861.00/6668: Telegram

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

150. Japanese Government yesterday made following declaration in the Official Gazette:

“The despatch of Japanese troops to Siberia having for its purpose the assistance of the Czecho-Slovaks, it is plain as was declared at the time of their being sent, that Japan will also withdraw her troops when the evacuation of the Czecho-Slovaks is actually completed.

The geographical relations of the Empire, however, with Siberia differ from those of the other powers. Not only do the political conditions in Far Eastern Siberia affect conditions both in Manchuria and in Chosen but a large number of the Japanese residents in Siberia are practically placed under such conditions that the safety of their lives and property cannot be assured. This is the reason why the Empire is not able to withdraw the troops immediately. The Empire entertains no political ambitions towards Russia. As soon as the political conditions in the territories adjacent to our country settle down, as soon as the menace to Manchuria and Chosen has been removed, the safety of the lives and property of the Japanese residents assured and the freedom of communications guaranteed, we hereby reaffirm our pledge that the Empire will evacuate Siberia provided the Czecho-Slovaks have been completely withdrawn.”

The Government’s declaration is not only being received with disfavor by the opposition but is also the subject of much adverse criticism in the Liberal press which feels that owing to its vagueness it will serve to increase rather than dispel the resentment of the Russian[s] and the distrust of the powers at the presence of the Japanese troops in Siberia.