File No. 861.00/2531½

Statement handed by the Japanese Ambassador to the Secretary of State, August 14, 1918

The attention of the Japanese Government has recently been called to the growing activities of the armed German and Austro-Hungarian prisoners in Siberia along borders of Manchuria. These prisoners having practically assumed command of the forces of the Soviet are now pressing upon the Chinese frontier in the direction of the town of Manchouli and the imminence of danger has compelled a large number of Japanese and Chinese inhabitants of that town to seek refuge in flight. The situation involves a direct menace to Chinese territory and is of no less serious concern to Japan united as she is with China by bonds of close solidarity. The two governments have accordingly considered in common the course to be adopted in this state of affairs and have agreed that as a provisional measure of emergency a portion of the Japanese troops at present stationed in south Manchuria shall be ordered immediately to proceed towards Manchouli. Such movement of troops has been actuated solely by the spirit of harmonious cooperation between Japan and China in face of threatening danger and, in undertaking it, the Japanese [Page 346] Government will scrupulously respect the sovereignty of China as well as the rights and interests of local population. They are happy to believe that the proposed measure will be largely instrumental in promoting relations of mutual confidence and good neighborhood between the two nations.