The American Embassy in Japan to the Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs


Reference is made to the informal memorandum presented by the American Embassy to the Japanese Foreign Office under date of February 6, 1939,83a relating to certain irksome and seemingly unwarranted restrictions placed upon American personal and business interests in Tientsin by the Japanese military authorities in that city.

Information has now reached the Government of the United States indicating that there has been little or no relaxation in the restrictions referred to above and that further restrictions are to be imposed effective March 10, 1939, which will undoubtedly have a most unfavorable effect upon the extensive American personal and business interests in Tientsin.

Within the last week or ten days the Japanese military have constructed along the south and west boundaries of the British and French Concessions and the road to the East Arsenal live-wire fences with solid posts, and heavy insulators and wire, flanked by heavy wire, and have collected near the keyed entrances to the Concessions and within the first special area large quantities of “knife supports” for wire entanglements of heavy poles, much larger and more substantial than any used hitherto. These measures constitute a serious danger to the lives of American citizens.

In view of the foregoing the Government of the United States expresses the hope that the Japanese authorities will immediately take the necessary steps to alleviate those restrictions already imposed and to prevent further restrictions being imposed such as those contemplated to be made effective on March 10, 1939.

  1. Not printed.