Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 420.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a translation of a very interesting editorial on the diplomacy of the present cabinet, which appeared this morning in the Jiji Shimpo, perhaps the most important independent newspaper in Japan.

It will be noted that this article urges upon the present cabinet as one of its most pressing duties the carrying out of the principle of equality of commercial opportunity in Manchuria.

[Page 176]

In discussing the present political situation in China, the Jiji Shimpo lays great stress upon the need of a united policy on the part of the United States, Great Britain, and Japan for the maintenance of Chinese integrity and of the principle of the “open door.”

I have, etc.

Huntington Wilson.

the diplomacy of the present cabinet.

[Editorial in Jiji Shimpo of March 28.]

Following the failure of the diplomacy of the former government, there is much to be done by the present cabinet in remedying the effects. Matters to be treated with the Russian Government in accordance with the Russo-Japanese treaty of peace and the renewal of friendship between the two countries call for prompt settlement. Among the matters, which at this time demand the most thorough and energetic measures with a view to their settlement, one of the most urgent is that, as soon as the withdrawal of troops from Manchuria nears completion, we open up that territory, cause China to put into effect her promise to open up her cities, allow foreigners and natives alike the freedom to engage in commercial enterprise, and, finally, carry into practice the principle of equality of opportunity. The movement in China for restoring concessions once granted to foreigners and the antiforeign disturbances in general, including violence to the foreign missionaries, may have serious consequences. Though the movement for restoring concessions is not primarily anti-foreign in its nature, yet it is natural that foreigners should be prepared for any emergency, as it has a remarkable influence on a people like the Chinese who are narrow-minded and haughty. The attempt to dispatch troops to Manila by the American Government is most opportune, and our Government has given a warning to the Chinese Government concerning the situation.

What makes us more anxious is the complication of the interests of the powers in China. The Chinese still dislike the Americans, for they have not yet ceased to boycott American goods. From the standpoint of the movement for restoring concessions, the Chinese can not be very friendly to the British. There is something unsatisfactory in the recent attitude of the Chinese Government toward ours. If, however, China’s attitude toward all foreign countries were equally hostile, there would be no fear of international complications, for then all the powers could unite in dealing with China. For instance, while some countries are getting ready for sending troops others are withdrawing them from China. There is nothing to be wondered at in the way some countries curry favor with China by intimating that this or that country is treacherous. But it is possible that a movement may be started for causing discord between Japan, Great Britain, and America. As is stated in the treaty of alliance, it is the aim of both Japan and Great Britain to maintain the territorial integrity of China and to open the country to the world’s commerce. The United States is the most ardent advocate of these two principles, and the three countries have common interests in China. In these days when an intrigue may possibly be started, it is necessary that these three countries should be united, in order to be prepared for any emergency and to protect their common interests. A combined influence of the three countries will have a considerable influence over China, and any intrigue against the combination would be powerless. Though some foreigners intimate that the Japanese are instigating the antiforeign agitation in China, no intelligent person will listen to such an irresponsible rumor. In order more fully to strengthen the combination of these three countries and to prevent another disruption, Japan should at this time take steps for opening up Manchuria as rapidly as possible, should allow foreigners and natives alike freely to engage in commercial enterprise, and especially should induce Englishmen and Americans to enter this field and to cooperate with her in this enterprise; this, therefore, is an end to which our diplomatists to-day should strongly direct their efforts. Among the many things we expect of the present cabinet in their foreign policy, the strengthening of the combination of Japan, Great Britain, and America for the [Page 177] sake of their common interests in China we believe to be an extremely urgent measure, and we dare to urge the authorities concerned to spare no efforts for accomplishing this end.