The American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (Prince Konoye)

No. 1779

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to my note to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, no. 1738 of February 4, 1941, with reference to the aerial bombardment of Kunming, China, by Japanese aircraft on January 29, 1941, at which time the American Consulate at that place was seriously endangered, and to inform Your Excellency that American lives and property were again endangered at Kunming on April 8 by a wanton and indiscriminate bombing attack by Japanese airplanes.

On this occasion, according to the American Consul at Kunming, the China Inland Mission, where seven American citizens including three children were residing, was badly damaged by explosions and [Page 711]barely escaped destruction by fire. At the same time, the house occupied by the American-citizen clerk of the Consulate, adjacent to the Mission, suffered concussion and damage in the form of broken glass, fallen plaster and tiles, and demolished electric light fixtures.

In bringing this matter to Your Excellency’s attention, I wish to emphasize the unfortunate effect on public opinion in the United States of such indiscriminate attacks, not only because of the jeopardy in which American lives and property are placed, but also because of the great abhorrence on broad humanitarian grounds held by the American people toward acts of wanton violence against non-combatant and defenceless populations.

In conclusion, I am further instructed by my Government to point out that American officials and citizens reside in Kunming and other localities for legitimate purposes, and they are entitled to continue their activities without danger or loss from the attacks of Japanese aircraft. Despite the fact that the Japanese authorities in a great many of the cases have previously been supplied with detailed information concerning the location of the residences of American citizens and of American property, the lives of American citizens continue to be placed in jeopardy and they continue to suffer losses, in various parts of China.

Accept [etc.]

Joseph C. Grew