861.00/6897: Telegram

The Consul at Vladivostok (Caldwell) to the Secretary of State

151. Yesterday General Oi issued proclamation, by means of large posters, of which following is summary:

“Referring to propositions made by Soviet representatives in Irkutsk, for a separate state in Eastern Siberia, with a view to keeping troops of Soviet, Japan and Partisans in present areas and preventing hostilities, it is announced that Japan has no territorial ambitions in Siberia, sympathizes with Russians in Eastern Siberia and hopes for early restoration of order.

Recent action of Japanese military73 was self defense due to the hostile action of Partisans. Japan cannot permit in country in close geographical relations with its own territory any political organization that defies humanity and attempts to disturb peace of the world. In view of the early completion repatriation Czech troops,74 Japanese military wishes express its readiness for military evacuation of Siberia when conditions Far Eastern Russia re-adjusted to stable status, menace to Korea and Manchuria removed, and life and property of Japanese civil population guaranteed. Japanese command will not support any Russian faction and hopes for such consummation soon and will be pleased by establishment of such form of [Page 549]government as meets with approval of people. Resumption economic relations also desired to relieve Russian suffering. To attain above it is necessary to have neutral zone between Japanese and Russian forces at Chita after which creation of unions, the basis Eastern Russian autonomy, may be expected with which Japanese will not interfere. When political affairs make possible such arrangement Japanese military command will congratulate itself upon arrival of time for its military evacuation. In this, Japanese military, Government, and people agree and it is hoped Russian population will also concur.

Nevertheless action Russian forces at Nikolaevsk was very regrettable, small Japanese force being exterminated, consul killed and many Japanese civilians killed or unspeakably humiliated,75 all of which has made a great impression upon the Japanese people. It is proper that this affair should be regarded as a separate issue and settled separately.”

Before giving publicity to information contained in telegram from Ambassador Morris stating that the United States has made no agreement regarding Eastern Siberia since 1919,76 I called on Mr. Matsudaira and informed him of contents of statement. He said that newspaper accounts of interview with him were not strictly correct and that deductions drawn by newspapers were not in accordance with impression he had intended to convey but that he had not attached sufficient importance to them to issue denial or correction. Repeated to Tokyo and Peking.

Caldwell
  1. See pp. 504 ff.
  2. For papers dealing with the evacuation of the Czechoslovak forces, see pp. 561 ff.
  3. See pp. 514 ff.
  4. See telegram no. 172, May 7, to the Ambassador in Japan, p. 513.