893.00/9884: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

50. Embassy’s telegram 48, April 19, 5 p.m.34 Foreign Office has just sent me following statement issued today by Japanese Government:35

“At the time the Japanese troops were withdrawn from Shantung, the Japanese Government took occasion to declare that, while they had no intention of countenancing any particular party or faction in connection with the disturbances in China, yet if the peace and order in localities containing many Japanese residents were disturbed, giving cause for apprehension that the safety of the said residents might be affected, the Japanese Government would be constrained to take such measures of self-protection as might be required.

In spite of the sudden change of the situation in Shantung which has precipitated disturbances threatening to involve that region where the Japanese reside, the Japanese Government are now compelled, in pursuance of the above-mentioned declaration, to despatch from Japan proper a contingent of about 5,000 soldiers to the [Page 137] Kiaochow-Tsinan Railway zone via Tsingtau for the protection of the Japanese residents. Pending the arrival of those soldiers, three companies drawn from the Japanese garrison in China will be sent to Tsinan as an emergency measure to meet the situation.

It need scarcely be stated that the despatch of troops by the Japanese Government again to the Shantung districts is an unavoidable measure of self-protection, by no means implying anything like an unfriendly intention [toward] China and her people, or an interference with the military operations of any of the Northern and Southern forces. It may be added that as soon as the Japanese Government consider it no longer necessary to maintain the troops for the protection of the Japanese residents in the affected areas referred to above, the troops will be immediately withdrawn as on the last occasion.”36

Copy by mail to Peking.

  1. Not printed.
  2. This statement is identical with an unsigned memorandum handed to the Secretary of State by the Japanese Ambassador, Apr. 20, 1928, 12:30 p.m. (893.0146/32).
  3. See telegram No. 236, May 28, 1927, to the Minister in China, Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. ii, p. 123.