File No. 861.00/7015
The Japanese Ambassador (Ishii) to the Acting Secretary of State
The Japanese Government, actuated by the sentiment of sincere friendship towards the Russian people, have always entertained the most sanguine hopes of the speedy reestablishment of order in Russia and a healthy and untrammeled development of her national life. Abundant proof, however, is now afforded to show that the Central European Empires, taking advantage of the chaotic and defenseless condition in which Russia has momentarily been placed, are consolidating their hold on that country and are steadily extending their activities to the Russian far eastern possessions. They have persistently interfered with the passage of the Czecho-Slovak troops through Siberia. In the forces now opposing these valiant troops, the German and Austro-Hungarian prisoners are freely enlisted and they practically assume the position of command. The Czechoslovak troops, aspiring to secure a free and independent existence for their race and loyally espousing the common cause of the Allies, justly command every sympathy and consideration from the co-belligerents to whom their destiny is a matter of deep and abiding concern. In the presence of danger to which the Czecho-Slovak troops are actually exposed in Siberia at the hand of the Germans and Austro-Hungarians, the Allies have naturally felt themselves unable to view with indifference the untoward course of events and a certain number of their troops have already been ordered to proceed to Vladivostok. The Government of the United States, equally sensible of the gravity of the situation, recently approached the Japanese Government with proposals for an early dispatch of troops to relieve pressure now weighing upon the Czecho-Slovak forces.
The Japanese Government, being anxious to fall in with the desires of the American Government and also to act in harmony with the Allies in this expedition, have decided to proceed at once to [Page 325] dispatch suitable forces for the proposed mission. A certain number of these troops will be sent forthwith to Vladivostok. In adopting this course, the Japanese Government remain unshaken in their constant desire to promote relations of enduring friendship with Russia and the Russian people and reaffirm their avowed policy of respecting the territorial integrity of Russia and of abstaining from all interference in her internal politics. They further declare that upon the realization of the objects above indicated they will immediately withdraw all Japanese troops from Russian territory and will leave wholly unimpaired the sovereignty of Russia in all its phases whether political or military.
[Received August 1918.]
- Note in the margin of MS.: “Handed to me by Japanese Amb[assador] who said it was published on Aug. 2 in Japan. F. L. P[olk].”↩