look for, is a rally of this intellectual and moral force and it would not surprise me in the least, if this greatest factor of all came from Japan.
An observer who came recently from Europe said to me that the most dangerous thing about the situation was not German militarism, but the breakdown of intellectual strength in the chancelleries of Europe. He said he had not found anywhere among all the countries and in all the Cabinets men of strength of mind enough to take hold of this hideous disease and bring it to some kind of an end. He understood it must wear itself out in the blood of the people, in the suffering of the innocent, and in the destruction of property.
Supposing out of the East should come a ray of light that leads into the path. One thing, at least, has come. We in the United States have swept away forever this miserable doctrine of distrust that has come forward day after day to puzzle and vex us. When I was in Japan the Premier said to me: "What have we done that should arouse this suspicion, these endless attacks? We have met every request you made, and kept every promise we have made. Where does it come from? What have we done and what have you done?" And I could not answer him. We know now. We have located it.
Mr. Aimaro Sato, the Ambassador from Japan, was the last speaker of the evening. He was warmly greeted and his concluding sentence evoked a storm of applause.
A friend of mine was speaking to me of the author of "Paradise Lost" the other day..
Some one asked the poet if he were going to instruct his daughters in the different languages of which he was a master. Milton turned upon his friend sharply:
'No sir," said he, with a grim and frigid emphasis; "one tongue is enough for any woman."
Tonight, before this genial and brilliant company, I find that one tongue is a good deal more than enough for one mere man, especially when he. happens to be a Japanese in the diplomatic service, and more especially when the tongue happens to be the English language.
The fact, however, that I am actually upon my feet testifies, with something of a touching eloquence, to the witchery of the hours, to the magic of your friendly presences, and, above all, to the compelling lure of the theme of which our hearts are filled to overflowing tonight---the bringing together of the two great peoples on either side of the Pacific to a heart-to-heart understanding. Once that is ours, the German intrigues will be but an empty jest, and the flaming yellow journal propaganda as futile as the poison, gas attack upon the sun and the stars.
We are gathered here---and my honored colleague, Viscount Ishii, is with u--s-for a modest bit of work which is nothing short of wiping the Pacific Ocean from off the map of spiritual and intellectual unity and community between the United States and Japan. We have come together as good neighbors, you of America and we of Japan. But we have been that since the days of your Townsend Harris. Tonight we sit side by side as something more than mere friends---we are soldiers of the common cause. We are to fight for the realization of one dream for the defense of the one and same political ideal. Gentlemen, the Empire of the Extreme East and. the greatest of earth's republics are now comrades in arms against the common foe. And that is something new. For the first time since the Lord spoke the world into being the Stars and Stripes will garnish the battle-red skyline side by side with the sun flag of Nippon in a worldwide war upon militant autocracy. That is a fact big enough for history to take note of.
Time was---and it has been long and weary, too---when black intrigues, and blatant propaganda against the American-Japanese amity lorded it over the popular sentiment of your people. In the very days when Japan was doing her bit for the happy consummation of the Anglo-American Arbitration Treaty, there were people and press here who painted Japan as the archfiend, scheming to force the British Empire to back her in a wanton war against the United States. Those were trying days. We bore them in silence. We bore them, happy in the profound confidence in the ultimate triumph of the American sense of justice and of right. We bore them with the conviction that no clouds, however black, however stormy, had ever succeeded in putting out the sun; that the sunlight is ever the brighter the blacker the storm. But that time, thank Heaven, is no more.
And it is with a throbbing pleasure I note that the coming of your guest of honor tonight and his fellow commissioners seems to mark the turn of. the tide in the American-Japanese relations. But what makes the visit of the present Mission epochal is not what it has already wrought upon the sentiment of the people of America. The real significance of the Ishii Mission is its effect upon the tomorrow, upon the things that are to come. And I beg you to permit me to join you in hailing the visit of the Mission as a promise and prophecy of the coming of a saner day, when there shall be no East and no West in the wider vision of international peace.
A Visit to Theodore Roosevelt
The morrow found Viscount Ishii ill with a cold and on his way to Atlantic City, under the doctor's orders to rest from his strenuous labors. Vice Admiral Takeshita had been obliged to absent himself from the Villard dinner on account of a cold, but, fortunately, he was sufficiently recovered the next day to allow of his visiting former President Theodore Roosevelt at Oyster Bay, in company with other members of the Mission. The Vice Admiral and others of the Mission had known Colonel Roosevelt during his occupancy of the White House, and they met and enjoyed the day by the salt water in the guise of old friends.
XI. Homeward Bound
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