361.1123 L 25/34a: Telegram

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

28. Langdon Case.

You will take occasion to explain orally to the Foreign Office that this Government expects an early detailed reply to the note which you delivered in accordance with Department’s telegram 11 January 13, 6 p.m.

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It has been pointed out to the Japanese Ambassador here that the longer the status of the case is left in doubt, the more opportunity there is for misunderstandings and inaccurate public statements. The Department is having difficulty, in the face of insistent inquiries on the part of the press, in restraining adverse comment and unfriendly criticism. If reports are true, there is a growing effort in some quarters in Japan to arouse sentiment on behalf of the sentry. This Government fears that unless in the very near future the Japanese Government is in a position to effect a fair and satisfactory adjustment of this case it is likely to become a chronic source of irritation to the detriment of American-Japanese relations.

Concretely, it is expected that the sentry will be punished and proper reparation made for Langdon’s death and that effective steps will be taken to prevent similar occurrences in future.