File No. 761.94/93

Ambassador Guthrie to the Secretary of State


The Nichi Nichi on the fifth instant published the statement that the terms of an alliance between Japan and Russia had now been agreed upon and would be signed as soon as negotiations in regard the amount of munitions to be supplied to Russia are settled. Main features of alliance as follows:

Russia cedes to Japan the Chinese Eastern Railway up to some point south of Harbin.
Japan to supply arms and munitions to Russia within the limits of her manufacturing capacity.
Russia to accord liberal [apparent omission] to Japanese residents of Eastern Siberia, Northern Sakhalin and zone of the Chinese Eastern Railway.
Russia to make Vladivostok a commercial port and to make no military preparation calculated to cause misunderstanding with Japan.
Japan and Russia to respect each other’s interests in Manchuria and Mongolia., and Japan to render assistance to Russia at the request of the latter in case [apparent omission] should break out within the sphere of influence of Russia during the present war.
Russia to recognize free action of Japan in case the latter shall take necessary measures for the preservation of peace and order in conformity with the principle of the maintenance of territorial integrity and equal opportunity, and Russia to take cooperative action with Japan at the request of the latter in case it is necessary for Japan to cope with the interference from a third power with Japan’s action.

The Foreign Office immediately denied this and prohibited transmission of statement abroad. Yesterday the Premier issued an interview reiterating this denial but substantially admitting that he expected soon to complete an alliance with Russia with the approval of Great Britain, the terms of which would guarantee peace in the Far East, territorial integrity of China and policy of equal opportunity [Page 430] in trade. General view here is that treaty is near completion and that Nichi Nichi forecast approaches what Japan is seeking. I have just heard that Premier has retracted his interview but it is believed that the retraction is merely perfunctory.


[Note.—The above telegram was transmitted to the Embassies at Paris (No. 1460) and London (No. 3162), and to the Legation at Peking (April 8, 1916, 5 p.m.).]