File No. 861.00/2449a
The Acting Secretary of State to the President
My Dear Mr. President: I am sending you the following report merely as a matter of record.
The Japanese Ambassador called this morning and told me that his Government cordially apppreciated the frank expression of the views of the United States Government; Japan was glad there were no fundamental differences between us; they had no intention of sending more men than was necessary to assist the Czechs; and the only difference between the two Governments was as to the number that was necessary.
He said his Government still felt a larger force than proposed was essential, but in view of the necessity for immediate action, and in view of the attitude of this Government, his Government authorized him to say that they accepted our proposals, reserving the question as to the sending of additional troops to Vladivostok or elsewhere until circumstances should arise which might make it necessary.
He said that his Government had explained this last point by saying it might be necessary for the troops to move out of Vladivostok in order to prevent the slaughter of the Czechs, or it might be necessary to send reinforcements for this same purpose. He said his Government felt that such a slaughter would be a misfortune on humanitarian grounds and on political grounds, as it would hopelessly injure the prestige of all the Governments concerned if a [Page 326] slaughter took place which could have been prevented by prompt action of the Allied forces. He said that in such an emergency it was his Government’s intention to consult this Government and the other Governments, but it was conceivable that there might be no time for consultation, in which case the Japanese Government wished to say frankly that they would be compelled for the reasons already stated to move without consultation. He said, it meant a great deal to his Government to be in accord with the United States, and they felt that they had met our views on all the disputed points.
I asked him two or three times whether it was his understanding that the Japanese forces would be limited to ten or twelve thousand men, and he said that in view of the fact that such a number had been mentioned by me in our previous conversation, and in view of the fact that his Government stated they accepted our proposal, he felt there was no question on that point.
I asked him whether it was their intention to send troops anywhere else. He said no, not as far as he knew, and he thought that he had been fully informed on this point.
He showed me a copy of their proposed statement, and they had made the amendments we had suggested, that is, that his Government was in accord with the Allies as to this expedition. They had stricken out the reference to Japan’s particular interest. He said that now that we were in agreement his Government had given out their statement in Tokyo on August 2, and they were getting ready to move the troops.