793.94/789: Telegram

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

Supplementing my March 20, 11 p.m.15 The Japanese press continues to give currency to various distorted reports calculated to create alarm at America’s sinister designs on Japan and the world. Yorodzu accuses the American press of carrying on a deliberate campaign to injure Japan’s reputation and hopes that Japan will lay the facts before the world for its impartial judgment. Hochi declares that America is aligning herself with the Bolsheviks in order to throw the Far East into confusion and calls upon Japan to put a stop to these activities. Referring to a report that Colonel Barrows is intriguing with the Urga Government to secure self determination for Mongolia, this journal points out that America is responsible for all the intrigue which has played such havoc in the world since the outbreak of the war. Yorodzu: A rumor that the Bolsheviks have offered to America the same concessions that were given to Germany by the Brest-Litovsk treaty which suggests to Japan that America has developed ambitions in Siberia at variance [with] those of the other powers. The Kokumin contrasts the [disorderly] conduct of American troops with the seriousness of the Japanese who are intent only on restoring order in Siberia. The Chuo takes advantage of the Japanese side of the Tientsin incident to explain that roughness and pugnacity are American characteristics and that while justice and humanity are American ideals, she had other motives for entering the European war. The Yamato has for some [time] past been developing the theme that British and American activities in China are aimed at implanting their respective influences in the country to the peril of the peace of the Far East. This journal, which is said to be supported by the military group, is bitter against democracy and denounces President Wilson in obscene language for trying to propagate American ideas without any regard for the distinctive civilization of other countries. The Hochi gives credence to a rumor that threatening [Page 690]conditions have developed in Central America as a result of American aggression which leads it to observe that if the ministers [nations] concerned adopt similar measure[s] to China at the Peace Conference there will be another question to be discussed.

There appears to be considerable unrest and nervousness in Government circles and many rumors are current. My Russian colleague tells me that changes are pending in the Foreign Office and that Uchida will be superseded by [name garbled]. I am advised from several fairly [reliable?] sources that another division is mobilizing for Siberia and [that] the withdrawal of troops from there will be discontinued. It is further rumored that the General Staff is urging upon the Government a drastic change in the Siberian policy and the despatch of a much larger force with a view to complete independence of action in the region Eastern [east of] Baikal. The newspaper campaign is explained as preliminary to this plan. I cannot corroborate any of these rumors but conclude from their very persistence, [coupled with] the noticeable reticence of all officials with whom I have come in contact since my return, that some changes of policy are under discussion behind the screen.

  1. Not printed.