Islanders Building Railways and Improving Harbors.


Wonderful is the spectacle of transformation in Korea.
The reforms already effected are remarkable and are an unmixed benefit to the people, but they are causing dismay to the Emperor and his corrupt Court of attendants, soothsayers, fortune tellers, and foreign parasites. The Empire has suffered a cruel disillusion, but is still hoping for the ultimate success of Rusia, a power which has fostered the worst influences of his barbaric reign.

I have heard nothing but praise for the Japanese troops, who are paying liberally for everything and have spent immense sums in the country.

Civilian Japanese are pouring into the country. It is estimated that already 60,000 have come. There is a practically uninterrupted chain of Japanese settlements from Fu-San to the Yalu. Railway construction shows a remarkable extension. Simultaneously there is extensive reclamation of land and harbor improvements are in progress at Che-mul-Pho and Fu-San, where the work of lighthouse construction continues without interruption.

Most noticeable are the order and quiet attending the Japanese enterprises. Order is preserved with the smallest possible evidence of force, contrasting strangely with the large bodies of frontier guards Russia needed to protect the railways in Manchuria, where the people were set at enmity by their harsh treatment. Most of the foreign so-called advisers have left or are leaving the country, and in nearly all cases are succeeded by Japanese, whose advice can be enforced. The most difficult post of all, that of Adviser to the Foreign Office, has been intrusted to an American, D.W.Stevens, whose patience, tact, and ability have won praise from all nationalities.

The Korean police have been suspended and Japanese gendarmerie have undertaken the maintenance of order in Soul and the surrounding country. Never has the capital known such immunity from crime. It is intended to extend the system to the country.

Japan now controls all communications between Korea and the outside world, has taken charge of the posts and telegraphs, has secured the right to fish in the territorial waters round the whole coast of the empire, and has obtained the opening of inland and coast waters to navigation by Japanese vessels.
That the Nagamori scheme for the reclamation of the waste lands is now in abeyance is certain.


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