894.48B/8a: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Japan ( Woods )23

106. The Department is greatly concerned on account of the disaster which has overwhelmed Tokyo and the adjacent parts of Japan and is most apprehensive as to the safety of the Embassy staff, consular officials, and American citizens in the affected areas. The Navy Department has already despatched vessels of the Asiatic fleet to render all possible assistance, and the American Red Cross is taking active steps to the same end, an appeal for public funds having been issued today by the President. The Department is instructing Consul-General at Large Johnson, with assistants, to proceed to Yokohama for the purpose of assisting in Consular administration and in aid to American citizens. Consul Ballantine is also being sent to Yokohama. As yet no reports have been received from any American officials in Japan and newspaper reports are fragmentary, which fact intensifies the fears of the Department as to the extent of the disaster and the safety of its officials. The Department hopes that they personally have escaped injury and anxiously awaits reports. Suggestions will be appreciated concerning any measures which the Department may take or initiate for the alleviation of distress, whether relating to the welfare of American citizens or to the general situation. The fullest information concerning the welfare of individual Americans is desired in order that the Department may be able to answer the numerous inquiries received-Information is also desired as to the most feasible methods for the transmission of funds under present conditions.

  1. The same telegram was sent to the consuls at Kobe and Nagasaki.