The Gentleman`s Agreement of 1907 was an unwritten and informal agreement between the United States and Japan. This agreement aimed to limit Japanese immigration to the US while also ensuring the fair treatment of Japanese immigrants already in the US.
The agreement was a reflection of the rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the US at the time. Many Americans believed that Japanese immigrants were taking jobs away from Americans and driving down wages. Additionally, the US government was concerned about the potential for conflict between Japanese immigrants and white Americans.
The agreement was negotiated by US President Theodore Roosevelt and Japanese Ambassador Takahira Kogorō. Under the agreement, Japan agreed to stop issuing passports to Japanese laborers seeking to enter the US. In return, the US government would not impose any formal restrictions on Japanese immigration. However, both sides understood that the agreement was intended to limit Japanese immigration to the US.
The agreement also included a provision for the fair treatment of Japanese immigrants already in the US. The US government agreed to prevent discrimination against Japanese immigrants in education, housing, and employment. In return, Japan agreed to discourage Japanese immigrants from participating in labor disputes and to cooperate with the US government in deporting Japanese immigrants who had committed crimes in the US.
The Gentleman`s Agreement of 1907 was not a formal treaty, and it was not ratified by Congress. However, it was an important turning point in US-Japan relations. It reflected the US government`s desire to limit immigration from Asia, a policy that would be further codified in the Immigration Act of 1924. It also laid the groundwork for the US-Japan alliance that would develop in the decades to come.
Today, the Gentleman`s Agreement of 1907 is often remembered as an example of US government discrimination against Asian immigrants. However, it is important to understand the historical context in which the agreement was negotiated. At the time, the US was undergoing significant social and economic changes, and the government was struggling to balance the interests of different groups within American society. The agreement was an attempt to achieve that balance, and while it may have been imperfect, it helped to lay the groundwork for future US-Japan relations.