The Japanese Ambassador (Ishii) to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: As you desired me, I have put into writing the substance of the confidential information which I communicated to you this afternoon under order of my government.

I now beg to enclose it herewith.

Yours sincerely,

K. Ishii

Paraphrased Copy of Cablegram Received by Viscount Ishii From His Government55

As the result of the Versailles Conference, His Britannic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in the name of the Governments of Great Britain, France and Italy, had recently proposed to the Imperial Government to consent to undertake certain common action in Siberia, subject to the concurrence of the American Government. The Imperial Government still hold the same view as expressed to the American Government on the 19th March last56 and attach great importance to the positive support of the latter in considering any action of intervention in Siberia. Accordingly, a reply has been sent in the sense that the Japanese Government, while deeply appreciating the proposal, could not feel at liberty to express their decision before a complete and satisfactory understanding on the question was reached between the three Powers and the United States.

  1. This paper bears the notation: “Sent me June 26/18 RL.” On June 27 Secretary Lansing sent this telegram to President Wilson, who replied on June 28: “I have read this communication with genuine pleasure. Faithfully Yours, W. W.” (File No. 861.00/2216½.)
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. ii, p. 81.