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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1920

Japan,   pp. 1-48 PDF (16.5 MB)

Page 3

deem it my duty in forwarding the report to outline in brief the
history of the development of the Japanese problem in California,
together with the legislation already enacted and that now pend-
ing. In doing so I trust I may be able clearly to lay before you the
necessity of action by our Federal Government in the attainment
of a permanent solution of this matter.
While the report deals with the problem as an entire Asiatic one,
the present acute situation is occasioned specifically by the increase
in population and land ownership of the Japanese. Forty years
ago the California race problem was essentially a Chinese problem.
At that time our Japanese population was negligible. The Chinese
immigrants, however, were arriving in such numbers that the people
of the entire Pacific slope became alarmed at a threatened inundation
of our white civilization by this Oriental influx.
Popular feeling developed to such a pitch that many unfortunate
incidents occurred of grave wrong done to individual Chinese, as
the result of mob and other illegal violence. Our country became
awakened at the growing danger, and Congress passed the Chinese
Exclusion Act providing for the exclusion of all Chinese laborers
and the registration of all Chinese at that time lawfully within the
country. The statute was sufficiently comprehensive effectively to
exclude further Chinese immigration and to make difficult, if not im-
possible, the evasion of the spirit of the Act. As al result of this
enactment there has been a substantial reduction in the Chinese
population of California.
In the meantime, however, we have been developing an even more
serious problem by reason of the influx to our shores of Japanese
labor. Twenty years ago our Japanese population was nominal.
Ten years ago the census reports of the United States government
showed a Japanese population in California, of 41,356. A survey
and computation recently made by the Board of Control of the
State of California indicates that at the present time this Japanese
population has been more than doubled-it amounting now to 87,279.
The best figures available indicate that our Japanese population
comprises between 80 and 85 per cent of the total Japanese popu-
lation of continental United States.
The Japanese in our midst have indicated a strong trend to land
ownership and land control, and by their unquestioned industry and
application, and by standards and methods that are widely sepa-
rated from our occidental standards and methods, both in connection
with hours of labor and standards of living, have gradually devel-
oped to a control of many of our important agricultural industries.
Indeed, at the present time they operate 458,056 acres of the very
best lands in California. The increase in acreage control within

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