Japan-American Diplomatic Relations in the Meiji-Taisho Era

By Kamikawa Hikomatsu | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
WORLD WAR ONE AND JAPAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS

I. Japan's Participation in the War and the American Attitude

On August 3, 1914, the day before Britain entered into war, the government of China requested the American minister to China to make efforts to obtain an understanding between the warring nations in Europe that they would not turn their leased land, territorial waters and settlements in China into scenes of battle. The Chinese minister to the United States also made the same request of the State Department. On August 6 the Chinese government send its official request to the government of the United States. The President of China also directly entreated the President of the United States for the same purpose. On the same day, China requested Japan to cooperate with the United States. On August 10 the Chinese minister to Japan called on the American ambassador to Japan and entreated him to use the United States Asiatic Fleet to protect China for the sake of the peace of the Far East. At that time, there was a rumor that the United States was going to strengthen her naval force in the Far East to protect China. On August 12, however, the government of the United States instructed the American minister to China to inform the Chinese government that the United States had no intention of strengthening her naval forces in the Far East.

British Foreign Minister Grey told the American ambassador to Britain on August 11 that the Secretary of State's plan for the "Neutralization of the Pacific Ocean" was too ambiguous to be realized, but if the American proposal to have Britain and Germany agree to maintain the status quo in China were realized, it would be to the benefit of all nations concerned. The UnitedStates

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