The Secretary of State to the Japanese Ambassador (Hanihara)

Excellency: On September 3, while the early reports were still being received indicating the enormity of the earthquake disaster which had stricken your country and the Japanese people, you were so good as to express a willingness to accept, at the suggestion of the Acting Secretary of State, on behalf of your Government and the Japanese people, such emergency aid as the Government of the United States and American relief agencies might be in a position to render in the circumstances. It seemed clear that the most effective relief would be that which could be made available with the least possible delay, and accordingly the appropriate authorities of the Government, by direction of the President, hastened to place at the disposal of the Japanese Government such emergency measures of Government relief as were available in the absence of special legislative authority.

Knowing, however, that the hearts of the American people had been profoundly stirred by the overwhelming catastrophe, the President issued an appeal for public subscriptions to a relief fund to be collected through the American Red Cross. The response to this appeal was spontaneous and widespread. It clearly expressed the warm-hearted desire on the part of the American people to participate in relieving the distress and suffering which had fallen upon Your Excellency’s country, and it afforded an opportunity to the people of the United States to evidence their friendly and sympathetic feeling for the people of Japan, whose courage and fortitude have again been strikingly demonstrated. The quick response to the appeal made it possible for the Red Cross to place at the disposal of the Imperial Japanese Relief Bureau foodstuffs, medical and other supplies, as well as substantial money contributions for such use as the Bureau deemed advisable.

While it is understood that the Japanese Government feels that the emergency has now been temporarily met so far as food supplies and relief personnel are concerned, I beg of you to let me know should further aid of this character be desired by your Government; [Page 485] and if there are needs in other directions which are not now being satisfied, and which this Government may be in position to supply, I shall be happy to be so advised.

I desire, in this connection, to avail myself of this opportunity to express to the Japanese Government, through you, the thanks of the Government of the United States for the solicitude with which your Government looked after the welfare of American citizens in the earthquake zone and for the relief and protection extended to them. This Government likewise appreciates the facilities afforded American Diplomatic and Consular Officers in Japan in carrying on their work under the trying circumstances, and it is not unmindful of the debt of gratitude which it owes to the members of the Imperial family who tendered places of abode for the American Ambassador and his family, and to others who gave similar assistance to Americans then resident in Tokyo.

Accept [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes