The Ambassador in Japan (Warren) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:10 p.m.]
433. From Caldwell, December 22, 9 p.m.
“By an unofficial memorandum and in conversation I have been informed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs26 that the Japanese at the conference at Dairen have become more insistent in their demands since the Washington Conference opened and that they now positively demand certain previously discussed concessions which heretofore they seemingly were willing to modify. The attack in the Maritime Province27 has happened at the same time, and Japan is believed to be responsible for this. It is the opinion of the Minister for Foreign Affairs that these Japanese actions must harmonize with the Washington Conference attitude in spite of the fact that since their object is a violation of Russian interests and rights, they are contrary to the American statement of September 1628 with regard to protecting Russian rights at the Washington Conference.
By permission but confidentially the Minister for Foreign Affairs informed me that the most objectionable of the Japanese demands [Page 720] being insisted upon at Dairen, which prior to the Washington Conference Japan seemed willing to change, are as follows:
- The port of Vladivostok must become purely commercial.
- Recognition of the open-door policy. Commercial and industrial restrictions applicable to aliens must not be applied to Japanese who must in this respect be placed in a position no worse than that of citizens of the Far Eastern Republic. In addition the Japanese are to have the right of coastwise trade and of navigation under their own flag on the Sungari and Amur Rivers. They likewise are to have the right to own land.
- The Far Eastern Republic must not become communistic.
- The Far Eastern Republic and Japan are each to recognize present rights of citizens or subjects no matter how acquired.
- All present fortifications on the Pacific coast must be destroyed by the Far Eastern Republic, which must construct no new fortifications. To this demand a note is added allowing: Japanese in Far Eastern Republic territory in a military capacity, but from the Russian text it is not clear whether this would apply only to individuals or to armed military units.
I was informed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs that previously Japan seemed willing to accept an assurance that the Chita government would not pursue warlike aims in place of number 5. Now, however, this demand is given the form of an ultimatum.
The Minister commented on his Government’s wish for close relations with the United States and also upon the fear that finally it may become necessary to establish relations.”