Theodore Roosevelt and Japan

Theodore Roosevelt and Japan

Theodore Roosevelt and Japan

Theodore Roosevelt and Japan

Excerpt

Of all the Presidents of the United States none has been more admired and respected in Japan than Theodore Roosevelt. The greatest statesman of Japan’s modern history, Hirobumi Ito, who was a contemporary of Roosevelt, hung Roosevelt’s portrait in a place of honor second only to that of the Meiji Emperor. Yet no President of the United States has found his foreign policy so dominated by troubles with Japan. Near the end of his seven years in the White House, Roosevelt could write without exaggeration that the problems of Japanese-American relations had given him more concern than “any of the other rather stormy incidents during my career as President.” The Roosevelt period therefore constitutes an important chapter in the history of United States Far Eastern policy.

Roosevelt’s Japanese policy has attracted the interest and efforts of some of America’s better known historians. Tyler Dennett, the Pulitzer-prize-winning biographer of John Hay, published a volume on Roosevelt and the Russo-Japanese War in 1925. A decade later the prolific pen of Thomas A. Bailey set down a study of Roosevelt and the Japanese-American crises which came in the period after the war. Also, A. Whitney Griswold included two provocative chapters dealing with Roosevelt and Japan in his classic study of United States Far Eastern policy which appeared in 1938. The accounts of these writers were, of necessity, incomplete and on many points speculative, for there were available the records of only one side, the United States. Now, as a result of victory in the Japanese-American war that Roosevelt feared might one day come, the United States has gained access to the records of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has microfilmed these for the benefit of scholars of history. The Japanese records of the Roosevelt . . .

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