The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Hirota) to the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note No. 785 of August 31.
In the present incident the Japanese Government has taken, and is still taking, all possible measures for the prevention of injury and loss of lives and property of both Japanese and foreigners, as the United States Government must already be aware. Japanese forces have no intention of interrupting evacuation of nationals of third countries by machine-gun fire or the dropping of bombs. However, the railway connecting Hankow with the Canton area is now being used by China for military purposes including the transportation of troops and munitions of war. I desire to invite Your Excellency’s attention to the fact that so long as the railway is used for such purpose the Japanese Government cannot guarantee to refrain from interrupting its operations.
I avail myself [etc.]