893.00 Tsinan/112

The Japanese Embassy to the Department of State54

The Japanese Government deeply regrets the unfortunate incident at Tsinan on May 3rd last, but as it was perpetrated by the undisciplined soldiers belonging to the Southern Army, the whole responsibility for it must be said to rest with the Chinese.

However, the Japanese Government, prompted by the desire to preserve the cordial relations between Japan and China, has decided to proceed toward the solution of the Tsinan incident on the following conditions: (1) apology by the Nationalist Government, (2) punishment of those responsible for the incident, (3) compensation for the damages inflicted upon the lives and property of the [Page 159] Japanese residents, and (4) guarantee for future security. Acting upon this decision, the Government instructed Consul General Yada at Shanghai on July 18th to acquaint the Nationalist Government that it is ready to enter into negotiations with China for the speedy settlement of the matter and that the Consul General at Tsingtao and the Acting Consul General at Tsinan will be appointed to carry on such negotiations. Yada was charged at the same time to ask that a representative of the Nationalist Government with full powers be named and sent to Tsinan immediately.

As regards the Japanese troops dispatched to Shantung, it goes without saying that they were sent there for the sole purpose of protecting Japanese residents, and that the entire troops will be withdrawn from the region as soon as it becomes clear that their presence is no longer necessary. Unfortunately, however, feelings of unrest caused by the Tsinan incident are yet prevalent while wanton acts are still being committed by un-uniformed soldiers in that region, and the total evacuation of Japanese troops is made difficult for the present. Yet it is the belief of the Japanese Government that the speedy solution of the Tsinan incident will greatly mitigate the feelings of unrest and will facilitate such evacuation. Notwithstanding the disturbances above alluded to, the Japanese Government is happy to note that the general situation in Shantung has so improved that the presence of so large a force as originally sent there is no longer required. The Government therefore has withdrawn a part of this force and still intends to reduce the number by degrees. At the same time the warships which were dispatched to several places along the Chinese coast and the Yangtze are being recalled, since the middle of last month, to the stations to which they originally belonged and in fact most of them have already been withdrawn from Chinese waters. Of the troops in Shantung, the first and second reserves of the Third Division have been recalled, and about seven thousand are to be demobilized in the near future, while the remainder will be withdrawn gradually in accordance with the development of the situation.

  1. This paper bears the penciled notation: “Handed to me by Japanese Chargé July 21, 1928, noon—file among memoes of conversation—N[elson] T. J[ohnson].”