File No. 763.72/5558

The Chargé in Japan ( Wheeler ) to the Secretary of State


Your cipher telegram of June 22, 5 p.m.,1 and my telegram of June 19, 1 p.m.2 Important members of mission are: Ambassador Ishii, Vice Admiral Takeshita, Major General Sugano and Nagai. For accurate biographies of these see Who’s Who in Japan, 1916, [Page 111] transmitted with the Embassy’s despatch of November 27 last.1

The purpose of the mission is to express to our Government Japan’s gratification that the United States has entered the war and to discuss present problems arising from the latter, more particularly (1) the question of the defense of the Pacific including such patrol of Pacific routes by the Japanese Navy as might permit concentration of our own Navy in the Atlantic, and (2) coordination of effort in the supply of munitions to Japan’s European allies. I have reason to believe however that Viscount Ishii’s instructions as to conversation will be very general and that he will be accredited to take up any questions affecting the Far East which the United States and Japan may mutually deem expedient to discuss. I am confidentially informed that he will broach the matter of the undesirable treatment of Japanese who are lawfully in the United States and that of economic cooperation of United States and Japan in China. My informant, who is a member of the Foreign Office, referred to an informal conversation between Mr. Bryan and Viscount Chinda as to an ultimate solution of this question of undesirable treatment. He said that it had not been determined whether Viscount Ishii would present the question in the form in which it had then been presented. In speaking of economic cooperation in China he referred to an informal suggestion which he said had been made some time ago by Mr. Reinsch to Baron Hayashi of a general plan which should be based on the actual possession of concessions in China by Japanese and Americans.2

  1. Not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 103.
  3. Not printed.
  4. For the agreement regarding questions of mutual interest relating to the Republic of China, effected by exchange of notes between the Secretary of State and the Japanese Ambassador on Special Mission, Nov. 2, 1917, see Foreign Relations, 1917, p. 264.