The Imperial Japanese Mission to the United States, 1917
THE ROOT-TAKAHIRA EXCHANGE OF NOTES, 1908
Note from the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State
Washington, Nov. 30, 1908
The exchange of views between us, which has taken place at the several interviews which I have recently had the honor of holding with you, has shown that Japan and the United States, holding important outlying insular possessions in the region of the Pacific Ocean, the governments of the two countries are animated by a common aim, policy and intention in that region.
Believing that a frank avowal of that aim, policy and intention would not only tend to strengthen the relations of friendship and good neighborhood which have immemorially existed between Japan and the United States, but would materially contribute to the preservation of the general peace, the Imperial Government have authorized me to present to you an outline of their understanding of that common aim, policy and intention:
1. It is the wish of the two governments to encourage the free and peaceful development of their commerce on the Pacific Ocean.
2. The policy of both governments, uninfluenced by any aggressive tendencies, is directed to the maintenance of the existing status quo in the region above mentioned and to the defense of the principle of equal opportunity for commerce and industry in China.
3. They are accordingly firmly resolved reciprocally to respect the territorial possessions belonging to each other in said region.
4. They are also determined to preserve the common interests of all powers in China by supporting by all pacific means at their disposal the independence and integrity of China and the principles of equal opportunity for commerce. and industry of all nations in that Empire.
5. Should any event occur threatening the status quo as above described or the principle of equal opportunity, as above defined, it remains for the two governments to communicate with each other, in order to arrive at an understanding as to what measures they may consider it useful to take.
If the foregoing outline accords with the view of the government of the United States, I shall be gratified to receive your confirmation.,
I take, etc.
Note from the Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, NOV. 30, 1908.
1 have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note today, setting forth the result of the exchange of views between us in our recent interviews, defining the understanding of the two governments in regard to their policy in the region of the Pacific Ocean.
It is a pleasure to inform you that this expression of mutual understanding is welcome to the government of the United States as appropriate to the happy relation of the two countries and the occasion for a concise, mutual affirmation of that accordant policy respecting the Far East which the two governments have so frequently declared in the past.
I am happy to be able to confirm to Your Excellency, on behalf of the United States, the declaration of the two governments embodied in the following words:
(Here follows a declaration identical to that given by Baron Takahira over the signature of Mr. Elihu Root.)
Appendix B: The Lansing-Ishii Exchange of Notes, 1917
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