This day in Vancouver

This Day in Vancouver – April 11, 1903

No More Japanese Will Come Here,” reads a joyous headline on the front page of the Vancouver Daily Province.

An unidentified Japanese woman and boy, circa 1905. Image Courtesy of the Vancouver Archives (CVA 287-10)


The article quotes a message sent from the consul-general of Japan:

 “I cabled my Government two weeks ago, advising it to pursue its policy of restriction of emigration of Japanese to Canada… the Government of Japan was not desirous of forcing its emigrants into British Columbia.”

The cable continues, “that the people of British Columbia should stop agitating themselves over the immigration of Japanese labour and begin to exercise themselves over the possibilities of trade with the Orient”

 This excerpt was taken from the book This Day in Vancouver by Jesse Donaldson. This great read about our city’s history is available for purchase in the Gift Shop at the Museum of Vancouver, or online at Anvil Press.

Today, both Canada and Japan are partners in many international organizations (G7, G20, APEC, and ASEAN to name a few). With regular exchanges between parliamentarians, steadily expanding trade, growing economic relations, and newly established peace and security declarations, it’s clear to see how important the relationship is between these two countries. Canada is constantly committed to finding new opportunities to deepen the partnership with Japan.

Of course, early Canadians had yet to realize the full importance of trade at that time. One can only wonder what our great grandparents would have said about this, back in the day.

To learn more about Japanese History, visit the Museum of Vancouver’s 1930s-1940s: Boom, Bust, and War gallery. The exhibition highlights Japanese and Canadian relations during World War II.

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