File No. 123G98/33

Chargé Wheeler to the Secretary of State


My telegram of March 10, 5 p.m. Today the funeral service of the late Ambassador was held here. The Imperial Prince and Princess Nashimoto attended as representatives of the Emperor and the Empress. There were present besides one Prince and two Princesses of the blood, the other Imperial families sending representatives. The pallbearers were the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, the British, French, Italian and Russian Ambassadors and Consul General Scidmore. The entire diplomatic corps, the Cabinet, military and naval [Page 845] officers of high rank and representatives of the customhouse and of practically every Japanese and foreign organization of social or business importance in the life of the capital were present. The hearse was escorted by a detachment of cavalry and the route lined with a guard of honor consisting of two regiments under the command of a general of brigade. Minute guns were fired and a special train provided to carry the body and Embassy staff to Yokohama. At the Imperial Government’s suggestion all details were arranged in consultation with the Foreign Office and the Imperial household. On account of the limited capacity of the cathedral the body lay in state at the Embassy yesterday, the Emperor sending a floral wreath and Captain Marquis Mayeda and Captain Kato of the Imperial Army being despatched as a guard of honor for the bier. In Yokohama representatives of the prefectorial Government and of the Municipality met the party, the streets being hung with flags and guarded by police. The body lies at present in the mortuary of the Naval Hospital there. In all these ceremonies no mark of honor, public or private, has been withheld and I cannot in this telegram adequately express the extreme consideration, official and unofficial, which the Japanese Government has shown in this sad event. A communication from the Minister for Foreign Affairs in requesting me to tender my Government in the name of the Imperial Government his sincere condolence states:

It gives me high gratification that since his excellency came to this country in 1913 to represent his country as its Ambassador the friendly relations between the two countries have grown closer and firmer than ever.

A further communication received from him last night states:

In order to testify to the sentiments of sincere sympathy and attachment entertained by Japan towards the United States which now mourns over the loss of its worthy representative, his excellency, the late Honorable George W. Guthrie, the Imperial Government are willing to place at the disposal of the American Government one of His Imperial Majesty’s warships for conveyance of the body of the deceased from Japan to the United States.

The communication requests that the Imperial Government be informed after receipt

whether this offer will be agreeable to the American Government and to the bereaved family of the late Ambassador and if so whether the American Government would be willing to give an assurance that the Japanese warship to be dispatched on this particular mission will be exempted from the strict application of the rules of neutrality in the United States respecting the supply of coal, water and other provisions, and the duration of stay in the territorial waters of the United States both on the outward and homeward voyages in so far as such exemption is necessary for the successful discharge of the mission.

In this matter Mrs. Guthrie’s wish will conform to that of the Department.