File No. 793.94/589a
The Secretary of State to Minister Reinsch
Washington, November 5, 1917, 4 p.m.
The following notes were exchanged on November 2 between Viscount Ishii and myself: [Quotes notes exchanged, printed ante.]
By agreement with Viscount Ishii the notes will be made public here on November 6 and in Japan on November 7.
Your telegrams of November 4, 11 p.m., and November 5, noon.
You may say to the Foreign Office:
The visit of the Imperial Japanese Mission to the United States afforded an opportunity for free and friendly discussion of interests of the United States and Japan in the Orient. By openly proclaiming that the policy of Japan, as regards China, is not one of aggression, and by declaring that there is no intention to take advantage, commercially or industrially, of the special relations to China created by geographical position, the representatives of Japan have cleared the diplomatic atmosphere of the suspicions which had been so carefully spread by German propaganda.
The Governments of the United States and Japan again declare their adherence to the open door policy and recommit themselves, as far as these two Governments are concerned, to the maintenance of equal opportunity for and the full enjoyment by the subjects or citizens of any country in the commerce and industry of China. Japanese commercial and industrial enterprises in China manifestly have, on account of the geographical relation of the two countries, a certain advantage over similar enterprises on the part of the citizens or subjects of any other country.
The Governments of the United States and Japan have taken advantage of a favorable opportunity to make an exchange of expressions with respect to their relations with China. This understanding is formally set forth in the notes exchanged and now transmitted. The statements in the notes require no explanation. They not only contain a reaffirmation of the open door policy but introduce a principle of noninterference with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, which, generally applied, is essential to perpetual international peace, as has been so clearly declared by President Wilson.
Statement to be given to the press on November 6 will be telegraphed you from Tokyo.