The agreement signed on 30 November 1908 consisted of an official recognition of the territorial status quo from November 1908, the reaffirmation of China`s independence and territorial integrity (i.e. the “open door policy” proposed by John Hay), the maintenance of free trade and equal opportunities, Japanese recognition of the American annexation of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Philippines, and American recognition of Japan`s position in northeastern China. Implicitly in the agreement was the American recognition of Japanese right to annex Korea and supremacy over southern Manchuria, and Japan`s tolerance over restrictions on Japanese immigration to California.  The terms of the agreement were drawn up in Washington, D.C. Foreign Minister Elihu Root and Japanese Ambassador Takahira Kogora met frequently and exchanged written notes to negotiate the terms. The final agreement confirmed a number of provisions already discussed in other “gentlemen`s agreements” between the two powers (including the Taft-Katsura Agreement of 1905). The agreement seemed to be a sign of a cordial relationship between the two emerging powers. But there were those who saw him as a “harassment horse” who had to measure Japanese receptivity to American interests in Asia. Critics attacked President Roosevelt, who had sacrificed Chinese interests in Manchuria and Korea in favor of improved relations with Japan. Others feared that the agreement would not include any measures to ensure China`s independence and territorial integrity. Over time, the conflicting objectives of the United States and Japan in the Pacific led to a war between the two countries. ROOT-TAKAHIRA AGREEMENT, an agreement reached on November 30, 1908 by U.S.
Secretary of State Elihu Root and Japanese Ambassador Baron Kogoro Takahira. He said both governments wanted to expand their trade in the Pacific; its intention to defend the open-door policy and the independence and integrity of China; its determination to respect each other`s territorial possessions in the Pacific; and their willingness to communicate with each other when these principles are threatened. (An earlier proposal for such a regime in October 1907 had been rejected by the Japanese government, but the proposal was renewed when Count Katsura became Prime Minister of Japan.) The proposal was welcomed by the United States as useful in reassuring the widespread belief that a war between the two countries was imminent, a conviction spurred by disputes over Japanese immigration, anti-Japanese measures in California and the high-profile trip of the U.S. fleet to the Pacific. The agreement was enthusiastically welcomed in European capitals, but the Chinese, who feared it would strengthen Japan`s position in China, did not like it. Through the agreement, the United States recognized Japanese primacy in Manchuria, while Japan in turn recognized American colonial rule over the Philippines.