Statement by the Japanese Prime Minister (Prince Konoye), December 22, 1938 87

The Japanese Government are resolved, as has been clearly set forth in their two previous statements issued this year, to carry on the military operations for the complete extermination of the anti-Japanese Kuomintang Government, and at the same time to proceed with the work of establishing a new order in East Asia together with those far-sighted Chinese who share in our ideals and aspirations.

The spirit of renaissance is now sweeping over all parts of China and enthusiasm for reconstruction is mounting ever higher. The Japanese Government desire to make public their basic policy for adjusting the relations between Japan and China, in order that their intentions may be thoroughly understood both at home and abroad.

Japan, China and Manchoukuo will be united by the common aim of establishing the new order in East Asia and of realizing a relationship of neighbourly amity, common defence against Communism, and economic co-operation. For that purpose it is necessary first of all that China should cast aside all narrow and prejudiced views belonging to the past and do away with the folly of anti-Japanism, and resentment regarding Manchoukuo. In other words, Japan frankly desires China to enter of her own will into complete diplomatic relations with Manchoukuo.

The existence of the Comintern influence in East Asia can not be tolerated. Japan therefore considers it an essential condition of the adjustment of the Sino-Japanese relations that there should be concluded an anti-Comintern agreement between the two countries in consonance with the spirit of the anti-Comintern Agreement between Japan, Germany and Italy. And in order to ensure the full accomplishment [Page 483] of her purpose, Japan demands, in view of the actual circumstances prevailing in China, that Japanese troops be stationed, as an anti-Communist measure, at specified points during the time the said agreement is in force, and also that the Inner Mongolian region be designated as a special anti-Communist area.

As regards economic relations between the two countries, Japan does not intend to exercise economic monopoly in China, nor does she intend to demand of China to limit the interests of those third Powers, who grasp the meaning of the new East Asia and are willing to act accordingly. Japan only seeks to render effective the co-operation and collaboration between the two countries. That is to say, Japan demands that China, in accordance with the principle of equality between the two countries, should recognize the freedom of residence and trade on the part of Japanese subjects in the interior of China, with a view to promoting the economic interests of both peoples; and that, in the light of the historical and economic relations between the two nations, China should extend to Japan facilities for the development of China’s natural resources, especially in the regions of North China and Inner Mongolia.

The above gives the general lines of what Japan demands of China. If the true object of Japan in conducting the present vast military campaign be fully understood, it will be plain that what she seeks is neither territory nor indemnity for the costs of military operations. Japan demands only the minimum guarantee needed for the execution by China of her function as a participant in the establishment of the new order.

Japan not only respects the sovereignty of China, but she is prepared to give positive consideration to the questions of the abolition of extra-territoriality and of the rendition of concessions and settlements—matters which are necessary for the full independence of China.

  1. Released by the Japanese Foreign Office.