861.00/6697: Telegram

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

157. My 150, April 1, 5 p.m. Yesterday General Tanaka issued a statement reiterating the intention of Japan ultimately to withdraw her troops from Siberia but pointing out how difficult it would be to do so in view of conditions now prevailing. This was evidently to prepare the public for the following announcement which was made today by the semi-official Kokusai news agency:

“The commander of the Japanese Expeditionary Forces in Vladivostok has asked for the reply of the Russian Provisional Government to the following demands. If no reply is forthcoming within 48 hours that is up to April 4, 9 a.m. Japan will take the necessary steps.

That the camps, provisions, transportation, communications and all other matters connected with the Japanese forces shall not be interfered with.
That all agreements concluded between the Japanese Government and the Russian officials, whether made independently or upon agreement with the Allied Powers or Allied Armies, shall be strictly observed.
That those who support the military operations of the Japanese Army shall not be arrested or restrained without the consent of the Japanese command.
That the actions of the various groups or secret societies harmful to Japanese troops or to Manchuria and Chosen shall be prohibited.
That the articles or statements appearing in various publications and the public acts for [sic] which threaten the Japanese Empire or the existence of her soldiers shall be suppressed.
That no interference shall be offered to the Japanese Army in the discharge of their duties of protecting the lives, property and rights of Japanese and Chosenese.[”]

Admiral Gleaves this morning received a radio from United States Ship Albany at Vladivostok that Japanese troops had yesterday occupied all principal Government buildings and important strategical points in Vladivostok after fighting and appeared to be in full control of the town last night.

Minister for Foreign Affairs stated this afternoon that he had received no definite information of what had happened in Vladivostok yesterday but that he (understood) that the Russians had begun the fighting.