Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

No. 1617.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of a translation of a Japanese proclamation which is being posted in various places in Manchuria as rapidly as it is occupied by the Japanese army.

I have, etc.,

E. H. Conger.

First proclamation issued by the Japanese after the taking of Antung.

The commanding officer of the First Army Corps of the Empire of Japan, at present warring against Russia, issues this proclamation for the information of the public:

Whereas Russia for years past has occupied Manchurian territory, has collected troops and raised fortifications, has oppressed the people and harassed the magistrates, and this with unbounded tyranny, perpetrating crimes like very highwaymen, under the excuse that they were protecting their railway, but really with the intention of ultimately annexing the three Provinces of Manchuria. It was something intolerable that the sacred tombs of the Chinese Imperial house should be thrown into the hands of aliens, how could the high officials of state stand it? And if the Three Eastern Provinces were annexed by Russia who could know whether Korea would be in peace or in trouble? Japan and Korea have therefore set their teeth, and mutually depending on each other will mutually act. Therefore our Emperor, majestic in his wrath, has issued an Imperial decree ordering the three armies to exert their utmost strength and attack by sea and land. Inspired by a sense of duty and patriotism, what enemy can we not subdue or what barrier can we not overcome? We destroyed noble battle ships at the first battle of Yen-Ch’uan, and in another battle in the eastern sea off Port Arthur the naval strength of the enemy was vanquished. [Page 136] We wish to leave not a single flag of Russia flying, and we have good reason. If indeed our land army like a myriad of the mythical tiger-killers showing incomparable strategy following the banners with boldness, the rank and file under thorough discipline, then in the forward march to battle their very breath will dissipate the entire Russian army and it may be said that they will subdue the enemy without even fighting.

We have now passed through the Korean boundaries and entered the Liao-yang territory. Our army leaders are men of honor and will not commit the error of an autumn spikelet, but on the other hand will be full of compassion towards the people, like a loving mother nursing her new-born child.

Therefore we trust that all the people will have respect to the sacred edict of our Emperor, and each peacefully follow his avocation, reserving cattle, horses, firewood, grain, and beef, which will be all sooner or later required (by our army). Act thus and without delay use diligence to exert yourselves on our behalf. If anyone is found assisting the enemy as spies, secretly reporting the movements of our troops, daring to act in opposition to us, he shall be apprehended and dealt with sternly, no mercy being shown. Respect this.