The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Hirota)

No. 788

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that on September 4 the commanders-in-chief of the American, British and French naval forces at Shanghai addressed communications respectively to the commander of the Japanese naval forces at Shanghai and to the commander of the Chinese military forces in the Pootung area, calling attention to the consequence of an artillery duel which took place about midday on September 3d between Chinese guns in Pootung [Page 496]and Japanese warships in sections 5, 6, and 7 of the Shanghai harbor. They point out that several shells fell in the International Settlement south of Soochow Creek and in the French Concession, causing forty or fifty casualties, and that serious damage was caused to property in Pootung. They consider that if these engagements continue and possibly become more general the safety of the foreign areas will be seriously involved and life and property further endangered. They therefore recommend and request that in order to avoid this state of affairs and in order to preserve the safety of the foreign areas under their protection, the Chinese and Japanese forces should be withdrawn as follows: (1) Japanese naval forces to withdraw below section 7 of the river, (2) Chinese forces in Pootung to withdraw to the eastward of Pootung Road and south of Changkadu Creek.

In bringing this matter to Your Excellency’s attention, I most earnestly hope that the recommendations of the commanders-in-chief of the American, British, and French naval forces will be acted upon favorably.

The American Ambassador to China is addressing a communication in the foregoing sense to the Chinese Government.

I avail myself [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew