The Administration and Politics of Tokyo

By Charles A. Beard | Go to book overview

PUBLISHER'S FOREWORD

THE Japanese cabinet was in process of reorganisation when the earthquake and fire laid in ruins the nation's capital and its most important seaport, destroyed important government buildings, and thrust upon the Imperial Government unparalleled tasks of relief and reconstruction. In this crisis Viscount Goto, "the Roosevelt of Japan," was made Minister of Home Affairs, and was thus placed in charge of that branch of the government especially responsible for the work of rebuilding and rehabilitation. While the fires were still burning in Tokyo and Yokohama, the new government set about its task.

On the receipt of the first news of the Japanese disaster, the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, through its chairman, Mr. R. Fulton Cutting, cabled to Viscount Goto offering to place freely at his disposal the services of the Bureau's staff wherever they might be of use in connection with reconstruction.

On September 7th, six days after the earthquake, Dr. Charles A. Beard, a former director of the Bureau of Municipal Research, received the following delayed cable: "Earthquake and fire destroyed the greater part of Tokyo. Thoroughgoing reconstruction needed. Please come immediately if possible, even for a short stay. Viscount Goto." This cable is said to be the first official news despatched from Japan with regard to the disaster. Under the circumstances the Bureau of Municipal Research asked Dr. Beard to undertake as its representative

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