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This wonderful little nation of the Pacific has always been friendly to United States. It was the United States in the person of Commodore Perry who persuaded Japan to open her ports to foreign trade. United States was very sympathetic with Japan in her war with Russia. United States contributed generously to the earth-quake relief of Japan. Yet United States has been, we think, discourteous to the Japanese and other Oriental nations by the exclusion acts. With thousands of acres of unoccupied land in America we refuse to allow the crowded peoples of the East to come to our country to live. It is said that 30,000,000 people go to bed every night hungry in India because they have had only one inadequate meal that day. Yet we refuse to allow them to enter our land where we have enough and to spare.

The Japanese are a cultured people with a devotion to art and beauty. We should be just and kindly to them.

Perhaps one of the greatest souls in the world to-day is Toyohike Kagawa, a Japanese Christian. He has lived in the slums and devoted his life to his people. He has supported his own work by his writings. He has organized labor, he has been in jail, but the government soon realized that he was not an enemy to society but a builder of better conditions. His social program for people can be expressed in his own words, “ I love them, that is all.” He is opposed to violence and the Soviet principles. He is to-day administering great sums for the Japanese government in bettering conditions in the slums but refuses to accept any salary for his work. He has spent himself for Christ and his people.

Kagawa adheres strictly to what he thinks is right no matter what his country or his countrymen think. Recently he spoke in China. He won his Chinese hearers by his first introductory sentences when he expressed his disapproval of and regret for Japanese policies with regard to China in the past and said: “ I love Japan very much and for that reason, I am serving the nation. But I never forget that I am a citizen of the kingdom of heaven first. I belong to God first, and then I belong to Japan.” It is reported that he refuses to visit Korea as long as that country denied her freedom, believing that his message would be hopelessly compromised by the actions of his fellow-countrymen there.

The old saying, “My country, right or wrong, but still my country,” is a terrible doctrine, we think. Let us be like Kagawa, be right, do right, and only stand by country, friends, or nations when we believe that in the eyes of God, they are right.

[portrait of Toyohiko Kagawa]


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