393.1163 Lutheran Brethren/146

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

No. 1426

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that I have been informed through the American Embassy at Chungking that the property of the Lutheran Brethren Mission at Tungpeh, Honan, has again been damaged as the result of an air raid by Japanese planes on August 1, 1939. The location of this property is undoubtedly well known to the Japanese military authorities since the property has been bombed on two previous occasions, first on October 24, 1938, resulting in the death of an American national and the wounding of two other American nationals, and again on May 2, 1939. In this connection reference is made to my note no. 1105 dated October 31, 1938,3 and to my note no. 1273 dated May 22, 1939.4

According to a report received by the American Embassy at Chungking, while no direct hits were made on the mission property during the Japanese air raid on August 1, 1939, three bombs fell near enough to cause additional damage to that property. Large holes in the roofs of the buildings were caused by falling debris; one brick wall is bulging and may fall at any time; the missionary residence was machine-gunned, one bullet passing through the roof and ceiling and stopping at the brick wall of an upstairs room.

[Page 671]

The report states that two of the three bombs mentioned fell within one hundred feet of the mission property, near enough to give the appearance of having been directed at the mission.

I am constrained emphatically to protest these continued attacks upon this mission property, especially in view of the tragic and disastrous result of the first bombing on October 24, 1938, and to request that immediate and effective steps be taken to prevent the recurrence of such unwarranted attacks. It is also requested that the Japanese Government cause an investigation to be made of the circumstances referred to in the foregoing report and that the Embassy be informed of the results thereof at the earliest possible moment in order that it may communicate with its Government.

I avail myself [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew
  1. Ante, p. 627.
  2. Not printed; but see telegram No. 241, May 22, 1939, 6 p.m., from the Chargé in Japan, p. 650.