793.94/9777: Telegram

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

183. The Department has received from Nanking a telegram reading substantially as follows:

In view of the fact that there are American citizens still scattered throughout the country who will have to use the railways and motor roads as their only means of leaving for places of comparative safety, and in view of widespread bombing operations now being carried out by the Japanese military throughout Chinese territory, I wonder whether the several Governments could not properly make representations to the Japanese Government with a view to persuading it to refrain from these attacks upon defenseless cities, hospitals, trains and motor cars, et cetera. Sooner or later some incident is going to happen resulting in the death or injury to American citizens going about their legitimate occupations within the interior of China where such dangers should not exist. Japan declares that it is not at war with China and yet its planes are conducting raids far in the interior dropping deadly missiles in deliberate disregard of the rights of other nations.

The Department desires that unless you perceive objection you call at the Japanese Foreign Office and invite attention to the situation described in the telegram quoted above, in the hope that the Japanese Government will cause appropriate instructions to be issued to its military forces in the field. It is suggested that you leave an aide-mémoire at the Foreign Office.

It is desired that you inform your principally interested colleagues of the action you propose taking and suggest for their consideration the advisability of taking action along similar lines.