Korean Newspaper Reactions

Between 1920 and 1924

Upon revision of the Immigration Act in 1917, newspapers broadcasted news about the revisions to the immigration laws. While some articles provided a brief overview of the changes, others delved into the background of these revisions. As Korea was under Japanese colonial rule at the time, the U.S. immigration laws also reflected the relationship between the U.S. and Japan. Consequently, the news articles took on a more third-party perspective.

To begin with, quite a few articles described what the new immigration laws looked like. The articles used the phrases "Japanese Immigration Restriction Act" or "Asian Worker Immigration Restriction Act." At that time, Koreans had to use a Japanese passport to immigrate, and restrictions toward Japanese workers were similarly applied to Korean workers.

During that period, Koreans were able to immigrate to Hawaii and the United States under the provisions of the Gentleman's Agreement made between Japan and the U.S. in 1907. This agreement allowed native men in the U.S. to bring their families to the country, and as a result, many picture brides – women who immigrated for marriage after receiving a photograph from their husbands in the U.S. – were able to enter the country, particularly in Hawaii. (Park, 2021).

By. Sohee Kim

Dong-A Ilbo, 1920.04.24.

US Immigration Recruitment. However, Asians are not recruited

Secretary of Labor Wilson announced that the states of Colorado, Iowa, and Nebraska would repeal part of their immigration laws because they needed to bring workers from Mexico and Canada to grow sugar beets.


Chosun Ilbo, 1920. 07.26.

Japanese Immigration Restriction Law

House Immigration Commissioner Drafted

Mr. Albert Johnson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who serves as the head of the U.S. House Immigration and Naturalization Investigation Committee and who serves as the president of the Pacific People's Question Special Committee, said in a statement that the Investigation Committee is drafting a Japanese Immigration Restriction Act, the purpose of which is to provide the upper class with a travel rights system. Since it restricts the travel rights imposed on oriental doctors, lawyers, students, etc., it is issued with limited travel rights, and a certain grace period is granted for immigrant class according to the examination system, but during the same period, US laws, customs, and customs must be adopted. It seems that the authorities of the upper government will be given the authority to decide whether or not the immigration will be a good immigration during a certain period of time.



Between 1917-1924. Discussion about revisions of Immigration law

Summary: Following the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1917, there were discussions about the need for revisions. News articles conveyed expectations about potential revisions as well as the attitudes and efforts of the Japanese government towards them.


Dong-A Ilbo, 1922. 04.02.

The Need for Enacting New Immigration Laws. 5-year refusal of the US Labor Party representative's argument

Mr. Tsansenmulla, who traveled to Europe for about three months as the official representative of Mr. Davis of the Labor Party and returned to the United States, said,

The United States is currently under many threats from foreign immigration. Given that the current U.S. government needs to adopt such a new immigration policy, the current urgent task during the inauguration is to refuse immigration for five years.

1. All foreign nationals wishing to come to the United States must undergo the national physical examination at a level higher than that of an American citizen.

2. Give the U.S. consulate abroad the right to refuse a passport endorsement of a person deemed inappropriate.

3. Enact laws that make it a felony for any resident of the United States to make false statements other than to seek immigration clearance.

4. Future amendments to the Immigration Act to determine the number of U.S. immigration rights exercised by a country after agreement with the U.S. labor and foreign governments.


Chosun Ilbo, 1923. 11.21.

U.S. Congressmen discussing amendments to the Immigration Act. Dispatched Ambassador protest

All Western state senators, including Mr. Soutori, an elected senator from the state of California in the United States, will meet in the near future and discuss to amend the current immigration law and insert a clause that excludes Japanese immigration. They said that they observed that they would protest against it.



Positive and Negative Expectations Toward New Immigration Act.

Dong-A Ilbo, 1923.11.24.

US New Immigration Act. Observations submitted to the House Council.

A new immigration bill that seeks to slightly reduce the immigration limit for the United States is likely to be submitted to the House of Representatives, but it is expected that President Coolidge will approve it as well.


Dong-A Ilbo, 1924.02.11

Contents of the New Immigration Bill

Regarding the so-called new immigration bill, which amends the original bill submitted by Mr. Johnson, which is currently under deliberation by the Immigration Committee of the US Congress, according to the contents of the notification from the Ambassador of the Convention, anti-Japanese provisions have been largely deleted, so a positive impact on Japan-US relations is expected. more



In 1924, 1924 U.S. Immigration Law Amendment and its Impact

Summary: In 1924, the U.S. government revised its immigration laws yet again, disappointing those who had hoped for more lenient policies. Instead, the new laws were even more restrictive than before. An article describes the results of the new immigration law and the responses of Japanese and Korean newspapers. The effects of the law were significant, with large numbers of people forced to return to their home countries, resulting in chaotic situations.

Dong-A Ilbo, 1924.04.26.

Passing the anti-Japanese bill is certain. The hope of the president's refusal is also hopeless

Regarding the public opinion of both Japan and the United States, which had hoped for the president's rejection of the anti-Japanese bill, the US Democratic Party will not be able to save it at all even if the president rejects it, so it is inevitable that it will be changed and passed through the Congress. They said it was because there was no time for discussion because there was no room for the deadline.


Dong-A Ilbo, 1924.07.03

Suspension of Japanese immigration and antipathy of white workers

Since the Anti-Japanese Immigration Act began on July 7, 6,000 people who had returned home arrived at the destination in June in 30 boats. Those who returned to Korea to get a wife returned together, and now the country of immigration is full of Japanese. Anti-Japanese newspapers said that about 3,000 of the last Japanese immigrant brides had returned, and brought in photos to decorate the pages. Also, since the election day is near, the politicians in the place where the incident took place express a strong anti-Japanese mood in terms of policy. Also, among Japanese immigrants who failed to complete quarantine, they were quarantined on board and waited for permission to land, so there seemed to be quite a few unlucky people who were repatriated as a result of quarantine.


Chosun Ilbo, 1924.08.20.

Grant citizenship to the Japanese. A speech by an American missionary.

At the annual meeting of the National Association of Education Associations held in Sodukwa, Yuyuk state, Dr. Willa Artcrink, a missionary from Northern Chinheo Church, delivered a speech calling for the granting of citizenship to Japanese people. She argued that the new immigration law was an affront to the national pride and sensitive feelings of the Japanese people, and that it imposed the harshest penalties in Asia. Dr. Artcrink urged Congress to amend the Naturalization Act and extend citizenship to the Japanese, who were unfairly classified as general assigned entrants under the current laws.