Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)
I called this afternoon on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and presented our note no. 1230.84 After reading to the Minister the principal [Page 643]points brought out in the note I said to him that this situation is becoming increasingly serious and that these continual bombings of American property, already totalling 135 in number, reports of which are coming across my desk almost daily, are causing increasing perturbation in the United States. I pointed out especially a few of the outstanding cases including that of the American Lutheran Mission at Tungpeh and that of the American Southern Baptist Hospital at Chengchow which had been bombed seven times since February 1938 and then urged with all earnestness that effective steps be taken to put an end to these bombings, stating that the American Government will carefully watch future developments in the expectation that the Japanese Government by taking effective measures will relieve the American Government of the obligation to publish the note.
The Minister expressed deep regret at the report which I had laid before him and said that he would immediately take the matter up with the appropriate authorities.
I then said to the Minister that having completed my official representations I wished to speak to him personally, informally and off the record, and I then said that these continual bombings of American property in China were leading to a growing conviction in the United States that these attacks are intentional and part and parcel of a studied campaign to drive foreign interests out of China. I said that it seemed to us impossible to place any other construction on the matter.
The Minister took these remarks in good part but said that he must deny that there was any truth in them, especially because since the publication of the news that U. S. S. Astoria was bringing the remains of the late Ambassador Saito to Japan a wave of friendly feeling for the United States had swept through this country and as this feeling was undoubtedly shared by “the soldiers” it was inconceivable that they would intentionally resort to such tactics as the intentional bombing of American property.