The Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Washington , November 30, 1908 .
Sir: 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 [Page 511] 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:
- It is the wish of the two Governments to encourage the free and peaceful development of their commerce on the Pacific Ocean.
- 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.
- They are accordingly firmly resolved reciprocally to respect the territorial possessions belonging to each other in said region.
- They are also determined to preserve the common interest of all powers in China by supporting by all pacific means at their disposal the independence and integrity of China and the principle of equal opportunity for commerce and industry of all nations in that Empire.
- 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 this opportunity to renew to your excellency the assurance of my highest consideration.