Korea has about the same area as Japan but only one third the population. This has much to
- Korea has about the same area as Japan but only one third the population. This has much to
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Korea has about the same area as Japan but only one third the population. This has much to do with the question as to what the future of Korea is to be. It is true that at the present moment a coldness has sprung up between the two hut in the long run business interests will assert themselves and Korea and Japan are so situated and their business interests so dovetail the one into the other that whatever their relations may be politically their business relations cannot but be intimate. That this is true a few facts will demonstrate.
The relation of Korea´s area to her population shows that she is capable of producing vastly more than her people can consume. It follows that the exports from Korea must increase as fast as Korea opens up her agriculural and mineral resources. This again means an increased carring trade and here we find the first commercial bond of union between the two. Korea has so much room in herself and so much to absorb the attention of the people that the carrying trade will for many a decade fall to the let of others. That it will be Japan is as evident as anything can be in these days of rapid changes, Japan does almost the whole of the carrying trade of Korea and no competitor is in sight.
In the second place Japan is becoming more and more a land of manufactures. Woolen, cotton, and silk manufactories are springing up all over the land. The energies of the Japanese people are rapidly focusing on this point Already this tendency has far outrun Japan´s capacity for producing the raw material and she is looking in all directions for it. Korea is nearest to her and easiest of access; she has the most spare area that is cultivable and her soil, climate and temperature are eminently suited to supply the very things that are there wanting. The southern provinces of Korea produce a cotton of superior quality, and her northern provinces abound in the most admirable timber. Both bituminous and anthracite coal are found in large guartuies and as Japanese manufactories increase and her merchant marine multiplics Korean coal mines will be called into requisition. Korea´s capacity or silk culture is practically unlimited. As the people learn improved methods of sericulture Korea´s export of raw silk alone ought to mount up into the millions. The mulberry thrives here.
As Japanese energies become directed more and more toward manufacturing she will demand more and more food stuff from abroad. Here also Korea supplement Japan in a marked degree. Already
Korean rice has obtained a form foothold in the Japanese market and at times the carrying capacity of all the vessels plying to the Korean ports has been amite inadequate for its transportation. The time is soon coming when improved methods of irrigation will enhance the value of the present cultivated land and when the increased demand will move the "margin of cultivation" farther up the sides of the bills, when marsh land will be reclaimed and the annual output nearly doubled.
A third important consideration relates to the vast tracts of land in Korea that are too hilly for successful cultivation. There is one and only one way by which these could be made to yield a splendid revenue, It is by sheep raising. If the Korean people could supply the Japanese woolen mills with their raw material they could at one stroke utilize their thousands of square miles of steep hill sides, give occupation to thousands of their people and secure a steady and rich revenue to themselves. At present the sheep is held as a sort of sacred animal in Korea and is used only in Royal sacrifices but we feel sure that a far larger good would come from encouraging the people in the growing of wool than ever would accrue from the sacrifices.
These three things then, the carrying trade, the supply of raw material and of bread stuffs, are sufficient to warrant us in believing that the relations between Koreans and Japanese will inevitably become closer.
We are well aware of inborn and inbred antipathy between the two races but that need not interfore seriously with these commercial relations. It is not necessary that thousands of Japanese should come to Korea in order to secure the advantages above indicated. There are plenty of capable Koreans to act as agents and middle-men between the Japanese factory and the Korean fiuld.
First let the government so rule that every country man will feel secure in the possession of his lawfully earned wealth and he then will have some ambition to branch out in lines of work which heretofore have been practically barred from him by the exactions of officials.