Mr. Griscom to Mr. Hay.

No. 45.]

Sir: I have the honor to confirm, as per copies appended hereto on the overleaf, your telegram of the 10th instant, in relation to the desire of the United States Government that the neutrality of China and her administrative entity shall be respected by both Japan and Russia during the war which is now taking place.

In compliance with your instructions I sought an interview with the minister for foreign affairs on the 12th instant and handed him the note as per copy inclosed herewith, in which I embodied your telegraphic instructions. The minister assured me that his Government was heartily in sympathy with all the ideas expressed by you, and from the time when war became imminent he had advised the Government of China to maintain a strict neutrality, with a view of avoiding the very possible resultant evils which are so clearly pointed out by you. He informed me that Mr. Takahira had some two or three weeks ago been instructed to inform you of the views of the Japanese Government in this matter. I then asked him if he would kindly give me as soon as possible a written reply to the note which I addressed to him.

On the following day, the 13th instant, I received Baron Komura’s reply, a copy of which I inclose herewith.

There can be no doubt but what the Japanese Government is in entire and sincere sympathy with the views of the Department in this matter.

I have, etc.,

Lloyd C. Griscom.
[Page 420]
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Griscom to Baron Komura.

Mr. Minister: In compliance with telegraphic instructions from the Secretary of State I have the honor to express to your excellency the earnest desire of the Government of the United States that in the course of the military operations which have begun between Japan and Russia the neutrality of China and, in all practical ways, her administrative entity shall be respected by both parties and that the area of hostilities shall be localized and limited as much as possible, so that undue excitement and disturbance of the Chinese people may be prevented and the least possible loss to the commerce and peaceful intercourse of the world may be occasioned.

I avail, etc.,

Lloyd C. Griscom.
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Baron Komura to Mr. Griscom.

Mr. Minister: In response to the note which your excellency did me the honor to address to me on the 12th instant on the subject of the neutrality of China during the existing war, I beg to say that the Imperial Government, sharing with the Government of the United States in the fullest measure the desire to avoid as far as possible any disturbance of the orderly and peaceful condition of affairs now prevailing in China, are prepared to engage to respect the neutrality and administrative entity of China outside the regions occupied by Russia so long as Russia, making a similar engagement, fulfills in good faith the terms and conditions of such engagement.

I avail, etc.,

Baron Komura Jutaro.