Memorandum handed to the Secretary of State by the Japanese chargé d’ affaires April 12, 1906.

Owing to the fact that the withdrawal of the troops from Manchuria not having sufficiently progressed, the Japanese Government hitherto have neither permitted citizens and vessels of foreign countries to enter the ports and regions of Manchuria nor allowed foreign consuls to proceed to their posts therein. Considerable progress, however, having now been made in this respect, the Japanese Government have decided, in accordance with the principles of open door and equal opportunity ever advocated by them, to permit citizens and vessels of foreign countries to enter An-tung-hsien and Ta-tung-kao from May 1, and to allow foreign consuls to proceed to their posts at An-tung-hsien from the same date. From June 1 foreign consuls will be allowed to proceed to their posts at Mukden, and traveling of foreigners in the interior of Manchuria will be generally permitted in so far as military exigencies do not prevent it. It has further been decided that the Japanese Government will open Darien to the commerce of the world in as near future as possible.

Judging from the present condition of the interior of Manchuria it is impossible for the Japanese authorities to afford such foreign travelers adequate protection and facilities in regard to houses and other matters. Those, therefore, who enter the interior of Manchuria do so entirely on their own account and at their own risk, and the Japanese Government do not hold themselves responsible for an injury or damage which they may suffer from bandits or other marauders.

Informal memorandum accompanying foregoing.

I regret that the real condition of Manchuria and the true motive of the Imperial Government are not clearly known to the United States Government.

At the time of the conclusion of peace between Japan and Russia the number of imperial troops in Manchuria reached several hundred thousand and the quantities of arms and ammunition and necessary supplies of all kinds were in proportion. It is needless to say that the withdrawal of such an enormous army is no easy matter.

According to the memorandum agreed upon by the commanders in chief of the Japanese and Russian armies in Manchuria the withdrawal is to be carried in four periods.

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On the Japanese side, the troops were to be withdrawn to the south of Chang-tu before the end of the last year, and to the south of Tieling before June 1, 1906, to the south of Mukden before August 1, and to complete it by April, 1907.

Despite this arrangement, the Imperial Government desired to withdraw the main bodies of the armies as quickly as possible and acted accordingly. In consequence of this, it has progressed comparatively rapidly, but the confusion and complications arising from such hurried action is, even at present, beyond imagination of those who have not witnessed them.

Alike in Japan as in other countries, it is impossible to admit foreigners into the territories occupied by their troops immediately after the conclusion of peace. One of the main difficulties in admitting foreigners into Manchuria is in respect of language. They neither speak Japanese nor Chinese and lots of misunderstandings arise from this fact. For this very reason, the commanders in chief of the respective armies in Manchuria stipulated in the memorandum above referred to that neither side shall admit strangers in the territories occupied by the respective armies and that there shall be no coming and going between the respective territories except under special mutual agreement. Although we allow even Russians within our territories for the special purpose of attending to the matters concerning private properties left therein, the Russians have not reciprocated this courtesy and strictly prohibit any Japanese going into their territory.

Such being the actual conditions in Manchuria, the Imperial Government has been reluctantly compelled to temporarily restrain the entrance of foreigners into Manchuria. As to the Japanese merchants, most of them entered the seat of war with our armies to supply them with necessaries and still remain there. Doubtless many others have gone there since then. But these people are under the strict and complete control of the military authorities.

Besides, there is no fear of trouble with them in respect of language and less danger of their letting military secrets out than the general foreigners would, all of whom are not necessarily our friends.

However, the present situation is only temporary, necessitated by the conditions prevailing actually in Manchuria, and nothing is further from the thought of the Imperial Government than to attempt to monopolize the trade of Manchuria in violation of the principles of open door and equal opportunity for which they have pledged their honor.

On the contrary, as it is their sincere desire to respect these principles they have decided to open Manchuria even before the completion of the withdrawal of the troops, and despite the great inconvenience which will have to be experienced by them on this account.