The Imperial Japanese Mission to the United States, 1917



A Message of Gratitude from the Coast

A farewell statement expressing deep obligation to the American nation was made public on November 9 in San Francisco by Viscount Kikujiro Ishii in anticipation of his departure for Japan in company with the Mission of which he was the head. He said:

The kindly welcome given by the Pacific Coast to our Mission has found most lavish indorsement and emphasis at every point we have visited in the United States. It only remains for me, as the parting guest, to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the whole people of this great country for the hospitality, the courtesy-and the high consideration we have received.

I do not underestimate the heavy obligation under which we of Japan have been placed in the personal debt I owe to the President and the people of the United States. We are prepared to meet the obligation to the limit of our ability and to maintain a friendship and confidence which is based and nurtured on good understanding and good neighborhood.

We came with a firm belief in the broad and generous spirit of America. We leave with a sense of profound admiration for your splendid humanity and patriotism, coupled with your unswerving loyalty to the high principles of the cause to which we are mutually pledged.

A Word of Reassurance from Hawaii

Nor was this all. Reaching Honolulu on November 15, Viscount Ishii, at a luncheon in honor of the Mission, declared that "the attitude of the United States toward the war insures its successful termination."

What we have seen on the continent of America gives absolute unchangeable confidence in the final outcome and complete victory of our cause, which insures national individual independence.

I carried to the United States a message, assurances, and a pledge of comradeship; a guarantee of partnership. From the east to the west shores I found the message and its purpose accepted and understood in a kindred spirit. The barrier of language was broken down. I am convinced that a good understanding has been reached that will clear the menace of unpleasant entanglements hitherto maintained by our common foe.

We are proud bearers to our beloved country of the answer from our true friend to the message we brought.

Viscount Ishii and his associates arrived at Yokohama on November 26, 1917.

XII. Viscount Ishii's Tribute to America

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