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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.	417
How far these indications have substantial basis in Tokyo of course 
I am unable to say. It is reasonable to presume that this Japanese 
interest in Hawaiian affairs is cherished and pushed forward by at least 
one of the political cliques in the Japanese capital. The sudden 
coming here of the Naniwa, a powerful iron clad, at the telegraphic call 
of the Japanese diplomatic agent here, though the Kongo, a Japanese 
war ship of 2,200 tons, was then here, indicates some sensitive spring of 
action at Tokyo. Just before the fall of the Queen, the Japanese com- 
missioner had positively indicated to me his purpose to press on the 
Hawaiian Government the demand for the amendment of the Hawaiian 
constitution so as to give the Japanese in the islands the same rights 
of suffrage enjoyed by European and American foreigners and  
Hawaiians. He was to demand this in virtue of stipulations which he 
regarded to be in a Japanese treaty with Hawaii secured under the old 
Hawaiian regime prior to the adoption of the reform constitution of 
1887.
There is every reason to believe that had not the United States flag 
been raised over the Hawaiian Government building, and American 
protection thus secured, it was the intention of the Japanese Commis- 
sioner to have demanded and asserted the right of landing Japanese 
forces from the Naniwa and the Kongo, and thus to have placed Japan- 
ese officials here on equal footing with the representatives of the 
United States, thus establishing a dual arrangement and protection in 
Hawaiian affairs. But when the Naniwa arrived here February 23 
our action of February 1 raising the flag over the Government building 
had completely closed the door, and the Japanese commissioner and 
naval commander saw it would not do to encroach on ground covered 
by United States protection. Of course, the only hope of the Japanese 
jingo to carry out the suffrage scheme would be in the restoration of 
the Queen, who is ready secretly to promise anything for Japanese help 
in her monarchical design. Lately I have had several interviews with 
the Japanese commissioner of a friendly character. I have reminded 
him of the long-existing friendship and good relations between Japan 
and the United States, and why those relations are likely to exist in 
the future.
I called his attention to and explained our many years of special rela- 
tions to and interest in these islands, and gave him to understand that 
we would view any encroachment on the sovereignty and soil of 
Hawaii by a foreign power much the same as an encroachment on the 
soil and rights of the United States. 1 assured him that in case annex- 
ation should become a fact we should strictly protect the life, property, 
and interests of all residents of the islands. I approached this point 
with so much caution and with such friendly words that I am confi- 
dent he appreciated the weight of my reasons and the kindly vigor 
with which I stated them. Since these interviews with the Japanese 
commissioner I have learned of his saying to one of the principal men 
of the Provisional Government that he thinks it does not matter much 
who control the islands provided that the laws were well enforced and 
the life and property of the residents well secured.
Apparently at this writing the Japanese commissioner is more 
responsive to the wishes and purposes of the United States representa- 
tives here than to those of any other power. Yet I can but regard it 
all important for us to hold our position on shore firmly, especially so 
long as the Naniwa remains in Hawaiian waters.
There is no doubt that the foreign adventurers here, especially the 
lottery and opium rings that drew the Queen to her overthrow, will do
F R 94 - APP II -- 27

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