Historical Highlights

The Reception of Japanese Ambassador Viscount Kikujirō Ishii

September 05, 1917
The Reception of Japanese Ambassador Viscount Kikujirō Ishii Image courtesy of Library of Congress A proponent of improved Japanese/American relations throughout World War I, Viscount Kikujirō Ishii died during the Second World War in Japan.
On this date, Viscount Kikujirō Ishii, an ambassador from Japan, addressed the House of Representatives in a House Reception. Missouri Representative James Beauchamp (Champ) Clark, the Speaker of the House, introduced the Viscount with a brief statement, noting that “every right-thinking man in the Empire of Japan and the Republic of the United States hopes that peace, amity, and friendly relations will always prevail between these two great powers.” Viscount Ishii then approached the Speaker’s rostrum and reassured Members of the House that the Japanese government stood with the United States in the war against Imperial Germany. A few days earlier, the Japanese diplomat had addressed the U.S. Senate in a reception in the Senate Chamber. Traditionally, the standard manner in which both the House and the Senate received addresses by foreign leaders was to invite dignitaries to individual chamber receptions. The first House reception received the Marquis de Lafayette of France in 1824. In the post-World War II era, the practice of using one-chamber receptions was eventually supplanted by having foreign leaders address Joint Meetings of Congress. The last House reception occurred in 1991.

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