File No. 861.00/2481

The Ambassador in Japan (Morris) to the Secretary of State


The Minister for Foreign Affairs sent for me this afternoon and again referring to the serious condition existing in northern Manchuria, as reported in my August 5, 8 p.m.,1 advised me that the [Page 344] Japanese Government after consultation with the Chinese Government had decided to send a Japanese force to Manchouli Station. The force will consist of one brigade of about 1,700 men, 600 of whom are artillery, and will begin to move from Mukden and Kirin by way of Harbin to-morrow and should reach Manchouli in about four days. They expect to be accompanied by a force of approximately 2,000 Chinese.

In explanation of this action he stated as follows: That the Maximalist troops recently in the neighborhood of Manchouli have submitted to the actual leadership of armed German prisoners; they are pressing upon Semenov’s army; a part of the city of Manchouli is being bombarded; 250 Japanese residents of this city have been obliged to flee to Hailar; the Chinese troops quartered in this region are very weak and are unable to oppose the Maximalist force; even though they are able to escape their invasion temporarily by negotiations, the situation is daily becoming more dangerous; accordingly the Government had decided upon moving a section of the troops quartered in south Manchuria to the vicinity of Manchouli; however, the movement of Japanese troops within Chinese territory was affected only with the consent and agreement of China and they will be withdrawn as soon as the necessity occasioned by the temporary emergency is over; consequently it is entirely different in nature from the present joint intervention in Vladivostok, or from military action within Russian territory, and the only nations that have interests involved are Japan and China; in view of the fact that there is apprehension of false reports at such a time, this matter was thus brought to my attention.

He further stated that he had yesterday advised Ambassador Ishii of the proposed action with a view to communicating it to you.

  1. Ante, p. 330.