861.00/6124: Telegram

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

13. Your January 9, 4 p.m. reached me this afternoon and I visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs as soon as it was decoded, as the Foreign Office had advised me at noon that no word had been received from Shidehara up to that time. The Minister of Foreign Affairs told me that Shidehara’s telegram was just then arriving in sections and was badly broken. I read him our Government’s statement and agreed to send him a copy so that it could be translated for the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. He expressed his regret that General Graves’ announcement had been made public in Vladivostok, even [before?] our Government’s note had been handed to Mr. Shidehara, thus placing the Japanese Government in an extremely awkward position. I pointed out that the statement would be given to the press in Washington tomorrow and that it might be wise for the Japanese Foreign Office to issue it here at the same time. Feeling continues very acute and the impression prevails that our Government has treated the Japanese Government and people with scant consideration. I hope that the wording of the statement itself will do much to overcome this impression. There seems to be some conflict between General Graves’ orders and the information given to the Japanese Government concerning the time of evacuation. General Graves informs me that the evacuation will [Page 495] begin today and continue as rapidly as transportation can be obtained, while the note to the Japanese Government mentions February 10th as the time our forces will begin to leave. I would appreciate definite advices on this point as much is being made of our hasty departure and the inference is suggested that we wished to embarrass any future plans of the Japanese Government.