Root-Takahira Agreement

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ROOT-TAKAHIRA AGREEMENT, an accord concluded on 30 November 1908 by U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root and the Japanese ambassador Baron Kogoro Takahira. It declared the wish of the two governments to develop their commerce in the Pacific; their intention to defend the Open Door policy and the independence and integrity of China; their resolve to respect each other's territorial possessions in the Pacific; and their willingness to communicate with each other if these principles were threatened. (An earlier proposal for such an arrangement in October 1907 had been repudiated by the Japanese government, but the suggestion was renewed when Count Katsura became premier of Japan.) The proposal was welcomed by the United States as helpful in quieting the widely held belief that war between the two countries was imminent, a belief stimulated by the disputes over Japanese immigration, the anti-Japanese measures in California, and the American fleet's much-publicized voyage across the Pacific. The agreement was enthusiastically received in European capitals but did not please the Chinese, who feared that it would strengthen Japan's position in China. Through the agreement, the United States recognized Japanese primacy in Manchuria, while in return Japan conceded America's colonial domination of the Philippines.


Esthus, Raymond A. Theodore Roosevelt and Japan. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1966.

Leopold, Richard W. Elihu Root and the Conservative Tradition. Boston: Little, Brown, 1954.

Philip C.Jessup/a. g.

See alsoDiplomatic Missions ; Immigration Restriction ; Japan, Relations with ; Treaties with Foreign Nations .