The Department of State to the Japanese Embassy


The Japanese Embassy has brought to the attention of the Department of State a memorandum concerning the reported agitation against Japan which has been going on in China. The Embassy has emphasized the point that the agitation seems no longer to be a mere [Page 713]demonstration against Japan but may also become a menace to the general peace and welfare of China. The Embassy points out that the Japanese Government is not inclined to accept readily the repeated rumor that some Americans in China are directly or indirectly supporting the agitation against Japan. This attitude of the Japanese Government is greatly appreciated by the American Government. This Government did not doubt but that the Japanese Government would understand that the conduct in such matters of American nationals abroad is not within the power of the American Government to control and that the American Government is in no way responsible for such views as are expressed by those nationals either in the form of resolutions or in private conversation. The American Government is well convinced that the agitation will of itself subside in due course without the ill consequences now so much feared by the Japanese Government. In fact, this Government is gratified to note that recent reports from China indicate a substantial improvement in the situation in this respect.

The Department of State has taken special note of the degree of importance attached by the Japanese Government to the nature of the resolutions of the Peking Anglo-American Association of June 637 and of the American Chamber of Commerce in China of May 21,38 respectively. The paragraph next above clearly sets forth the attitude of the American Government towards such incidents.

With respect to the allegation that the Anglo-American Association has among its members the American Minister to China and certain members of his staff, one of the latter being an official of the Association, the Department of State is informed that no member of the Legation staff is an official of the Association. The Minister and members of the staff often attend dinners or other social functions given by the Association, but they do not participate in its business meetings. At the meeting of the Anglo-American Association on June 6, when the resolution above mentioned was adopted, the American Minister was not present.

With respect to the resolution of the American Chamber of Commerce, a copy of which was sent by the Chamber to the President, the Department of State is glad to point out that it is the custom of the President to acknowledge the receipt of such communications and the action taken in this case is, therefore, merely the continuation of a long-standing practice, to which no particular significance need be attached. American citizens here and abroad have long availed [Page 714]themselves of the right of petition and so far as his time permits the President gives consideration to views so expressed.

The American Government does not share the concern which the Japanese Government feels lest the activities hereinbefore mentioned shall mar the cordial relations between the United States and Japan. The American Government is confident that these minor incidents can in no way impair the cordial and friendly feelings which have so long existed between the two Governments.

  1. See p. 699.
  2. See telegram of May 22 from the Minister in China, p. 694.