The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Hirota)
My Dear Minister: With reference to the assurances, both written and oral, which from time to time have been conveyed by Your Excellency to my Government to the effect that the bombing operations of the Japanese forces in China are aimed exclusively at Chinese military establishments, and that strict orders have been issued to officers in the field that non-combatants as well as humanitarian and other nonmilitary establishments are to be scrupulously and solicitously avoided, I consider it pertinent to bring to Your Excellency’s attention the substance of a telegram which I have received from the American Ambassador in Nanking reporting the bombing of that capital, as follows:
So far as the American Embassy at Nanking is aware, the only establishments at Nanking which can warrantably be regarded as bases for Chinese military operations are establishments such as the military air field, arsenal and barracks outside the walls of Nanking. The term “military establishment” cannot properly be applied to the Central [Page 509]University, the Central Hospital, the Ministry of Health, the Legislative Yuan, the Ministry of Education, and the electric light plant, all of which have apparently been the targets of Japanese bombers and some of which have been hit and damaged by bombs. The Central University has been bombed three times. It is also to be emphasized that bombs in certain instances have fallen within a hundred yards of the official residences of certain of the foreign diplomatic representatives in Nanking.
I am [etc.]