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http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/
believe to
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

be true here.

This lack of understanding to































S

billion dollars from the sale of war savings stamps.
Is what I have said, some but not by any means

all of we *alerts to insure the maintenauce of sound
economic conditions have been described.

My statement

is principally of the New York point of view and experio.
once.

The program wee infinitely varied in different

section according to local needs, conditions and
feelings.

In sone things we have not been wholly

successful, SOMQ things we have omitted which night
have been done,.-but in general the sound financial
condition of the country and of our banks is the reward
of e. sound Treasury policy, of the existence of the

Reserve System, and of its efforts to promote sound
buaking.

I have referred to the eriticiem now *rising,
coincident with our entering the period of readjustment.

It is not necessary to review the charges of our critics
which are as feai.bz to you as they are to me.

I can

only express my own views with which you may apt agree.
When war arises, a great part of the energy
of the nation must be redirected from the pursuits of
posse to conductiag war and pre4ucing the materials
destroyed by war.

This may require the services of

thirty percent, or more or less, of the vesting population
and possibly a like percentage of the production of labor
Ordinarily consumed in times of penee.




Our economic

system has not yet boeu so organised and perfected that this
transformation can be effected promptly.

Were it so, by

souse systsa of rationing consumption and nobilising labor,

the whole of the 3O

might be saved from consueption, and

the materials required far war be produced out of the saving
without any gross increase in production.
change the character of what we produce.

We would amply
The sane would

be true of the credit required to finance the production
and movement of that percentage of goods.

Whit was saved

would be absorbed by Government taxes and loans and no
expansion of credit would result.
humanly possible.

But this ideal is not

Warring governments eater the narksts to

buy goods in competition with each other and with their

ova *Meese.

prices advanced more rapidly than production

The banking and credit machinery of the world,

increases.

which plays the part of bookkeeper, Simply records the prise

advance on the books of aecomats

Of all materials required

for vex, credit is the easiest to manufacture.

One stroke

of the pen on the books of a bank, one revolution of the
printing press, and beak deposit or note currency is produle4.
The banking machine responds to the demands of higher prises
and sometimes of Finaase Ministers, almost it seems with a
note of joy.

This is basause ve cannot control consumption

by direct methods of rationing.

But our critics say that it could be controlled by
making new credit difficult and expensive to obtain.




In

other words by advancing our rates of discount.
is, how far should they be advanced?

My reply

Will 6$ be effective

in reducing consumption, or will it require 600

Should

we risk a catastrophe to security values, government credit

and credit generally, by relying solely upon mann. credit
dear so that labor *144 goods may be cheap?

The penalty of

the

high rates must be borne by the just and/unNst alike.
Producers of shells and war ships would feel the pressure
as severely as would producers of automobiles and whiskey.
It would mean a complete Government control of all industry
and commerce and transportation essential to war and a high
percentage of mortality among those not enjoying such protection.

In the absence of means to directly control con-

sumption, particularly of unessential materials such as
luxuries, it seems to me that a great variety of indirect
methods of influencing as well as controlling both production
and consumption must be employed.

The interest rate is only

one of many such means, it will not be effective alone, and
relied upon alone would bring disaster.

*work imperfectly, slowly, and with
different classes.

All indirect methods

degree of injustice to

The origin of the disease of high living

cost lies in the wasteful and useless consumption of goods
by the people.

The remedy is to induce frugality, simple

living, self dental,- -to build up the morale of the civilian

population to a high standard of patriotism,--and to visit




the wrath and eendemnation of public
opimion upon those who
violate the code of var tine behaviour.

Beyond this the various agencies of the Government
can to much. But they cannot do
it all, and we must be
content and ponaibi/ gratified to realise,
after bitter
experience, that war causes suffering and
economic loss which
no system can avoid--that the supreme effort
must now be
directed to realising the great ideal--that
war can be
prevented.
Gentlemen, it is

great honor and privilege to

meet this distinguished company.

You men of affairs in

Japan, and lee iu Anerica have before
us a great future of

progress, with great services to perform, and great
responsibilities to assume.
We must undertake them with mutual
helpfulness in our minds, as one of the objects
of our common
effort.

I shall tithe home with me happy
memories of my

visit sad hold constantly my good wishes for
your prosperity
and happiness.







C.

COPY OF NOTES


IN HANDWRITING OF BENJAMIN STRONG,
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/
GOVERNOR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

YORK,




the poorest, show a quality of courtesy and good nature in their
relations with each other, not to be found in Europe or America.
One gains the impression that they are gentle and not quarrelsome;
even in fact among the children,- -where in three months no children

fights or quarrels were observed.

They are certainly

nor is that strange in a people who have practiced ancestor worship
back to the remotest times.

Possibly their superstitions are no

more uncommon or extreme than those of the European peasant.

Much

has been said of a supposed strain of fatalism in Japanese character.
Probably this is based upon stories heard during the Russo-Japanese
war, and to the large number or suicides.

Such occurrances may

better be ascribed to their intense patriotism, their personal
courage, to their sensitiveness and pride, and to the discouragements of struggles, against the poverty so long endured by the
working people.

The tsar has made a great change in

welfare of all classes, but allowing for this recent exceptional
period, it may be said that the great mass of the people are
industrious, patient toilers.

The work of the nation has for cen-

turies been performed by man power with little aid by animals,
and none from steam or electricity until recently.

Few people

have faced successfully such a contest with the forces of nature
as have the agricultural, which is much the largest, class of the
population.

Volcanoes and earthquakes, tidal waves, floods and

landslides, typhoons and destructive conflagrations are a constant
























attention is not

being given to this subject.

Japan has no grazing



















2nd



They now have with our bankers probably
$400,000,000 to 4.500,000,000 of their







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Nikko(J
C 0 P Y(handwritten)
Dear Pierre -

We have now had a week in Japan, so far with poor we
clear days are promised soon.
I shall not send you an account o
of one or two matters relative to the bank.
every arrangement has been made for our stay. One of the Direct
called on you last June, met us down the bar on the steamer, and
the bank to help our landing. Also Baron Takanashi,.?J Minister
his secy. down, and I found they had planned everything for us.
was marked by every courtesy and hospitality from these wonderful

I lunched a. the Bank of Japan with the Directors, a
with Mr. Inouye, the Governor, afterwards calling on Baron Takah
at his request, and spent two hours with him, in a most interest
talk. We return to Tokyo today and I am to attend two small din
Mr. Inouye and one by Baron Mitsui. That will probably be the l
tainment. Have not seen the Vanderlip party, now travelling, bu
tomorrow. They were travelling and feasting too fast and furiou
sail for home day after tomorrow.

Now about the Bank of Japan. It is curious how much
are here, as in the rest of this war cursed world.
Many people
the advancing cost of living, the same classes here as at home,
erable growling about the heavy taxes and gov't expenses, and so
upon the Bank of Japan for not curbing speculation, promotions a
Their powers are not quite as broad as ours and so far I fail to
Prices had adv
can be blamed, at least for much of the trouble.
more in proportion than at home, but the whole country is now go
period of liquidation, which has brought prices down both on the
They are
and in many basic products, sack as rice, sela[?J etc!
develop a real wholesale panic, have closed most of the exchange
month now, and I surmise many a swollen war fortune has shrunk t
The Bank has advanced its minimum rate to over 8% and money is de
is to prevent any banking trouble, or failures, and seem to have
The banks advances have increased over 6o,00o,000. since Apr. 14
fine record and reputation, and I believe the bank is excellent
policy is conservative and sound. We are to spend an afternoon
policy, in the course of my stay. Our understanding with them i
known but is approved and applauded by those who have spoken of i
Baron Nagata[?1, Baron Takahashi[?] etc.

Later I shall write you more fully of my talks with
Fukai; - but must have some additional visits with them first.

Leffingwell writes me that he has become an apostle
I hope, with treasury support, we can base our propaganda of con
no more expansion, upon a sound rate policy and a harmonious one
rate as a minimum for all advances, we can shut down on the bank
do it with success I hope, when a 4 an' 4 1/2% rate made us look
if not ridiculous. My best to all at home. Am well, and looking

Si

[




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Miyajima[?],Japan, July 4th,1920.
igar Pierre -

We have just finished a five day cruise, in a sampan, or cargo boat, through
the Inland Sea, from Tadotsu[/] to Miyajima[?], this being one of the three most
beautiful spots in Japan, according to guide books and local opinion. Miyajima is a
sacred island, no;vehicle allowed on the island, nor any births or deaths. Rather
It was a most enjoyable trip, good weather,
hard on the very old and very young!
though warm, + two or three swims every day. We had a 200 ton boat, about sixty feel
long, the crew being the skipper and his wife, Nishi, our guide with the aid of the
skippers wife doing the cooking and housekeeping while we loafed, took pictures and
In a few days we start for 13eppu, on the Island of Kyushu, a curious volcanic
swam.
watering place, where they have every variety of hot spring, some right on the beach, and where the native.; cook by using the hot water which flows in their back yards.
I shall never become accustomed to the strange, childlike simplicity and friendliness of the country people of Japan. Their courtesy, good manners, and friendly
ways make a very strong appeal.
As I hear it is very hot in China just now, I may stay on in Japan until
The climate
early in august, joining Miles + Ben at Shanghai, and go on to Batavia.
in the Java mountains is now very fine, cool and envigorating, so they say, while
But I shall pick up mail at Shanghai, which my last cable
China is close and hot.
will have directed there.
We get little news of affairs at home, - in fact only when we get hold
a copy of the Japanese Advertiser, a good sound paper published in English,
of
with a lot of American news. We hear of Hardings nomination, and of the Democratic
Convention so far nothing definite.
My cough has entirely
About my health, I am certainly much better.
disappeared, save some barks at night. Food here is not conducive to putting on
weight, which I shall defer 'till my return, but my lungs are certainly healing
in good shape, if all the usual indications can be relied upon.
I hope our friends in the Bank of Japan will be able, through us, to
get such service in New York, as they may need. I have formed a very high opinion
of them, which is shared by many people who have dealt with them.
The enclosed are but a few samples of the many pictures we take, and may
amuse you a bit.
My best to all at the bank.
and get a good holiday.




Hope you are not always working under pressure,

Sincerely,
[signed] B.S.

KYOTO.

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Kyoto, July 19th 1920
ilt

Dear Pierre,-

We are just packed up for the last leg of our visit to Japan, leaving
for Tokyo where I shall spend a few days, a short trip to the mountains near
there for a few days, then sail on the "Kalyan"(P+0) from Yokohama for
Singapore via Kobe, Shanghai + Hongkong. She leaves Yokohama July 29th +
reaches Singapore about 10th Augt. From there we take another boat, about
I hope we shall
two days trip, to Batavia, and proceed to "do" Java.
leave there about Sept.20th-25th - for India, spending about a month up
north, and sail for Europe about Nov. 1. which would land me in London early
in December. Our travelling has been so very leisurely that we have spent
Things are
more time than planned in Japan, and I shall not visit China.
very disturbed there, just now; it is probably impossible to reach Pekin7,
I may have one or two days
and the price of silver is at a dollar or lower!
in Shanghai to visit with Pmerican banks there, which I want to do very much.
Miles wanted to see some friends in Chosen,(at Seoul) and at Peking
and got as far as Seoul but I doubt if he gets as far as Peking and probably
will rejoin us either at Kobe or at Shanghai.
The more I think of it the more I regret that you or the directors did
not take to may suggestion that you meet me in London in December. There is
so much to be learned there, and I have so many friends that it would be good
business (for you + the Bank both) for you to know, that the time would be
well spent. I shall hope to hear from you at Batavia. ".ont you cable me
there fully regarding any Javasche bank business that may be pending or
possible.
The improvement in my health is now constant and satisfactory. My
cough has almost entirely disappeared, and all the indications, with which
I am only too familiar, are favourable. I guess the absent treatment was
what I needed. Of course one cannot put on weight out here, as the diet is
not suitable, but that I can do when I reach the land of meat, butter and
cream.
Of one thing you may be sure. I shall return well posted on Japan.
We have seen every side of it, lived with the people, of all stations in life,
even picked up a bit of the language, and I could write a book on the subject.
But I would
The opinions I expressed in my letter to Case have not changed.
caution you to take Vanderlips public statements, if they are correctly reported here, with some reserve. He and his party were rushed about, saw only one
limited class of Japanese, and were in official hands from start to finish.
Vanderlip gets very much excited with his experiences, always, and loses his
perspective. But of one thing I am sure. This is a great nation, they have
a population of such industry, patience, and docility, that their future may
be almost anything their leaders wish, - so long as they don't try to go too
fast, - as they have been doing recently in their whole policy of political
+ trade expansion.
I shall not send you details of our travels and experiences, which will
keep till my return, when I shall have pictures to refresh my memory.
Wont you give every good wish to all the officers aril to our directors.
I am homesick to be back at work, but shall this time be prudent enough to
complete the cure.




Best regards to you, old man.

Dont work too hard this hot weather.
Sqnicerely
si
ed, B.S.

'TOKYO STATION HOTEL
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Tokyo, July 21st 1920

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Tokyo, July 29th 1920

1011,

Dear Pierre -

Al

I may have been a bit remiss in letters to you, but our travels have
kept us rather well occupied,- and as my mail was some time ago diverted to
Shanghai and Java, none has reached me here for some weeks past. That I
dont mind, as it would mean lots of writing. Our boat was to 'sail' on the
29th but being delayed until the 4th gave us a few extra days to spend in
Tokyo, and at Hakone in the mountains, where we go tomorrow AM. On our way
we stop at Kamakura to call on Marquis Matzukata, one of the two still living
elder statelliaen, now 84 years old,- but still a man of great influence.
He was the organizer of the Bank of Japan, put the nation on the gold standard,
and is one of the foremost economists. Our friends at the Bank of Japan
wanted me to call on him.
I have ordered a years subscription to the 'Japan Advertiser",
commencing Dec. 1st-, about the best paper we can get for general news and
information.
If you are interested in reading it before my return, please
write the Bank here and they will make the subscription for us. It cost 48
yen per annum. I'm just off for a drive. Am keeping well, and getting a
bit homesick for office and work. Best regards to all at the bank + yourself.




Sincerely
[signed] B.S.

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COFY(of handwritten letter)

Tokyo Aug 4th 1920
4110

Dear Pierre -

11104

Steamer delay here seems to be the usual course,- our boat, the "Kalyan",
which was originally scheduled to sail around the 29th of July, was first potI=poned until the 4th of Aug.(today) and now again, owing to a case of cholera in
the crew, has been delayed until the 9th. We will then, I hope, make our start
for Java, via Shanghai, Singapore, etc. Meantime my mail is ahead of me and I
am sadly deficient in news from home.
The interval here, however, has been occupied most profitably in "visiting"
with Japanese friends. Mr. Inouye and Mr. Fukai, of the Bank, spent a week end
with me at Nekko, where we had opportunity for some fine talks about Japan etc.
Then I have had two long visits with Baron Shibusawa, who treats me like a son and
is really a most wonderful and charming old man.
Mr. Fukai was also particularly
anxious that I should visit Marquis Matzukata, who, with Prince Yamagata, are
the two survivors of the famous Geuro, or elder statesmen, the other three, Ito,
Inouye, and Oyama having died within the last decade. We went to Kamakura to
see him, at his seaside villa and spent the morning. Certaihly he is a most
impressive old man, (86 years old) keen, alert, frank, with a great fund of
humor and a knowledge of world affairs that made me ashamed:
I spent the morning
with him. Also I have been dining fairly regularly with the men at our Embassy, our Ambassador being away, Mr. Bell, a new man here, is Charge d'Affairs, and I
think they have all been rather anxious regarding developments here since Mr.
Morris left, - and glad to let off steam. Today the staff of the Bank of Japan
gave me a farewell luncheon, a delightful affair, with just the officers and
department heads there. After lunch Mr. Inouye asked me to spend the rest of
the afternoon with him (also Mr. Kimura, Depy Govr. + Mr. Fukai) in his
office for a confidential talk. It is about that matter particularly that I
am writing, and in 'confidence, - but I hope you have opportunity to show may
letter to Gov. Harding, explaining that what I have written was given me quite in
confidence by Mr. Fukai, for our own information.

It seems that for nearly twenty years the Bank of Japan(particularly since
the Russian war) has carried a "reserve" abroad, which has always been regarded
as a gold reserve, its purpose being to protect the Japanese exchange banks,
(like the Yokohama Specie Bank,) which always have considerable bills under
discount in the market. The funds I gather, have formerly been carried in the
Bank of England, Bank of France, formerly some in Germany and a small amount in
New York. The gold (metal) reserve in vaults here in Japan was usually, before
the war, about 200[2000?] hundred million yen. In addition the Japanese Govt
has aluo a "chest" which is in fact earmarked gold held by the Bank + not shown
in its reserve. When the influence of the war upon Japanese export trade was
first felt, rates of exchange began 6c decline, and the Japanese Govt + the Bank
entered into arrangements for protecting the exchange banks against losses on
exchange, and for facilitating their exports of supplies to Russia, Europe and
America. In brief the Gov't and the Bank of Japan bought the export bills, a total between the two accounts of about y 1,800,000,000. This caused a large
accumulation of balances abroad, roughly one half belonging to the Bk of Japan
and one half to the Gov't. About y800,000,000 has been used by the Govt to buy
up its bonds in the London and New York markets, leaving now about y1,000,000,000
abroad, plus old pre-war balances of say y200,000,000 or a present total of
y1,200,000,000.
In addition the Bank + Gov't have increased their gold coin and
bullion reserve in Japan to y 600,000,000 (prewar was y 200,000,000) this
y 400,000,000 gold coming in part from Russia when the Russian Gov't contributed
Hold to be shipped to U.S. by Gt. Britain, in part from the U.S. and in part

- 2 -

Aug 4th 1920

having been taken over in liquidation of some old Russian loans which were partly
secured by gold deposited in China or Siberia. The net of it is that against a
present note issue fluctuating between y1,100,000,000 + y1,200,000,000, and
deposit liabilities of say y 120,000,000, the Bank of Japan holds y 600,000,000
gold in its vaults, and about an equal amount abroad in balances, the remainder
The Japanese Gov't has
held abroad (y 600,000,000)belonging to the Gov't.
financed these purchases of exchange bills by an issue of about y 500,000,000
of its bonds in Japan. The purpose of the Japanese Gov't is to continue to
hold the balances abroad, invested in prime bills and short Gov't obligations
(ours and British) until in 1924 their 4 1/2% bonds issued during the Russian war,
fall due, when they will be repaid out of the fund, - which meantime will be
The total now outstanding
earning enough to meet the interest on the 4 1/2% bonds.
The policy of the Bank of Japan
in London and New York is roughly y400,000,000.
is also to continue to carry these balances abroad, as a fund to protect Japanese
bills discounted in foreign markets,- and to meet emergencies of Japanese imports
largely exceeding exports for aperiod, when it might be used to steady rates of
exchange, in other words be sold to Japanese it:porters through the exchange banks.
This matter seems to have some bearing upon the political situation just now,
when the relations between the two countries are certainly becoming a bit
strained. They are very sensitive here, - much more than we realize at home, and many honest, well meaning Japanese th:nk that their country is being nagged
and worried on every hadd by our Gov't,- it is such a situation where the rabid
newspapers do no end of harm,- and where thoughtless people often give offense
without meaning to do so. Our commercial attache here, I am told, recently made
Govr Inouye
some inquiry regarding gold shipments from San Francisco to Japan.
tells me that the exchange banks now and then, as at present, find it necessary
to import gold as exchange stover,- the trade reaction here has halted imports,
while goods are still going to the U.S. on old contracts, and for the moment
some imports of gold were necessary,- something like $10,000,000 a month for
two or three months. Their own policy is not to take their balances in gold
as they do not need it here and fear further expansion as a result.
All things considered I believe (and they agree with me) that it would be
a good plan if all exports of gold to Japan could be handled through the F.R.
Banks, which would enable us to know exactly what is transpiring, and when shipments were announced, we could state what the object was to the newspaper men and
head off a lot of newspaper guesses and implications that do harm. There are
undoubtedly some foolish people at home who think that Japan is making careful,
sinister plans to pounce on us some day when we are asleep, and there are undoubtedly
lots of people here who believe that we are building up a huge navy and merchant
marine to hold as a menace over Japan and its trade expansion in the Pacific.
This, in my opinion, is all rank nonsense, but if every withdrawal of gold from
the U. S. by Japan results in an inquiry of what it means, these people will soon
be convinced that we mistrust everything they do, say or think.
I shall not burden you with comments on the political situation here. It
si rather complicated and puzzling. But we must deal generously and open mindedly
with these people, overlook many things, and display some sympathy for their own
difficulties, which are far more serious than any which confront us.
If you are able to work out a plan for handling gold exports, I think it
It might be taken up with the New York Agent of the
would be appreciated here.
Bank of Japan. I shall not discuss the matter further with Mr. Inouye, having
only made the suggestion to him for consideration, without detail.
I hope you all keep well at the bank. The work should be letting up a bit
Best regards to all.
and good vacations this summer should be obligatory.
Sincerely
[signed[ Benj. Strong

ezO

TEL.

FUJIYA HALL
lipLoshita,
Japan.

Dear

by 29, 1920.

tr. Case:

It will Lordly be ,/essible for as to send you an extended account of all

of our doings and experiences.

whey would require a volume and a good scoretery.

Baron Takahaski, inister of Finance, sent his secretary down the bay at Yokohula,
to meet us.

tr. Fake° was also there with a tr. Sasaki, of the bank, who had been

a:.signed to no for general use as a secretary and general useful mune also /ashi
our guide was there.

..inee oar arrival the officers of the bank have not overlook-

ed anything that Gould bu done for our cosfort and oonvenienoe.

They gave us one

big banquet attended by same of the Cabinet and leading men, and by lost of the
important bankers.

Also h. "select" little dinner attended by the bank officers,

niles, Ben and vself, at to
style, food, etc., includi-.

'rtsous Japanese restaute.nt, wholly Japanese in

erialsKAs

Its charming and we tinad the chop sticks

suocessfully (having practiced beforehand).

I have also lunched at the bank with

the Directors four or five trees, and the niet before leavin
a little dinner at the Brn'
there to talk business.

Mokpo they :;eve se

Japan Club, - only five of the bank officers being

is arrived too late to have any meting with the Vanderlip

party, but I would have avoldA it anysay, as they were rushed from oho entertainment
to another until they wore ready to drop. -I only attended the farewell einner,
I had sale fine visits with

tr. Lament, who has done a splendid piece of work here

in ooneleding the Consortium.
.

It has ben asplendid opportunity for m

here as tone, pear upon our relations wits

and financial conditions.

But

to learn saaeti4ng of affairs

the Bank of Japan, and general business

lave talked with our Ambassador and some )f his staff,

a number of Al.;ricens, and :any influential Japanese; including Baron Takahaski,

S
41101soeunt &akin°, and ethers equally well known.

To sun up the financial situation
They are sele-

they have had a widespread epeoulation in steaks and ooneodities,

,weat

overstooked with goods,

were too slow and not firm enough in trying to check

expansion by advancing rates and other leasures, and both the Treasury and the Bank
of J:-pan, as well as bankers generally are now being criticised on the one hand for

not taking measures earlier, and by those who are now suffering, for taking them now.
The story is the sew, as ours, only somewhat further developed.

They depend very
741 buy

greatly on th.ir trade with us and upon the New 'fork lariat to finanoe it.

practically their entire silk production and as they were holding stocks of silk here

and in U. S. with the rising market, (as usual) they overstayed their time and now
the market is gone.

Silk at one tine sold as high as Yen 4500 per Koku.

this week below Yen 1700.

It sold

The sane has happened less severely with rice, cotton

yarn, oatten drills end many other staples so that finally one nedium sized and a
few smell banks suspended last week.

The former was a typical John h. Allah situa-

tion and not an evidence of generally unsound banding condition or methods.

The

owner is a large n 4-chant and borrowed from his own bank to carry a silk speculation
and it busted him.

They say the bank can be reopened and no loss fall on general

depositors, but the two businesses are each interwoven and confused.

The stock,

silk, cotton and other exchanges had been closed for some weeks mien we arrived,

were lately reopened, but have had u hard tile meeting the liquidation now vine on
by those who owe meney, and even mere by those who are timid, as that is Characteristics of the Japanese eerdhant of speculative tendencies.

I an assured that all the big banks are in pod shape; have done a conservetive business and are entitled to oonfidence.

Should suppose that this would

particularly be true of the Tokohala Specie Bank, which is alnost a Governient institution and closely allied to tee Beale of Japan, as of the Bank of Chosen, and
Bank of Taiwan, teeth Geverrelent colonial banks, and the big Industrial Bunk and

Hypethic Bank.Of course, itsul and Sunitono are bete very rich and very able, as
is litsabieha.

This is the eenerel view and the pisitive statement of Inonye of

the Bank of Jaean.

I see no reason for hesitatine in buying the paper freely, as

-e-

41

ll' we have in the past, with our eember and other goad banking indorselent.

The ben

who run these banks, all of *hoe stead very high, I heirs met at one hose .or party

0 or another, or have exchanged calls with them.

They are all rather blue and pessi-

ditto about the situation, say there will probably bJ further liquidation and some

mercantile failures, possibly axle of the sealer banks will go under or euspend,
but in the end they will cone /et on a sound basis.

They look for a period of stag-

nant business and uneepleyeent.
Low as to the Bank of Japan.
;resent situation

it is nit in my epinien reseonsible for the

"'heir relations with the Treasury are zuoh the same as ears,

eld

unless I as mistaken they have encountered each the 814.110 diffioulty that we have.

with possibly less actual independence of position than we enjoy.
close relationship with the banks, no power, ouch as we enjoy,
rather less influenoe over bunking policies generally.

They have a less

.3 exaziee, etc., and

I have formed the highest

opinion of the officers of the bank, particularly Ir. Inanye, the Governor, and tr.
one of the waive directors, - the deputy governor speaks no Lnglise: and was
laid up part of the time of ey visit.

Lament and our Ambassador share ey views.

It was Inouye who put throw* h the Consartian, despite the military party and I have

lore than once heard hie referred to as the c)eine man of Japan.

He is a little over

50, rather eulA, dignified, polite and hespiteble to a degree.

tr. eukai is uick,

alert, and a gentleman all through.

They haie both had experience abroad and wide-

ly informed and I regard them as men of exoeptional ability.

They have been frank -

ness itself in discussing their own affairs, finanoial and political.

Yy opinion is

that the bank is splendidly managed, that it stands for sound progressive ideas,

.ithout jingoism, and that our relations with them should bo developed as experieme

justifies. our Uhler omoern should be to muintAin stable exchange rates between
the two countries. rlhey are proud of our relationship and friendship and went it to
be closer.

7/ et

the moment I suegest that we look into the situation reseectine eekiue

purchases if silver for their account.

They will want about 10 million eunoes and

would like to have us buy it for then for tien irancisco delivery (or Seattle) to

avoid vest of dapping &ems the Continent.

I

set arse mina the Treasury policy

is just now, but presume you know, and will try and aelSemseedate the bank should you

bear from Use.
end would like

They will also Oontinae

perehase of Treasury oertifieates

udvice regarding oth,,r short time investments of the highest grade

in 2&90 the Treasury disomainues issues of certificates of ludebtedness.

It is the

policy of the bank to carry lerge Celanese in NOW York bestows° of Use large) volume

of Japanese bills there and the Government will probably carry balances tor the next
four years until the bondshopld in the U.S.A. during the Russian War mature in 1924,

when they will be Aid.

l!hey would be glad to enlarfu the limit on the account with US and I mould
be And to see it done, if the directors a4ree,Itt it is not necessary at all.) Also
I would not hesitate, should the exchange eittvtion asks it expedient, to build up
balance h, re, and Am:these bills under the agreement to do so freely, using oars to
see that they understand what is eligible; and tiait there is no lade of understanding

as to Ihether the account should

b

operated free Bow York or free Japan.

Crane

will understand the point.

'/Olie of the Japanese bankers have said that they art much handieepped by

the restrictions upon their nemesie imposed by y w York Laws.

I have explained the

situation us to Pectoral and State Lwe and my own position, ehlcul Ar. Jay shares as

to naldng Now York a free banking market.

Also I heve told D. :Zajiwara, head of

the Yokohana specie lank, le roc Samitomo et etteitomo Haan and boron litsui, that

aim 'Meers would always be glad to see their hew York agents Saud talk matters
over with them, and urea then to send their son togs and tell as sore of their )wn
affairs.

The desire on every hand is to develop closer releti)ns and better uneer//

standluge between their bankers sad ours.

Se can do mash toward promiting it.

...)PI do not want to convey the impression that everything in Japan is
serves awl lovely.

there is the present business and financial upset whieh is

severs and not by any means ended, but not h my opinion likely to reach any of the
big banks with busirl)ss abroad.

- 6 -

£11 production was by hand labor and by oraftsLon,

For the firat forty years since

ilkthe Shogun dowafall, the influence of the old. order continued almoit 7.nchant!ed,

the militry inane the binaine; force in front, the old social systel, controlling

unaerneath,

iadustry is disturbing ttis System,

ions and daughters are loavine

homes in the ,ountr, to work in mills, the latter often being ''sold' or bound out

for the rurrose throuch a;:nta who cover the land,
creeping in.

The old wit= is

:.rowin

ftreign or western ideas are

wealter, and democratic institutions are

supposed to be taking the place of the old feudal institutions,
ti .t in the old days the people were comparable to

be said

mesa of iron :111n(.3 sticking

to a v1,33 of iron throu-b which a an4.cetio current rasaed.

the MUS3 would fall alart,

it ::.aw

to

the current rid

ionething meat tare the place of the c! !rent,

The

military and the old aristocracy has done web to hold the nation together,
it deflated the aatsumkrevolution in '78.
t k

Out can real democratic institrtions

the place of a few doc--,des, of a system that sands of years old, hold their

loyalty in time of adversity, and stand the test of exploitation such as 13 InCirC

or less inevitable.

The danger is in the inadequacy of the new kstom,

franchise is given to three LAllion voters who qualify to vote when the.,

3 yen or more direct taxes,
fluence in political matters,

nu- men of great wealth are getting increastm. inat presents an ideal set.41p to expand

exrloit

Japanese industrial and commercial development of the rich and influential, at Cho
oxpease of the Toor,

There are reople who may that some sort ofaolupheaval in

Japan is certain in time, and that-it is only a question of time.
cape feeling that.
the leauera,

One cannot es-

oh will depend Iron the honesty and self-denial practiced by
militar.: and business, in nanaging the development of the

nations avoiding btrienaome indirect t xes to the poor an). laying more direct taxes
tholise.ve4 goln6 slower in domestic and fcreibm levelop..ent, with all the financial

burdens imposed by their anbitions if ,ratified.
the /lans of her most ambitious politicians,

.riefay, Japan Cannot finance

reld to iittaiTt to do so would be too

-7beim a burden upon ver people.
ties loosened.

The risk lies in s.ch an atte1:4t with the old

If the people lost conflleneo in the now rogiae, triod to take

OD*
=atters in their own hands, and reailzi broke loose, all mould dolma upon bon
loyal an army they had at hand.

I an srnarizing

Aber

badly, somc, views held by students of events here,

Ilitnd tune oapreesed what I have hoard, very frankly, to sumo of my Japanese friouds.
They have

a ]seen

roalization of ,these mattors. but say that the growth of liberal

ideas OtiMg the abler !Ind better oduoatod Japancso, will be equal to the situation,

gy own view is that the present upset of businoas is a good thinr, it will make them
pewee. that it will be a long tine before the poor reople (pain sufficient indeponAemeof ideas to risk anything like an attaok upon the enistinr ordor, ..:ad that ovr

geternment and our pooplo can do rota to strengthen tho hand of the aound aid liberal

minded men of Japan, by dealing with them as they enould be dealt with,. less nespicion
and more oonfidenoo,

!.lore than anything else litilos and I have both boon imixeased by

ospoeialky finansial Meadow upon us.

their eoonomic

row malarial' and credits.
then wound enough,

Only California:: mend the quoationa arising thore, some of

maybe, prevent the boat of Al. tions in busineos and in political

affairs, unless we arose wires in Asia
s is a subject that

paper

atesh seens unlikely.

an be covorod in discussion muoh better than on

havo denoted a lot o time to gettinr aculuainted with the bankers particum.

Lirly w th the Burk of Japan, have formed a

will

They nood our maeketa, our

be benefited by entemling

the firent of the Bank

and material

for

high

our reLAions

of Japan ..and

opinion of then, sad

with theme

toll }aim that

think

all partios

I =most that you send for

we will be giod

to Give sons tioas

helialtaffewige

to rot similar ao

his regular oz:ble to the Bank if

winos for us, to be treated cenfidontially.
m ncmdinr jou some data, for

Separately

yo,r

and there :..re 30:20 documents rerarding Japan in a bol: d c

infc.rv,tion and our files

se:Wine lir.

Boyar also for

the sank.
awash for m

observations, and I hope my suao3tions ap!,eal to you and

Xs. 414,
Just

tlid

mews

are

stopping

at one of tho most boautiful plaeos in hp-n in

Invistaina, loafing, and ahOrtly start a orossmoountry trip, walking, by motor,

horsebacke

riektehaw, palanquine

sedan oh.lir, Watt and ovary otner kind d

ter we shell

spend

a few dAys it Baron

it hxve no plans savo to .::andor

urItonots villa on the InLInd Jos at Maio°.

.nd loaf.

from the papers I see ta-t jou are tighten-

inr up ri ht along and that prioos at last ere easing downsomo.
presqure from those most rosponsIble who are

Mr outliving

Don't lot up under

the most.

Bost rec:Irds to ion all, and good luek.

anooroVI,
lenod) Benj. 3tronC

THE

OPERATED WY

TOYO,

ISEN KAISHA.

TELEPHONES

1954

ORIENTAL HOTEL

N. CLARK
MANAGER.

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THE

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TELEPHONES:

ORIENTAL HOTEL

AR K

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SANNOIYA 7 4 1 (L.0.)
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COPY
The Oriental Hotel
The Bund, Kobe
Aug. 11th 1920
Dear Mr. Case,-

We sail for Shanghai, Hongkong, Singapore and Batavia today, after many
delays. Just as we were leaving Tokyo the officers of the Bank of Japan presented
me with a beautiful set of books on the art of Japan, - they have loaded us with
I would
attentions and hospitality, and in every way shown themselves friends.
like to give them some evidence of our appreciation and two things occur to me.
They have a research department where foreign methods, literature etc are studied
very thoroughly. I know they would appreciate it if we sent them a set of books
on Banking, Currency etc such as we sent to the Nat. Bk. of Belgium. My idea
would be to make it as complete as possible, have all the books nicely bound, and
the name "Bank of Japan" printed on the cover. Will you arrange this for me?
Also they are sending a young man,Mr. Okomoto, to New York, to work in
their office, learn our language, and American banking. He will arrive in about
six weeks. If one of our men, say Mr. Jefferson, could give him some help, they
Possibly
would be very grateful here and we would be doing them a real favor.
some of the men from the various departments could take him in hand in turn.
All of this will go a long way toward establishing cordial feelings, and as I
have already written, I have a very high regard for the officers of the Bank.
Please give my best regards to all of the officers of the bank.
you all very much, and am eager to get back on the job.

I miss

Sincerely
[signed] Benj. Strong


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102