894.00 P.R./124

Statement by the Japanese Military Commander in Central China, March 10, 1938 74

On March 10 General Hata, who replaced General Matsui as commander of the Japanese forces in central China, gave his first press interview. He declared there would be no change in “Japan’s immutable policy” towards China. “Accordingly it may be necessary for the Japanese forces to remain in central China for 5 years, or 10 years, or 100 years, depending on the circumstances”. He gave assurances that neutral rights and interests will be duly respected but said that injustices in the name of foreign rights and interests cannot be recognized. Commenting on the fighting spirit of his officers and men he said that he was convinced they will be able to continue their drive to Hankow or anywhere else.

  1. Extract from a report on conditions in Japan during the month of March 1938, enclosed in despatch No. 2910, Apr. 30, 1938, from the American Ambassador in Japan.