Gentlemen Agreement Act

In 1908, Canadian Labour Minister Rodolphe Lemieux negotiated with Japanese Foreign Minister Tadasu Hayashi an agreement limiting Japanese immigration to Canada. In accordance with the gentlemen`s agreement, the Japanese government has agreed to voluntarily limit the number of Japanese immigrants arriving in Canada each year. The end result may, in many cases, be higher cost or lower quality products for consumers. Worse, a gentlemen`s agreement can be used as a means of promoting discriminatory practices, as in a “network of old boys.” A gentlemen`s agreement, or gentleman`s agreement, is an informal and legally non-binding agreement between two or more parties. It is usually oral, but it can be written or simply understood as part of a tacit agreement by convention or by mutually beneficial label. The essence of a gentlemen`s agreement is that it depends on the honour of the parties for its achievement, rather than being enforceable in one way or another. It differs from a legal agreement or a contract. Gentlemen`s agreements can also be found in trade agreements and international relations. One example is the 1907 Gentlemen`s Agreement, in which the United States and the Japanese Empire addressed immigration from Japan and the mistreatment of Japanese immigrants to the United States. The agreement, which was never ratified by Congress, saw Japan stop issuing passports to people who wanted to immigrate to America to work. The United States, on the other hand, would no longer allow discrimination and segregation of Japanese citizens residing in America.

The increase in Japanese immigration, which was to replace some marginalized Chinese agricultural workers, has met with concerted opposition in California. To appease Californians and avoid an open break with Japan`s emerging world power, President Theodore Roosevelt negotiated the diplomatic agreement in which the Japanese government took on the responsibility of drastically limiting Japanese immigration, especially that of workers, so that Japanese children could continue to attend integrated schools on the West Coast. However, family migration could continue, as Japanese men, with sufficient savings, could bring wives through arranged marriages (“pictured wives”), their parents and minor children.