File No. 793.74/536
Ambassador Guthrie to the Secretary of State
Tokyo, September 18, 1916.
Sir: With reference to my telegram to the Department of September 11, 7 p.m., I have the honor to inform you that on the 16th instant Mr. Chang Tsung-hsiang, the Chinese Minister here, who recently succeeded Mr. Lou Tsung-yu, sent Mr. Tsur, the Second Secretary of the Legation, to the Secretary of this Embassy with a confidential message for me in reference to Japan’s pending demands upon China growing out of the situation in Chengchiatun. Mr. Tsur said that the Minister wished me to be informed as to the “true character” of the Japanese representations which on September 3 had been informally handed to him by the Foreign Office here, and communicated to the Government at Peking by Baron Hayashi.
The representations, he said, consisted of four “demands” and four “requests,” but the phraseology employed in the latter was practically mandatory, the Japanese Government “leaving it to the Chinese Government to act favorably upon these requests without compelling the Japanese Government to use force.”
The series, he stated, was as follows:
- The chief military officer in Chengchiatun district shall be dismissed. (This, Mr. Tsur states, is a very strong demand, as there is an army corps there and the chief military officer is of the rank of lieutenant general.)
- All military officers connected with this case shall be punished.
- Chinese troops in Manchuria and Mongolia shall be cautioned to be more courteous to Japanese.
- Japanese police shall be permitted in places where Japanese reside.
- Manchuria and Mongolia shall employ Japanese military advisers. (Mr. Tsur said that Baron Hayashi had implied, in conversation with the Foreign Office at Peking, that it was desired that each army corps have a separate military adviser. This, Mr. Tsur stated, would make four advisers in all, and Mr. Chang is of opinion that to grant this would be to hand over the military power of these sections to Japan.)
- The Peking Military College and other military colleges shall employ Japanese military officers.
- The Governor General of Manchuria shall apologize to the Japanese Governor of Kwantung and shall also make personal apologies before the Japanese Consul General at Mukden.
- Indemnities shall be paid to Japanese who have suffered, including both civil and military persons.
Mr. Tsur said that China considers the phraseology of some of these sections (particularly I, 4) so ambiguous that it is now negotiating with Japan to gain a clearer understanding of their meaning and is asking Japan to state them with greater clarity before they are formally handed in.
I have [etc.]