Japan Resents the Washington Setback (1922)

Our Navy will not have more than 60 percent of the American naval strength hereafter. We must think of some way of improving our relations with America.

Our Government and delegates have brought forth a quadruple agreement [Four Power Pact], replacing the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. It now becomes clear that Japan’s claims will not be granted in future without a judgment by the four Powers. Although there are four nations, England is now in a state so that she cannot oppose the will of America. Any decision in a trial of the court of four Powers will be rendered as America sees fit.

Under the circumstances, no Japanese, however optimistic, will have the heart to be optimistic of Japan’s future. No one will be able to deny that Japan has [had] her hands and feet cut off in Washington. We do not advocate pessimistic views by choice. If there be any material by which we can be optimistic, we [should] like to know what it is. If Japan’s position has been improved in any way by the Washington Conference, we [should] like to be informed of it. Reflecting upon Japan, which was thus reduced to a state of blockade on all sides, we cannot but deeply sigh with despair....

American public opinion makes it believed that benefits have been conferred upon Japan. Japan was in a position wherein she was obliged to abandon the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. In place of the Alliance, a quadruple agreement was given to Japan. Thus America has saved Japan’s face, American public opinion claims.

By virtue fo the quadruple entente, Japan decided not to make an issue out of a race discrimination in America. Our Government and delegates are so magnanimous that they would not raise an issue out of the race discrimination which is insulting to the Japanese race. Nay, our governing classes are never magnanimous. They have never been magnanimous to our countrymen. They are magnanimous to Western peoples. Because they are afraid of Western peoples, they feign to be magnanimous. While being governed by such weak-kneed statesmen, the Japanese race cannot expect to rise above water.

Source: The American Spirit