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The decision of the Senate that the white race and the yellow race do not mix to mutual advantage, which has been expressed in the recently passed amendment to the immigration bill, seems eminently sound, and has the approval of the country at large. It is unfortunate, however, that some method of achieving the same end could not have been discovered which would have been less distasteful than the one just employed. There is a certain callousness in the brusque way in which Japan has been told to keep her citizens at home that is very plainly jarring, if the present turmoil across the Pacific may be taken as a reliable indication.
Just why it is necessary to settle a question of this sort by Congressional legislation, which must unavoidably appear somewhat highhanded, instead of by treaty, is hard to see. As it stands now, the amendment accomplishes little but an official enactment of the well known "Gentlemen's Agreement", and it has the disadvantage of seeming to be a gratuitous affront to a friendly nation.
The Japanese, while more than interested, have not so far made their exclusion from the United States a matter of national honor. They recognize that every state must be allowed to regulate its own internal affairs, and although slightly disappointed, have accepted the situation up to date with a fair grace. What hurts their pride in the present case is the fact that they have been treated as a nation of relatively slight importance. Their dignity has been bruised; and they feel that Japanese prestige, which has been carefully built up during the past three generations, has suffered a damaging blow.
In what way this breach of international courtesy can be mended remains to be found, but it is obvious that some method must be available which operates without offense and with equal efficiency. One does not care to believe that it is the intention of the United States voluntarily to wound the feelings of a nation with whom in the past its relations have been of the friendliest.
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