File No. 793.94/240.
The Secretary of State to Ambassador Guthrie.
Washington, February 19, 1915—3 p.m.
Press despatches have been announcing that Japan is asking of China:
- That the Central Government employ only influential Japanese subjects as advisers for conducting administrative, financial and military affairs.
- That China and Japan jointly police the important places in China or that China employ a majority of Japanese in her police department.
- That China shall purchase from Japan at least half the arms and ammunition used in the whole country or establish jointly in Japan factories for the manufacture of arms.
- That China shall permit Japan to build certain railroads connecting Wuchang with Kiukiang and Nanchang, Nanchang with Hangchow and Nanchang with Chiaochow.
- That in case the province of Fukien requires foreign capital for railway construction, mining, harbor improvements and ship building, Japan shall be first consulted.
The above demands if they had been made would have aroused serious concern for they would have menaced the political integrity and independence of China and would have materially discriminated against other nations which are entitled to equal treatment.
We were very much relieved to receive the memorandum delivered by the Japanese Ambassador27 and likewise forwarded by you,27 for this memorandum is a complete denial of the press reports as above quoted and gives assurance that Japan has no such intention as the press reports would have indicated. You may express to the Government our appreciation of its action in making known to us its purpose, in accordance with the terms of the Root-Takahira agreement,28 as stated in the memorandum referred to.