The Japanese Embassy to the Department of State


The Japanese Government have carefully examined the Memorandum of the Department of State addressed to the Japanese Ambassador at Washington on January 9, 1920,38 on the subject of withdrawal of American troops and American railway experts from Siberia.

In that Memorandum it is stated that for the United States, neither the sending of a reinforcement to Siberia, nor the further maintenance of the expeditionary forces has been found practicable, and that having regard to the main objects of the American military expedition which have now been accomplished, and also to the situation which has lately developed in Siberia, the decision has been taken by the Government of the United States, to proceed to the withdrawal of American troops and at the same time to recall the American railway experts at present assisting the operation of the Trans-Siberian and the Chinese Eastern Railways. After describing the considerations on which this conclusion is based, the Memorandum expresses the regret of the American Government for the necessity of such decision.

The Japanese Government have no intention whatever of calling in question the propriety of the decision now adopted by the United States of its own accord. Relying, however, on the spirit of harmonious co-operation in which the military enterprise in Siberia was originally undertaken and has since been conducted by the two Powers, the Japanese Government had expected that in proceeding to final decision to put an end to such undertaking, the American Government would be willing to communicate with them in advance.

They are informed that the Honorable the Secretary of State, in the course of his conversation with the Japanese Ambassador on January 10, explained that in view of the conditions prevailing in the United States, the American Government had found it urgently necessary to effect an early withdrawal of American troops from Siberia, and that when the decision was reached, there was no time left for the discussion of the question with the Japanese Government. Preparations for the departure of American troops from Siberia were accordingly ordered forthwith and the Secretary of State regretted that he had not been able to consult the Japanese Government beforehand on the step thus taken. The Japanese Government are happy to be assured that the failure of the American Government to communicate with them on the subject before the decision [Page 498] was finally taken was due to no other consideration than the need of prompt action under special conditions mentioned by the Secretary of State.

They are further gratified to learn that, in reply to the questions submitted by the Japanese Ambassador on the occasion of the foregoing interview, the Secretary of State declared that the American Government would have no objection to the decision which might be reached on the part of Japan to continue single-handed the stationing of her troops in Siberia, or, to send a reinforcement in case of need, or to carry on the assistance in the operation of the Trans-Siberian and the Chinese Eastern Railways.

With reference to the last paragraph of the Memorandum of the Department of State under examination, the Japanese Government have already communicated to the British and French Governments the substance of the Aide-Memoire of the Japanese Embassy handed to the Secretary of State on December 8,39 and they will communicate it equally to the Italian Government. They will also make known to the British, French and Italian Governments the substance of the present Memorandum.

  1. Ante, p. 487.
  2. Not printed.