Imagini ale paginilor

of Immigration, in his Annual Report for 1920, pages 18 and 19, had

this to say:




Japanese laborers are allowed to enter Mexico and some Central and South American countries upon presentation of passports issued by Japan limited to one of such countries, the holders thereof not being entitled to admission thereon to the United States. Notwithstanding this inhibition, Japanese find their way into Mexico and surreptitiously or through smuggling devices enter or attempt to enter this country. Investigation has demonstrated that at least some of the so-called emigration from Japan to the countries south of us is not in good faith so far as the individuals engaged therein are concerned.

The two general terms of the agreement itself and the ex parte determination by officials of Japan, both in that country and in the United States, of matters arising under its terms have not been conducive at all times to the production of the results anticipated by both countries when the agreement was conceived.

For example, the Japanese Government interpreted the provisions respecting permission to join parents, wives and children, as a basis for the almost unlimited issue of passports to unmarried women migrating to prospective husbands in the United States. These socalled picture brides were married upon the docks on landing in the United States, but with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1917, it became difficult in all cases to continue this practice. The Japanese Ambassador, then, in response to an inquiry from our State Department seeking authoritative information respecting Japanese laws and customs relating to marriage, gave the following illuminating exposition of his government's interpretation of the Japanese code, which is quoted from a letter of Acting Secretary of State William Phillips to Senator James D. Phelan:

I beg to state that in the law of Japan it is provided that marriage is complete and takes effect immediately upon its being notified either in writing or orally to the registrar by both parties, with the participation in the act of at least two witnesses of full age, and its being accepted by him; that if a document is employed for such notification it must be personally signed and sealed by the parties and the witnesses ; but it is not necessary that the parties personally appear before the registrar; that if the notification is made orally, both the parties and their witnesses must personally appear before the registrar.

There is no provision in the Japanese law specifically for a case where one of the parties to a marriage contract lives in Japan and the other under foreign jurisdiction, nor has there appeared before the court any case involving this point, for the reason that the places of actual residence of the parties concerned form no essential requirement for a marriage to be legalized. Such being the essence of the formal marriage in Japan, a Japanese man residing in this country can marry a Japanese woman residing in Japan by personally signing and affixing his seal to the document to be presented before the registrar in Japan, and the validity of such marriage is amply attested by the issuance of certified copy of the family registry bearing the official seal of the registrar, which document the so-called “picture bride” proceeding to this country is always provided with."

The net result of this declaration on the part of the Japanese Ambassador was a diplomatic defeat of our efforts to secure a restriction by diplomatic procedure upon the entry of picture brides, but the repercussion of sentiment in California which this incident created, resulted after prolonged negotiations in a pronouncement on the part of the Japanese Government that the issue of passports to

[ocr errors]


14 Hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, Sixty-sixth Congress, page 141.

[ocr errors]

picture brides would be discontinued after February 29, 1920.15 Our astute friends across the Pacific were, however, not to be long deterred in finding a means of withdrawing from this impasse. The Japanese Diet passed a law extending the period of exemption from the provisions of the Conscription Act from one month to three months in behalf of subjects of the Imperial Government returning home to contract a marriage.

With the co-operation of the steam ship companies and Japanese organizations, it then became possible for a Japanese domiciled in the United States to obtain a bride with but little increase in cost over the former system. This new method of evading the intent

16 of the Gentlemen's Agreement was known as the Kankodan System. Now the Japanese Ambassador in his note of April 10, 1924, asserts that the total increase in our population during the period 1908– 1923, as shown by the reports of the Commissioner General of Immigration, Table “B,” amounts to only 8,681; that is to say, an annual average of 578 persons. This figure is arrived at by a comparison of the total number of persons admitted to the United States, as compared with the total number departed. While the Ambassador is from a legalistic standpoint justified in the utilization of this table, the inference to be drawn from the statistics quoted is wholly misleading for two reasons. First, because the Ambassador, having stated that his government had extended substantially the same regulations to Hawaii, as were embodied in the Gentlemen's Agreement which only covered entry at ports of continental United States, it would have been appropriate for him to have given the figures for gross entries of Japanese on American soil, that is to say—16,096, instead of 8,681. This omission was particularly ill-advised in giving to those familiar with the situation, an impression of a lack of candor on the part of his government, in view of the peculiarly critical conditions which have developed as a result of Japanese immigration to our great defensive outpost in the Pacific.17 Second,

[ocr errors]


15 " The foreign office has sent private (secret) instructions to the responsible authorities at the ports of sailing that this class of brides must be shipped as speedily as possible. Consequently, the hotels at Nagasaki, Kobe, and especially Yokohama, present remarkable spectacles like human whirlpools on account of these brides. The ordinary passengers for America have to postpone their sailings. Twenty per cent of the pas. sengers on every vessel are women according to the statement of a recent arrival from Japan." (Translation of an article which appeared in the Great Northern Daily News, a Japanese newspaper, June 2, 1920; offered in evidence by Mr. McClatchy, at the hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives. 66th Cong., p. 230.)

16 Cf. hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, Sixty-eighth Congress, on S. 2576, pages 26 and 27.

17 As a result of the revelations at the hearings before the House Committee on Immigration, Secretary of Labor James J. Davis was authorized by Congress to send a commission to the Hawaiian Islands for the purpose of investigating the conditions told of at the hearings.

The full report of this commission has never been made public, but from that portion given out by the Secretary of Labor, we quote as follows:

In diagnosing the situation we have arrived at the following conclusions : That attention should be specially called to the menace of alien domination, and that the present policy of parental adoption and importation of picture brides by the Japanese should be stopped, because these practices have defeated the purpose of the so-called " gentlemen's agreement by creating a method of genetal reproduction aug. mented by the picture bride that will soon overwhelm the territory numerically, politically, and commercially, unless stopped.

“The menace from a military standpoint can be fully verified by referring to the records of the related Federal departments.

“The question of national defense submerges all others into insignificance. If these islands are to remain American, the assured control of the political, commercial, social, and educational life of the islands must also be American, and the sooner we wake up to a fuller appreciation of this imperative and immediate need the sooner we will make the people of the Hawaiian Islands feel generally a greater sense of security and



because the gross figures include all those classes of persons who are treated as exempt under the provisions of Section 13 (c) of the Act as passed by Congress, to which the government of Japan took exception. In other words, the American people are not concerned with the ebb and flow of elements subject to wide fluctuations which do not tend to add to our permanent Japanese population, for example: An analysis of the data prepared by Dr. Gulick, and published by the National Committee on American Japanese Relations 18 will serve to illustrate the situation, as well as the official tables, and in view of his well-known sentiments toward Japan, should eliminate any question of bias. According to Table “D” of Dr. Gulick's pamphlet, which is reprinted as Appendix “B” of this paper, the total number of alien Japanese admited to and departed from the United States, 1909-1923, was 171,584 and 155,488, respectively. The difference between the two figures being the 16,096 increase to which allusion has already been made, but what Dr. Gulick does not demonstrate clearly, although it may be shown from his table, is that the total number of immigrant aliens admitted, male and female, was 109,355, as against 36,449 emigrant aliens departed, or a net gain to our permanent Japanese element by entries from over seas, of 72,906. This figure proves out by a comparison of the total non-immigrant Japanese admitted, 62,229, and the total non-emigrant Japanese departed, 119,039, or a difference of 56,810. This last figure being subtracted from the 72,906, gives the misleading result of 16,096, referred to above. In this connection, it should be borne in mind that “the term immigrant aliens represents true or real immigration, as the term emigrant aliens means true or real emigration.19

Before turning to another phase of this question it must be pointed out that although the Gentlemen's Agreement was concluded in 1907, it was not put into effect until July 1st, 1908, whereby some 16,418 additional Japanese entered our country?" and as pointed out by the Secretary of Labor in his report for 1923, Table 4,21 entitled "Immigration and Emigration, and Net Gain or Loss, 1908–1923, by Race,” shows for the Japanese, an immigration of 125,773, and an emigration of 41,781, or a net gain during that period when the Gentlemen's Agreement should have been in force of 83,992.

Emphasis has been laid in the Foreword to Dr. Gulick’s pamphlet, upon a statement to the effect that "Japanese male laborers in the

insure control of all that contributes to make continued living in the Territory of Hawaii worthwhile.

* In the interest of the national defense and the welfare of American citizenship in the Territory, the commission respectfully and earnestly recommends that the question of alien domination be immediately referred to the Congress of the United States for the necessary remedial legislation."

Chairman Albert Johnson, of the House Committee on Immigration, in his report on the Hawaiian situation, referring to the report of the Davis Commission, observed : " That report

contains statements of such startling character that the Secretary does not feel at liberty to make its full text public. The report has been offered to the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization as a confidential matter to be read in executive session. The committee declines to receive the report under such conditions." (Report of the national oriental committee of the American Legion to the fifth annual convention, San Francisco, Calif., October 15 to 19, 1923; hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, 68th Cong., on S. 2576, pp. 138 and 139.)

18 New Factors in American-Japanese Relations and a Constructive Proposal. 19 Report of the Commissioner General of Immigration, 1923, page 8.

20. Cf. hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, on s. 2576, page 24 ; also, Report of Secretary of Labor for 1923, Table 3, page 132.

Page 183.

United States are steadily decreasing." 22 From the context of the paragraph, it would appear that the basis for this contention lies in the fact that “between the summers of 1908 and 1923, 97,877 alien Japanese males entered the United States (including Hawaii). But 120,614 departed, making a net diminution of 22,737." 22 It is, how ever, pointed out that during this time there was

a net increase of females amounting to 38,833. Now, the fact of the matter is-still using Dr. Gulick's data, see Table “D” of the pamphlet 23—there was a gain of 17,126 male immigrants and 55,780 female immigrants, the two elements added together giving the actual increase of male and female immigration of 72,906, referred to above. The loss, therefore, is to be found in those groups of our fluctuating population, classified by the Bureau of Immigration as non-immigrants. That is to say, Table “D”, shows that 92,497 non-immigrant Japanese males departed and 52,634 Japanese males entered at our ports, showing a loss in gross figures of 39,863 males. If the gain in the “true or real immigration” of Japanese males be subtracted, we get the net figure of 22,737, loss in an element which, as has repeatedly been pointed out, does not in reality concern the problem with which we have had to deal. Now, a word as to the women in respect to whom Dr. Gulick admits a gain in gross entries, although he does not point out the actual increase of this element to whose amazing fecundity is to be attributed the large increase in our permanent Japanese population today, for it was pointed out to the Senate Committee on Immigration, during the consideration of S. 2576, in the course of the last session, that while the ratio of births in the white population

was as one to forty, the ratio of increase among the Japanese was as one to eleven.24 In this connection, the reader will perhaps recall that the Japanese Ambassador in his note of April 10th, 1924, said:

Besides this there is, of course, the increase through births of the Japanese population in the United States. This has nothing to do with either the Gentlemen's Agreement or the immigration laws.”

This is a contention which is in fact controverted by the flood of brides which, by one means or another, poured in through our gates to increase not only by their own numbers, our population, but through their children, to add to the complexity of the race problem in the United States.26

Although as will be gathered from the foregoing exposition, the interpretation of the statistics offered by Mr. Hanihara, or Dr. Gulick, cannot be accepted, it is possible to rest on the following quotation from Dr. Gulick's testimony before the Senate Committee on Immigration:

Mr. GULICK. Now, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I think the usefulness of the present Gentlemen's Agreement has come to an end. Through the admission of the parents, wives and children, there has come an amount of

22 New Factors in American-Japanese Relations and a Constructive Proposal, page 3. 23 Appendix B of this paper.

24 cî. hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, Sixtyeighth Congress, on 8. 2576, page 21.

25 Hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, Sixty-eighth Congress, on S. 2576, page 168.

28 As the surreptitious entries are, of necessity, principally of the male sex, and it is demonstrable that our census of the Japanese population is well below the actual figures, it may well be that the loss in males shown by the record of arrivals and departures is more apparent than real.


immigration which has caused serious conditions serious psychological conditions.

That is the truth, and the Gentlemen's Agreement came to an end, not because of any question of superiority or inferiority, or an unwillingness in the past to deal with Japan upon a basis of consideration accorded to no other power in the world, but because the Gentlemen's Agreement was

interpreted, to put no varnish on the facts, by the officials of the Imperial Government in a legalistic and technical spirit unworthy of the representatives of a great and friendly government.



In the preceding sections of this paper, the discussion of American and Japanese relations has been confined to a consideration of the assimilability of the races and the efforts made by our Government to prevent the increase by immigration of an element regarded by the citizens throughout large areas of our country as a menace to our institutions and national life. Although relatively speaking, the maximum estimate of the number of Japanese within the borders of continental United States, does not reach a startling figure if spread over so vast an area as our boundaries encompass, yet the American people must not fail to recognize that the elimination of the white race from even a small section of the land by an alien people is as much a matter of national concern as a loss of a limb constitutes an irreparable injury to the human body. Such a loss of control, such a domination, both from an economic and political standpoint, is not necessarily accomplished by violence or suddenly, but may result as effectively from the pacific penetration of a people, whom we do not absorb, be the reasons therefor what they may.

In Hawaii, as already pointed out, the situation is critical, because strategically it is the key to the Pacific coast,28 and the Japa

27 Hearings before the Committee on Immigration, United States Senate, Sixty-eighth Congress, on s. 2576, page 72.

28 The following passages from an article by Hector C. Bywater, a British naval critic, throw an interesting sidelight on the strategic problem which confronts us in respect to our far eastern dependencies, as well as upon the diplomatic astuteness of the representatives of Japan:

In the fall of 1920 the Japanese naval authorities in cooperation with the general staff worked out a scheme for fortifying the principal islands that guard the approach to the coasts of Japan proper. This measure was intended to counteract the then impending development of Cavite and Guam as first-class bases for the Ameri. can Pacific Fleet

By December the last of the batteries had been constructed and armed with heavy long-range guns, the barracks, munitions, depots, aerodrome, and radio station had been constructed, and every navigable approach had been rendered impregnable.

“ Meanwhile the Washington conference had assembled, and Admiral Baron Kato, of the Japanese delegation, had taken the first opportunity to inform his. American colleagues that Japan regarded the abandonment of the Philippine and Guam fortifications as the condition precedent to negotiations for the reduction of her shipbuilding program. If the United States would agree to this, Japan, on her part, was prepared to suspend her own plans for fortifying her Paciấc islands and would at the same time cooperate most willingly in any practicable scheme for limiting her floating armaments.

" Baron Kato did not add, however, that Japan, having been secretly engaged in fortifying her island bases for many months previously, had just completed the work, whereas scarcely any progress had been made in the development of the American stations at Cavite and Guam.

“ Whether the American naval experts were cognizant of the facts is a moot point, but it seems scarcely credible that they would have acquiesced in the status quo proposal for Pacific bases had they known that Japan was already in possession of a thoroughly equipped naval station at the Bonins. If they did know this, one is forced

« ÎnapoiContinuați »