Many Japanese Americans argued with the school authority that the segregation of schools went against the 1894 treaty, which did not explicitly address education, but stated that the Japanese would gain equal rights in the United States. According to U.S. Supreme Court review decisions (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896), a state did not violate the equality protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by imposing racial segregation as long as the separate institutions were substantially identical. Tokyo newspapers condemned segregation as an insult to Japanese pride and honor. The Japanese government wanted to protect its reputation as a world power. Government officials realized that there was a crisis and that intervention was needed to maintain diplomatic peace. [9] Japan was willing to limit immigration to the United States, but was deeply violated by San Francisco`s discriminatory law specifically targeting its population. President Roosevelt, who wanted to maintain good relations with Japan to counterbalance Russian expansion in the Far East, intervened.

While the U.S. ambassador reassured the Japanese government, Roosevelt summoned the mayor and school administration of San Francisco to the White House in February 1907 and convinced them to repeal the segregation order and promised that the federal government would tackle the immigration issue itself. On February 24, the gentlemen`s agreement was concluded with Japan in the form of a Japanese note in which it was agreed to deny passports to workers who wished to enter the United States and to recognize the right of the United States to exclude Japanese immigrants holding passports originally issued to other countries. This was followed by the formal withdrawal of the order of the San Francisco School Board on March 13, 1907. A final Japanese note of 18 February 1908 made the gentlemen`s agreement fully effective. The agreement was replaced by the 1924 law excluding immigration. President Roosevelt had three goals to resolve the situation: to show Japan that California`s policy did not reflect the ideals of the entire country to force San Francisco to lift the policy of segregation and to find a solution to the problem of Japanese immigration. Victor Metcalf, Minister of Trade and Labour, was sent to investigate the problem and force the repeal of the policy.

He did not succeed because local officials wanted Japan to be excluded. Roosevelt tried to put pressure on the school, but she would not give in. On February 15, 1907, the parties reached a compromise. If Roosevelt could guarantee the suspension of Japanese immigration, the school administration would allow Japanese-American students to attend public schools.