711.00 Statement, July 16, 1937/205

Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The Ambassador of Japan handed me the comment of his Government on my statement of foreign policy24 given out some weeks ago and sent to all the governments. The attached is a copy.25

The Ambassador then said that, on account of the action of the Chinese, the military situation in Shanghai was serious and that he did not know what might occur as a result in the way of crises and injuries to persons. I replied that this country and this Government greatly deplored the prospects or possibilities of a major military clash in Shanghai, adding that we would be extremely sorry to see anything of that sort occur; that both Japan and China would be held equally responsible by the nations of the world if a major military engagement should be brought on in Shanghai, since this is a great metropolitan world city of vast world commerce and comprising many large groups of foreigners; that the losses and injuries would be tremendous; and that no nation could justify such wholly unauthorized destruction. I strongly emphasized the point of equal responsibility. I stated to the Ambassador that this Government had said everything possible to responsible officials and persons on each side, both locally and generally, that might be in the least calculated to induce or encourage the Japanese and Chinese to keep troops out of the Shanghai area and so avoid a major or serious military clash. I emphasized this view as to the responsibility of both countries. The Ambassador did not argue this point. I further deplored the seriousness of the situation in China generally.

The Ambassador said that he would be glad to have his Counselor call during the afternoon and give the Department any additional information as to conditions, especially in Shanghai.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Statement issued July 16, 1937, p. 325.
  2. Note of Japanese Embassy printed infra.