893.00 Tsinan/38

The Japanese Embassy to the Department of State37

When recently disturbances in China threatened to spread to Tsinan, Japanese Government dispatched troops for protection of Japanese residents in that region and took occasion to explain their attitude in connection with that unavoidable course of action. It is now to be observed that since occurrence of deplorable incident at Tsinan, the situation in that district has so much increased in gravity [Page 139] that the present strength of Japanese troops there is insufficient for protection of Japanese residents. Shantung Railway connecting Tsingtao and Tsinan is destroyed at various places, making it impossible as things stand at present to ensure means of communication by that route. In these circumstances, it has been decided to dispatch Third Division to Shantung with object of securing necessary protection to Japanese residents and ensuring communication of Shantung Railway. Present dispatch of additional troops being intended as stated above to protect Japanese residents in Shantung and to ensure communication of Shantung Railway which is essential for that purpose, its object is in no way different from that of the first dispatch of troops.
Together with dispatch of Third Division [it] has been decided to send five other companies from Japan proper to Tientsin. They were originally scheduled to be sent in June next as periodical relief for Japanese garrison in China, but date of their departure has been advanced in view of circumstance that part of garrison has been sent to Tsinan as emergency measure. It has also been decided to dispatch additional number of cruisers and destroyers to the Yangtze and to South China for purpose of safeguarding Japanese residents in case unforeseen happenings should occur in southern districts out of possible misunderstandings relating to Tsinan incident. Present dispatch of additional troops and warships is intended for no other purpose than that of protecting lives and property of Japanese residents against such unfortunate incidents as might possibly occur in connection with Tsinan affair, and it need scarcely be added that they will be withdrawn as occasion permits on the disappearance of necessity for their continued maintenance.
  1. This paper bears the notation: “Handed to Mr. Johnson, May 9, 12 o’clock noon, by the Japanese Ambassador.”