File No. 793.94/237.
Ambassador Guthrie to the Secretary of State.
Tokyo, February 21, 1915—4 p.m.
Your telegram of February 19, 3 p.m. The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs says that the statement handed me by him and sent you in my telegram of February 9, midnight, was complete of the “demands” [upon] which Japan would insist and refusal of which without good grounds would be a serious matter; but that in addition to these demands several matters had been presented to China as “requests” or wishes [of] which friendly consideration was desired. He said that, while press reports were exaggerated and distorted, these requests were substantially as indicated in the five articles of your telegram to me of February 19, 3 p.m., with the following qualifications:
First: The words “only influential” were not used. Japan desires, inasmuch as China employs advisers of the various nationalities, that she employ also “fully confident” [sic]30 Japanese in like capacities.
Second: The request as to joint policing refers to “certain” places, by which was intended places in Manchuria to be designated where there has been friction between the two nationalities. Japan believes that joint policing would tend to better administration and more peaceful mutual relations.
Third: Japan’s request in regard to purchase of arms and ammunition was that China purchase “a fixed quantity, say one half” from Japan or in default of this that factories be established in China with capital furnished jointly by the two countries.
Fourth: This article is substantially correct except that shipbuilding is not included. It was intended to secure the option; if Japan could not furnish the money China would be free to go elsewhere.
Baron Kato said that Japan’s “requests” included two former articles:
First, liberty to propagate Japanese Buddhism in China and
Second, the right of Japanese Buddhist organizations to own lands and buildings for their temples, schools, and hospitals.
He asked me to forward this information to you confidentially. He was particularly anxious that you should understand that the reason for confining the statement sent you strictly to Japan’s “demands” was that the other items were “requests” and were so designated when presented to China.
- See paragraph 1 of the next paper.↩