861a.01/74: Telegram

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

299. Your 148, September 7, 2 p.m., and my despatch number 926 of September 918 now in transit. Japanese press reports that although Chita representatives are favorable to recognition of Japanese demands regarding fishery, mining, forestry and other rights difficulties in reaching a final agreement are anticipated owing to the fact that Japan is unwilling to deal with Chita on a basis which would imply recognition of Chita as an independent country. Nevertheless I am reliably informed that Japanese Government is now attaching more importance to the conference than it has previously while press expresses optimism as to satisfactory outcome. War Office has informed military attaché that the eighth division which was to have replaced the eleventh at Vladivostok will not be mobilized for the present.

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Your 149, September 9.19 Consul at Dairen reports:

“September 14, 3 p.m. Yurin states that probably no objection Caldwell’s visit. Question of right of navigation Amur by Japan and cession northern Sakhalin being referred to Chita and Tokyo. Chita delegates contend Amur question cannot be arranged as treaty exists with China thereon but Japanese state that the matter can be arranged by Japan with China if Chita willing to permit navigation. Replying to my personal observation that in view of the Washington Conference Chita should not grant territory or rights, Yurin stated absolutely necessary Chita enter into trade relations with some country and that Japan is only nation willing to enter into negotiations and she naturally wants attach concessions therefor. If Chita unwilling to permit concessions Japan will break off negotiations and if nothing comes out of Washington Conference it is clear will demand even greater concessions later. However, if Chita allowed to have representatives sent to Washington they can afford to break off present conference with Japan.

Yurin is undoubtedly trying play the army [America?] against Japan but in my opinion the only way to prevent cession administrative or territorial rights to Japan is to permit the despatch of informal representatives to Washington.[”]

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Instructing Caldwell to proceed to Chita, p. 745.