861a.01/202

The Chairman of the Special Trade Delegation of the Far Eastern Republic to the United States (Yazikoff) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I am enclosing herewith a copy of a Note sent by Mr. Janson, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Far Eastern Republic to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Japanese Imperial Government on February 10th, 1922.

I beg [etc.]

A. Yazikoff
[Enclosure]

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Far Eastern Republic (Janson) to the Japanese Minister of Foreign A fairs (Uchida)

The Government of the Far Eastern Republic has been informed that on January 23rd, when the Siberian question was being discussed [Page 845]by the Committee on Far Eastern Affairs at the Washington Conference on the Limitation of Armament, Baron Shidehara stated that the Japanese Delegation was authorized to declare that Japan had decided on a fixed and settled policy in respect to Russia’s integrity, to observe the principle of non-interference with Russia’s domestic affairs and also the principle of equal trade opportunity for all nations in every part of the Russian possessions.

The Government of the Far Eastern Republic expresses deep satisfaction with the principles of Japan’s policy as outlined in Baron Shidehara’s statement. The Government of the Far Eastern Republic believes that these principles must be made the foundation for any future relations between Japan and the Far Eastern Republic and hopes that the Japanese Government will be guided by these principles in settling the question of the evacuation of Japanese troops and in discussing the agreement between the Japanese Imperial Government and the Far Eastern Republic at Dairen.

To be exact and explicit the Government of the Far Eastern Republic must, however, state that the proposed Japanese draft of agreement consisting of seventeen articles and three supplementary ones presented on September 26th, 1921, is not in accord with the principles declared by Baron Shidehara concerning non-interference in domestic affairs and the principle of equal opportunities for all nations. Likewise these principles are in contradiction with the verbal note presented by the Japanese Delegation to the Far Eastern Republic Delegation at Dairen on January 15th, 1922, embodying Japan’s final conditions of agreement.

The Government of the Far Eastern Republic believes that the systematic assistance rendered by the Japanese authorities to Russian counter-revolutionaries in the Maritime Province cannot be regarded as consistent with the declaration regarding non-interference in Russian affairs.

The Government of the Far Eastern Republic has definite information that the Japanese military command, besides the arms previously delivered to the so-called Merkulov69 army, also supplied it for the Khabarovsk attack with 12,000 rifles, 6 artillery guns, 50 machine guns and other materials and supplies.

A considerable quantity of Remington rifles and other arms were in the Vladivostok military stores when the Far Eastern Republic’s authority extended to Vladivostok. These stores were controlled by Japanese forces and the Japanese military command refused to deliver them to the authorities of the Far Eastern Republic. After Merkulov’s coup d’état the Japanese command continued to guard [Page 846]these stores and the Japanese Government’s diplomatic representatives at Dairen repeatedly assured the Government of the Far Eastern Republic that under no circumstances would the arms be delivered to military organizations in the Maritime Province, hostile to the Far Eastern Republic.

However, these arms have been distributed among counter-revolutionary organizations. This is proved by the presence of a great number of rifles of the above make and origin in the hands of counterrevolutionary detachments near Khabarovsk where the armoured train “Orlik” which was previously under Japanese control was also found.

The activities of the Japanese occupationary forces on the territory of the Far Eastern Republic are incompatible with the avowed principles. The following incidents may serve as illustrations: On February 6th, a Japanese detachment of 50 men occupied the village of Brovnichi on the Suchan River and after searches arrested several Russian peasants. In the village of Spaskoye, the Japanese commander requested that the priest of that village obey his rude, insolent demands and after arresting him, beat him severely. These and a series of similar incidents can be quoted as characteristic of the actions of the Japanese officials on the territory of the Far Eastern Republic occupied by the Japanese. No steps have been taken by the Japanese Government regarding the evacuation of the Maritime and Saghalien Provinces. Despite the Japanese Government’s numerous statements, its troops continue to occupy Russian territory and lately, it has been noticed that their numbers are increasing.

The Government of the Far Eastern Republic believes that even disregarding the Japanese officials’ behaviour and their treatment of the Russian population, the mere presence of Japanese troops on Russian territory cannot be regarded as respect for Russia’s territorial integrity nor the principle of non-interference.

The Government of the Far Eastern Republic wishes to receive a statement of the Japanese Government whether it considers the above stated facts as consistent with the principles of territorial integrity, non-interference and equal opportunity for all nations on Russian territory, or whether Baron Shidehara’s statement is contrary to the Japanese Government’s policy in the Russian Far East.

Janson

  1. Spiridon V. Merkulov, president of the Provisional Priamur Government.