Root–Takahira Agreement

The Root–Takahira Agreement (高平・ルート協定, Takahira-Rūto Kyōtei) was an agreement between the United States and the Empire of Japan negotiated between United States Secretary of State Elihu Root and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Takahira Kogorō. It was a statement of long-standing policies held by both nations, much like the Taft–Katsura agreement of 1905. Both agreements acknowledged key overseas territories controlled by each nation.

Signed on November 30, 1908, the agreement consisted of an official recognition of the territorial status quo as of November 1908, affirmation of the independence and territorial integrity of China (i.e. the "Open Door Policy" as proposed by John Hay), maintenance of free trade and equal commercial opportunities, Japanese recognition of the American annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Philippines and American recognition of Japan's position in northeast China. Implicit in the agreement was American acknowledgment of Japan's right to annex Korea and dominance over southern Manchuria, and Japan's acquiescence to limitations on Japanese immigration to California.[1]

With the conclusion of the Spanish–American War, the United States had become a major power in East Asia. The American occupation of Hawaii and the Philippines, combined with aggressive economic policies in China were increasingly perceived as a threat by the Japanese government. The American government, on the other hand, was increasingly concerned by Japanese ambitions towards territorial gain at the expense of China, and with Japan's increasingly modern and powerful navy in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War.

The Agreement was credited at the time with averting mounting tensions between the United States and Japan. However, with Japan's [rapprochement to Russia after 1907, and increasing economic investment into Manchuria, the Agreement resulted in a weakened American influence over further Japanese control over China.[2]


  1. ^ Gould, The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, p. 268.
  2. ^ Jiang, The United States and China, p. 43.


  • Gould, Lewis L. (1992). The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0565-7.
  • Jansen, Marius B. (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. OCLC 44090600
  • Jiang, Arnold Xiangje (1988). The United States and China. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-39947-8.

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