361.1123 L 25/-: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Japan ( Bell )

20. Repeat to Vladivostok the following reply to its telegram No. 4, January 10, 10 a.m.

“This Government has not recognized that, since the liquidation of the joint expedition for the assistance of the Czechs, the Japanese forces have been maintained in Siberia for any save the immediate purpose of affording such protection to the lives and property of Japanese residents as their Government has considered temporarily necessary. This Government has not itself requested or expected, nor is it aware of any request or expectation on the part of other Governments, that the Japanese forces should undertake a mandate to protect the interests of other nationalities or assume any degree of control over the persons or property of other nationalities in Siberia. The Department therefore approves your action in dissociating [Page 359] yourself from the appeal of the local consular body for Japanese protection of foreigners and desires that you make clear this Government’s position to your colleagues and to local authorities. You may also in your discretion give out for publication a statement to the same effect.”