The Minister in China (Reinsch) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 2380

Sir: I have the honor to enclose copies of the statements issued by the Japanese Government in connection with the joint representations on peace in China,4 and in connection with Japanese loan policy in China. In the latter it is to be noted that while it is asserted that financial assistance to China is to be withheld under certain conditions, a large opportunity is left to make financial and economic loans in such “enterprises as are the natural and legitimate outgrowth of special relations between the two neighboring and friendly nations.” What is really meant by this clause would necessitate a great deal of commentary. I have the honor also to enclose a memorandum of a conversation which I had with the Japanese Minister on December 5th.5

I have [etc.]

Paul S. Reinsch
[Page 290]

Extract from the “Peking Leader” of December 5, 1918, Regarding Japanese Loan Policy in China

The Japanese Government published the following statement in Tokyo on December 3:—

Mischievous reports of Japanese activities in China, more particularly with regard to the granting of loans, have for some time past been in circulation and have imputed to the Japanese Government intentions which are entirely foreign to them. For obvious reasons the Japanese Government cannot undertake to discourage financial and economic enterprises of their nationals in China so long as those enterprises are the natural and legitimate outgrowth of special relations between the two neighbouring and friendly nations. Nor are the Japanese Government at all receding from their readiness to render needed financial assistance to China consistently with the terms of all the declarations and engagements to which they are a party, should the general security and welfare of China call for such assistance. At the same time they fully realize that loans supplied to China under the existing conditions of domestic strife in that country are liable to create misunderstandings on the part of either of the contending factions and to interfere with the re-establishment of peace and unity in China so essential to her own interests as well as to the interests of foreign Powers. Accordingly the Japanese Government have decided to withhold such financial assistance to China as is likely in their opinion to add to the complications of her internal situation, believing that this policy will be cordially participated in by all the Powers interested in China.

  1. For text of representations, see Foreign Relations, 1918, pp. 134135; Japanese statement concerning representations not printed.
  2. Not printed.