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In all public works the government has taken an active and an earnest interest. The establishment of railway and steamship lines, of telegraph and post-roads, and, in short, of all those facilities which increase the comfort and convenience of the nation, have been their constant care. The telegraph and postal systems are equal to those of most countries, while as to railways an increase from 18 miles in 1873 to almost 2,000 miles in 1894 may fairly be regarded as a good result even in this country of phenomenal railway developments. Nor should it be forgotten that a great deal of the progress which Japan has made in every direction has been due as much to private enterprise as to government direction. The railway and steamship lines, for example, are almost exclusively under the control of private corporations. The government has, of necessity, taken the initiative in many things, but oftentimes it has been merely to set an example which has been readily and aptly followed. There is another phase of Japanese development which is well worthy of notice. I refer now to the newspaper press. The Japanese, like the ancient Athenians, and, may I add, like modern Americans, are a people who delight in hearing new things. It need hardly be added that the press came to them, as it comes so often to us, to supply ” a long-felt want.” Its development has been little short of marvelous, and now it flourishes like the green bay tree, from the scholarly periodical, the didactic weekly, the political daily, down to the penny dreadful, for whose col-umns nothing short of murder and sudden death are fit matter. Many able, intelligent and patriotic men are enlisted in the ranks of the press in Japan, and they already exercise a potent influence upon public opinion and the conduct of public affairs.